Posted by: yoga librarian | June 23, 2019

Does Hyperkyphosis Carry Similar Risks as Osteoporosis?

Yoga for Posture Improvement: Hyperkyphosis Carries Similar Risks as Osteoporosis, Research Finds

By: Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D., C-IAYT (Read the full article at YogaUOnline.com.)

drawing showing the spine in forward head posture and hyperkyphosis
If you’re over 40, or spend a lot of time hunched over your cell phone or computer, chances are that your posture is starting to look increasingly like the person in the image above.

We all know that poor posture isn’t flattering. However, in reality, posture affects our health and well-being in numerous ways. And one particular posture problem has significant impact on our long-term health and wellbeing, and medical science is just starting to catch on to this fact.

Here is one of the posture problems you rarely hear about, but which is well worth paying attention to:

We are talking about forward head posture and it’s more advanced relative, hyperkyphosis. You may have heard of the new concept of ‘text neck’– which is essentially forward head posture, where our head is forward of the center.  In its more advanced stages, forward head posture may develop into hyperkyphosis.

And, hyperkyphosis, as we shall see, is the precursor of pretty much any age-related condition you don’t want to have.

Read the full article at YogaUOnline.com.

Posted by: yoga librarian | June 17, 2019

Why Your Perception Of ‘Old’ Changes As You Age

Why Your Perception Of ‘Old’ Changes As You Age

Aging

(KHN Illustration/Getty Images)

My perception of old age is inextricably linked to my grandmother. When I was a kid, I thought this 65-year-old, white-haired woman whose entire body wobbled when she walked was very old. Now that I’m 66, my personal perception — or perhaps, misperception — of old age has changed. I suspect I’ve got lots of company.

Many of us are convinced that while everyone else is aging, that person we see in the mirror every morning is magically aging at a somehow slower pace. The age confusion can start early. A 2018 Michigan State University online survey of respondents ages 10 to 89 revealed that most think middle age begins at 30 — and that old age begins at, OMG, 50.

Another study, from the University of Zurich, published in 2011, determined that older adults often try to avoid the negative stereotypes of their age group by distancing themselves from their age group. Yet another study, from Columbia University, in 2018 found considerable evidence that when confronted with negative age stereotypes, older adults tend to distance and dissociate themselves from this negative stereotype.

Call it what you will, but this gray-haired group of boomers and beyond — myself included — is having a hard time accepting the realities of aging. Yes, we are mortal, but we’re not quite believing it. The great irony, say experts on aging, is that this flirtation with a slightly different reality from our aging peers may, in fact, be a healthy thing.

“Baby boomers are redefining what aging is and what old age looks like,” said Jennifer Ailshire, assistant professor at the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California. William Chopik, assistant professor of psychology and principal investigator of the Michigan State study, knows this better than most of us.

“People — particularly older people — usually say they feel younger than they are,” said Chopik. “People who report feeling younger actually tend to live longer and healthier lives — and they don’t tend to have as much of a pattern of decline.”

In most cases, people say they feel about 20% younger than they really are, according to the Michigan State study of more than 500,000 people. This keeps ramping up as folks age, he said. Beginning at age 50, he said, many say they feel about 10 years younger.

The fact we’re generally living longer than we used to also plays a role, experts say. “As our life spans get longer, so does our view of old age,” said Chopik. “How we view ourselves changes constantly as we age.”

For me, it’s been more like a sentence to self-motivate. At age 66, when I look in the mirror, I may not see a 46-year-old staring back at me — but, perhaps, someone closer to 56. Maybe it’s because I’m so lousy at sitting still. I’m out walking my dog at 6:15 a.m., lifting weights in the gym by 7:30 a.m. and swimming laps in the pool before 9 a.m. five days a week. Welcome to my nonstop world that seems to somehow keep old age partially in check.

While it might not sound like your world, consider Theresa Paulus — the mother-in-law of USC’s Ailshire — who seems to be constantly in motion, too.

