Healthy Aging

Think running is not for you? Try this

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

Not a fan of running? Good news: You don’t need to run fast, far, or that often to reap benefits. And you can ease into running by doing a run/walk program, where you alternate periods of running and walking and gradually increase the time spent running.

COVID-19: If you’re older and have chronic health problems, read this

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Older people who have a chronic medical condition are at increased risk for severe disease and death if they contract COVID-19. Just how old is “older,” what constitutes chronic disease, and how can you lower risks?

Older adults and medical marijuana: Reduced stigma and increased use

Cannabis use among older adults has been steadily increasing, due to lessening stigma and increased interest in using medical marijuana. But there are specific concerns for older people, so anyone considering this option should have a conversation with their doctor weighing the benefits and risks.

Grandparenting in the time of COVID-19

Ellen S. Glazer, LICSW

Guest Contributor

As parents grapple with school and daycare closings prompted by coronavirus, grandparents have questions about helping with child care and whether they can safely spend time with their grandchildren.

What works best for treating depression and anxiety in dementia?

There is evidence that antidepressants are not effective in older people with dementia. Emerging research suggests that nondrug, psychosocial interventions are the most effective treatments for depression or anxiety in older adults with cognitive impairment.

The BEEP program: Keep your balance

Matthew Solan

Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch

As people get older, the complex system that helps them maintain balance does not work as effectively, increasing the risk of a fall. A study found that specific exercises can improve balance in older adults.

Can short bouts of running lengthen lives?

An analysis of research suggests those who run regularly –– regardless of pace, distance, or amount of time –– are more likely to live longer and have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer.

The role of our minds in the avoidance of falls

Brad Manor, PhD

Contributor

In older people, the majority of falls occur when someone is standing or walking while also performing a separate cognitive or motor task. These tasks require more cognitive effort as we age, but focus and awareness can prevent falls from happening.

Hands or feet asleep? What to do

Robert H. Shmerling, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

It’s happened to all of us: a hand or leg temporarily “falls asleep,” usually from being in one position for too long. Why does it happen? Are there times when you should be concerned about it?

Five healthy habits net more healthy years

Following five healthy lifestyle habits has been shown to extend life expectancy. Better still, a recent study suggests the added years are more likely to be free of illness or disease.