Senior Fitness News

A new study indicates that perceptual learning may help to reverse age-related decline in vision.

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside and Boston University “found that with just two days of training, in one-hour sessions with difficult stimuli, resulted in older subjects seeing as well as younger college-age subjects.” G. John Andersen, professor of psychology at UCR noted that “the improvement was maintained for up to three months.” Please click below for a report from the UCR Newsroom.
NOTE: Perceptual learning has been described as performance changes brought about through practice or experience, that improve an organism’s ability to respond to its environment.

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There’s more good news about regular exercise!

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Leslie Alford, physiotherapist and lecturer at the University of East Anglia, conducted a research review of 40 scientific papers. Her summary of the key findings indicated that regular exercise can reduce the risk of many health conditions including heart disease, dementia as well as some forms of cancer. Ms. Abbott stated that “what is clear from the research is that men and women of all ages should be encouraged to be more physically active for the sake of their long-term health.” Please click below for a report from Science Daily.

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Although they have a higher prevalence of disease than their English counterparts, older Americans live as long or longer

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

American Senior Fitness Association Researchers have found that, although they have a higher prevalence of disease than their English counterparts, older Americans live as long or longer. The study found Americans have higher rates of diabetes, high-blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, chronic lung diseases and cancer. Yet, Americans 55 – 64 lived as long as the English and those 65 and over lived even longer. The studies co-author, James P. Smith, noted “that at least in terms of survival at older ages with chronic disease, the medical system in the United States may be better than the system in England.” Co-author James Banks stated that “the United States’ health problem is not fundamentally a health care or insurance problem, at least at older ages. It is a problem of excess illness and the solution to that problem may lie outside the health care delivery system. The solution may be to alter lifestyles or other behaviors.” Click below for a report from ScienceDaily.

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Following a Mediterranean diet may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

A Spanish study indicates that following a Mediterranean diet may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. The study of 418 older adults also showed that benefits were obtained independent of weight change. Dietitian and diabetes educator, Constance Brown-Riggs, “cautioned against seeing olive oil, or any single component of the Mediterranean diet, as a magic bullet … what we’re talking about here is an overall eating pattern, and an overall lifestyle.” Please click below for a report from Medline Plus.

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Extra-virgin olive oil may help protect the liver

Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

A study indicates that extra-virgin olive oil, an integral component of the Mediterranean diet may help protect the liver. Researcher Mohamed Hammami stated that the study had shown “extra virgin olive oil and its extracts protect against oxidative damage of hepatic tissue.” He also noted that there “is growing evidence that it may have great health benefits including the reduction in coronary heart disease risk, the prevention of some cancers and the modification of immune and inflammatory responses.” Please click below for a report from Ivanhoe.com.

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Here’s a tip from Posit Science: “Giving Health Advice for Older People? Don’t Forget the Brain”

Friday, October 29th, 2010

Posit Science’s Karen Merzenich asks “what good is it to be 100 years old and physically fit if my mind is gone?” Her post, “Giving Health Advice for Older People? Don’t Forget the Brain,” appears in the Posit Science corporate blog where she suggests that “in aging, we need everything in our arsenal: the physical fitness, the diet, the friends and family, the shower bar, and unequivocally–the brain training.” Please click below for the complete post.

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Is whole body vibration training an effective workout?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Commenting on whole body vibration exercise, Dr. Edward R. Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic, said that it “isn’t likely to result in measurable weight loss or fitness gains.” However, he noted that the technique has some known benefits and “may have a place in some fitness routines.” Please click below for Dr. Laskowski’s comments.

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Whole body vibration may help offset age related bone density loss

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Whole body vibration, a technique dating back to the 1800s, may help offset age related bone density loss. Researchers at the Medical College of Georgia “found vibration improved density around the hip joint with a shift toward higher density in the femur, the long bone of the leg, as well. Hip fractures are a major cause of disability and death among the elderly.” They also noted that “while vibration lacks the same cardiovascular benefit of exercise, animal and human studies also have shown it can improve muscle strength and weight loss.” For a MCG news release please click below.

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A compound found in plants such as peppers, carrots and celery may help reduce memory deficits

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Luteolin, a compound found in plants such as peppers, carrots and celery may help reduce memory deficits. The results of a study conducted at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, indicated that luteolin can help protect the brain against inflammation, “a key contributor to age-related memory problems.” Study leader Rodney Johnson added that “these data suggest that consuming a healthy diet has the potential to reduce age-associated inflammation in the brain, which can result in better cognitive health.” For a report from ScienceDaily, please click below.

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Walking may help protect your “little gray cells”

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Walking may help preserve brain mass and, more importantly, guard against memory loss. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh studied the walking patterns of 299 “dementia-free” elderly participants (average age 78 years). They then tracked their development 9 and 13 years later. Results showed that those participants who walked 6 to 9 miles miles per week had greater gray matter volume and had “cut their risk of developing memory problems in half.” Click below for a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.

 

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