21 ½ minutes = 5 years

Is It Possible to Increase Your Lifespan?

21 ½ minutes = 5 years? Sorry Doc, but the math doesn’t add up. Maybe we should shed some light on this concept. According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, adults who include at least 150 minutes of physical activity in their routines each week (that’s 22 ½ minutes a day) live longer than those who don’t.
Elliptical-800x449The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the National Health Interview Study mortality linkage, and U.S. Life Tables to estimate and compare the life expectancy at each age for adults who were inactive, somewhat-active and active. “Active” was defined as doing at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. They found that participants were estimated to gain as little as 2 years and as much as 5.5 potential years of life through moderate exercise alone.

Is There Proof That Exercise Lengthens Life Span?

Telomeres are the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that protect your DNA and genetic information. Telomeres are like the plastic caps on the end of yotelomeres-image-nasaur shoelaces that protect the laces from becoming frayed. Shorter telomeres have been linked in previous research with cell aging and increased risks of age-related diseases like cancer and dementia, as well as premature death. In a study by Dr. Dean Ornish, researchers looked at 35 men with prostate cancer. 10 of those men were put on a strict lifestyle modification including moderate exercise, a plant-based diet, and yoga. Researchers found that telomere length actually increased among the men who were assigned to undergo the lifestyle intervention by an average of 10 percent. This is the first study to show that humans have the ability to lengthen their lifespan by exercise and diet.

Don’t you think it’s time to lace up those sneakers?

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Forever Young

What Lifestyle Habits Have Been Shown to Increase Life Span?

Most of us like to think of ourselves as young: young in heart at least, if not actually young in years. But is it possible to stay “forever young” in terms of health and wellness? Here are two key tips. They may seem obvious, but the power is in actually implementing these tips consistently over time.

Tip #1: Eat less. Each person has his or her own caloric balancing point beyond which extra food will be retained as fat. If your average daily calorie consumption is right around this critical value, all the energy in the food you eat will be used to support your physical functioning. But extra calories will not be burned up and this unused energy will be stored as fat. Over time, increasing fat stores frequently lead to chronic disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. So with respect to long-term health, it’s a very good idea to avoid overeating. Of course, we want to have fun, too, but that’s what a “free food day” is for. If you eat within your caloric range on six days of the week, the seventh can be a “free day” when you can eat whatever you want. Such a system works very well for ongoing optimal weight management (which, of course, means ongoing health and well-being, contributing to our notion of “forever young”).

Tip #2: Exercise more. Did you ever see a gymnast, competitive swimmer, or professional dancer who didn’t look absolutely terrific? These young men and women are in such good shape owing to the high volume of exercise they do every week. Do you know an older adult who was on a high school or college gymnastics team or was a professional dancer long ago? Isn’t that person still really healthy and fit? Such long-term fitness results from a lifelong habit of exercise. The very good news is that even if you haven’t exercised in many, many years, you can still derive benefit for years to come from starting to exercise, right now.

You get fit by doing the work. Not all at once of course, but gradually, steadily, building up strength and endurance, starting right where you are. The secret is to begin. And after not too long a time, you’ll find that your new habit of exercise is providing all kinds of surprising benefits, including deeper, more restful sleep and increased energy and exuberance. Not to mention weight loss and a slimmer waistline. These two tips, eating less and exercising more, have been known for decades.

Exercise Halts the Dementia Gene

How Does Exercise Affect the Onset of Dementia?

Dementia is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. today, and experts say the next generation could see twice as many people suffering from it, particularly in old age. But avoiding the brain-deteriorating disease could be as simple as remembering to exercise just a few times a week, according to a new study, which appears to inhibit the expression of the “dementia gene.”

exercisingOver the course of 18 months, researchers from the University of Maryland measured the brain sizes of elderly participants who were divided into four groups. The activity levels of each of the participants were gauged in conjunction with whether or not they possessed a gene known as APOE-e4, which has been associated with an increased risk of dementia.

Up to 30 percent of the population possesses this gene, and the research team wanted to see whether or not physical exertion affects its expression. What they found is that those with APOE-e4 who exercised at least three times a week experienced a lesser overall decrease in brain mass, a common sign of dementia, compared to those who engaged in little or no exercise.

“We found that physical activity has the potential to preserve the volume of the hippocampus in those with increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, which means we can possibly delay cognitive decline and the onset of dementia symptoms in these individuals,” stated Dr. J. Carson Smith, one of the study’s authors. “Physical activity interventions may be especially potent and important for this group.”

