In April 2015, the Institute of Medicine released a groundbreaking report on what older Americans can do to keep their brains healthy. The report said that obesity was likely to increase the risk of cognitive decline. The same month, a major study in the British medical journal Lancet found that being underweight in middle age and old age is linked to an increased risk for dementia. Confused? You’re not alone. This is just one example of scientific reports that generate conflicting news headlines. Do brain games work to strengthen memory? Does lifting weights and practicing yoga make a difference? Can certain foods decrease risk of dementia?
There's no debate that exercise can help us live a longer, healthier life. But let's say you have a chronic health condition that makes exercise difficult. Or maybe you're just very busy. Is there a minimum amount of exercise older adults can do to reap at least some benefits?
Over the past five years of intensive caregiving for my parents, I have watched my numbers go up - my cholesterol, my weight, my body fat and, yes, my jeans size. And let's not even mention my stress level and the number of pieces of chocolate I eat daily.
Not a big fan of exercising at the gym or in a class? No problem! You can get similar health benefits from gardening, mowing the lawn or housework, says a new study of nearly 4,000 60-year-olds.
It doesn't get as much attention as breast cancer, but uterine cancer - also referred to as endometrial cancer - primarily strikes women over 60, killing more than 8,000 a year.
As National Women's Health Week comes to a close, my thoughts turn to physical activity ... or lack thereof, which has been my problem. As a working caregiver (for both of my parents), I am typical: I focus on those two necessities of my life first and taking care of myself falls to the bottom of the list. It's a terrible conundrum - I can't let my work or caregiving slip, but there are only so many hours in the day. Plus, I've gotten out of the habit; it's hard to start up again once you stop.
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