7 Things People Who Feel Half Their Age Do Every Week

Cassie Shortsleeve wrote in  Silver Sneakers by Trinity Healthy that getting older is inevitable, but feeling older? That’s a different story.

On average, people older than 70 feel 13 years younger than they really are, according to a study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences. Among study participants who were particularly healthy and active, the gap between subjective age and actual age was even wider.

But beyond health status—which probably doesn’t surprise you—what other factors can influence our perceived age? To find out, we asked top doctors and the youthful SilverSneakers community to share the habits they’ve found work best for staying strong, sharp, and current as ever.

1. Hang Out with Older and Younger Crowds

Feeling younger starts with seeking out people who are at least a decade your senior—who will expose you to new health behaviors, attitudes, and wisdom—and young children and teenagers, who will remind you what it’s like to see the world through innocent eyes, says Katie Rickel, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist based in Durham, North Carolina. “When we find ourselves only spending time with our peers, we often grow accustomed to the same activities, beliefs, interests, and culture of a single generation.”

2. Embrace Newness and Change

Traveling, ballroom dancing, painting, and volunteering are all some of SilverSneakers community member Joyce Fisher’s hobbies. Her philosophy: “Never say no to (almost) anything.”

Experts agree it’s a good motto. “When we learn a new activity or change up our routine, our brains need to rewire themselves to assimilate the novelty,” Rickel says. New synapses—which neurons use to communicate with one another—form and learn to fire in different patterns, she says. “This phenomenon helps promote brain health and rejuvenation.”

Even small, seemingly unimportant changes, such as driving a different route to the supermarket or reorganizing the cabinets in your kitchen, can make a difference. Read more

How to Reduce Your TMAO Levels

Can America’s Favorite Drink Stop Diabetes? A New Study Says Yes!

College of DuPage Nursing Student Brian Gallagher writes that every morning millions of Americans wake up and have a cup – or more – of coffee, to get their day started. Does this simple act keep diabetes at bay? A recent study, published in the, Journal of Natural Products, by Fredrik Brustad Mellbeye et al., says that it does. Mellbeye and colleagues followed up on previous studies showing a link between the consumption of coffee and a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2DM).

Original studies showed that four cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of developing T2DM, originally thought to be from caffeine, although, this was later disproven when the same effects were observed from decaffeinated coffee. According to Mellbeye et al., a compound in coffee called, cafestol, increases the secretion of insulin, thereby, increasing glucose uptake in the cells similar to certain commonly prescribed anti-diabetic drugs. Insulin is necessary to transport glucose into cells for use as body fuel.

Mellbey et al., studied two groups of rats with differing cafestol levels; they then compared blood glucose levels and insulin secretory capacity between the groups. After ten weeks both groups had lower glucose levels and an improved insulin secretory capacity, when compared to the control group. Interestingly the compound cafestol was also found to be less harmful to the human body than the traditional anti-diabetic medications; there was no incidence of hypoglycemia or low glucose levels which is a common side effect from anti-diabetic medications. Read more

12 Foods Nutritionists Avoid

Hannah Burkhalter and Jamie Vespa, MS, RD share in “Cooking Light” that we all know we should eat more fruits and vegetables, but everyone indulges in “bad” foods from time to time. Even registered dietitians will tell you that eating these—often processed—foods won’t change your health over the long haul. However, there are some foods you should habitually avoid.

White Bread

The main ingredient in white bread is refined, bleached flour. Refined means that before being ground into flour, the wheat underwent the highest level of processing, and multiple parts were removed to extend shelf life. These parts include the bran and the hull, which hold the bulk of the protein and fiber content. Wheat and multi-grain breads are usually made from white flour despite their deceiving names. A 100-percent whole-grain bread will always list a whole-grain ingredient first on the label.

Bottled Salad Dressing

Not all salad dressings are created equal. Bottled dressings, particularly those in the center aisles, often have high fat content and contain added sugar, sodium, and preservatives to extend shelf life and emulsify the ingredients. Healthier options for bottled dressings exist, and they’re usually found in the refrigerated section. No matter where in the store your dressing is sold, be sure to check not only the nutrition label, but also the ingredient list.

Check out our guide to basic vinaigrettes. Making your own vinaigrette at home is super easy and requires less than 5 ingredients.

