Category Archives: aging myths

Mushrooms may help to slow aging – MNT

It’s always gratifying to run across information that may indicate an ally in the battle of aging in which we are all engaged. Medical News Today reports on what I would have thought to be an unlikely ally – the mushroom.

A new study published in the journal Food Chemistry suggests that certain mushrooms contain two antioxidants thought to improve healthspan and stave off aging.

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The new research was led by Robert Beelman, professor emeritus of food science and director of the Pennsylvania State University Center for Plant and Mushroom Products for Health in State College. Michael D. Kalaras, a postdoctoral assistant in food science, is the first author of the paper.

Researchers were already aware that mushrooms are “the highest source” of an antioxidant called ergothioneine, but little was known about glutathione, another major antioxidant.

Additionally, levels of antioxidants vary across different species of mushroom, so the researchers wanted to know which species had the most of these two chemicals.

The new findings are significant in the context of the so-called free radical theory of aging. As Prof. Beelman explains, “[The theory] has been around for a long time [and it] says when we oxidize our food to produce energy there’s a number of free radicals that are produced that are side products of that action and many of these are quite toxic.” Continue reading

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Keeping your weight in check as you age

I am aging along with everybody else on this earth. That has important aspects and implications. Me at 30 is not the same as me at 50 nor me at plus 70. It helps to know what to expect.

Most of our lives we hear that thinner is better. That is true, but for older folks activity becomes a more important factor. We have to be able to continue to do all our activities. As WebMD says, “It’s less about what you weigh and more about how much of your weight is muscle instead of fat. Your doctor can tell you if your weight is on track, in light of your age and overall health.”

exercise-motivation

Don’t cop out. “My metabolism is slowing” is a fact from our 20’s onward. It’s not a reason to stop working on your weight and health. If you stop being active, your body will shift to more fat and less muscle. Fat doesn’t burn calories, so an inactive person will gain weight. Eat less, move more is the mantra of this blog and should be of every person.

Being active works muscles and allows you to consume more calories. Sedentary oldsters are the ones with weight and health problems. You can have some cake and eat it, too, just choose a reasonable amount.

WebMd makes a good point about aging and eating, “Those corners you cut when you were younger (huge portions, happy hours, little to no exercise) You can’t get away with that any more. But age does not have to equal weight gain.”

Check out my previous post on strength training. Even if your muscles have slacked off with you, you can revive them and revitalize yourself. Muscle loss isn’t permanent. Health clubs have free weights, weight machines and there are numerous exercises you can do just using your own body weight including yoga that will build muscle.

Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle due to aging. This results from lack of activity, hormonal changes and poor nutrition. Eat less and move more. Sarcopenia does not have to be a permanent condition.

The bottom line is that your health doesn’t have to shrink and your waistline doesn’t have to bulge as you age. But, you do have to take an active part in the process. As you age, your margin of error does shrink. So, pay close attention to what and how much you eat. Get out there and get some exercise. Walking is a very good way to start. It works your muscles and clears your mind as well as burning the odd calorie.

Check out my Page – How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off for more guidelines.

No one likes folks who don’t practice what they preach. About 10 years ago my weight got out of control and I ballooned over 220 pounds. I took off 50 pounds in a year, but that only got me down to the mid-170’s. You can read How I lost 50 pounds in 52 weeks.

I am now 77 years old and wear the same size pants I wore in high school. I ride my bike around 6000 miles a year here in Chicago. My resting heart rate is below 50 beats per minute. I have weighed in the low 150s for six years. If I can reach this level of health, there is no reason you can’t, too. Just decide to do it.

Tony

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Filed under aging, aging myths, Exercise, exercise benefits, Weight, weight control, weight loss

Is 70 the new 60? – Study

Is 70 the new 60? I just stumbled across this study and you can imagine my interest, being well into 77 years old.

A new Stony Brook University-led  study to be published in PLOS ONE uses new measures of aging to scientifically illustrate that one’s actual age is not necessarily the best measure of human aging itself, but rather aging should be based on the number of years people are likely to live in a given country in the 21st Century.

