The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force panel has discovered evidence showing that exercise and vitamin D supplements can reduce the risk of serious falls, especially in the elderly. 40% of individuals, 65 and above, fall at least once a year. The American Geriatrics Society (AGS) has recommended that individuals at an increased risk for falls should take at least 800 international units of vitamin D each day. More here
New evidence has found a direct correlation with the importance of physical daily activity and maintaining or even potentially improving cognitive functions throughout life. Hayley Guiney and Liana Machado, researchers from the University of Otago, New Zealand, found that increase in physical activity can improve memory and or mental disabilities in older adults. Adults that were more physically active scored higher on mental tests than their peers that were not as physically active. Research has proved that a variety of cognitive functions such as selective attention, task switching and memory all seem to benefit from aerobic exercise. The body is now not the only thing that can benefit from daily physical activity. More here
A study aimed at determining how many years of life were gained based on the level of exercise an individual engaged in after the age of 40 has found that leisure-time physical activity is linked to life expectancy. The research, led by the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health, looked at data on more than 650,000 adults over the age of 40 and found that people who got the recommended level of physical activity lived 3.4 years longer than those that didn’t and individuals who reported getting twice the recommended level of exercise increased their lifespan by 4.2 years. Generally, the more activity a person reported, the longer their life expectancy. More here.
A study from the Barcelona Biomedical Research Institute has found that a combination of daily exercise and a daily dose of melatonin can help regulate circadian rhythm and protect against brain deterioration in mice. The research studied the effects of exercise and melatonin on a group of mice in the earliest phases of Alzheimer’s disease and found those receiving treatment showed signs of significant regression in the disease. Researcher Coral Sanfeliu said it’s been known for years that combinations of anti-aging therapies such as physical exercise, a Mediterranean diet, and not smoking add years to one’s life. According to Sanfeliu, melatonin also appears to have important anti-aging effects. More here.
According to a survey from Gallup, Americans who like where they live and feel their community is becoming a better place report being healthier and better rested compared to those who say their neighborhood is becoming a worse place to live. The survey found that Americans who are satisfied with their community have Physical Health Index scores nearly nine points higher than those who are not. Americans who are happy where they live reported fewer headaches, less pain, weren’t obese, and were less likely to have been diagnosed with asthma, high cholesterol,or high blood pressure. Also, Gallup found that people who felt safe in their city were more likely to have better exercise and physical health habits than those who reported feeling unsafe while walking alone at night. More here.
So far this year, more Americans have reported exercising three or more days per week than in any of the past four years. In fact, 2012 may set a record for exercise in the United States. According to Gallup’s Well Being Index, the number of Americans who said they exercised for at least 30 minutes three or more days in the past week has risen in every month but April. August’s results found 54.7 percent of respondents engaged in frequent physical activity. Gallup says the fact that 2012 has been unusually warm may have played a role in the increasing amount of exercise Americans reported. And, as autumn and winter weather affects the ability to be active outdoors in much of the country, the numbers may recede. More here.
An Australian study says a person’s personality has a role in determining their lifestyle. People who believed their actions determined their fate were more likely to eat a healthier diet, exercise regularly, and avoid binge drinking and smoking. On the other hand, those who put their faith in luck were more prone to unhealthy lifestyles. The research examined data on the diet, exercise, and personality type of more than 7,000 people. Deborah Cobb-Clark, director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, said their study shows a direct link between personality type and a healthy lifestyle. More here.
Seniors who exercise regularly are more likely to say they are in excellent or very good health. In a recent Gallup poll, 51 percent of older adults who exercised frequently said they were in excellent health while only 34 percent of seniors who do not exercise said the same. But while healthy eating habits increase with age, exercise habits fall off as we get older. Nearly 60 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 report exercising at least 30 minutes three or more days during the week. That number falls to 45 percent among those over the age of 90. By comparison, 91 percent of respondents over the age of 90 said they ate a healthy diet all day yesterday, while just 54 percent of Americans between the age of 18 and 24 said the same. In short, seniors who maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and visit the dentist are more likely to report good health than those that don’t. More here.
Regularly engaging in leisure-time activities such as walking, gardening, housework, and home maintenance can contribute to heart health, according to new research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation. The study, which followed 4,200 participants over a 10 year period, found that moderate-intensity exercise had a positive effect on cardiovascular health, regardless of when participants became physically active. Mark Hamer, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and associate professor of epidemiology and public health at University College in London, said it is especially important for older people to be physically active because it contributes to successful aging. Hamer noted that activity levels increased as participants reached retirement age and even those who moved from inactive to active saw heart health benefits. More here.
A study of 713 women in their 70s found that those who ate the most fruits and vegetables and got the most exercise were eight times less likely to die over the next five years than participants who ate fewer fruits and vegetables and exercised less. Among participants, those who exercised the most were 74 percent less likely to die over the next five years and those who ate the most fruits and vegetables were 46 percent less likely to die. Combining a diet high in fruits and vegetables with exercise resulted in the greatest likelihood of increasing longevity. And though the study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, doesn’t prove that eating more produce and exercising after the age of 70 will lengthen your lifespan, it does add to numerous studies showing that combining a healthy diet with regular exercise leads to better health at any age. More here.