Healthy Lifestyle

Adopting A Healthier Lifestyle In Your 80s Can Add Years To Your Life 

According to new research from Japan, even when you’re in your 80s you can add years to your life by adopting healthy lifestyle habits. 

Scientists in the research paper discussed how reducing your alcohol intake, not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and increasing sleep can give individuals some of the biggest changes in their life for the better. 

Healthy 40-year-olds in the study showed a life longevity that increased by six years when these specific habits were regularly implemented into their daily lives. The benefits were even more prominent within individuals who were 80+ years old. 

Embed from Getty Images

The gains in life longevity also applied to individuals who were dealing with life-threatening illnesses including cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney disease. 

The study came from Osaka University, and was meant to prove that it’s never too late for someone to give up negative habits that impact their health. The study was based on almost 50,000 individuals from Japan who were tracked for up to 20 years. 

“This is a particularly important finding given the prevalence of chronic disease has increased globally,” said Senior author Professor Hiroyasu Iso.

The team says “taking ownership of your health is key to a pleasurable retirement.”

“Idioms and proverbs about the importance of maintaining good health span the ages. Many emphasize how closely health is tied to happiness and the opportunity to live a fulfilling and enjoyable life.”

The study was published in Age and Aging, and emphasized how healthy behaviors adopted over time, when one is middle aged or older, have a significant effect on lifespan. 

Embed from Getty Images

Specifically, researchers found that adopting five or more healthy lifestyle habits increases  life expectancy for individuals older than 80, including those with chronic conditions. The results of the study were also dependent on socioeconomic status which can increase someone’s access to things like assisted healthcare, and healthy lifestyle brands. 

The study began nearly 30 years ago when participants in the Japan Collaborate Cohort (JACC) Study filled in surveys regarding their diet, exercise habits, alcohol consumption, smoking status, sleep schedules, Body Mass Index, and illnesses. 

The overall goal of the study was to increase common knowledge on what simple lifestyle changes can make a difference when it comes to someone’s quantity and quality of life. It’s known as one of the first studies to measure the impact of improving lifestyle habits among older individuals. 

“The finding that lifestyle improvements have a positive impact on health despite chronic health conditions and older age is an empowering one, especially given the increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and longer life,” said lead author Dr. Ryoto Sakaniwa.

Lead author Dr Frank Hu, of Harvard School of Public Health, in Boston, described the study results as “a positive message for the public”.

“They gain not just more years of life but good years through improved lifestyle choices.”

NYC Real Estate

New York City Real Estate Hasn’t Slowed Down In Wake Of Coronavirus Pandemic

Due to the strict and necessary quarantine measures that the coronavirus pandemic has caused, the real estate industry has been flipped on its head. While certain sales that were already in motion are still able to move forward thanks to digital communication, a lot of major real estate development projects have been put on hold due to covid-19 concerns. Some developers in New York City, however, are still filing for large project requests under the assumption that the world will eventually move back to a place of normalcy. 

Even though the entire state of New York issued an order at the end of March for all nonessential construction projects to be halted to stop the spreading of coronavirus, the order also clarified that construction work can continue on developments in places where at least 30% of the apartment spaces are affordable housing units with inclusive housing agreements; for those who are struggling with this major global transition.

A majority of the projects that have been filed/will continue to move forward within the coming weeks include senior living facilities, such as the 377,000-square-foot, 30-story development located at 60 Norfolk Street in Manhattan. This space is projected to include residential, commercial, and community space within its 366 units. This one project is a part of a much larger development that’s predicted to include over 500 housing units; 20% of which will be used as affordable housing, and 24% will be used for senior citizens. 

Embed from Getty Images

In Queens, a 289,000-square-foot mixed-use development located on 23rd Street in Long Island City will split its space to also include a residential, commercial and community space. A majority of it (roughly 60%) will be converted into affordable housing, however. In Brooklyn, the same development group is working on a 10-story mixed-use project on Coney Island that’s set to include 376 residential units. The remaining 11,000-square-feet will be set aside for local businesses to use for commercial purposes. 

