The 90+ Research Study: The Keys To Living Longer
60 Minutes recently featured a terrific segment showcasing a group of people in their 90s dubbed “The Oldest Old.” The 90+ year old participants of this survey at one point all lived in a community in Southern California called “Leisure World” in 1981. Leisure World surveyed 14,000 of their residents with hundreds of pages of data about their exercise, diet, vitamins, and activities.
Here’s what was discovered:
· 45 minutes of exercise a day is optimum, while exercising as little as 15 minutes a day on average made a positive difference. Exercising for much longer than 45 minutes made no difference.
· Book clubs, socializing, and board games, are all good. For every hour of activity, you increased your longevity, and the benefits of these activities never wore off.
· Vitamins A, C, E, and calcium didn’t make a difference.
· Moderate alcohol of any kind up to two drinks a day led up to a 10-15% reduced risk of death compared to non-alcohol drinkers.
· One to two cups of coffee a day are better than more cups of coffee or none
· Smokers died earlier.
· Gaining weight is good as you age. But it’s not good to be overweight while young or skinny when old.
A second segment on 60 Minutes discusses what researchers have learned from analyzing patient’s brains with Alzheimer’s and dementia:
· The risk of getting dementia doubles every five years starting at the age of 65.
· 40% of the time when doctors think a 90+ year old patient has dementia, they don’t have dementia.
· People can have completely silent, microscopic strokes (microinfarcts) and not even know they are having them.
· If you have high blood pressure, you have LOWER risk of dementia in a 90+ year old. Doctors suspect low blood pressure may cause microscopic strokes.
· Romance is an important part of staying young and keeping your sanity.
· Many different variables that may cause dementia. The theory is that after one too many hits, a person can’t stand them all and begins to rapidly lose their mind.
Life speed accelerates as we get older. Society is so incredibly focused on careers that one seldom stops to think about what it all means. Perhaps use this weekend to have a heart-to-heart with yourself and find out what you really want to do with your time. Then, fight like hell to get there.
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