Gluten-Free Snacks

Unless you have a diagnosed allergy, you should generally avoid these products. Gluten is a protein network naturally present in wheat, barley, and rye. It is responsible for the wonderful texture of baked goods. When gluten is removed from food, other ingredients are added to make up for the loss in texture. If you are trying to snack smarter, a “gluten-free” label doesn’t necessarily make your snack a healthier option.

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Are We Poisoning a generation of children?

Jill Skurnowicz, RN, BSN, MS, CRNA, ND candidate would like to share the following thoughts with Healthy Lombard visitors:

Welcome to the new normal. The new normal consists of a world where one in six children suffer from some form of developmental disorder ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.1 An estimated 9.6 million of today’s children (13.1 percent) under the age of 18 suffer with asthma.2 Today upwards of 20% of children are effected by Atopic Dermatitis also known as Eczema.3 8% of children have food allergies; milk and peanuts top the list.4 Obsessive compulsive disorder occurs in 1-3% of today’s children.5 The new normal consists of a world where chronic disease and disability plague America’s youth.

American children are the most highly vaccinated children in the world yet they are among the most chronically ill and disabled. “Six in every 1,000 babies born in the U.S. died at birth or in the first year of life in 2013, triple the rate of Japan or Norway, double the rate of Ireland, Israel and Italy.”6 The overall U.S. infant mortality rate is about 42% higher than the comparable country average. “Washington DC, the nation’s capital, also has a much higher infant mortality rate than 34 other capital cities around the world. Babies born in Prague; Tallinn, Estonia; Bratislava, Slovakia; and Warsaw, all have a better chance of survival than children born in the U.S. capital.”6

The question to ask with these statistics is why? Everybody has a toxic tipping point. I am going to dare to spotlight the obvious elephant in the room. We are constantly being exposed through the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat and the toxins we are injected with to a chemical onslaught with unknown consequences.

Let’s begin with pre-conception. This generation of mothers are the most vaccinated in the history of the planet with dangerously high levels of toxic metals and environmental herbicides stored in their bodies. Most heavy metals and toxins are stored away in fatty tissue. The brain is one of the fattiest organs in the body. The brain is 60-70% fat. When the mother is pregnant the heavy metals and toxins that she has, readily cross the placental barrier into the developing organs and systems of her vulnerable infant. Remember that the delicate barrier protecting a child’s brain is not yet formed to protect it from the chemical onslaught. Immediately after birth, within 24 hours, the baby is injected with 250 micrograms (mcg) of aluminum, a known neurotoxin. At birth the child also receives a Vitamin K shot which has either Polysorbate 80 that is used in drug delivery systems to open the blood brain barrier or Benzyl Alcohol that damages the underdeveloped liver of the neonate and has led to elevations in bilirubin and liver damage. Could this be why there is such an increase in neonatal jaundice requiring children be placed under the Bili lights in the nursery in record numbers?

Most people are under the impression that vaccines are safe and effective because they falsely assume that the vaccine contains only the antigen mixed with an inert substance like saline or water. They also assume that the vaccine schedule has been tested thoroughly. However, it has never been tested in its entirety as given. Certain individual vaccines have been mildly tested for short durations but the entire vaccine schedule of toxic ingredients has never been tested together. Every parent should be requesting and reading the actual package insert of each vaccine from the manufacturer where the excipient materials and adverse events are documented by the manufacturer.

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The D-A-S-H Diet

College of DuPage Nursing Student Michael Zaremba shared that high blood pressure (hypertension) is a common medical problem in America. Just how common you might be asking? Hypertension affects 1 out of every 3 American adults. In fact, 1 out of every 6 adults with hypertension do not even know that they have the disease. High blood pressure can lead to numerous health problems including heart attack, stroke and kidney issues.

Many individuals with hypertension have no symptoms initially. Diagnosis of hypertension can be made by under the guidance of your General Practitioner or Primary Care Provider. He or she will have you come to their office for blood pressure screenings regularly and monitor your blood pressure numbers. If a diagnosis of hypertension is confirmed, you can take several steps to improve your cardiovascular health. Some interventions include exercise, medicine and changing your lifestyle factors.

