Healthy Aging Archive


Can you become a "super-ager"?

Super-agers are individuals known to maintain peak mental prowess well into their 90s and avoid dementia and Alzheimer's disease. While genetics play a big part in super-agers' cognitive health, adopting healthy lifestyle habits also contributes, and other people might be able to improve their brain health in the same way. These habits include exercising regularly, following a plant-based diet, being social, adopting mentally challenging activities, and getting adequate sleep.

Should I get the shingles vaccine?

The shingles vaccine, Shingrix, can trigger side effects such as a sore arm, achiness, fatigue, and fever. But Shingrix is highly effective at preventing painful shingles rashes and a complication called postherpetic neuralgia, which involves long-lasting nerve pain.

The perception of pain

Most people experience occasional acute musculoskeletal pain as part of daily living, such as an injury caused by exercising or a minor household accident. Acute pain is short-term and often becomes manageable with home remedies and over-the-counter medication. However, when symptoms persist there is greater chance that it will become chronic pain, which lasts two to three months or longer. That's when medical advice is needed.

Time to stop active surveillance?

Active surveillance (AS) is the most common choice for men facing a diagnosis of low-risk prostate cancer, in which the tumor is confined to the prostate gland and unlikely to grow or spread. Men can potentially continue AS indefinitely until their condition changes. There are situations in which they should move to treatment because the cancer has become more aggressive. Or they may be ready to stop if there has been no cancer progression or they no longer wish to continue with the regular monitoring and testing of AS.

What lifestyle changes can help me avoid prostate cancer?

Most older men live with some prostate cancer. However, only a small number will develop aggressive cancer that affects their quality of life. Certain habits might lower men's risk, like eating a plant-based diet, doing vigorous activity, and having frequent ejaculations.

More evidence suggests multivitamins slow cognitive decline

A 2024 randomized controlled trial provides more evidence that taking a daily multivitamin pill offers protection against cognitive decline. The study involved more than 5,000 people (ages 60 or older). Some took a daily multivitamin pill. Others took a placebo. After two years and tests measuring cognitive ability before and after the study period, people who took the vitamins showed slower cognitive decline than people who took a placebo. This was seen consistently in all groups of people.

Protect yourself from falls outside the home

Many strategies can help people avoid falls in public places. For example, people can wear shoes with nonslip treads in stores and office buildings, use a rollator for stability in crowded areas such as airports or shopping malls, hold handrails on public staircases (or avoid them), avoid parking too close to vehicles in parking lots, or use the handicap stall in public bathrooms. Another important strategy is regularly strengthening leg and core muscles and practicing balance exercises (such as standing on one leg).

Advice for aging exercise enthusiasts

People who routinely exercise far more than the federal activity guidelines recommend will likely reap heart and longevity benefits. But they should be sure not to neglect other heart-healthy habits, such as getting routine check-ups, keeping tabs on their risk factors, following a healthy diet, and paying attention to heart-related symptoms.

Should I take a daily multivitamin?

While most people get enough vitamins and minerals from a regular diet, they may benefit from taking a daily multivitamin supplement. These are inexpensive, are considered safe, and may help maintain brain health.

Soleful aging

Like the rest of the body, the feet are vulnerable to the effects of aging. Women may be more susceptible to certain foot conditions due to hormone fluctuations during pregnancy and a higher incidence of decreased bone density with aging. But everyone's soft tissues become less elastic, making foot problems more likely. Foot conditions that can develop or worsen with age include stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, bunions, flat feet, and osteoarthritis. Simple measures, such as resting the feet and wearing supportive shoes, can help ease pain.

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