Talk to the animals

Animal-assistant therapy (AAT)—which involves regular interaction with animals like dogs, cats, and even horses—can have both immediate and long-lasting impacts on your emotional and mental health. AAT is used to treat depression, stress, and anxiety, and older men also can use it to combat the challenges of aging, such as dealing with the loss of a loved one or declining health. (Locked) More »

Can gut bacteria improve your health?

About 100 trillion bacteria, both good and bad, live inside your digestive system. This population is known collectively as the gut microbiota. Emerging research suggests certain species and strains of gut bacteria can help prevent or treat diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, and heart disease, as well as help improve mood by lowering levels of stress and anxiety. A balanced, healthy diet that includes high-fiber and fermented foods can help your gut bacteria system thrive. (Locked) More »

Should I worry about a heart murmur?

Heart murmurs can occur when people are young and then return in older age. There are three main causes in adults: increased volume or speed of blood flowing through a normal heart, a stiff heart valve, or a leaky heart valve. Most do not lead to heart problems, but a change in the murmur’s intensity or the appearance of symptoms like shortness of breath, light-headedness, or chest pain would prompt a further medical evaluation. (Locked) More »

What makes my joints stiff in the morning?

Morning stiffness like in the back, knees, and feet are common complaints for many older adults. People cannot reverse the affects of joint aging, but they can reduce the severity and frequency of morning stiffness by being more active and adopting regular exercise to increase muscular strength and flexibility.  More »

A new look at colon cancer screening

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths and the third most common cancer in men. Screening tests to help find and often remove polyps before they become cancer are recommended for men ages 50 to 75, yet many avoid them. To help highlight the urgency for regular colon cancer screenings, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force has issued updated recommendations and described tests that might be a better option than an invasive colonoscopy, especially for lower-risk men. More »

The lowdown on low sodium

The FDA advises people to consume no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) of sodium daily—about the amount in 1 teaspoon of salt. But the average person consumes about 50% more—3,500 mg per day—with higher intake among men. About 75% of dietary sodium comes from processed and restaurant foods, but men also need to be mindful about everyday items like bread, cold cuts, soup, and poultry, which are often high in sodium even though they may not taste salty. (Locked) More »

Step lively with healthier feet

Over the years, feet can become more susceptible to problems that make walking more difficult and dangerous, such as bunions, hammertoes, claw toes, and heel pain. While some of these issues result from genetics or specific medical conditions, many are caused by poor footwear choices, inadequate foot care, and muscle imbalances. (Locked) More »

Higher levels of omega-6 fatty acids may lower death rates in older men

A new study found that high levels of omega-6 fatty acids in the subcutaneous adipose tissue—the layer of fat just beneath the skin—correlated with lower death rates among older men. Omega-6s mostly come in the form of linoleic acid, found in plant oils (such as corn, soybean, and sunflower oils) as well as nuts and seeds. Linoleic acid is known to shrink levels of bad LDL cholesterol in the blood, which can contribute to lower incidence of heart disease. More »

Need to remember something? Exercise four hours later

Research suggests that exercising four hours after learning may improve your memory of the new information. People who exercised four hours after a learning session retained information better than those who exercised immediately after the lesson and those who did not exercise. More »