On Watson Avenue in Soundview, an area in the Bronx, a senior housing project is currently underway and is set to include 201 individual units that stretch across 136,000-square-feet. Within the development there will also be a community center space, that will likely also mainly be used by the senior citizen residents. This project was specifically filed by the New York City Housing Authority as a means of increasing protections for senior citizens against the coronavirus, since they are at a much higher risk. 

The New York City Department of Housing Prevention and Development, which helps create affordable housing options for those in NYC, has filed for multiple projects both before and during this current pandemic as a means of protecting lower class rights. Besides the senior citizen facilities, like the one mentioned above, that they’re working on developing, their goal is also to create more affordable housing in general. 

One of the filed plans includes a 115,000-square-foot residency project in Edgemere, which neighbors Queens. This 8-story project is set to include 138 residential units, 22 of which will be reserved for senior citizens exclusively. The rest of the unit will also have some space for commercial use as well. 

These multi-use residential developments that are currently being filed and constructed are essential for enduring this current pandemic, but will also be necessary for whatever the aftermath of this will look like. As of right now, as we all know, the nature of how this virus moves, and the industries it affects along the way, is completely unpredictable, which means the aftermath will be just as unpredictable. All we can do is prepare as much as possible now, for a brighter future, and healthier today.

Stethoscope Red Heart

Reducing Your Cholesterol Early In Life Proven To Reduce Risk Of Heart Disease

When it comes to our health, preventative care is key. Just like you would wash your hands vigorously during flu season, or take a Claritin before even thinking about stepping outside during the spring, doctors want you to reduce your cholesterol now in order to prevent heart problems later in life. Specifically, if you’re 45 years old or younger and already experiencing high cholesterol, doctors encourage you to change your eating and exercise habits and talk with your physician about potential medications that can reduce your risk for heart problems and lower your cholesterol levels at the same time.

The news broke after a study was published this week in the medical journal, “The Lancet.” The study is one of the most in-depth and comprehensive research pieces regarding the long term risks of cardiovascular disease in relation to non- HDL cholesterol. 

CNN reports that “non-HDL cholesterol is your total cholesterol value minus your HDL, or ‘good,’ cholesterol. Non-HDL cholesterol includes LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, that builds up in the walls of your arteries, restricting blood and oxygen flowing to your heart, and triglycerides, the fat carried in your blood from the food you eat.”

Embed from Getty Images

Essentially non-HDL refers to unwanted cholesterol levels that you would want to improve on. The study is being labeled as extremely in-depth due to its massive survey group which included almost 400,000 people aged from 30 to 85. The subjects came from 19 different countries, and the study itself took almost 14 years to complete (CNN). The huge and diverse group allowed researchers to come to more concrete conclusions in regard to cholesterol and heart issues. 

The data concluded that the group most at risk for heart problems later in life were people 45 years old or younger. In women, it showed that the subjects with less than great cholesterol levels had a 16% chance of having heart issues and an increased risk of stroke by the time they turn 75. For men with the same level of risk factor, they have a 29% chance of heart problems/stroke by the time they turn 75.   

The study’s authors also “calculated the risk further and say, hypothetically, if people in the under 45 age group cut their non-HDL cholesterol levels in half, they’d reduce their risk of heart problems significantly, from about 29% to 6% for men and 16% to 4% for women — despite other cardiovascular risk factors. That means the risk reduction is much larger if cholesterol levels come down at a younger age.”

Embed from Getty Images

Heart disease is the number one killer in the world, so the study’s main purpose was to reinforce the idea that preventative self care is your best bet at living a long and healthy life. So what kind of personal changes can you make to reduce your risk of heart complications later on in life? Diet and exercise choices remain the number one way you can prevent heart issues of any kind from developing. If you already are experiencing issues with your cholesterol, you should avoid gaining weight and make some immediate lifestyle changes. The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of any kind of exercise a day, 5 days a week. Your body will thank you in the long run. Eating well and living an active life is good for your cholesterol, your heart, and your general health.  

