Fountain Of Youth

imagesAging has been a topic for like forever. For one thing most of us will do it or if not the alternative isn’t one we want to think about. At one time men searched for the Fountain of Youth. Now we are looking toward science instead of an elusive pool of magical water, but the search goes on.

May 4th 60 Minutes ran a report on aging or more specifically the over 90 crowd which are now the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.

It was an interesting report. For one thing life expectancy in this country, has since the 20th century, increased by 30 years. In 1900 it was 49 and today it is 79. Currently a groundbreaking research study called “90+” is being conducted to find answers to questions like what kind of shape we’ll be in if we do live past 89. And, what can we do to up our odds.

Some of the research findings I found interesting were;

• The men and women in the project have a rich social life and many date.
• One lady was asked what her secret of long life is. She answered, “I wish I knew.”
• No surprise: smokers died earlier than non-smokers.
• People who exercised definitely lived longer than people who didn’t exercise. As little as 15 minutes a day on average made a difference. Forty-five minutes was the best. Even three hours didn’t beat 45 minutes a day. What I liked was that it was found that it didn’t all have to be at once. It could be, for example, 15 minutes of walking and then later in the day gardening or something. And it also didn’t have to be very intense exercise.
• And non-physical activities — book clubs, socializing with friends, board games — all good.
• People who took Vitamins, E, A, C and calcium didn’t live any longer than people who didn’t take them.
• Up to two drinks a day led to a 10-15 percent reduced risk of death compared to non-drinkers. A lot of people like to say it’s only red wine. The research showed it didn’t matter, beer and mixed drinks gave the same results as red wine.
• For coffee drinkers. Caffeine intake equivalent to 1-3 cups of coffee a day was better than more, or none.

And, this one I think is my favorite.
It turns out that the best thing to do as you age is to at least maintain or even gain weight. (However being obese is never good.) And being overweight as a young person wasn’t good either. But late in life, they found people who were overweight or average weight both outlived people who were underweight.

Conclusion; It’s not good to be skinny when you’re old.

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22 responses to “Fountain Of Youth

  1. Interesting, Lavada. Thanks for doing the research! The thing about the data you’ve shared, though, is that it’ll probably be changed before long. That’s the way it seems to be with anything “they” tell us. What’s good now will soon be found to be bad. 0?

    • This survey was conducted with records collected back in the 80’s. The people in the study have done something right and it is just being compiled. Data collected today and then review against results 30 years later will no doubt change. For now I’m liking the findings

  2. There is SO much to like about this research. You’ve MADE my DAY! 🙂 Seriously, though, my mother is almost 90 and still lives independently, and still drives. So I’m loving this “life beyond 89” thing. 🙂

  3. Thanks Laurie sometimes we only see the flip side of age. Your mother gives us all a better picture.

  4. What hit me when I moved to this area,(the middle of Kentucky), twenty years ago was the incredible number of obituaries for people over 100 ,or at least, in their late 90’s; and most were women.
    It occurred to me after speaking to their families that all were descended from sturdy stock, and if they got past diseases and infections before antibiotics and vaccines, made it through hard farm life and childbirth,(usually of big families), then anything after that was easy.
    I know many people in their 80’s who date; they are having more fun than I am!

    • I’m thinking I’m going to be one of those who are still dating into their 80’s – not that I know how long I’ll live, but that I’ve been one of those dating for well over a decade and I see no change in the future. Not whining, just sayin’

    • Give us all hope. I know I’m enjoying this side of life. More time, and that’s a good thing because it takes me longer to do things.

    • What even better is a lot more people are not only living longer but living quality lives longer. Now we need to change the younger generation’s mind set to be like in some cultures where age is revered. (love the definition of that word) 🙂

  5. Now that’s one survey conclusion I can really get behind! Interesting results about the non physical activity and caffeine. I may ditch the decaf coffee now 🙂

  6. Phew! There’s hope for me yet. Was a skinny child but definitely can’t be called skinny now. I can ditch the diet – yippee! Funnily enough, there was a report in the press here that exercising is not as good for you as first thought and those in middle age shouldn’t take up running. It also said wine and chocolate do not prolong life as was first thought. Might not be good for you but certainly help to enjoy life that little bit more. 🙂

    • I can relate to you Kit. I didn’t start gaining weight until I was in my late 30’s. I was happy as I was underweight and naively thought “Marilyn Monroe type here I come.” Hah, it all went on the bottom. 🙂

  7. Valerie J. Patterson

    An interesting article, Lavada. I’ve been noticing in the past year that the obituaries support the 90+. While it’s always a shock to see someone 60s and younger in the obits, It’s good to see so many living longer and longer lives. Cheers to your research! 😛

    • Yes Val, I agree I always hate to see the younger obits. It’s hard enough to say goodbye to those who have lived a long and full life.

      • Valerie J. Patterson

        You’re absolutely right. It’s difficult enough to say goodbye to those who’ve live a long life. Sadly, friends of ours just laid their daughter to rest. 32 years old. I cannot imagine their grief and heartache. Not the natural order of life to bury your children.

  8. very cool research. Neat tidbits. I too have noticed the trend of folks living into their 90s more.

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