Exercise alone is hardly the best approach, as nutrition is equally if not more important for preserving brain function, it is vital for maintaining good health, especially in old age. Though it defies the outdated conventional thinking of the past, consuming more saturated fats in the diet will feed your brain the nutrients it needs for proper repair and function. That means getting off the bad advice of the 70’s through the 90’s and getting off the nutrient deficient low-fat craze. The best saturated fats come from foods like coconut oil, pastured butter, ghee, and pastured animals. “The brain thrives on a fat-rich, low-carbohydrate diet, which unfortunately is relatively uncommon in human populations today,” wrote neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter in his best-selling book Grain Brain.

Jogging Keeps You Young

Are There Benefits of Jogging For People Over 65?

A new study by researchers at Humboldt State University and the University of Colorado, Boulder is shedding light on an unexpected benefit of jogging in older adults. The study looked at adults over the age of 65… some of whom walk for exercise and some who run for exercise. The researchers found that those who run at least 30 minutes, three times a week were less likely to experience age-related physical decline in walking efficiency than those who simply walked.  In fact, the older runners were 7-10 percent more efficient at walking than those who didn’t jog.A 65-year-old runner

“What we found is that older adults who regularly participate in high aerobic activities, running in particular, have what we call a lower metabolic cost of walking than older, sedentary adults. In fact, their metabolic cost of walking is similar to young adults in their 20s,” said Justus Ortega, a Kinesiology Professor at Humboldt State and director of HSU’s Biomechanics Lab.

Metabolic cost is the amount of energy needed to move and naturally increases as we age. High metabolic cost contributes to making walking more difficult and tiring. Decline in walking ability is a key predictor of morbidity in older adults.

In the study, researchers looked at self-reported older joggers over the age of 65, those who ran at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week and self reported walkers, those who walked three times a week for 30 minutes.

Participants were asked to walk on a treadmill at three speeds (1.6, 2.8 and 3.9 miles per hour) as researchers measured their oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production. Overall, older joggers were 7-10 percent more efficient at walking than older adults who just walked for exercise. Their metabolic cost was similar to young people in their 20s.
Researchers aren’t yet sure what makes joggers more efficient than walkers but they believe it may have something to do with the mitochondria found in cells. Evidence suggests that people who exercise vigorously have healthier mitochondria in their muscles.

“The bottom line is that running keeps you younger, at least in terms of efficiency,” said Rodger Kram, a Professor of Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. 1

1. Justus D. Ortega, Owen N. Beck, Jaclyn M. Roby, Aria L. Turney, Rodger Kram. Running for Exercise Mitigates Age-Related Deterioration of Walking Economy. PLoS ONE, 2014; 9 (11): e113471 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113471.

Holiday Wellness Tips

What Can I Do To Keep From Gaining A Lot of Weight, Becoming Stressed Out and Getting Sick During the Holidays?

Research shows that the average American adult gains weight during the holiday season. The season is also the peak of the flu/cold season and a time when stress levels can reach their maximum for the year. Here are some tips for a healthier holiday season:

1. Stay Away From Foods That Cause Insulin Spikes From Loads of Rapidly Absorbed Sugars. Remember, insulin spikes cause fat deposition and can increase your hunger level. These foods include the “great whites”; white rice, white potatoes, white flour and sugary sweets. Fruit drinks and fruit juices as well as soda can be added to this list.

2. Eat Protein and Fiber With Every Meal. Protein in your meals causes your blood glucose levels to remain more steady and level. This means less hunger and more energy. Fiber slows down absorption of sugar into your bloodstream resulting in less sugar spikes and insulin spikes.

3. Fill Up On Healthy Bulk Foods. Eat lots of your “skinny” fruits, vegetables and salads at the start of your meals. This will suppress your appetite before you consume foods that may have a greater negative effect on your blood sugar and insulin levels.christmas-cocktail-party

4. Make Exercise a Priority. The holiday season is especially busy and that makes it easy to skip this important ingredient to health holidays. Exercise is the perfect tonic for the stress and anxiety. Take a “family walk” after your holiday feast. Recruit a holiday walking buddy. Incorporate walking into your holiday shopping. Park at the far end of the mall or shopping center.

5. Limit Your Contact With People Who Have Had Flu Shots in the Past 21 Days. Popular flu vaccines such as the mist style nasal type can spread flu viruses for up to 21 days are they are. The CDC has admitted that these immunizations can spread the flu. Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water. Avoid coughing and sneezing people.

6. See Your Chiropractor Regularly. Having a nervous system that is functioning at optimum levels means that all of your organs, glands and systems are working at peak potential. This gives you better immune function and a greater ability to deal with added stress.

How to Stay Obese

What Can You Do To Stay Fat, Overweight or Obese?