The 63-year-old Tempe, Ariz., resident’s morning bicycle workout, alone, makes my daily workout schedule look lame. She’s typically up by 5 a.m. and quickly out on her Trek bike for the next hour — or more — on a 10-mile-long excursion. If the weather is lousy, she’ll instead find her way to the spinning class at the local gym before heading to the weight room.

“I honestly feel like I’m in my 40s,” said the full-time nursing home caregiver, who three years ago, at age 60, got her degree in health service management from Arizona State University. “I haven’t slowed down one bit from the exercise routine I did at 40.”

In fact, she may have upped it a bit. Not the distance, mind you, but every day she tries to challenge herself a bit. “Each time I ask myself, can I get there and back just a little bit faster?” she said. She may be passing it along to the next generation, too, as she has taught her two granddaughters how to ride bikes.

Paulus’ ability to rebound from injuries is legendary among friends and family. On a recent walking tour of Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher, she twisted her ankle but continued days of walking — only to discover when she got home that she’d broken her foot. Back in 1969, while training on her bike, she was hit by a car — but escaped without so much as one broken bone. And after a moped accident in 2010, she crushed her leg and was advised by her doctor that she’d always walk with a limp — and a cane. She proved the doctor wrong and was soon racing bikes again.

Her daughter-in-law, USC’s Ailshire, isn’t surprised by any of this. After all, she said, some baby boomers’ bodies can perform as if they are between two and 15 years younger than their actual age.

Paola Sebastiani, 55, is living proof. She barely qualifies as a baby boomer, but when asked how old she feels, the professor of biostatistics at Boston University said she doesn’t even feel 40.

Perhaps that’s because she walks 2 miles (in Birkenstock sandals, no less) to and from work every weekday. Or maybe it’s because she’s adamant about eating no red meat and tries to eat avocado daily. Or perhaps it’s her who-gives-a-flip attitude. “My mom would have never worn jeans at my age — but I wear them all the time,” she said. Her point: Folks with a positive attitude toward aging often age more slowly.

Which brings us back to my dear grandmother. The most familiar smell from her kitchen was that of the fried chicken crackling on the front burner every Friday evening. I can’t remember even once seeing her exercise. Action, in her world, was a game of cards. And, as was all too common in her day, she thought her smoking habit helped her to relax.

Is it any wonder she was old at 65?

So, at 66, I’ve given up on most fried foods. I’ve never smoked. I don’t sit around much playing cards or watching TV. And all the time I spent walking our dog, lifting weights and swimming laps this morning I view as an invisible shield that protects me from looking into the mirror and seeing an old man staring back.

Instead, I still see me.


https://khn.org/news/why-your-perception-of-old-changes-as-you-age/

Posted by: yoga librarian | May 22, 2019

Tai Chi : sweeping the senior community in Maine

Maine has one of the oldest populations in the country.

Find out more about why tai chi is so popular among seniors in Maine.

TaiChi SMAA

Posted by: yoga librarian | April 4, 2019

Recommended Reading: Medical Yoga Therapy

I just bought Terry Roth Schaff’s new book, Medical Yoga Therapy A Practical Guide for the Yoga & Medical Community (2018) and I’ve already found modifications I can use in next week’s classes.

Based on extensive clinical experience with patients, Terry trains yoga and medical professionals to use yoga to treat such widespread ailments as osteoporosis, arthritis, herniated discs and stenosis.

Medical Yoga Therapy

I was already a big fan of Terry’s previous book, Yoga for a Healthy Spine (2012), which has been the foundation for several classes I’ve taught over the last six years.

Terry’s work has been featured in the medical journal, Topics On Geriatric Rehabilitation and in Yoga Therapy Today. Her recent book is receiving high praise from leading doctors at teaching hospitals.

Posted by: yoga librarian | April 3, 2019

Anyone Can Learn Tai Chi

Tai Chi for Health with Dr Paul Lam

Dr Paul Lam, Director of the Tai Chi for Health Institute and family physician, shares his tai chi journey in “Anyone Can Learn Tai Chi”.

