Archive for the ‘longevity’ Category

It’s never too early to quit smoking

February 9, 2013

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Everyone knows that smoking is deleterious to your health. If you are looking for a reason to quite, read the rest of this blog.

Lifelong smokers die an average of 10 years younger than nonsmokers. The good news is that smokers who manage to quite by age 35 can add that decade back onto their life expectancy. Even kicking the habit before age 60 can add 6 more years of life.

Bottom Line: Don’t start smoking, but if you already have, the benefits of quitting are enormous.

Want To Live Longer and Better? Start Walking….But Do It A Little Faster

December 26, 2011

Medical science has recognized for many years that walking 30 minutes a day improves the quality of life through the attainment of a higher level of functional capacity up to the end of life. Now we have research that walking 30 minutes at a rate of 3.5 miles per hour also improves the quantity, or how long we live.

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association studied thousands of seniors over age 65 and found that those who walked at a faster speed lived longer and with a better quality of life. The paper pointed out that walking is a reliable tool for measuring well-being and predicting longevity because walking requires body support, timing, and power, and it places demands on the brain, spinal cord, muscle, joints, heart, and lungs. Significant to this study was the finding that the greatest gains in longevity correlated with gait speed and were realized after age 75.

What is most surprising about this new research was the dramatic correlation that was found between gait speed and life expectancy. Figure 1 compared the probability that an 80 year old male or female will live to 90, based on waling one mile per hour versus 3.5 miles per hour, and the predicted differences in medial life expectancies for these two groups. The analysis demonstrated that the median life expectancy of an 80 year old of either sex increases an additional 10 years, simply if the gait speed of that individual is 3.5 mph versus 1 mph.

Bottom Line: We all know that exercise is good for us and performing some activity such as walking 30 minutes a day is going to be good for us. Now we know that if we pick up the pace a little bit we will have a better quality of life and will probably live longer. So if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, walking at brisk pace will increase the distance between the doctor and the patient.

Gait speed and longevity

Speed of Walking Improves Longevity

Want To Live To a 100? Here’s Some Advice

July 2, 2011

WORDS TO LIVE BY— Japan Times Author/Physician Shigeaki Hinohara At the age of 97 years and 4 months, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world’s longest-serving physicians and educators. Hinohara’s magic touch is legendary: Since 1941 he has been healing patients at St. Luke’s International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke’s College of Nursing. After World War II, he envisioned a world-class hospital and college springing from the ruins of Tokyo; thanks to his pioneering spirit and business savvy, the doctor turned these institutions into the nation’s top medical facility and nursing school. Today he serves as chairman of the board of trustees at both organizations. Always willing to try new things, he has published around 150 books since his 75th birthday, including “Living Long, Living Good” that has sold more than 1.2 million copies. As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself. Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. We all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. I believe that we can keep that attitude as adults, too. It’s best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime. All people who live long — regardless of nationality, race or gender — share one thing in common: None are overweight. For breakfast I drink coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. Olive oil is great for the arteries and keeps my skin healthy. Lunch is milk and a few cookies, or nothing when I am too busy to eat. I never get hungry because I focus on my work. Dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat. Always plan ahead. My schedule book is already full until 2014, with lectures and my usual hospital work. In 2016 I’ll have some fun, though: I plan to attend the Tokyo Olympics! There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65. The current retirement age was set at 65 half a century ago, when the average life-expectancy in Japan was 68 years and only 125 Japanese were over 100 years old. Today, Japanese women live to be around 86 and men 80, and we have 36,000 centenarians in our country. In 20 years we will have about 50,000 people over the age of 100. Share what you know. I give 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary school children, others for 4,500 business people. I usually speak for 60 to 90 minutes, standing, to stay strong. When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can’t cure everyone. So why cause unnecessary pain with surgery? I think music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine. To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. I take two stairs at a time, to get my muscles moving.

Bottom Line: We are living longer.  Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara is providing advice on how live with a admirable quality of life as well as achieve longevity.  Who would have thought that it all begins with climbing stairs instead of taking the elevator?