A map showing projected life expectancy by nation in the year 2040. The US life expectancy is projected to improve minimally between 2016 and 2040.
Aging & Health

Study Predicts Minimal Life Expectancy Improvements for US

A new study published in the medical journal The Lancet shows that US life expectancies will improve minimally between now and the year 2040.[1] The average life expectancy of a citizen of the US was 78.7 years in the year 2016. In the year 2040, the average life span is expected to be only 79.8 years, for a meager 1.1 year increase. This improvement is especially small compared to other Western nations. In contrast, life expectancy improvements globally will average a gain of 4.4 years in the same time frame. The study used a forecasting model to predict the life expectancy improvements, and makes assumptions about the health risk factors that will impact lifespan in the year 2040. For example, [Read more …]

Treadmill in a gym - running on the treadmill is one way to improve physical fitness in the gym or at home.
Aging & Health

Aerobic Fitness Shows Significant Benefits For Health

A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that people with the highest levels of aerobic fitness have the least chance of death.[1] The study shows that lacking aerobic fitness is greater than or equal to traditional health risk factors such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and smoking. In the study over 120,000 participants were tested for cardiorespiratory (aerobic) fitness on a treadmill. This is a significant improvement over other studies that have used self-reported exercise activity. The bottom line that the participants who performed highest on the treadmill test, tended to have the least chance of death. Another significant finding is that it seems there is no upper-limit on the benefits of fitness – even [Read more …]

State variation in meeting the 2008 federal guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities through leisure-time physical activity among adults aged 18–64: United States 2010–2015
Aging & Health

Study: Most Adults Don’t Get Enough Exercise

In a recent US government study it was found that less than 23% of U.S. adults aged 18–64 met guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. [1] These findings are of concern because regular participation in physical activity lowers the risk of many chronic conditions, disability, and mortality. What are these guideline recommendations? Specifically, adults should perform at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous physical activity, in addition to muscle-strengthening activities 2 or more days per week. [2] The study was conducted over a number of years, and found variations including differences between states, age groups, and sex. Men were more likely to meet the activity requirements. The national average [Read more …]

A microscopic view of a virus - does exercise negatively impact immune system function?
Aging & Health

How Does Exercise Impact Your Immune System?

How does vigorous exercise impact your immune system? In the past, it was believed that intense exercise will make you more susceptible to illness. But the results of a recent study seem to suggest the opposite. Published in the Frontiers in Immunology journal recently, this study hints that intense exercise in fact does not blunt the immune system’s effectiveness. Rather, it may improve immune system performance, and in any case does not appear to make your immune system less effective. This meta-analysis, which is a study of the results of numerous other studies, cannot prove this conjecture, but it does highlight strong evidence that appears to confirm the hypothesis. The authors take a fresh look at the measurable immune system [Read more …]

Regular physical activity is associated with better health, fitness, and an increased lifespan
Aging & Health

Extend Your Lifespan More Than a Decade With These Healthy Habits

This week the journal Circulation published a new study that has found five healthy habits that can extend lifepsan up to 12 years for men, and 14 years for women, if these habits are adopted by age 50. What are these healthy habits? “Adherence to 5 low-risk lifestyle-related factors (never smoking, a healthy weight, regular physical activity, a healthy diet, and moderate alcohol consumption) could prolong life expectancy at age 50 years by 14.0 and 12.2 years for female and male US adults compared with individuals who adopted zero low-risk lifestyle factors.” The study reviewed the findings from two studies that occurred over a 34 year time frame, and included over 120,000 subjects. Let’s take a look at these healthy [Read more …]

High Blood Pressure, or Hypertension, is a long term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated.
Aging & Health

High Blood Pressure – What You Need to Know

High Blood Pressure, or Hypertension, is a long-term medical condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries is persistently elevated. Blood pressure is described by two different measurements – the systolic and diastolic pressures – which are the maximum and minimum pressures. Systolic is how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats. Diastolic indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats. The units of measurement are typically millimeters of mercury, abbreviated as mmHg or mm Hg. High Blood Pressure is sometimes called the “silent killer” – because there can initially be no obvious symptoms. But when left untreated, the ongoing damage [Read more …]

Is Sitting the New Smoking? Sitting in front of the TV is not healthy
Aging & Health

Sitting – The New Smoking?

Dr. James Levine, the director of the Mayo Clinic at Arizona State University says that “Sitting is the new smoking“. Smoking, once a popular activity, was not recognized as the extreme health danger it was, until many years later. And now sitting may be in the same category. At first, this sounds ridiculous. But there’s a bevy of studies backing this statement up – and a possible logical explanation for why sitting for long duration is unhealthy. First, we’ll spoil some of the surprise – it’s not sitting in particular, but extreme sedentary habits that seem to be the risk factor. Secondly, it appears that being sedentary all day, then hitting the gym is not an effective solution. The extended [Read more …]

Proper sleep is required for fitness and health. Sleep deprivation and insomnia are associated with a number of serious health risks.
Aging & Health

The Importance of Sleep for Health

Everybody needs sleep. But did you know that a lack of proper sleep can increase the risk of diabetes and other risks? Having good sleep habits is also known as sleep hygiene. The Physical Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep You probably know that if you miss too much sleep you feel tired the next day. That’s obvious, but what is less obvious is the impact on your hormonal systems that can also occur. Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes If you are chronically missing too much sleep, you are raising your risk for Type 2 Diabetes. How does this happen? Through research, it has been shown that not getting enough sleep (for example only 4 hours a night or [Read more …]

Sunset at Barbell Beach
Aging & Health

The Top 5 Reasons You Should Be Fit At Midlife

Are you Fit At Midlife? Here’s the top 5 reasons you should strive to be. Reason #1 – Diabetes is at an all time high A recent Gallup report shows that in the US diabetes is at an all time high. Despite the greatest awareness of Type 2 Diabetes in recent times, the rates are still rising? Why? Reason #2 – Being Fit At Midlife Seems To Reduce Cancer Risk Later A recent study shows that being fit at midlife reduces the risk of developing certain types of cancer. What’s more, it also appears to reduce the risk of dying from other types of cancer. Reason #3 – Fitness – The Fountain of Youth? According to this recent study High [Read more …]

Pomodoro - Tomatoes and a timer
Aging & Health

Pomodoro Timer – Productivity Method

Using the FitAtMidlife free workout timer for the Pomodoro technique Here at FitAtMidlife, we’re constantly finding innovative new ways that people use our free workout timer. This particular use isn’t related to fitness, but it’s a great productivity tip, so we are sharing it here. What is the pomodoro technique? The pomodoro technique is a time management method and was created by Francisco Cirillo. The gist of it is : work with full focus and no distractions for 25 minute intervals called “pomodoros”. Then take a 5 minute break, and repeat. This method helps you get focused, stay focused, but not burnt out from over-concentrating for too long. To use the free workout timer for this method, simply follow these [Read more …]