Aging

Children born today in the United States can expect to live nearly 78 years. That life expectancy is a great leap forward from 1900, when the average newborn couldn’t expect to reach age 50. Similar increases have been seen in in developed nations all around the world. In the 20th century, life expectancy increased more than it had in any century since the beginning of human civilization.

Life expectancy at various ages in teh United States

And the longer you live, the longer you can expect to live. Average life expectancy for a newborn American is 78 years, while it is 84 years for a 65-year-old and 87 years for a 75-year old.

But extending the lifespan has also increased the burden of diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, osteoporosis, macular degeneration, and other conditions that tend to affect older individuals. Most of these diseases, though, aren't inevitable consequences of aging. Instead, many are preventable.

Solid research from long-term studies such as the Framingham Heart Study, the Nurses' Health Study, and others have shown that the combination of not smoking, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and keeping blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar in check can prevent three-quarters or more of these chronic conditions.

Aging Articles

Get moving to slow cardiovascular aging

As people age and become less active, the muscle in the heart’s left ventricle—the chamber that pumps oxygen-rich blood back out to the body—becomes stiffer. But as with other muscles, it’s possible to keep your heart muscles in shape longer and perhaps even reverse some of the effects of age by getting regular cardio exercise of sufficient intensity and duration. More »

Overcoming your barriers to exercise

Only about half of adults in the United States meet the recommended physical activity guidelines. Lack of time and joint pain or other health issues are common excuses. Piggybacking activities onto daily habits, such as standing or walking while on the phone and walking to do errands can help. People with health problems that limit mobility can do non-weight-bearing exercises, such as swimming or water aerobics. (Locked) More »

Straight talk about your voice

It’s common for a man’s voice to change as he ages, a condition called presbylaryngis, or aging of the larynx. The result is often that raspy, hoarse tone known as “old age” voice. Medication side effects and lifestyle habits also can contribute to presbylaryngis, but there are many self-help strategies that can strengthen and protect your voice. (Locked) More »

The health benefits of shared living

Living with others in older age has many benefits. It may help stave off health risks brought on by loneliness and isolation, and it may provide companions who are able to assist older adults with household chores, personal care, and transportation. Common living situations for older adults include moving in with adult children, taking on boarders, or living with friends. In these situations, it’s important to set boundaries and establish ground rules about privacy and expectations. More »

The health benefits of writing your life story

Leaving some kind of legacy can be a driving force for many men. Writing one’s memoirs can be a way to leave behind something of lasting value for both family and friends. Besides recording life stories, memoirs can be an opportunity to pass along wisdom and life lessons, as well as a way to help explore troubling issues. (Locked) More »

Ways to dig out of a dietary rut

Sometimes older adults get into a menu rut or stop eating healthy, nutritious foods. This may reflect issues with money, mobility, or loneliness. A dietary rut may lead to a reliance on prepackaged foods, and even malnutrition. Suggestions to break out of a dietary rut include trying new foods; cooking in large quantities, with leftovers that can be eaten throughout the week; signing up for subscription meal kits; inviting friends to dinner; and asking friends to pitch in with a meal, with each person taking turns shopping and cooking. (Locked) More »

Breathing life into your lungs

By age 65, the average man has typically lost up to a liter of lung capacity compared with when he was younger. However, it is possible for a person to preserve lung function and maybe even slow its natural decline by consuming more antioxidant-rich fruits; adopting weight training to improve the core, back, and posture; and getting proper vaccinations to protect against respiratory infections. (Locked) More »

The truth about metabolism

Metabolism speed is often used to explain whether people have an easy or difficult time losing and maintaining weight. While metabolism plays a small role in weight management, people can increase their metabolism speed to a degree by following a proper diet and exercise. (Locked) More »

Why am I losing weight?

Unexplained weight loss should be investigated. It may be caused by an overactive thyroid, cancer, or a chronic infection. More »