6 Tips to avoid back injuries – AAOS

Some 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time, according to the American Chiropractic Association.

Here are a few interesting facts about back pain:

  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.2
  • Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.

 

Back-pain-A-slipped-disc-can-affect-the-sciatic-nerve-793195.jpg

People are constantly on the move during the warm summer months. It’s a popular time for family vacations, moving to a new home, or catching up on outdoor yard chores.

Unfortunately, many of these common activities lead to painful back injuries. In 2014, roughly 3.7 million people visited doctors’ offices for back symptoms related to pain and/or injuries during the summer months (June through August).

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, back pain, lower back pain

Chocolate may improve cognitive function within hours – Study

Here is some good news for chocolate lovers. Researchers have found that cocoa flavanols could boost cognitive function within just a few hours of consumption. Perhaps the best news is that elderly adults reaped the best benefits.

Additionally, researchers found that regular, long-term intake of cocoa flavanols may protect against cognitive decline.

Chocolate02.jpg

Writing in Medical News Today, Honor Whiteman reported flavanols are naturally occurring compounds found in various types of plants, with some of the highest levels found in the beans of the cocoa tree.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under aging, aging brain, brain, brain function, brain health, chocolate, Medical News Today

Tea drinking may help prevent dementia – Harvard

Good news for tea drinkers or all stripes. A study in the December 2016 Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging showed that drinking tea frequently is associated with a lower risk of dementia, especially for people who are genetically predisposed to the disease, Harvard Men’s Health Watch reported.

Best-Teas-for-Sunburn.jpg

Researchers followed 957 older adults, average age 65, who were part of the Singapore Longitudinal Aging Study. Of these, 69% drank tea on a frequent basis. After a five-year period, the researchers found that the tea drinkers had a 50% lower risk of dementia. This is consistent with earlier findings that showed tea consumers scored higher on various cognitive tests.

Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under aging brain, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, successful aging, tea, tea drinking

How to get the most out of walking – Infographic

Walking is one of the best exercises there is.

Following are some really useful tips on getting the most out of that walk. Don’t forget besides getting cardiovascular benefit, you are also doing weight-bearing exercise, so you are building strong bones, too. 

I hope you do it often.

42652f3408fa118cd0a5f32e7263206c

Here are some further posts if you want to learn further walking benefits: Walking Reduces Heart Disease in People at Risk, Is Walking as Effective as Running? What About Walking Poles? Walking, Not Just Sudoku for Seniors, How Healthy is Walking? Can 6,000 Steps a Day Keep Knee Arthritis at Bay? 5 Ways to Boost Bone Strength Early

Tony

4 Comments

Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, walking

Extra-virgin olive oil may prevent Alzheimer’s

New research suggests that extra-virgin olive oil – a key component of the Mediterranean diet – may protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease symptoms. Mouse experiments revealed changes in both cognitive performance and the appearance of nerve cells.

Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to affect approximately 5 million people in the United States. The neurodegenerative disease is progressive and cannot yet be cured or reversed.

2-brain

But new research moves closer to a prevention – and potentially reversing – strategy, by studying the effects of extra-virgin olive oil on the cognitive performance and brain health of mice.

Leave a comment

Filed under Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's disease, olive oil, Uncategorized

Older Obese Adults Can Benefit From Moderate Exercise

Eat less; move more; live longer. It’s never too late to start exercising according to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Moderate-intensity exercise can help even extremely obese older adults improve their ability to perform common daily activities and remain independent.

11921111-43d6-43d4-8527-3dde023ce724

Even this fat cat can benefit …

Findings from the National Institutes of Health-funded study are published in the July issue of the journal Obesity.

In the United States, obesity affects nearly 13 million adults age 65 and older. Both overall obesity and abdominal obesity are strongly associated with the development of major mobility disability (MMD), the inability to walk a quarter of a mile, according to the study’s lead author, Stephen Kritchevsky, Ph.D., director of the Sticht Center for Healthy Aging and Alzheimer’s Prevention at Wake Forest Baptist.

Previous data on older populations had suggested that obesity may lessen the beneficial effects of physical activity on mobility. However, this research, which analyzed data from the multicenter Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study, showed that a structured physical activity program reduced the risk of MMD even in older adults with extreme obesity.

Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under aging, Exercise, exercise and brain health, exercise benefits, obesity, successful aging

4 Secrets of lifelong health

One of the courses I have taken from The Great Courses is “Lifelong Health: Achieving Optimum Well-Being at any Age” by Doctor Anthony Goodman. It consists of 36 lectures  and I would recommend the course to anyone in a second if you want to learn how to live well and be functional to a ripe old age.

Dr. Goodman builds the 36 lectures around a foundation of four themes. Learning these is the key to lifelong health. These are quoted directly from the book that accompanies the lectures.

Rule One: Small changes can make a big difference. A one-degree course change for a big ship eventually makes a significant change in that ship’s trajectory. In the same way, if you start with small positive changes, over time, your efforts will culminate in a substantial positive effect on your health.

