Thursday August 22, 2019

Growing Old? Enjoy Life to Stay Fit

People with low well-being were more than three times as likely as their positive counterparts to develop problems in their daily physical activities

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Growing Old? Enjoy Life to Stay Fit
Growing Old? Enjoy Life to Stay Fit. Pixabay

Enjoying life as you grow old not only makes you happy, it also helps you walk faster and stay fit.

Older people who enjoy life more show slower declines in physical function as they age in comparison with people who enjoy life less, says a study.

“Our research shows that older people enjoying life are less likely to develop impairments in activities of daily living such as dressing or getting in or out of bed, and their walking speed declines at a slower rate than those who enjoy life less,” said Andrew Steptoe from University College London (UCL), Britain.

A study of 3,199 men and women aged 60 years or over looked at the link between positive well-being and physical well-being – following participants over eight years.

Researchers assessed participants’ enjoyment of life with a four-point scale: “I enjoy the things that I do”, “I enjoy being in the company of others”, “On balance, I look back on my life with a sense of happiness” and “I feel full of energy these days”.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

“Our results provide further evidence that enjoyment of life is relevant to the future disability and mobility of older people,” Steptoe added.

Participants in the 60-69-year bracket had higher levels of well-being as did those with higher socio-economic status and education and those who were married and working.

Not surprisingly, people with chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, stroke and depression had lower levels of enjoyment of life, the study noted.

Also Read: Good Heart Health Prevents Frailty in Old Age

People with low well-being were more than three times as likely as their positive counterparts to develop problems in their daily physical activities.

Efforts to enhance well-being at older ages may have benefits to society and health care systems, said the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. (IANS)

Next Story

Good Sleep, Mood Can Help You Stay Sharp in Old Age, Suggests New Research

These findings could lead to future interventions and treatments to counteract the negative impacts of these factors on working memory

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sleeping, impairment, inflammation, SLeep
Don't consume caffeinated drinks less than six hours before you go to sleep. Pixabay

Memory slips with age, but getting a fair amount of sleep every night and having a cheerful mood each day may help you stay sharp even when you grow old, suggests new research.

Poor sleep quality and a depressed mood are linked to a reduced likelihood of remembering a previously experienced event, said the study published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

The researchers found strong associations between working memory and three health-related factors such as sleep, age and depressed mood.

Working memory is the part of short-term memory that temporarily stores and manages information required for cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning and comprehension.

Working memory is critically involved in many higher cognitive functions, including intelligence, creative problem-solving, language and action-planning. It plays a major role in how we process, use and remember information.

The study found that age is negatively related to the “qualitative” aspect of working memory — that is, how strong or how accurate the memory is.

“Other researchers have already linked each of these factors separately to overall working memory function, but our work looked at how these factors are associated with memory quality and quantity – the first time this has been done,” said Weiwei Zhang, Assistant Professor at the University of California, Riverside in the US.

Sleep deprivation can hurt performance and health. Wikimedia commons

“All three factors are interrelated. For example, seniors are more likely to experience negative mood than younger adults. Poor sleep quality is also often associated with depressed mood”, Zhang added.

The researchers performed two studies. In the first study, they sampled 110 college students for self-reported measures of sleep quality and depressed mood and their independent relationship to experimental measures of working memory.

In the second study, the researchers sampled 31 members of a community ranging in age from 21 to 77 years. In this study, the researchers investigated age and its relationship to working memory.

The researchers are the first to statistically isolate the effects of the three factors on working memory quantity and quality.

Also Read- Now Comes a Pill That May Help Curb 2.7 Lakh HIV Cases in India

Although all three factors contribute to a common complaint about foggy memory, they seem to behave in different ways and may result from potentially independent mechanisms in the brain.

These findings could lead to future interventions and treatments to counteract the negative impacts of these factors on working memory. (IANS)