Improve your chance at living a healthy life

Reduce cancer risk with a healthy lifestyle

healthy life
Photo by Sandra Barnes

By Sandra Barnes, The Mountaineer

October 2, 2017

“Getting regular exercise can go a long way toward reducing the risk of cancer.

‘Physical inactivity is associated with increased cancer risk,’ said Dr. Kate Queen, medical director of the Haywood Regional Health and Fitness Center.

Studies indicate that the risk of invasive breast cancer can be decreased by 15 to 50 percent among physically active women, she notes. And the risk of colon cancer can be decreased by 40 to 70 percent through regular physical activity. 

It’s also important to eat a healthy diet and maintain an ideal body weight, Queen says.

Although a direct relationship between diet and the risk of cancer has not been established, eating healthful foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains can be beneficial in reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

Avoiding tobacco products and limiting the consumption of alcoholic beverages are other cancer-reduction strategies that are advised by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute.

Queen says that she sometimes sees patients who ask why they have gotten cancer when they have made an effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are interrelated factors associated with cancer risk for individuals—such as a genetic disposition—that make it difficult to identify specific causes and clearly-defined preventative measures, she points out.

However, people can make behavioral changes to improve their chances of living healthy lives.”

Read an overview of ways to reduce risks associated with cancer

 

Feed your brain with the MIND diet

MIND dietMediterranean-style diets linked to better brain function in older adults

July 25, 2017

“Eating foods included in two healthy diets—the Mediterranean or the MIND diet—is linked to a lower risk for memory difficulties in older adults, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, potatoes, nuts, olive oil and fish. Processed foods, fried and fast foods, snack foods, red meat, poultry and whole-fat dairy foods are infrequently eaten on the Mediterranean diet.

The MIND diet is a version of the Mediterranean diet that includes 15 types of foods. Ten are considered ‘brain-healthy:’ green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, seafood, poultry, olive oil, and wine. Five are considered unhealthy: red meat, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries, sweets and fried/fast foods.”

Read more from medicalxpress.com

To learn more about the Mediterranean diet go to eatingwell.com

 

A pediatrician’s advice for older adults

7 Things Pediatrics Can Teach Us About Aging Well

Older adults can benefit from following the advice we give to kids

Dr. Edward Schneider, Next Avenue, July 21, 2017

pediatrician's advice
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“Aging is a process that begins on the day we are born — toddlers’ seemingly overnight transformations into teens should serve as proof enough of this. And recent research is confirming that the secret to a long and healthy life may be as simple as listening to seven pieces of advice your pediatrician dispensed decades ago:

  1. Eat your fruits and veggies (and skip supplements)
  2. Move your body
  3. Stay in school
  4. Brush your teeth
  5. Make friends
  6. Don’t smoke
  7. Get enough sleep

Pediatricians operate on the principle that it is never too early to begin healthy habits. But it is also never too late. Start taking some of these baby steps today. They can make a big difference in your health and wellness, no matter how old or young you are.”

For more details

Edward Schneider, M.D., is a professor and dean emeritus at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. He is a former deputy director of the National Institutes on Aging and completed a research fellowship in pediatrics before turning his focus to improving the health of older adults.

Older adults benefit from whey protein supplements according to study

whey protein supplementsScientists develop new supplement that can repair, rejuvenate muscles in older adults

By Kara Aaserud, McMaster University, Canada

July 19, 2017

“Whey protein supplements aren’t just for gym buffs according to new research from McMaster University. When taken on a regular basis, a combination of these and other ingredients in a ready-to-drink formula have been found to greatly improve the physical strength of a growing cohort: senior citizens.

The deterioration of muscle mass and strength that is a normal part of aging –known as sarcopenia—can increase the risk for falls, metabolic disorders and the need for assisted living, say researchers….

‘The results were more impressive than we expected,’ says Kirsten Bell, a PhD student who worked on the study.

Most notable, the findings showed improvements in deteriorating muscle health and overall strength for participants both before and after the exercise regimen.

