Aging Well: Walk Away from Aging and 7 Other New Health Tips for Seniors
We think you will find this health news really useful or interesting.
Walk Away from Dementia, Literally
Many recent studies have found that exercise — even just simply walking — is the best way to avoid age related dementia. Physical activity is better than brain training activities for your mental capacity.
One research team suggests that even just 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week is adequate to help you stay mentally healthy and make aging well easier.
You ideally want to start before cognitive decline starts. This means that you should swim, bike, walk, job, lift weights or do anything physical for at least 20 minutes a day — starting NOW.
Exercise has significant other benefits. Physically active seniors also had more social contact and engage in more cognitive activities too.
Aging Well: Beware of the Silent Heart Attack
You simply don’t know if you have had a silent heart attack, also known as a silent myocardian infarction (SMI). However, if you have had one, your risk of having an obvious and deadly heart attack increases.
So, can a doctor tell you if you have had an SMI? Yes, but screening is not usually warranted and it is expensive. What IS important is paying attention to your risk factors and generally adopting a healthy life cycle no matter what.
According to Dr. Rekha Mankad, cardiologist and director of the Women’s Heart Center at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., aging well means being proactive about your health. She says, “Even without medication, if everyone at increased coronary risk adhered to a heart-healthy lifestyle, the incidence of heart disease would be reduced by 80 percent.”
You Are As Old As You Feel — Really
Research indicates that people who “feel” younger are typically healthier and more resilient than people who “feel” old.
And, most interestingly, you can be tricked into feeling healthier!
In one study researchers told people that they were stronger than other people their own age (it was not necessarily true) and this tricked people into having a much stronger grip. Another research project found that people performed better on a memory task after being told they were sharper than others their age.
Change your mindset and you just might change your mental and physical health and do a better job at aging well.
Watch Out for the Cancer You CAN SEE
According to the New York Times, “more than five million non melanoma skin cancers are diagnosed annually in America, and every hour more than two people die from skin cancer even though it is the cancer everyone can see. No scans or special or invasive detection tests are required, just your eyes or those of a friend or companion who, if they see something, should say something.”
The Big See is a campaign from the Skin Cancer Foundation to encourage you (and your loved ones) to keep an eye on your skin. They recommend three things to look for:
Hey, what’s that?: Keep an eye out for any new moles or blemishes that have popped up.
A leopard’s spots don’t change — and neither should yours: Always check if your spots are changing in color, shape, size or texture.
One of these things is not like the others: Look for spots that are unusual in outline or continuously itch, hurt, crust or bleed for more than 3 weeks.
Get more tips for a step by step self exam.
The Rise of Illegal (or Newly Legal) Drugs as a Salve to Aging
Whether it’s CBD oil that promises to reduce inflamation, medical marijuana to ease pain or an ayahuasca (or other psychedelic) experience to resolve emotional conflict, seniors seem to be embracing illegal (or newly legal) drugs as a salve to aging.
Michael Pollan, author of How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addition, Depression and Transcendence believes that psychedelics can be particularly profound for older people, “What psychedelics seem to be particularly good for is jogging us out of our grooves of habit and allowing us to acquire a fresh perspective on familiar things. And as you get older, you get mired in habits.”
In his new book, The Stress Solution: The 4 Steps to Reset Your Body, Mind, Relationships and Purpose, Dr. Rangan Chatterjee estimates that 80% of problems like high blood pressure, insomnia, depression, metabolic disease and weight gain are related to stress.
Stress can dampen the immune system and promote inflammation, heart disease and premature aging.
He recommends the following to help you reduce stress:
- Reduce media time
- Practice 3-4-5 breathing
- Get outside
- Do at least one activity a day that gives you pleasure
Reduce Stress by Staying on Top of Your Finances
And, of course we’d be remiss it not mentioning that having a solid retirement plan and keeping it updated (every quarter, if not every month) can help you feel more confident and reduce stress.