Friday April 19, 2019

Brisk Walking May Prevent Disability in Older Adults, Says Study

We hope this new public health finding will motivate an intermediate physical activity goal

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A man walking with a walker; Source: Wikimedia

Just one hour a week of brisk walking may prevent disability in older adults with arthritis pain, or aching or stiffness in the knee, hip, ankle or foot, a new study suggests.

The findings suggested that an hour of weekly moderate-to-vigorous physical activity allowed older adults to maintain their ability to perform daily tasks like getting dressed or cross a street before a traffic light walk signal changed.

“This is less than 10 minutes a day for people to maintain their independence. It’s very doable,” said lead author Dorothy Dunlop, Professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the US.

“This minimum threshold may motivate inactive older adults to begin their path toward a physically active lifestyle with the wide range of health benefits promoted by physical activity,” Dunlop added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the researchers analyzed four years of data from more than 1,500 adults.

A couple walking. Pixabay

The adults all had pain, aching or stiffness in lower extremity joints from osteoarthritis but were free of disability when they began the study. Their physical activity was monitored using accelerometers.

The team found that the weekly hour of exercise reduced their risk of mobility disability by 85 per cent and their risk of activities of daily living disability by almost 45 per cent.

Four years after the start of the study, 24 per cent of adults who did not get the weekly hour of brisk physical activity were walking too slowly to safely cross the street, and 23 per cent reported problems performing their morning routine.

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“Our goal was to see what kind of activity would help people remain free of disability,” the lead author said.

“We hope this new public health finding will motivate an intermediate physical activity goal.” (IANS)

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Eating Mushrooms May Prevent Cognitive Decline in Older Adults

Other compounds contained within mushrooms may also be advantageous for decreasing the risk of cognitive decline

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Mushrooms. Pixabay

Older adults who eat mushrooms more than twice a week can halve their risk of losing memory as well as language and attention skills, a key factor for the development of Alzheimer’s disease, finds a new study.

The study, led by a team from the National University of Singapore, found that even one small portion — three quarters of a cup — of mushrooms a week may still be beneficial to reduce the chances of mild cognitive impairment.

It also improved their cognitive tests and led to faster processing speed.

“This association is surprising and encouraging. It seems that a commonly available single ingredient could have a dramatic effect on cognitive decline,” said lead author Lei Feng, Assistant Professor at the varsity.

Chef Eduardo Garcia, founder of Maximo Bistrot and former migrant worker in the US, cuts mushrooms at his restaurant in Mexico City, July 13, 2017.

The reason could be a specific compound found in almost all varieties of mushrooms called ergothioneine (ET).

“ET is a unique antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which humans are unable to synthesise on their own. But it can be obtained from dietary sources, one of the main ones being mushrooms,” added Irwin Cheah, researcher from the varsity.

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For the study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, the team collected data from more than 600 men and women aged above 60.

Other compounds contained within mushrooms may also be advantageous for decreasing the risk of cognitive decline. (IANS)