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Senior Health



Get Fit Today for a Healthier Future

We often stress the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle for your current well-being, but two new studies show that being fit can have a serious impact on your health for decades. If you’re active now, you’re protecting yourself from muscle weakness later in life. And if you were a member a sports team in high school, researchers say you’ve likely prevented frequent doctor’s visits as you’ve gotten older.

 

active senior

Researchers from Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology teamed up to study the health of World War II veterans who were healthy as young men. The researchers were surprised to find that those who played a high school sport reported visiting the doctor for health concerns fewer times a year.


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Brushing Your Teeth Can Prevent America’s #1 Killer

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

For years now, scientists have known that periodontal disease increases the risk for heart disease. Now, a new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that if you take care of your gums you can reduce a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

brush teeth

A research team led by Columbia University in New York City examined the mouths of 420 middle-aged men and women for periodontal disease. (Periodontal disease is caused when bacterial plaque on the teeth move into the gums causing inflammation. This can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, causing “pockets” that become infected with bacteria, and eventually lead to tooth loss.) Researchers collected gum bacterial samples and used ultrasound to measure the thickness of the carotid arteries, which supply the brain with blood. Artery thickness is a marker for stroke and heart disease; if the carotid arteries get clogged with plaque, you can bet the coronary arteries leading to the heart are clogging as well.

Three years later, people whose oral health improved (read: they had fewer bacteria linked to heart disease in their mouth) had a much slower rate of carotid artery thickening than those whose periodontal disease was worse or remained the same. It doesn’t take much plaque to have devastating consequences. Picture this: a 0.033-millimeter-per-year increase in carotid artery thickness doubles the risk of heart disease and heart attack. In this study, people with gums that deteriorated, developed, on average, a 0.1-mm increase, meaning their heart disease risk shot up six-fold.
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Pick Up the Pace and Extend Your Life

We all need to put a little more pep in our step. New information from the National Walkers’ Health Study, a database of information about middle-aged men and women who regularly walk for exercise, indicates that walking with greater speed is linked to longevity.

walking

As the most popular physical activity in America, walking is assumed to be an equally beneficial exercise no matter the pace. In the new study, the benefits of moderate- and light- intensity walking were compared, as well as their impact on length of life.


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Being a Rock Hard Papaw is a Mad Operation: Meet the Fittest Great Grandpa on the Internet

This is a story about a 64-year-old retired teamster from Louisville, Kentucky who has the body of an Olympic weight lifter.

His name is Robert Durbin, but you can call him “Rock Hard Papaw.”

rock hard papaw

Why Robert is not a viral video star is beyond me, but the old man—who was once overweight after a series of ankle injuries and a heart aneurism—regularly publishes videos of himself pulling off feats of strength on his YouTube Channel.

Robert works out three hours every day, his regimen a combination of strength training, CrossFit, and yoga. “I do 150 pull ups a day and 400 push ups a day,” he said. “It’s a mad operation.”

Mad indeed, but the Rock Hard Papaw isn’t fading away in the twilight of his life. “I feel 45. I’ve never felt this way. I know I look old, but I don’t feel like it.”

Just five years ago, Robert needed canes and walkers to get around, and was fitted with metallic braces on his ankles to help mobility. “Then I had an extended aortic aneurism. My health was going downhill fast and I just wanted to be able to do stuff with my grandkids,” explained Robert.
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Boomers, Get Your Groove Back! 5 Ways to Enjoy the Active, Healthy Retirement You Want

A recent study by Prevention Magazine and Kellogg’s found that Boomers (ages 48-67) are looking forward to an “active, healthy retirement,” yet one-third of them don’t know where to start, while a full half of those surveyed would make positive changes if they knew how those changes would affect them.

As an active, healthy Boomer, I am going to share some simple steps you can take to come over to the two-thirds light!! But first, why the heck do 81% of you know your credit card balance, while only 49% of you know your body mass index (BMI) or cholesterol levels? You cannot buy better health with that credit card!!

boomers

1. Add in one healthy food to your daily diet and cut out one unhealthy food. Rather than look for fat content (some fats are healthy), look for the number of ingredients. The fewer, the better. The closer to the ground, the better. Think of the difference between an apple sprinkled with cinnamon (two ingredients) versus an apple-cinnamon toaster pastry (more than 25 ingredients). Do this once a week and by the time you’re one year older you will have completely revamped your diet.

2. Move a little more than the day before. Not only does movement keep you fit, it makes you smarter. Can you walk just 22 minutes a day? Or dance? Some laps in the water? It’s common knowledge that movement helps you lose weight and stay heart healthy, but being able to outsmart your kids, grandkids, friends, partner and cat (you can tell who’s boss in my house), well, that’s pretty motivating!
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