February 15, 2006
Table of Contents
SFA Members can access the current issue of the newletter online at: www.SeniorFitness.org/Experience.htm
Everyone "knows" that fire is the leading cause of accidental death for persons at home -- but is it really? Not according to the Good Health Fact Book from Reader's Digest:
Of special interest to older adults is the fact, reported by the National Safety Council, that falling is by far the most common cause of accidental death in the home. Persons past the age of 75 are at the highest risk for fatal falls.
Falling, both indoors and outdoors, is a widespread problem. Falls can occur on level floors, down stairways, on the ground, on sidewalks, from ladders, and off of roofs. The good news is that most falls can be prevented by following simple safety measures and by maintaining physical fitness. A well rounded exercise program that includes aerobic activity, strength training, flexibility work, and balance training is a good insurance policy against falling. Also, check out your house and yard with fall prevention in mind -- which leads us to our next Round-Up item.
Eliminating Potential Stumbling Blocks
Following are a few easy tips that can help to prevent needless falls in the home. This information has been excerpted from The Wellness Way, a Canopy Press publication:
Marital Harmony Advisable
A study published recently by the Archives of General Psychiatry found that the physical wounds of persons in hostile marriages took longer to heal than the wounds of those in agreeable marriages. The subjects of the study were 42 married couples. The wounds of the hostile couples averaged one day longer to heal compared to the wounds of couples in satisfactory relationships.
Timothy Loving, co-author of the study, stressed the significance of these findings in terms of having surgery, according to The Pulse Wire Report. When wounds take longer to heal after a surgical procedure, it increases the patient's potential health risks as well as the cost of his or her follow-up care. Therefore, a positive marital relationship is desirable from both a physical and financial standpoint.
From the SFA Archives
Occasionally we review our files in order to revisit research from the past that we've identified as being particularly relevant and inspirational to older adults. Following are two examples from 1995 that still command our attention today:
Reflecting upon findings such as these can help motivate us to follow a well-designed physical exercise program, including both strength training and aerobic activities.
More Good News for Exercisers
Harvard Men's Health Watch recently released some new, highly encouraging numbers derived from the Harvard Alumni Study. In a nutshell, the mathematical calculations suggest that men who exercise on a regular basis can add approximately two hours to their life expectancy for every one hour of physical exercise they perform. This needs to be regular (not sporadic) exercise. However, it does not have to be especially strenuous exercise. For example, it could consist of walking briskly for 30 minutes a day.
These two very simple fruit salads are always a hit at mealtimes -- and during in-between times as well:
(1) For each single serving, cut a banana into round slices about a quarter inch thick and place them on a dish. Top with a small dollop of peanut butter (no more than 1/2 tablespoon). Beside that, place a larger dollop of plain non-fat yogurt. Sprinkle cinnamon over everything, and serve immediately.
(2) Mix pineapple chunks (either fresh or canned -- but in 100 percent fruit juice only) with an equal amount of fresh strawberries that have been cut in half. Sprinkle with pecan pieces, then cover and chill until serving time.
Remember that while nuts are nutritious, they do contain fat, so be sure to keep your pecan and peanut butter ratios modest. No sugar or honey is needed in either of these naturally sweet treats!
Round-Up readers: Thank you for your interest and questions. Due to the high volume of contacts SFA receives, we cannot respond to individual queries or comments. However, the newsletter does address frequently asked questions and topics of vital interest to our members.
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