41yyLMmgOCL._SY300_

Rule Two: Moderation is key. Just as your body is designed to achieve homeostasis, so, too, is it important for you to find balance when making choices regarding food, exercise and other areas that affect your health and well-being. Some parameters and guidelines will tend to serve you well over time and I will encourage you to find the ones that work for you in the long term.

Rule Three: It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature. There are no magical places, times, pills or potions that can keep you eternally young, but there are many things you can do to improve how you feel and you live your life.

Rule Four: Remember the Goldilocks rule. At all times of your life you will have the opportunity to make the best choices that bring you joy and good health and that you can maintain and sustain.

I called this post 4 Secrets of Lifelong Health even though these four rules don’t seem to be secrets to anyone. Yet, looking around us we see 66 percent of us overweight and half of them outright obese. That leads me to the conclusion that most of us don’t know how or simply don’t want to be healthy and achieve lifelong health.

If you follow these rules you will be well on your way to conquering your weight problem and being a happier healthier person.

I am a 77 year old senior citizen and can honestly say that I am healthier and happier than any time in my life. You can be, too.

Tony

1 Comment

Filed under aging, Exercise, exercise benefits, longevity, successful aging, The Great Courses

Fitness and health funnies

Some more flotsam and jetsam from my web wanderings. Have fun!

5bef6cf5eb4ff8b38032b2d3a5716a90.jpg

18654778fbbc4de7f72e8ae0d5423dba.gif

Yoga is excellent. No kidding.

f0bdd9161247b3d039657f0491f5c641.jpg

a2db81d2fb756de370849903c9819cb7.gif

 

e180e138e000a69fa117a43d9d1102f0.jpg

Tony

1 Comment

Filed under fitness funnies, fitness humor

The Best Health Advice Ever

I couldn’t have said it better myself. This is a wonderful little compilation of guidelines for a healthy life.

 

Tony

Our Better Health

The Best Health Advice Ever

Keeping your mind and body in tip-top shape is essential for living your best life. It’s difficult to attain success when you’re dragging yourself through the day, feeling stressed out, anxious, and generally unwell. That’s why you need to make yourself a priority. Focusing on your wellness is not selfish, it’s necessary for you to be able to give your best self to others. The Cheat Sheet spoke with six leading health experts about the best health advice they’ve ever received.

1. Let go of unforgiveness

Learn to forgive! At the heart of many chronic diseases is stress. At the heart of much stress is a lack of forgiveness. Not being able to let go of the past produces a lot of stress in our lives. This stress increases the incidence of hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and more.

My advice for men: Don’t be embarrassed…

View original post 816 more words

1 Comment

Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, good night's sleep, positive thinking, positivity, push-ups, sleep, walking

Bike commuting may extend your life – Study

Mark Twain famously said, “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it. If you live.”

Few people realize that he was talking about riding the penny farthing bicycle which had a huge front wheel and took some skill to master. If you want a fun read on his adventure, you can experience Mark Twain in the original – Taming the bicycle.

But I digressed. New research by the University of Glasgow and published in the BMJ, has found that cycling to work is associated with a 45% lower risk of developing cancer and a 46% lower risk of heart disease, compared to a non-active commute.

dscf6189

Overall the study found that commuters who cycled were associated with a 41% lower risk of premature death.

Walking to work was associated with 27% lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and a 36% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, but not cancer or premature death overall.

This study analyzed data from 264,337 participants from UK Biobank who were asked questions about their usual mode of commuting to work and then followed up for 5 years. The new cases of cancer, heart attacks and deaths in that 5-year period were assessed and related to their mode of commuting.

The researchers believe that their findings suggest that policies designed to make it easier for people to commute by bike may present major opportunities for public health improvement.

Dr Jason Gill, from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, said: “Cycling all or part of the way to work was associated with substantially lower risk of adverse health outcomes. Those who cycled the full length of their commute had an over 40% lower risk of heart disease, cancer and overall mortality over the 5 years of follow-up.

“If these associations are causal, these findings suggest that policies designed to make it easier for people to commute by bike, such as cycle lanes, city bike hire, subsidized cycle purchase schemes and increasing provision for cycles on public transport may present major opportunities for public health improvement.”

The greater benefits seen with cycling compared with walking may be because cycle commuters covered longer distances in their commutes than the walkers, the intensity of cycling is higher than walking and the cycle commuters had higher levels of fitness

Dr Carlos Celis-Morales, said: “Walking to work was associated with lower risk of heart disease, but unlike cycling was not associated with a significantly lower risk of cancer or overall death. This may be because walkers commuted shorter distances than cyclists – typically 6 miles per week, compared with 30 miles per week – and walking is generally a lower intensity of exercise than cycling.”

For the record, I consider walking to be the Cinderella of the exercise world – totally unappreciated. Check out my Page – Why you should walk more for additional details.