In this 20-minute documentary, you’ll learn:

  • Why Dr Lam had arthritis as early as 13 years old, and why he considers it as one of the biggest blessings of his life.
  • How he started learning tai chi.
  • Why it became his lifelong mission, spending more than 40 years to date, to find the secret of tai chi.
  • How his team brings health benefits and enjoyment in weeks rather than years. Dr Lam explains the secrets of tai chi and how they correlate with medical science.
  • Who can learn tai chi, the incredible benefits of tai chi, and about the Tai Chi for Health Institute.

Older adults need to eat more protein-rich foods when losing weight, dealing with a chronic or acute illness, or facing a hospitalization, according to a growing consensus among scientists.

During these stressful periods, aging bodies process protein less efficiently and need more of it to maintain muscle mass and strength, bone health and other essential physiological functions.

Even healthy seniors need more protein than when they were younger to help preserve muscle mass, experts suggest. Yet up to one-third of older adults don’t eat an adequate amount due to reduced appetite, dental issues, impaired taste, swallowing problems and limited financial resources. Combined with a tendency to become more sedentary, this puts them at risk of deteriorating muscles, compromised mobility, slower recovery from bouts of illness and the loss of independence.

Impact on functioning. Recent research suggests that older adults who consume more protein are less likely to lose “functioning”: the ability to dress themselves, get out of bed, walk up a flight of stairs and more. In a 2018 study that followed more than 2,900 seniors over 23 years, researchers found that those who ate the most protein were 30 percent less likely to become functionally impaired than those who ate the least amount.

While not conclusive (older adults who eat more protein may be healthier to begin with), “our work suggests that older adults who consume more protein have better outcomes,” said Paul Jacques, co-author of the study and director of the nutritional epidemiology program at Tufts University’s Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.

In another study, which was published in 2017 and followed nearly 2,000 older adults over six years, people who consumed the least amount of protein were almost twice as likely to have difficulty walking or climbing steps as those who ate the most, after adjusting for health behaviors, chronic conditions and other factors.

“While eating an adequate amount of protein is not going to prevent age-associated loss of muscle altogether, not eating enough protein can be an exacerbating factor that causes older adults to lose muscle faster,” said Wayne Campbell, a professor of nutrition science at Purdue University.

Recommended intake. So, how much protein should seniors eat? The most commonly cited standard is the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight per day.

For a 150-pound woman, that translates into eating 55 grams of protein a day; for a 180-pound man, it calls for eating 65 grams.

To put that into perspective, a 6-ounce serving of Greek yogurt has 18 grams; a half-cup of cottage cheese, 14 grams; a 3-ounce serving of skinless chicken, 28 grams; a half-cup of lentils, 9 grams; and a cup of milk, 8 grams. (To check the protein content of other common foods, click here.)

Older adults were rarely included in studies used to establish the RDAs, however, and experts caution that this standard might not adequately address health needs in the older population.

After reviewing additional evidence, an international group of physicians and nutrition experts in 2013 recommended that healthy older adults consume 1 to 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily — a 25 to 50 percent increase over the RDA. (That’s 69 to 81 grams for a 150-pound woman, and 81 to 98 grams for a 180-pound man.) Its recommendations were subsequently embraced by the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. When illness is an issue. For seniors with acute or chronic diseases, the group suggested protein intake of 1.2 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight while noting that the precise amount needed “depends on the disease, its severity” and other factors. (At the 1.5 grams-per-kilogram level, a 150-pound woman would need to eat 102 grams of protein daily, while a 180-pound man would need to eat 123 grams.) Even higher levels, up to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight, could be needed, it noted, for older adults who are severely ill or malnourished.

(These recommendations don’t apply to seniors with kidney disease, who should not increase their protein intake unless they’re on dialysis, experts said.)

