Daily Archive: September 19, 2012

Health

New research shows people over 50 look forward to golden years, with ‘good health’ and ‘wisdom’ as leading reasons

(ARA)—With 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day—and according to recently released research, a majority of them expecting to live to nearly 90—the celebration of older Americans is a developing trend, and more people are aspiring to live longer and better than ever before. The latest research conducted by Gallup and Robinson as part of Pfizer’s Get Old initiative asked more than 1,000 Americans 18 to 65+ years old how they feel about getting old. The results showed that priorities and perceptions about aging shift over time. Key findings of the research include: • Nearly half of those over 50 (41 percent) said they were “optimistic” about getting old as compared with “uneasy”, “angry” or “prepared”

Health

Walk yourself to good health

Grocery shopping, playing with the kids, bathing, going to work—these are activities many of us do regularly without much thought. But, imagine if you had trouble moving around or walking: How would you perform the demands of daily life? Most of us take good mobility—the ability to move well and easily—for granted, but it is one of the most important ways to stay healthy and is one of the most common ways our function becomes limited as we age. In fact, studies have shown that walking speed is a powerful predictor of how healthy you are and will be in the future. By age 75, more than half of us will have trouble walking just a few blocks (as seen in Figure 1).

Health

Two types of exercise for midlife women… Two types of exercise for older persons

We all know that exercise is good for us, but it is often really hard to start or stick to an exercise program. Many reasons keep us from exercising—busy schedules, limited ability to travel, weather and even the sometimes boring nature of exercise routines. These problems are often especially hard on women in midlife, who often have demanding responsibilities at work and at home. One of the ways to overcome these barriers to exercise is to make it more convenient and more fun. Also, while exercise is likely to help with fitness, strength and possibly weight loss, exercise might also help with concentration and alertness. The University of Pittsburgh Pepper Center is offering a research study of two types of exercise—brisk walking or dancing. This study is for women aged 50 to 65 who are not currently exercising and are at or above their recommended body weight. The study assesses exercise effects on fitness, strength, weight control, mental concentration as well as enjoyment. To be in the study, participants will first undergo health screening and, if eligible, will be randomized (like flipping a coin) to one type of exercise. Participants will be expected to come to the exercise program in Oakland twice a week for two weeks and then once a week for another several weeks. They will then be able to choose whether they wish to exercise on their own or at our exercise site. Researchers will evaluate the effects of the program at 12 and 24 weeks. All participants must be willing to have a brain scan at the beginning and after 12 weeks. Reimbursement is provided for participants’ time and transportation costs related to the scheduled assessments. For further information, contact Courtney at 412-692-2331. Walking problems, such as walking slower and greater effort to walk, are common among older people. Some older people have similar complaints about thinking and describe thinking as seeming slower and sometimes requiring more effort. Exercise has been shown to improve walking ability and has been helpful in improving thinking, but the best exercise to enhance good walking and good thinking ability is not known. It is important in maintaining safety and daily life activities to know if some type of exercise can help walking while thinking.

Health

“On the Move” …Exercise program takes community-based approach

As you may have noticed by the other research study descriptions in this section, improving walking and promoting independence are important to University of Pittsburgh researchers. Some researchers, like Jennifer Brach, PhD, PT, associate professor of physical therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, are taking a community-based approach in developing new programs to improve walking in older adults. The project “On the Move”, funded by the University of Pittsburgh Aging Institute, was developed by physical therapists with valuable input from older adults within the community. Researchers held several focus groups to obtain feedback from older adults and then modified the program accordingly.

UlishCarterbox

Opinion

Sagging pants, low riders: Youth showing their butts

I must be getting old. The things I paid no attention to before scares me today. Or is it the scary direction that some of our younger generation is going? When it first hit the Black community I thought it was just a fad that would go away. But now, several years later, it’s still here, and has spread to the White communities and now even the girls and young women are doing it. It’s called showing your butt. I would use a stronger word but this a family paper.

Opinion

The media’s obsession with Venezuela

(NNPA)—As the Venezuelan presidential elections near (Oct. 7), the obsession of the U.S. mainstream media with bringing down the administration of President Hugo Chavez resurfaces. The standard story line is generally the same: Venezuela is allegedly led by a dictator who is carrying out repression against his opponents. What is so striking about these allegations is not only their inaccuracy but how noticeably they contrast with the same mainstream U.S. media’s views of developments in our neighbor, Mexico.

Opinion

The double-whammy of poverty and unemployment

(NNPA)—Last week, we learned that African-American unemployment rates stayed level last month, with an absurdly high official unemployment rate of 14.1 percent. Unemployment rates for African-American men fell, while those for African-American women rose. These rates are way too high and understate the extent of pain that exists in the African-American community. The philosopher Albert Camus wrote, “Without work all life is rotten” because so many people value and define themselves by the work they do. Indeed, at many professional social gatherings the first, second, or third question is: “What do you do?” Work seems to anchor us to stability, and to the world. Too many African-American people have no anchor.

Opinion

Guest editorial…Romney vague on economic plan

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is apparently seeking to become president without telling voters how he will improve the economy. Romney has offered a vague economic plan that doesn’t add up. In an interview broadcast Sept. 9 on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Romney said he would offset his proposed tax cuts by closing loopholes for high-income taxpayers. When pressed Romney declined to provide an example of a loophole he would close.