One of the most important steps to improving your cardiovascular health and blood pressure numbers is making slight modifications to your diet. By using a specially designed D-A-S-H diet you can treat your blood pressure with or without the aid of medication. The D-A-S-H diet stands for “Dietary Approaches to Slowing Hypertension” and is recommended by the American Heart Association.

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How You Walk Could Flag Mental Decline

   Sumathi Reddy shared the following story recently in Wall Street Journal:

David Victor is strolling up and down a walkway at a steady pace, reciting alternate letters of the alphabet aloud.

The 20-foot walkway the 73-year-old is on is embedded with pressure sensors that track every step he takes: his velocity, his cadence, how long his foot remains in the air. The measures pop up on a computer screen here in a laboratory at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Later, Mr. Victor will repeat the exercises with a device on his head that measures his brain function in real time.

Gait, or how people walk, is increasingly viewed as an important indicator of health for elderly people. Changes in gait have been associated with an increased risk for falling and other health outcomes. And researchers have discovered that slowing down or walking more erratically can predict later cognitive impairments, even dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, more than a decade before symptoms appear.

Roee Holtzer, a professor of neurology at Albert Einstein and Yeshiva University and Joe Verghese, director of the Montefiore Einstein Center for the Aging Brain, are collaborating on several research projects to shed light on the relationship between gait and cognition and how to improve them.

“We are treating walking abilities as an extension of brain function,” Dr. Verghese says.

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How to talk to a friend who has Alzheimer’s

Susan Berg  hared the following story in the Wall Street Journal:During a routine trip to my local grocery, I ran into an acquaintance I had not seen in more than a year. She looked great and was her typically upbeat, energetic self. We exchanged hellos. I was not prepared for what came next.”I was recently diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s,” she said.

This warm, accomplished, Berkeley-educated woman, a mother and grandmother who was my go-to person for local political goings-on, great books and recipes, then said, without skipping a beat, “I am doing OK right now, and I have signed up for a clinical trial.”

I hugged her and told her how sorry I was. Told her there are no words.

In a daze, I finished my shopping. Driving home, I burst into tears.

How to act?

It was many months later that our paths crossed again. I saw her across the room at our local synagogue. She was not close enough to say hello. In a way, I was relieved. Would she recognize me? And if not, what do I say?

As many as 5.4 million Americans have the disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. For friends and relatives, there is the inevitable question of how to act.

“When we are friends with someone with Alzheimer’s and interacting in a variety of settings, we may do our best to do the right thing and say the right thing,” said Ruth Drew, director of family and information services at the Alzheimer’s Association. “But it may not always be the right thing.”

Drew said that Alzheimer’s disease progresses more rapidly in some people than in others. Many who are newly diagnosed stay in the early stage, retaining their personality and people skills, for quite a while, but for others, serious changes happen more quickly.

Christopher Marano, a geriatric psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins Medicine, said that the interval between the initial diagnosis and a significant downturn can range from five to 20 years, but that “people who are diagnosed at a younger age tend to progress faster.” Read more

Are good sleepers born or made?

Advocate Children’s Hospital asked the question, Are some babies just born “good sleepers” while others are not? he answer is no according to Dr. Darius Loghmanee, a pediatric sleep medicine physician at Advocate Children’s Hospital.

“In our society, we have very strange attitudes about sleep,” Loghmanee said. “We tend to look at it as a separate part of our lives which either magically happens or doesn’t. That is just not the case.”

Sleeping well is a learned behavior and it’s something you continue to learn throughout your life cycle, according to Loghmanee.

“Sleep is not something a parent can control in their baby,” Loghmanee said. “Only an anesthesiologist can put someone to sleep. It is no different than teaching your child the skills needed to do math. You must teach healthy sleeping habits.”

Loghmanee offers parents and caregivers the following tips to help your child become a so-called “good sleeper.”

1. Create a relaxed, happy and comfortable sleep environment. Consider lighting and soothing sensory input, such as mobiles, a sound machine or scents, such as lavender. You want your infant to associate these things with relaxation in their sleep environment. They will also have something consistent to focus on when placed in the crib. (Be careful not to overstimulate them, as well.)

2. Create a bedtime routine. Enjoy a short sequence of events that will help your baby wind down and relax; reading books, singing lullabies or rubbing their back. Learn what activities help your child wind down and incorporate them into the routine. Read more