Men’s Health Month : Research-Supported Lifestyle Factors to Live (Well) to 90 and Beyond

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June is Men’s Health month and this post is going to focus on evidence-based recommendations for men to not only see, but enjoy, their 90th birthday.

A study published in 2008 in the Archives of Internal Medicine reviewed this exact topic with findings that everyone should take into consideration. In fact, it is estimated that genetics only determine about 25% of how our lives play out, whereas the remaining 75% is determined by the lifestyle choices we make on a daily basis. We can’t stop time from ticking on, but we can choose to make better choices to help us age better.

In the study, a total of 2357 healthy men were studied, ranging in age from 66-84 years. Participants were followed for 25 years and data regarding modifiable lifestyle factors were gathered throughout the study. Of all of the men studied, 41% survived to 90 or beyond. Of those who survived to or beyond 90 specific lifestyle commonalities included the following:

  • Not Obese
  • Non-Smokers
  • More Likely to Exercise
  • Slightly Lower Blood Pressure
  • Less Prevalence of Chronic Disease (Diabetes, Hypertension, etc.)

When evaluating each of these factors, it was found that obesity increased risk of death by 44%, while smoking doubled risk of death. Diabetes increased risk of death by 86% and hypertension increased risk 28%. On the bright side, vigorous exercise decreased risk of death by 20%-30%!

While much research has established the fact that vigorous exercise is beneficial for older men, this was the first study to report findings for men over the age of 75. The results of this study in particular strongly support the benefits of vigorous exercise in men over the age of 75, with a strong correlation between regular physical activity and overall quality of life.

So what does this mean for you? 

If you are currently living with a chronic condition like diabetes or hypertension, all hope is not lost! The right exercise program can help you to improve many chronic conditions, while also helping you to integrate regular vigorous activity into your life in a safe, sustainable way. The trainers at Vita Fitness & Physical Therapy understand the needs of the older adult and provide exceptional training programs that meet you where you are and take you where you want to go.  All that is required is your willingness to participate!

To get started, contact Vita Fitness and Physical Therapy to schedule your training evaluation. You can expect a full review of your current medical status, assessment of your physical abilities and a unique fitness program designed for your lifestyle.

You do have the power to control your wellness no matter your age, research proves it!

By: Colleen Baughn, OTR, CES

Source:http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/solr/searchresults.aspx?q=longevity&fd_JournalID=71&f_JournalDisplayName=JAMA%20Internal%20Medicine&SearchSourceType=3

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