Tony

2 Comments

Filed under bike commuting, biking, Exercise, exercise benefits, safe biking

7 questions to ask when you’re given a prescription for an opioid – Harvard

I really have to confess ignorance on the subject of opioids. I make it a point to keep my drug use at a bare minimum. Naturally, I have heard of opioid abuse. Who didn’t see those shocking pictures of golf great Tiger Woods the night he tried driving under the influence of opioids?

I recently suffered some severe back pain from hanging my bike on the rack carelessly. I went to the hospital for rehab work, but didn’t take any drugs.

I wanted to report what Harvard has to say on the subject because it offers a lot of information on asking questions of your doctor.

36071-opioid_wordcloud16679096_m.jpg

Opioid misuse is now one of most important health problems in the United States, rivaling smoking as a cause of death. Although news reports tend to focus on an opioid crisis among the young, the opioid epidemic is increasingly affecting older people as well. In fact, the rates of hospitalization for opioid overdoses among Medicare recipients quintupled from 1993 through 2012. Although older people are still less likely than younger ones to become addicted or succumb to opioid overdoses, they are more likely to suffer side effects from extended opioid use, including memory and cognition problems and falls.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, back pain, Harvard, lower back pain, opioids, pain, Pain relief

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.

78484731_t670x470

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.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under aging, aging myths, Exercise, successful aging

How Healthy is Watermelon?

July is watermelon month here in the U.S. so I thought it might be nice to discuss this giant member of the Cucurbitaceae family. Watermelon harvests also peak in July. It is now the most consumed melon in the U.S. followed by cantaloupe and honeydew. Although watermelons are sold year ’round, summer is their season and that’s when you get the best tasting ones. It is aptly named because a watermelon consists of 92 percent water. Can you say super-hydrator?

Full disclosure: Mr. Lazy Cook loves watermelon. What’s not to like? It is utterly simple to deal with and tastes delicious. Below is a photo of my first watermelon this year. Yum.

My first watermelon of the season

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, hydration, watermelon

Dairy – Good or Bad? – MNT

I started drinking soymilk some years ago after reading some scare stories about cow milk consumption. I don’t even remember the reasons now, but I do look forward to my quarts of soymilk that I buy from Costco. Since starting I can’t put my finger on any negative health effects.

This extensive Medical News Today rundown by Hannah Nichols gives a lot of useful detail on the subject.

What do government health guidelines say? According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) food MyPlate guidelines, to get all the nutrients you need from your diet, healthy food and beverage choices should be made from all five food groups, including fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy.

milk2-default.jpg

The dairy food group consists of all fluid milk products and many foods that are made from milk. The USDA recommend that food choices from the dairy group should retain their calcium content and be low-fat or fat-free. Fat in milk, yogurt, and cheese that is not low-fat or fat-free will count toward your limit of calories from saturated fats.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under dairy-free myths, milk, milk alternatives

What happens after you quit smoking: A timeline

As regular readers know, I feel strongly that smoking is an unmitigated blight on our lives. We lose over 170,000 people to it every year – just in lung cancer alone – totally preventable. To be honest, I am surprised that anyone who can read would choose to be a smoker. Nonetheless, it is so. I have a Page on it – How many ways does smoking harm you?   which I recommend you check out after reading this.

I am reproducing what follows from Medical News Today because I like the way they spell out positive aspects of ceasing smoking. Jenna Fletcher wrote it.

2c7122334e35ae6793d84daae31c44ee

Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. Despite this, some smokers find quitting daunting. They think it will take a very long time before seeing improvements in their health and well-being.

However, the timeline for seeing real benefits to quitting smoking is much faster than most people realize. Health benefits begin in as little as an hour after the last cigarette and continue to improve. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under blood pressure, cholesterol, coronary heart disease, impact of quitting smoking, smoking, Smoking dangers

Can Exercise Slow Cognitive Decline?

Experts in aging and Alzheimer’s disease are conducting a national clinical study to determine if exercise may be an effective non-drug intervention for maintaining cognitive fitness.

The Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center is the only site in Illinois, and one of only 15 sites across the United States leading the Exercise in Adults With Mild Memory Problems (EXERT) study, which is trying to determine if exercise can slow the progress of memory loss and cognitive impairment in older adults.

Brain

Brain

Neuroscientists are collaborating with the YMCA to provide individualized, one-on-one exercise programs and personal training to study participants. Rush will be working with the McGaw YMCA in Evanston, Illinois, to provide 45-minute personal training sessions for one year.

Adults with memory issues may avoid being active when they need it most

“We want to see if a personalized program implemented in the community and prescribed by health care providers can be an effective therapy for people with memory issues,” said Dr. Neelum Aggarwal, associate professor of neurology and principal investigator of the EXERT study at Rush. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under aging brain, Alzheimer's disease, brain, brain function, brain health, cognitive decline, exercise and brain health