Boomers, Here’s Your 10-Year Health Checkup

America’s boomers just got a 10-year health checkup, and the diagnosis is mixed: More are dealing with chronic conditions, especially high blood pressure and high cholesterol, but fewer are dying from cancer and heart disease, thanks to recent medical advances. Additionally, fewer are smoking and slightly more are exercising — a small dose of good news. The new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that the number of Americans ages 55 to 64 who have …

We’re So Lazy. And It’s Getting Worse

How bad are Americans about not getting any physical activity whatsoever? Really bad. Like record-setting bad. The proof: A new survey by the Physical Activity Council (PAC) finds that the number of “totally sedentary” Americans is the highest it’s been since 2007. Roughly 83 million Americans ages 6 and up — about a third of the population — were physically inactive in 2014, nearly 3 million more than in 2013. That means they didn’t participate in any one of 104 …

Can a Healthy Body Equal a Healthy Brain?

AARP is celebrating health living for April. Overall, Americans perceive their health to be excellent or good, and our research shows perceived health declines only 7 percentage points over a 45-year age range (72 percent among those ages 35-39, 67 percent among those ages 55-59, and 65 percent ages 75 to 80). In AARP’s Happiness Study, when asked about serious health conditions (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.) 12 percent of those ages 35-39 had two or more …

Spring Fitness Tune-Up

Guilty as charged: I’ve grown lax about my workout program in the last few months, leading to a loss in strength and a gain in weight. How can I tell? Because my scale does not lie. Nor, tragically, do my jeans. Last winter seemed to pose a bigger challenge than normal to my (mostly conscientious) exercise habits and (fairly healthy) lifestyle. That long, cold season simply would not die, forcing me to trim my running schedule from three or four …

Major Report Shows What Works, What Doesn’t, for Better Brain Health

The Institute of Medicine today released a groundbreaking new report that spells out what older Americans can do to keep their brains healthy into very old age, while offering insight into the lifestyle habits and medications that can lead to cognitive decline. The report, cosponsored by AARP and authored by some of the leading neuroscientists, psychiatrists and brain-health experts in the country, offers the first multidisciplinary look at how aging affects the brain. It creates a new term — “cognitive …

Recipe for Brain Health: Diet, Exercise, Brain Training

A large new study has confirmed what doctors have suspected for years: that embracing a healthy lifestyle can slow the rate of cognitive aging in older adults at risk of dementia. The study, published this week in the Lancet, found that a combination of a healthy diet, strength training, aerobic exercise, brain games and controlling blood pressure and weight slows mental decline in older people. For this study,  1,260 Finnish men and women between the ages of 60 and 77 who were at …