Tens of millions of Americans are obese, and while figures have stabilized in recent years according to government findings, the numbers are still staggering. Poor dietary choices rank very high as a cause of obesity, but another factor is one that gets far less attention — is Americans’ increasing lack of physical activity.

fat-stomach-measuring-obese-tummy-In fact, a new study found that the average obese woman only gets one hour of vigorous exercise per year, while men don’t get much more… less than four per year. 1

The findings, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, stem from the tracking of participants’ movements over the course of a year. Researchers collected data regarding the amount of exercise participants engaged in and at what intensity levels.
Researchers defined vigorous exercise as jogging or other high-cardio-related, fat-burning exercises. For those who were considered extremely overweight, walking may be considered vigorous.
For women especially, researchers cited extremely busy lives as a major reason why they exercised so little. Between work, caring for children and sleep, they noted, women did not have much time in the day to devote to fitness.

“They’re living their lives from one chair to another,” Edward Archer, a research fellow with the Nutrition Obesity Research Center, “We didn’t realize we were that sedentary. There are some people who are vigorously active, but it’s offset by the huge number of individuals who are inactive.”

How to Begin an Exercise Program?overweight-couple-on-treadmill

Finding the time to work in a fitness program is difficult in today’s busy world. But almost everyone has time for some sort of activity 3-4 times per week, if they really want to change their lifestyle. Here are some guidelines:

• Set a weight goal
• Take a before photo
• Don’t overdo it at first
• Don’t go it alone
• Pick something fun
• Don’t make excuses
• Clean up your diet

1. Edward Archer, Ph.D, December 2013 Mayo Clinic Proceedings

Preventing Dementia

How Does Exercise Prevent Brain Deterioration?

Dementia is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. today, and experts say the next generation could see twice as many people suffering from it, particularly in old age. But avoiding the brain-deteriorating disease could be as simple as remembering to exercise just a few times a week, according to a new study, which appears to inhibit the expression of the “dementia gene.”

GETTY_H_122812_OldPeopleWalkingForExerciseOver the course of 18 months, researchers from the University of Maryland measured the brain sizes of elderly participants who were divided into four groups. The activity levels of each of the participants were gauged in conjunction with whether or not they possessed a gene known as APOE-e4, which has been associated with an increased risk of dementia.

Up to 30 percent of the population possesses this gene, and the research team wanted to see whether or not physical exertion affects its expression. What they found is that those with APOE-e4 who exercised at least three times a week experienced a lesser overall decrease in brain mass, a common sign of dementia, compared to those who engaged in little or no exercise.

“We found that physical activity has the potential to preserve the volume of the hippocampus in those with increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, which means we can possibly delay cognitive decline and the onset of dementia symptoms in these individuals,” stated Dr. J. Carson Smith, one of the study’s authors. “Physical activity interventions may be especially potent and important for this group.”

What Else Can Be Done To Prevent Dementia?

Published in the journal Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, the above study provides new insights into the mind-body connection, and the importance of physical exertion in maintaining a healthy brain. Though exercise alone is hardly the best approach, as nutrition is equally if not more important for preserving brain function, it is vital for maintaining good health, especially in old age.

Avoiding certain foods and chemical exposures and embracing better dietary and lifestyle habits will duly help in the fight against dementia. Though it defies conventional thinking, consuming more saturated fats, for instance, from foods like coconut oil, raw, organic butter and ghee, and free range organic animals, will feed your brain the nutrients it needs for proper repair and function.

“The brain thrives on a fat-rich, low-carbohydrate diet, which unfortunately is relatively uncommon in human populations today,” wrote neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter in his recent New York Times best-selling book Grain Brain.

The low-fat diet still being propagated by many health authorities, on the other hand, which ends up driving people to eat more sugar and grain instead, is actually a major cause of brain degeneration. Even “whole grains” and other types of so-called complex carbohydrates can be damaging, especially when they contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners in lieu of naturally flavorful and satiating saturated fat. “By removing these carbohydrates from the diet, harbingers of inflammation, the true source of problems that plague our brains and hearts, and increasing the amount of fat and cholesterol we consume, we can not only protect our most valuable organ, but also potentially, undo years of damage.”

Can Chiropractic Care Improve Brain Function?Cervical-Adjustment

Mapping of brain activity before and after chiropractic adjustments of the spine and the neck reveals that chiropractic care stimulates cognitive function. In a study involving five hundred adult volunteers, researchers used cutting edge technology to create maps of functioning in the cortical portions of the brain before and after chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine. Researchers found that “cervical adjustments activate specific neurological pathways” in the brain, potentially stimulating cognitive function (JMPT1997;20:529).