Saturday October 20, 2018

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
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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)

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Here’s How Marriage Can Protect You From Malnutrition in Old Age

According Volkert, a lack of appetite, which is often perceived as a key cause of malnutrition, was of no relevance.

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Marriage
Can marriage protect against malnutrition in old age? Check it out here. Pixabay

While malnutrition can occur at any age, elderly people, aged 65 and above, who are particularly prone to it can safeguard themselves with marriage, according to a study.

The findings showed that people who are unmarried, separated or divorced are most often affected, whilst men and women who are either married or widowed tend to take better care of themselves.

The consequences of malnutrition are manifold. They range from weight loss to a weakened immune system or functional impairment of muscles and all organs. The body falls back on all its reserves.

“The older the people are, the more likely it is that they will suffer from malnutrition. The risk increases a little with every year that passes,” said Dorothee Volkert, from Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg (FAU) in Germany.

“Malnutrition in the elderly appears to be caused by a surprisingly narrow range of factors. Only age, marital status, difficulties with walking and coping with stairs and stays in hospital had a significant role to play,” Volkert added.

Marriage
Married couple. Pixabay

In the study, appearing in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, the team set out to explore which of a total of 23 variables — ranging from aspects such as difficulties with chewing and swallowing or cognitive impairments to loneliness and depression or moving into a care home — were decisive for malnutrition.

The researchers took six existing sets of data which included 4,844 participants, aged between 72 and 85, from Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

Also Read- Exercising Too Little Puts Your Health At Risk: WHO

According Volkert, a lack of appetite, which is often perceived as a key cause of malnutrition, was of no relevance.

She recommended carrying out further studies to obtain a common definition of malnutrition. (IANS)