The study combines the new measures of aging with probabilistic projections from the United Nations and predicts an end to population aging in the U.S. and other countries before the end of the century. Population aging – when the median age rises in a country because of increasing life expectancy and lower fertility rates —  is a concern for countries because of the perception that population aging leads to declining numbers of working age people and additional social burdens.

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According to Warren Sanderson, Professor of Economics at Stony Brook University and the lead author, this study’s projections imply that as life expectancies increase people are generally healthier with better cognition at older ages and countries can adjust public policies appropriately as to population aging.

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The Surprising Secret to Healthy Aging

Really good information in this.

 

To read more on lining your head up straight, check out my Page – Positive psychology – What’s it all about?

Tony

Our Better Health

You probably know that exercise and diet are important when it comes to aging well. But there is something else you control that can help you along: a positive attitude.

Research shows more and more that your approach to life may be just as important in making your “golden years” your best years.

Aging: It’s in Your Mind

Growing older brings with it some natural changes (think those creaky knees). But folks who see good years ahead and who don’t accept stereotypes about aging — such as you’re less useful — may actually live longer.

And there’s science to back that up.

One study found that thinking positively about getting older can extend lifespan by 7.5 years. And that’s after accounting for things such as gender, wealth, and overall health. Some 660 women and men in Ohio joined this study, and they were monitored for more than 20 years.

If…

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Myth: Older adults have a higher risk of injury when starting to exercise

This study indicates that older adults taking up exercise are not at increased risk of injury versus younger age groups.

Aspirus Healthy Aging Service Line

Sometimes the fear of getting hurt prevents older adults from starting an exercise program. However, new research shows this is not the case.

The research findings were published last week by the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging, conducted by the University of Western Ontario London.

The study looked at 12 months of data for exercise-related injuries in previously sedentary community-dwelling older adults following an exercise intervention. Here’s a summary of the study’s methods, results and conclusions with 167 older adults participating.

A questionnaire developed for use in older adults was administered to document self-reported injuries. Linear regression analysis was conducted to identify covariates related to injury outcomes.

Results summary: 23 people (14%) reported injuries. 41% of injuries were to the lower extremities, where the most common type was overuse muscle strains (32%, n=7). Overexertion was the most common cause of injury (n=9) and walking accounted for half of the…

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Debunking Myths about Aging

Major life changes are coin of the realm for senior citizens whose experience includes retirement from a lifelong career, loss of loved ones and the physical changes of aging. The last thing seniors need is bad information on the changes they are living through.

Help.org dispels several of the most widespread and damaging myths.

Don’t let an insensitive traffic sign get you down (Sarasota FL)

MYTH: Old age means poor health and disability.
Fact: There are some diseases that are more common in older adults. However, getting old does not automatically mean poor health or that you will be confined to a walker or wheelchair. Plenty of older adults enjoy vigorous health. Preventative measures like healthy eating, exercising and managing stress can help reduce the risk of chronic disease and fall risk later in life. We have covered each of these subjects in the blog. Here are several: Exercise, Aging and the Brain. Some Super Tools for Handling Stress, Mediterranean Diet Linked to Slower Mental Decline – Tufts.

MYTH: Memory loss is an inevitable part of aging.
Fact: You may eventually notice you don’t remember experiences as easily as in the past, and memories may take longer to retrieve. However, significant memory loss is not an inevitable result of aging. Brain training and new learning can occur at any age. And there are many things you can do to keep your memory sharp. We posted Memory Loss is Not Inevitable for Seniors.

MYTH: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Fact: One of the more damaging myths of aging is that after a certain age, you just won’t be able to try anything new or contribute things anymore. Quite the contrary. Older adults are just as capable of learning new things, thriving in new environments, and sharing their wisdom and experience with many generations.  If you believe in yourself and have confidence in yourself, you are setting up a positive environment for change no matter what your age. We posted Optimizing Brain Fitness.

You can find other relevant blog items by clicking on the tags at the right such as aging, brain, stress, exercise and relaxation.

I am a senior citizen and I practice everything listed on this page. I am going kicking and screaming into old age. The biggest mistake you can make is to quit on yourself. Check out my post from my recent birthday I am 75 and Happy to be Alive.

Tony

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Filed under aging, aging myths, Exercise, life challenges