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Showing posts from June, 2010

The Benefits of Maintaining a Sense of Youth

Markus H. Schafer and co-author Tetyana P. Shippee, a Purdue graduate who is a research associate at Purdue's Center on Aging and the Life Course, compared people's chronological age and their subjective age to determine which one has a greater influence on cognitive abilities during older adulthood. Nearly 500 people ages 55 to 74 were surveyed about aging in 1995 and 2005 as part of the National Survey of Midlife Development in the U.S.

What they found was that these people who felt "young" for their age were more likely to have greater confidence about their abilities a decade later. It seems that, while the chronological age was important, the subjective age had a stronger effect.

I believe that how old you are matters, but beyond that it's your own personal interpretation of your "age" that has far-reaching implications for the process of how and when you "actually" begin aging. For example; if you feel old beyond your own chronological …

Body Fat and Sleep Paterns

I recently read an article about how extremes of sleep-–both too much and too little-–can be hazardous to your health. The study done by the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, seems to indicate there's more to "fat" than what we choose to eat-–social factors, such as the need to work three jobs in a bad economy-–could be causing dangerous fat deposition around vital organs.

To me, this confirms the need to value "balance" in one's life in order to really live life well. The study showed a clear association between averaging five hours or less of sleep each night and large increases in visceral fat (the kind of fat around the organs). While short sleep has become more common in the U.S. what I find unusual is that minorities seem to be disproportionately affected.

According to this study, minorities are also more prone to metabolic conditions, including increased rates of obesity, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The study further suggest…