Healthy Aging Archive

Articles

More protection for your heart? It's just a shot away

A yearly influenza vaccine may help lower the risk of serious cardiovascular complications, especially among people who've had a recent heart attack. Pneumonia and shingles vaccines also help reduce heart attack and stroke risks. Early fall is a good time to get back on track with these vaccines. Several different types of flu shots are available; experts advise getting whichever one is most readily available. For those ages 65 and older who have a choice, three vaccines (Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent, Flublock Quadrivalent recombinant, and Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted) may offer slightly better protection than the regular-dose shot and are the preferred choice.

What's the best way to test for low testosterone?

A blood test for total testosterone is the usual first step in men concerned about low T levels. The best time to get tested is between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Taking up adaptive sports

Our abilities may change during the course of a lifetime. Adaptive sports are competitive or recreational activities that are modified to support people living with disabilities or limitations.

Drinking coffee might lengthen life

A 2022 study found that drinking coffee daily was linked to a significantly lower risk of dying within the seven-year study period. The benefit tapered off for people drinking more than 4.5 cups daily. Caffeine content didn't appear to affect results.

A care quarterback for older adults

Geriatricians offer health guidance and treatment to adults 65 and older. The specialty centers on health concerns increasingly common with age, including falls, hearing loss, incontinence, memory problems, and the need to juggle multiple conditions and medications. Among other goals, geriatricians aim to optimize drug dosages and prevent medication overlap or dangerous side effects. They also coordinate each patient's care with other specialists who help manage chronic conditions. Geriatrician visits are typically longer than those with general practitioners.

A lower blood pressure goal benefits some older adults

Taking an aggressive approach to lower high blood pressure with more medication can help many older adults reduce their risk for heart attacks, stroke, and heart failure. But they need to weigh the benefits with the potential side effects of extra medication.

The mental powers of super-agers

Older adults known as super-agers have cognitive function similar to that of young people. Experts believe this is because their brains shrink at a much slower rate, which may be the result of genetics or lifestyle habits or both. While people can't alter their genes, it could be possible to slow their natural brain decline by adopting some super-ager habits, like being physically active, pursuing mentally challenging hobbies, eating a diet rich in inflammation-fighting foods, and engaging with social groups.

Punch up your fitness

Non-contact boxing has been shown to help many people with Parkinson's disease improve their balance, hand-eye coordination, mental focus, muscle strength, and body rhythm. Older adults also can benefit from this type of exercise, as they face many of the same physical and mental challenges as they age. Most boxing fitness workouts are done using punching bags and hitting oversized boxing mitts worn by coaches. The moves involve punches and sequences based on crosses, hooks, uppercuts, and jabs.

Poor handgrip strength in midlife linked to cognitive decline

A large study published online June 23, 2022, by JAMA Network Open found that poor handgrip strength in midlife was associated with cognitive decline a decade later.

Getting the most from your remaining years

Following healthy habits like exercising, eating a proper diet, and being socially engaged can help people live a longer, healthier life. Still, the ultimate goal is not simply to live longer, but to enjoy life, which means placing more emphasis on quality of life. How life quality is defined can vary depending on people's goals, but it often revolves around three certain mindsets: having a sense of purpose, focusing on where one wants to devote time and energy, and enjoying the process and journey.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Sign Up
Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.