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Stay in shape in your 30s and 40s

People who feel old are more likely to be admitted to hospitals and men who are more physically active in adolescence have stronger bones in later years studies and research tips for a healthier you

Photo: iStockphoto<br />
Photo: iStockphoto

Being out of shape in middle age can affect brain in old age

People who are out of shape in mid-life are more likely to end up with smaller brain volume in old age than those who exercise regularly, a US study shows. Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine examined 1,583 healthy people who took a treadmill test to assess their fitness levels when they were aged 40. They were put back on the treadmill again when they turned 58. Their brain’s magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were also taken. It was found that people with below average fitness in the first test had smaller total brain volume than the others. Each 8 ml/kg/min of exercise capacity below the average performance level in the first test was linked to reduction in brain volume that was equivalent of two extra years of brain aging. The study was published in journal Neurology. Read more here.

Sighing can help lungs work better

Sighing is good as it helps expand the capacity of lungs, shows a joint study by UCLA and Stanford University. The researchers found two small clusters of cells located in the brain stem control sighing. Their interactions signal to the body that it’s time to breathe deeply. “If you continuously breathe and you don’t sigh, with time the alveoli in the lungs begins to collapse. With a sigh, you inhale double the amount of air in a breath, and this allows the lungs to re-inflate. So the function of a sigh is very important," said lead researcher Silvia Pagliardini. The study was published in the journal Nature. Read more here.

Physical activity improves bone density in men

Men who engage in high-impact physical activities, such as jogging and tennis have greater bone mineral density than those who did not, a US study claims. Researchers analysed data from the physical histories of 203 males aged 30-65 years and found the men who had more exercise during adolescence and young adulthood had higher bone density in adulthood and later life. “While osteoporosis is commonly associated with only post-menopausal women, it is, in fact, a serious issue for men as well. Studies have shown that the consequences of osteoporosis can be much worse for men, as they are less likely to be diagnosed and are at a greater mortality risk from fractures that occur as a result of a fall," said lead study author Pamela Hinton. The study was published in the American Journal of Men’s Health. Read more here.

Feeling old increases risk of hospital visits

People who feel older than others are more likely to be hospitalized as they age, regardless of their age, a new study warns. Researchers from Florida State University examined three longitudinal studies carried out between 1995 and 2013 on people in the age group of 24 to 102. It was found that those who reported feeling older than their actual age were 25% more likely to be hospitalized in the next 2 to 10 years. Further examination revealed that people who felt older exhibited more depressive symptoms. The study was published in the journal Health Psychology. Read more here.

Low carb diet can cut dependence on medication in diabetics

Following a low carbohydrate diet can help reduce the dependence on medication for type 2 diabetes, an Australian study suggests. A joint study by Adelaide University, Flinders University and the University of South Australia compared the low carbohydrate eating pattern with the current best practice approach of managing type 2 diabetes with a high-unrefined carbohydrate and low fat diet. It was found that the low-carbohydrate diet led to a reduction in the patients’ medication levels, which was more than double the amount of medication in people on high-carbohydrate diet plan. Low carbohydrate diet improves blood cholesterol profile, by increasing the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol and decreasing triglyceride levels to a greater extent than the traditional high carbohydrate, low fat diet approach. Read more here.

Compiled by Abhijit Ahaskar

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