In the first six weeks, the supplement resulted in 700 grams of gains in lean body mass – the same amount of muscle these men would normally have lost in a year. And when combined with exercise twice weekly, participants noticed greater strength gains– especially when compared with their placebo taking counterparts.

‘Clearly, exercise is a key part of the greatly improved health profile of our subjects,’ says Bell, ‘but we are very excited by the enhancements the supplement alone and in combination with exercise was able to give to our participants.'”

Read more

Recommended food safety

food safety
fda.gov

Food Safety for Older Adults

By Linda Larsen

July 4, 2017

“The FDA has released information about food safety for older adults. Anyone who is over the age of 65 needs to be very vigilant about food safety. Many of those who become seriously ill and even die from food poisoning are elderly.

The bodies of older adults do not work as well as they did decades ago. The stomach and intestinal tract hold onto food for longer periods of time, the senses of smell and taste are altered, and the liver and kidneys don’t work as well to get rid of toxins. And by the age of 65, many people have been diagnosed with a serious illness. That is a double whammy, since people with chronic health problems are also at higher risk for serious complications from food poisoning.

After the age of 75, many people also have reduced immune system responses. That means that body doesn’t recognize and get rid of pathogens such as bacteria that cause food poisoning. Older adults are more likely to be sick longer when they contract food poisoning and need to be hospitalized.”

Follow the steps of Clean, Separate, Cook, and Chill to keep food safe.

Read more

“Age shouldn’t be a reason to slow down”

age‘No One Wants To Be Old’: How To Put The ‘Non-Age’ in Nonagenerian

By Sharon Jayson, Kaiser Health News

June 26, 2017

“Wilhelmina Delco learned to swim at 80. Harold Berman is in his 67th year practicing law. Mildred Walston spent 76 years on the job at a candy company. And brothers Joe and Warren Barger are finding new spots in their respective homes for the gold medals they’ve just earned in track-and-field events at the National Senior Games.

These octogenarians and nonagenarians may not be widely known outside their local communities, but just as their more famous peers — think Carl Reiner, Betty White, Dr. Ruth (Westheimer) or Tony Bennett — the thread that binds them is not the year on their birth certificate but the way they live.

‘Age shouldn’t be a reason to slow down,’ said Joe Barger, 91, of Austin, Texas.

It never hurts to have longevity in your genes and few chronic health problems, but mindset plays a role in how people age, experts say. Some older adults have been termed ‘superagers’ for mental acuity despite their years because the typical age-related decline in brain volume is much slower.”

Read more

Improve your digestion

Improve your digestionStomach Trouble? 5 Steps Help Prevent Digestive Problems as You Age

Medications, inactivity, poor diet may all play a role

By Digestion Health Team at the Cleveland Clinic, June 13, 2017

“The ‘tummy aches’ you may have had as a child can evolve into a long list of digestive problems as you age. They’re annoying, but the good news is that things like acid reflux and constipation are irritations that you can treat. Often, simple lifestyle changes will do the trick.

‘Many older adults fixate on their gastrointestinal problems,’ says gastroenterologist Maged Rizk, MD. ‘The gastrointestinal tract ages with the rest of us. I tell patients not to get too upset by it.’

Older adults and digestive ailments

Medicine, inactivity and even gravity all can take their toll and contribute to digestive troubles as you get older, Dr. Rizk says.

Here, according to Dr. Rizk, are the main culprits and the symptoms they cause:

  • Multiple medications — These may cause a variety of gastrointestinal issues, including constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and bleeding ulcers.
  • Inactivity and dehydration — These issues are more common as you age and they can make constipation worse.
  • Gravity — Over time the diaphragm can sink, causing decreased support where the esophagus joins the stomach (a hiatal hernia). And it typically causes heartburn and reflux. Medication often helps, but surgery is sometimes needed.
  • A weakened sphincter muscle, sedentary lifestyle and chronic constipation — These all may contribute to cause hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins in the lower gastrointestinal tract. Hemorrhoids are common in older adults.”

Read 5 steps to improve your digestion and more

Note:  I never thought I would be putting a picture of a toilet on this webpage. 🙂

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