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.

Posted by: yoga librarian | January 2, 2015

Walk Which Way?

Walk This Way!

Walk and/or jog facing trafficAs I take my regular walks through town, I’m always surprised by the number of people who walk with their backs to the traffic. I was taught to walk facing traffic.

So I decided to do the research. (I was a librarian…..)

Most states have traffic laws that require pedestrians to walk facing traffic if there is no sidewalk available. That means walking to the left side of the road.

We were all taught as children to walk to the right. And as drivers, we drive on the right side.

But those rules don’t include what should happen when cars and people are sharing the road.

Here are some tips:

  • Walk facing traffic that provides the best safety and allows you change direction or move farther to the side. If you walk with your back to traffic you need to keep looking behind you to check on the traffic, and you’re not watching where you are going. Unlike cars, you don’t have a rear-view mirror.
  • Make eye contact with drivers. Wave.
  • Walk single-file on curves. Drivers aren’t expecting to see a group on the other side of the curve.
  • Don’t be distracted by your phone. Don’t text or read email while you are walking!  “…distracted walking causes more accidents per mile that distracted driving.”
  • Be aware of bicyclists and joggers. Listen.
  • If you are listening to your iPod, keep the volume low and only use one earbud. Traffic noise can give you important safety signals. I had a neighbor who not only walked with his back to traffic, but wore the big, industrial headphone most often seen on airport ground crews. I always gave him a lot of room when I drove past him. He never noticed.
  • Be visible. At night, wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
Posted by: yoga librarian | August 1, 2014

Are You Taking the Same Dose of Calcium Supplements Every Day?

Calcium Supplements

Dr. Diane L. Schneider, author of The Complete Book of Bone Health, asks “Are You Taking the Same Dose of Calcium Supplements Every Day?”

“Do you eat the same thing every day? Although what you eat for breakfast may be pretty routine, your other meals throughout the day are probably not. Are you a creature of habit when it comes to taking your calcium supplements?”

The IOM guidelines—1,000–1,200mg/day—include all sources of calcium, including your diet and other medications.

Calcium supplements are meant to supplement your diet. So you need to take your actual diet, which varies from day to day, into account when determining how much you need to supplement each day. 

Read Dr. Schenider’s complete article on 4BoneHealth.org»

Buy her book, The Complete Book of Bone Health, on Amazon.com

 

Female triathletes at risk for pelvic floor disorders, other complications

From ScienceDaily, July 24, 2014

Female triathletes are at risk for pelvic floor disorders, decreased energy, menstrual irregularities and abnormal bone density, according to researchers at Loyola University Health System (LUHS). These data were presented today at the American Urogynecologic Society 2014 Scientific Meeting in Washington, DC.

The study found that one in three female triathletes suffers from a pelvic floor disorder such as urinary incontinence, bowel incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. One in four had one component of the female athlete triad, a condition characterized by decreased energy, menstrual irregularities and abnormal bone density from excessive exercise and inadequate nutrition.

“There has been a surge in popularity of high-impact sports such as triathlons, but little has been known until now about the prevalence of pelvic health and certain other issues associated with endurance training and events,” said Colleen Fitzgerald, MD, study investigator and physiatrist, LUHS.

Researchers surveyed 311 women for this study with a median age range of 35 — 44. These women were involved with triathlete groups and most (82 percent) were training for a triathlon at the time of the survey. On average, survey participants ran 3.7 days a week, biked 2.9 days a week and swam 2.4 days a week.

Of those who reported pelvic floor disorder symptoms, 16 percent had urgency urinary incontinence, 37.4 percent had stress urinary incontinence, 28 percent had bowel incontinence and 5 percent had pelvic organ prolapse. Training mileage and intensity were not associated with pelvic floor disorder symptoms. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed screened positive for problematic eating patterns, 24 percent had menstrual irregularities and 29 percent demonstrated abnormal bone strength.

“While both pelvic floor disorders and the female athlete triad are prevalent in female triathletes, both are often ignored,” said Johnny Yi, MD, urogynecologist and study investigator. “Doctors should be aware of how common these conditions are in this group of athletes and treat patients appropriately to avoid long-term health consequences.”

Loyola University Health System. “Female triathletes at risk for pelvic floor disorders, other complications.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140724171801.htm>.

Posted by: yoga librarian | July 22, 2014

Health Tip: Using the Web for Health Information

As a (former) librarian, I’m often asked to help find information on a variety of exercise- and medical-related topics. Although there is a lot of great information on the internet there is also a lot of garbage. (I won’t mention the weird stuff I found today….)

How can the average consumer figure out which is which?

I came across some great tips today on MedlinePlus that may help make separate the good stuff from the not-so-good.

Health Tip: Using the Web for Health Information: Make sure the information, source are sound

By Diana Kohnle (Monday, July 21, 2014)

(HealthDay News) — While the Internet can be a great source of health knowledge, it is important to make sure that you’re getting sound advice from a trusted source. The American Academy of Family Physicians offers these guidelines:

  • Make sure the information was either written or medically reviewed by a doctor, or that the original source is clearly noted.
  • Look for reliable sources for statistics.
  • Make sure the information is factual, versus opinion.
  • Look for information that has been written or updated within the past year.
  • Sites run by government, university or nonprofit organizations tend to be reliable because they are not funded by companies that may have a conflict-of-interest.

Related MedlinePlus Page: Evaluating Health Information

HealthDay

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