As you look ahead, what do you envision? If you’re like most people, you are probably eager to stay healthy and enjoy your life in the most vibrant, vigorous way possible. No magic pill or secret potion can deliver a long, healthy life. While that rests partly with the genes you’ve inherited, abundant research shows that the actions you take today matter. Simple lifestyle choices — what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke — have an enormous impact on your longevity and quality of life.
In this report, you’ll learn about the latest scientific discoveries on aging, and how work currently being done by scientists may one day add healthy years to human life. But more importantly, you’ll learn what you can do now to improve your chances of leading a longer, more vigorous life.
What supplements should you take and which ones might endanger you? How does exercise affect your body and mind? What steps can you take to stay sharp? When is memory loss normal and when is it a sign of more serious trouble? How can you stay socially connected and why is that important to your health? You’ll find the answers to these and many more questions on the pages of this report. You’ll also find out what you can do to avoid common health woes of aging, such as heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and sight and hearing disorders.
Prepared by the editors of Harvard Health Publications in consultation with Anne Fabiny, M.D. Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Chief of Geriatrics, Cambridge Health Alliance. 49 pages. (2010)
Clearly, more work needs to be done to crack the code of aging. But you don’t have to wait until the final answers are in to take steps that may extend and enhance your life right now.
How well you age will help dictate how long you stay alive and how happy you are to do so. Whether or not your family is long-lived, the answers lie less in your genes than in your actions. Do you smoke? Do you eat well or poorly? Do you stay active? Are you a healthy weight? What ailments do you have now and, judging from family background and your current lifestyle, which ones are you likely to get?
If your answers seem discouraging, take heart. It’s not too late to make changes. A 2007 study in The American Journal of Medicine focused on adults who adopted a healthier lifestyle during middle age. The researchers followed 15,700 adults (ages 45 to 64) for a decade and noted that 970 of these people embraced a healthier lifestyle by the sixth year of the study. These individuals ate five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables, worked out at least two and a half hours per week, didn’t smoke, and avoided obesity. Benefits appeared quickly. Just four years later, the group of individuals who made these four changes had a 40% lower rate of death for any reason and 35% fewer cases of heart disease compared with the participants who made fewer of these changes.
No matter what your age or stage of life, you have the power to change many of the variables that influence disability and longevity. In this section, you can learn how.
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Thanks for your report. I liked the way it combined both the physical and social aspects of aging successfully. Good roadmap to follow. MB, New Haven
I have been a pesce vegetarian of sorts the last 32 years, and always worried about if I was on the right track. This Report alleviated some of the worry that hung over me and also gave me some great advice.
very informative. deals with all aspects of aging. the knowledge contained will help any one who wish to grow old and stay healthy.