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…)
When coffee is in the headlines, I tend to shield my eyes. I don’t want to hear why one of my dearest pleasures in life is potentially bad for me. And if you’re a coffee drinker, I imagine you feel the same.
Well, take heart fellow java lovers, because today’s news will inspire you to drink up! A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine is suggesting that coffee may be linked to a longer life.
The AARP joined researchers from the National Institute of Health to conduct a very long study regarding coffee consumption. The study lasted 13 years, to be exact. And during that time, researchers followed more than 400,000 healthy men and women between the ages of 50 and 71. In the time frame of 13 years, 13 percent of the participants died.
The research concluded that overall, coffee drinkers were less likely than their peers to die throughout the study. Also, the more coffee the individuals drank, the lower their mortality risk seemed to be. This is compared to those in the study who drank no coffee at all. The male coffee drinkers who drank more than six cups of coffee a day were 10 percent less likely to die during the study; while the females with the same consumption were 15 percent less likely to die during the study. (more…)
“We’ve seen research on every age group, from children to men and women in their 90s, and it’s clear that you can get stronger at any age,” says Lou Schuler, co-author of the new book The New Rules of Lifting for Life.
This intriguing new book draws out long known truths about muscle strength and longevity. Simply put, the book explains how the strongest people live longer. Additionally the book explains smart and healthy ways for anyone to get in the weight room and get an effective workout.
The authors call-out some common problems seen by many who frequent the gym. For instance, they dispel the myth that women don’t need to lift heavy weights.
“Middle-aged and older women think their bones will shatter if they pick up a weight that’s heavier than their purse. There’s nothing stranger than seeing a woman do a bench press or bent-over row with a dumbbell that’s smaller than her forearm,” Schuler says.
Schuler explains how another common error to be found in the weight room is that of overweight individuals. (more…)
Those interested in running now have another reason to lace up their running shoes. A new study from Denmark suggests that taking regular jogs can help extend your life.
The increase in lifespan showed through for both men and women. Women who jogged on a regular basis lived around 5.6 years longer than women who did not. And men who jogged on a regular basis lived about 6.2 years longer than men who did not.
For those who may be wondering, the term ‘regularly’ in this study constitutes jogging between only one and 2.5 hours per week, keeping a slow or average pace. Study researcher Peter Schnohr – chief cardiologist of the Copenhagen City Heart Study – made the statement, “We can say with certainty that regular jogging increases longevity. The good news is that you don’t actually need to do that much to reap the benefits.” (more…)
We’ve heard for years that fiber is good for us in many different facets. It helps keep us regular, fills us up, and has even been shown to prevent cancer. Now, this miracle substance can lead to a longer life.
A study published on February 15, 2011 on the website of the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that higher levels of fiber appears to lower the risk of dying from respiratory and infectious diseases, as well as a reduced level of death from cancer in males. We have long known that fiber has a positive effect on heart health, so the results of the study were not surprising.
“The benefits of fiber are broader than what had been anticipated or previously studied,” says Frank Hu, M.D., who was the co-author of an editorial that accompanied the study, which was funded by the National Cancer Institute. (more…)
Tune in this Wednesday, December 1 to the Dr. Oz Show to learn about the foods you need to be eating to prevent disease and enhance your longevity.
Dr. Oz’s ultimate antioxidant checklist makes healthy living and eating easy and simple for you. This list narrows down the top fruits, vegetables and supplements you need to incorporate into your diet to feel great and look younger. (more…)