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Japanese researchers interviewed 1,003 Tokyo women over 70 years old about which of 16 types of exercise they did, including dancing, calisthenics, jogging, golf, ball games, hiking, yoga, bicycling and tai chi. In eight years of follow-up, those that danced were 73 percent less likely to be classified as impaired in any of the “activities of daily living” such as walking, cooking, dressing and bathing—a result not produced by the other physical activities. “Dancing requires not only balance, strength and endurance ability, but also cognitive ability: adaptability and concentration to move according to the music and partner; artistry for graceful and fluid motion; and memory for choreography,” writes lead author Yosuke Osuka, of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology.

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hypertension from 32 percent to 46 percent. American heart disease deaths rose from 836,546 in 2015 to 840,678 in 2016. Studies show that about 80 percent of all cardiovascular disease can be prevented by controlling high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, along with healthy practices like not smoking, says the AHA.

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Women in menopause that are mindful and nonjudgmental of their thoughts are less irritable, anxious and depressed, reports a Mayo Clinic study recently published in Climacteric, the journal of the International Menopause Society. Researchers gave questionnaires to 1,744 menopausal patients 40 to 65 years old and found that those with higher mindfulness scores struggled less with common menopausal symptoms. Mindfulness didn’t lower hot flash and night sweat symptoms, however.

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Mindfulness May Ease Menopausal Symptoms

U.S. Heart Disease on the Rise Forty-eight percent of American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease, reported the American Heart Association (AHA) in its annual update. The increase is partly due to 2017 updated guidelines redefining high blood pressure as greater than 130/80 millimeters of mercury rather than 140/90, which raised the number of Americans with diagnosed

Simply changing a diet to include more fruit and vegetables can boost mental well-being, say British researchers from Leeds and York universities. Examining health data of 40,000 people, they concluded those that eat more produce have a better psychological state, and that eating just one extra portion of fruits and vegetables a day could have a positive effect equivalent to around eight extra days of walking a month for at least 10 minutes at a time. A meta-analysis of 16 studies by the UK’s University of Manchester found the mood-boosting effect was particularly strong for women, and it worked with different types of diets, indicating a particular approach is not necessary. When dietary changes were combined with exercise, even greater improvements resulted.

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Dancing Prevents Senior Decline

Fruits and Veggies Boost Moods

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health briefs

Profile for Natural Awakenings Chicago magazine

May 2019 Natural Awakenings Chicago Magazine  

Chicago's go-to resource for fresh information for a healthy, green and sustainable lifestyle.

May 2019 Natural Awakenings Chicago Magazine  

Chicago's go-to resource for fresh information for a healthy, green and sustainable lifestyle.