Health Headlines: August 27-31

Featured Article, Healthy Living
on August 30, 2012

Get Fit by 50

If you’re an exercise slacker, you may want to reconsider fitness and getting in shape before you hit the big 5-0. Study results released this week found that those who are fit at age 50 have a lower risk of developing eight chronic diseases as they age, including heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, lung and colon cancer and more. So who’s ready to work out now?

Mahjong, Anyone?

In other grow-old-gracefully news, Hong Kong apparently holds the secret to living a long, long time, and contrary to what you may think, it’s not an ancient Chinese secret. Rather, the country whose female life expectancy is on average 13 years longer than U.S. women (87.6 years compared to the U.S.’s 81), cites modern health care, the Cantonese diet (steamed fish, veggies, etc.), staying busy and playing Mahjong as the secret to longevity. No word yet on whether playing Mahjong on your laptop brings the same benefits as the real thing, but surely it can’t hurt!

Ah, Sweetness!

Another week, another reason why chocolate is awesome. This week’s “Chocolate Rocks” item is brought to you by a study published in the journal Neurology. Researchers found that Swedish men aged 49-75 who consumed higher amounts of chocolate had a 17 percent lower risk of stroke because of improved cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure. That’s the sweetest news we’ve heard all week!

Go Ahead. Get Fruity!

If post-menopausal weight gain or the inability to lose weight post-menopause is dragging you down, take heart! A new study published this week in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a suggested solution: Eat more produce. Yes, it may be as simple as that. The study suggests that eating more fruits and veggies while cutting back on meat, cheese and sugary drinks and treats may be more beneficial for long-term weight-loss success than trying to completely eliminate tempting foods (can you say ice cream?). The reason? Getting rid yummy-but-bad-for-you foods altogether can backfire by being too restrictive. And we all know women don’t like to be restricted! Read the original study release here.