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.
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.
One of my favorite books is The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest. Author Dan Buettner looks at areas in the world, dubbed Blue Zones, with large populations of people who live past 100.
He’s taken their life lessons to create The Power 9. These nine habits create a “blueprint” to living a longer and healthier life. The interesting thing is none of the people he studied consciously followed these Power 9 or set a goal to live to be 100. They just did. Their lifestyles and communities were set up to make long life possible.
Would you say the same of yours?
My community is working on it. We are working on taking the Power 9 principles and making Springfield, MO a healthier place to live. There are a lot of exciting ideas floating around, especially after Buettner’s visit to our fair city this month. In his presentations, he gave us examples of work in other towns (and almost the entire state of Iowa) using the Power 9 to create an environment that supports overall healthy and longevity.
Do you want to make your community a healthier place to live? Here are great ways to get started from his talk: (more…)
Worldwide, women outlive men. There’s been several theories proposed to explain this. However, just this week new findings point to a mother’s genes as the sole reason men have shorter lifespans than women.
Previous beliefs for this trend included the idea that men work harder than women, and that lifestyle leads to earlier death. The idea that women are affected by health issues later in life than men has also been questioned. If women tend to get ailments like heart disease 10 years later than men, their death ages would naturally be later, on average.
The fact that women tend to have healthier habits than men has been a theory before, too. It was even once believed that estrogen led to longevity. But while all of these ideas seemed logical at one point, they’ve since been disproven.
So, why are women outliving men by an average of five years? This week the journal Current Biology released findings that may have the complete answer.
According to an article from Live Science writer Stephanie Pappas, the answer to this trend is in the mitochondria – the energy-producing parts of our cells. Mitochondria have their own, separate DNA, and this DNA is passed only from mother to child. (more…)
Seems nearly every day new reports about aging and how to slow or reverse the process hit the airwaves. As Americans, we seem to be obsessed with staying young, however, it seems we’re not going about it the right way. National Geographic writer and explorer Dan Buettner recently gave a TED talk regarding longevity and who in the world is aging the best.
Buettner refers to the areas of the world with the healthiest and oldest people as Blue Zones. In these zones he has found commonalities that link these cultures and their longevity. One myth Buettner’s studies dispel is that longevity is genetic. Buettner explains that only 10% of how long we live is dictated by our genes, the other 90% is dictated by our lifestyle. Furthermore, Buettner debunks the ideas that effort will allow one to live past 100 and that treatments exist that can slow the aging process. After observing the Blue Zones, it’s clear that lifestyle is key to the aging process.
Buettner focused on just three of the Blue Zones to draw longevity links. The spry 100 year-old men of Sardinia, Italy, the healthy great-great-great-grandmother in Okinawa, Japan, and the American Seventh Day Adventists in California that live nearly ten more years than their fellow Americans all have four common lifestyle traits that lead to their longevity. (more…)
Congratulations gentlemen, all your efforts of living a healthier lifestyle are starting to pay off. According to a report from Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the life expectancy for U.S. males grew by 4.6 years.
This increase has narrowed the gender gap from seven years back in 1989 down to five years, one month and six days. This means that today’s men will live to be an average age of 76.2, while a woman’s average lifespan (which rose by 2.7 years) will be 81.3.
Dr. Ali Mokdad, professor of global health at the IHME, part of the University of Washington, told MSNBC one of the reasons they may be catching up is because when it comes to cardiovascular disease, “men are tending to be more vigilant than women.”
When it comes to cardiovascular disease, it is the number one killer for women. It is often unrecognized and untreated in women, according to the American Heart Association. Mokdad told MSNBC, “In this country, we haven’t done a good job of raising awareness for women about the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.” (more…)