Protein becomes much more important during events in an older adult’s life that force them into a situation of muscle disuse — a hip or knee replacement, for instance,” said Stuart Phillips, director of McMaster University’s Centre for Nutrition, Exercise and Health Research in Canada.

“Higher amounts of protein have value when something in an older adult’s body is changing,” Campbell agreed. He co-authored a new study in JAMA Internal Medicinethat did not find benefits from raising protein intake for older men. This could be because the intervention period, six months, wasn’t long enough. Or it could have been because the study’s participants had adjusted to their diets and weren’t exposed to additional stress from illness, exercise or weight loss, Campbell said.

Per-meal amounts. Another recommendation calls for older adults to spread proteinconsumption evenly throughout the day. This arises from research showing that seniors are less efficient at processing protein in their diet and may need a larger “per-meal dose.”

“The total dose that you eat may not matter as much as the dose you eat at a given meal,” said Dr. Elena Volpi, a professor of geriatrics and cell biology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. “If I eat too little protein during a meal, I may not adequately stimulate the uptake of amino acids into skeletal muscle. If I eat too much, say from a large T-bone steak, I won’t be able to store all of it away.”

Based on her research, Volpi suggests that older adults eat 25 to 30 grams of proteinper meal. Practically, that means rethinking what people eat at breakfast, when proteinintake tends to be lowest. “Oatmeal or cereal with milk isn’t enough; people should think of adding a Greek yogurt, an egg or a turkey sausage,” Volpi said.

Protein in all forms is fine. Animal protein contains all nine essential amino acids that our bodies need; plant protein doesn’t. If you’re a vegetarian, “it just takes more work to balance all the amino acids in your diet” by eating a variety of foods, said Denise Houston, associate professor of gerontology and geriatric medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine in North Carolina. Otherwise, “I would typically recommend having some animal protein in your diet.” As long as red meat is lean and you don’t eat it too often, “that’s OK,” Houston said.

Supplements. What about powdered or liquid protein supplements? “There’s generally no need for supplements unless someone is malnourished, sick or hospitalized,” Volpi said.

In a new study, not yet published, she examined the feasibility of supplementing the diets of older adults discharged from the hospital with extra protein for a month. Preliminary data, yet to be confirmed in a larger clinical trial, shows that “this can improve recovery from a hospitalization,” Volpi said.

“The first line of defense should always be real food,” said Samantha Gallo, assistant director of clinical nutrition at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “But if someone isn’t able to consume a turkey sandwich and would rather sip a protein shake during the day, we’ll try that.”

However, older adults should not routinely drink protein shakes instead of meals, Gallo cautioned, adding: “That’s a bad idea that can actually result in reduced protein and calorie intake over the long term.”


We’re eager to hear from readers about questions you’d like answered, problems you’ve been having with your care and advice you need in dealing with the health care system. Visit khn.org/columnists to submit your requests or tips.

This is a dynamic sequence that grows out of Mountain Pose, that challenges your balance by requiring you to be on the balls of your feet for part of it, and strengthens the legs and core as well.

Posted by: yoga librarian | January 16, 2015

Do I Right — Prevent Fractures

Do It Right: Unpacking Groceries


Keep spine lengthened and straight, chest lifted and knees bent.

Allow the knees to rest gently against the bumper to brace your body.

Hinge at the hips instead of rounding the back to reach into the trunk.

Lift one bag at a time, keeping shoulders back.

For other tips, download American Bone Health’s  Do It Right booklet.

Posted by: yoga librarian | January 7, 2015

Fast Facts about Bones

American Bone Health

Frightening Facts About Osteoporosis

Visit American Bone Health to learn more about osteoporosis and bone health.

Posted by: yoga librarian | January 2, 2015

Heel Ultrasound is not the best assessment for osteoporosis

BONESense on Heel Ultrasounds

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There are many ultrasound machines in the community – at the drug store, your doctor’s office and especially at health fairs. Is a heel ultrasound screening worth removing your shoe for? Probably not.

Here’s why>>

Learn more about American Bone Health.

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