Healthy Aging Archive

Articles

Older adults with vision problems face higher dementia risks

A 2023 study suggests older adults with vision problems, including up close or at a distance, face significantly higher risks of dementia than those with no vision problems.

Veins are a key player in the body: Here's why

Thousands of miles of veins throughout the body bring blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen and nutrients, and get rid of carbon dioxide before returning to the heart to be pumped out again. How do veins work, what problems can occur, and how can you keep these vital blood vessels healthy?

What to do when driving skills decline

Many people experience a decline in their driving skills as they age. While some choose to stop driving, others resist. Whether it's you or a loved one, planning ahead can help you tackle fixable issues, make transitions easier, and avoid harming yourself or someone else.

A tough question: When should an older driver stop driving?

Navigating whether or when an older person should limit or stop driving is tricky. Whether these concerns are about a family member or yourself, it's helpful to be aware of red flags and to understand how driving abilities –– and risk for motor vehicle accidents –– change with age.

Health-savvy house hunting

When people house-hunt in their 50s and 60s, they should consider home features that enable them to age in place if they become less mobile. Such architectural details include fewer or no stairs, bright lighting, an open layout, cabinets that aren't too high, and bathrooms with step-in showers. Outside amenities are also important, including nearby health care facilities, stores, pharmacies, and parks. A vibrant community can expand people's social options and provide proximity to neighbors to call if needed.

Do more for your core

A strong core serves as the foundation for upper- and lower-body movements. It helps maintain a healthy posture and prevents back injuries and falls. Like all muscles, the core muscles weaken as people age, so it's important for people to do core exercises on a regular basis. The best core exercises are movements that activate as many of the core muscles as possible at one time. Some examples include planks, diagonal chops, and deadbugs.

The book on erotica

Older couples who have fallen into a sexual rut can try to spice things up—and perhaps strengthen your relationship in the process—by reading erotica that caters specifically to older adults. Reading and listening to erotic stories as a couple lets both parties explore fantasies in a safe environment and create an exciting atmosphere by encouraging couples to venture outside their comfort zone. Besides reading aloud to each other, couples can read on their own and share the experience or listen to erotic audiobooks and podcasts together.

Harvard study: Even weekend warriors achieve heart benefits

A 2023 Harvard study found that regularly squeezing a week's worth of exercise (150 minutes) into just one or two days—a "weekend warrior" approach—is linked to the same heart-healthy benefits as daily exercise.

Ways to maximize your energy

People's energy levels typically decrease later in life as a result of aging, illness, or other factors. Fortunately, a healthier lifestyle can boost energy. That involves eating a diet low in added sugars and processed foods, getting seven to nine hours of sleep each night, managing stress, getting lots of aerobic exercise, and strengthening the muscles. Using physical energy frugally is another useful strategy. For example, it helps to perform activities at a slow, steady pace instead of a fast pace; to break activities into small tasks instead of one large job; and to rest between tasks.

Hidden causes of weight gain

The reason for weight gain isn't always as obvious as inactivity or a poor diet. Weight gain can stem from many other causes. For example, it might reflect age-related physiological changes such as muscle loss, poor sleep, or changes in sex hormone levels; underlying conditions such as diabetes or sleep apnea; side effects from taking certain medications, such as antidepressants or beta blockers; or possibly the effects of eating late at night or the makeup of gut bacteria. Recent or excessive weight gain warrants a visit to a doctor to help pinpoint the issue.

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