In addition to practicing general healthy eating and exercise habits, you should avoid smoking and the use of tobacco products in general, as they increase your risk for heart disease regardless of what your cholesterol levels are. The official US dietary guidelines suggest that adult women should be eating up to 2,400 calories a day and adult men, 3,000. Most importantly, make sure you’re getting your annual physician check ups, and if you’re worried about your cholesterol levels and/or your risk for heart issues later on in life, talk to your doctor about your options and where you currently stand. They’re the professionals, so obviously they will steer you in the right direction in terms of diet, exercise, and overall lifestyle habits that will ensure you live a long and healthy life.

Yoga Elderly

Yoga Has Amazing Health Benefits For Senior Citizens

Yoga has definitely found itself in the mainstream when it comes to rest and relaxation. The market for stress relief has skyrocketed within the last few years, as general stress levels have also been on the rise. Millennials are known as the most anxious and stressed generation, our political climate has never felt more futile and divided, and our economy seems to fluctuate like ocean waves, which are filled with plastic now by the way. Regardless of the reasoning, people of all ages are living more stressful lives, and that takes a huge toll on our mental and physical motivation and health.  

Yoga is one of the top ways people relieve stress. The process involves breath control, deep stretching, hundreds of positions, mindfulness, meditation, and a sense of self control. The mental and physical health benefits are equally amazing, and allows individuals to do something that improves their overall well-being. There are many different types of yoga all at different levels of intensity, but all induce the same result. A certain connection of mind, body, and soul. 

Embed from Getty Images

Accessible Chair Yoga class

A growing type of yoga is taking the senior citizen community by storm and the only equipment it involves is an open mind and a chair. Chair yoga isn’t only for senior citizens and actually was originally started as a means for individuals just getting into yoga who have some issues staying balanced. The practice of Yoga in general can work to improve coordination and memory. What’s so attractive about it for so many is the ability to modify any position to adjust to your own physical limitations, while still experiencing a mood boosting sense of overall well-being. This is especially beneficial for senior citizens. 

According to the Center for Disease Control, every 19 minutes a senior citizen (someone aged 65+ years) dies from falling, many times ones that can be prevented. The CDC also reports that two thirds of senior citizens have multiple chronic conditions, and one third have high blood pressure. Those are large scale statistics, but luckily yoga has benefits for all of them. Yoga in any form or level of difficulty has been proven to work specifically on hip, knee, and ankle joint areas. It can improve mobility, and joint flexibility which is hugely beneficial for preventing a fall. In addition, learning simple controlled breathing techniques can help lower blood pressure and unnecessary stress levels, while increasing overall strength and endurance. 

Embed from Getty Images

Even though chair yoga involves a more simple set of positions, all the same principles are still present, and it shows the same exact results as standard yoga practices. Mental health and emotional stimulation are also extremely important for senior citizens. According to the World Health Organization, 15% of individuals over the age of 60 suffer from some sort of mental health issue such as depression, anxiety, etc. These problems in older individuals becomes especially dangerous and can lead to physical ailments to appear such as fatigue, muscle weakness, joint damage, etc. 

“Yoga has the effect of increasing joint mobility, it can help individuals cope with arthritis. Alzheimer’s patients can benefit because yoga improves cognition. A sequence of poses can improve both coordination and memory. Mindfulness practice leads to increases in regional brain gray matter density. Heightened GABA levels help prevent chronic disease. Calming the mind by relaxing and paying attention to breath can lessen one’s anxiety in this in-your-face world, increasing coping skills,” according to the Daily Record

The Daily Record also reported that when it comes to yoga specifically for senior citizens, instructors always make sure to generally keep classes small to make for a very personal experience, and also allows the instructor to work better with each person and any specific body limitations they have or might want to work on. The focus is always on reducing stress, mindfulness, and an overall relaxed well-being.