Health-E-News November 2014
empowering you to optimal health.
You already know your chronological age, but do you know your fitness age?
A new study of fitness and lifespan suggests that a person’s so-called fitness age - determined primarily by a measure of cardiovascular endurance - is a better predictor of longevity than chronological age. The good news is that unlike your actual age, your fitness age can decrease.
Fitness age is determined primarily by your VO2max, which is a measure of your body’s ability to take in and utilize oxygen. VO2max indicates your current cardiovascular endurance.
It also can be used to compare your fitness with that of other people of the same age, providing you, in the process, with a personal fitness age. If your VO2max is below average for your age group, then your fitness age is older than your actual age. But if you compare well, you can actually turn back the clock to a younger fitness age. That means a 50-year-old man conceivably could have a fitness age between 30 and 75, depending on his VO2max.
Of perhaps even greater immediate interest, the scientists used the data from this new study to refine and expand an online calculator for determining fitness age. An updated version went live this month. it asks only a few simple questions, including your age, gender, waist size and exercise routine, before providing you with your current fitness age.
Chiropractic Helps Those with Scoliosis
Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine. Typically the abnormal curve affects teenage girls, and can be mild curve to a severe, life compromising curve. The good news, Chiropractic can help.
A recent study showed that adults who suffer from scoliosis can still benefit from Chiropractic care long after being adjusted.
28 patients, with a Cobb angle (severe scoliosis) of 44° ± 6° began Chiropractic care. After 6 months of Chiropractic care, improvements were seen in a reduction of the Cobb angle, pain scores, spirometry, and disability rating. Then 2 years after Chiropractic care, the reduction of scoliosis was still seen on x-rays.
Even 2 years after Chiropractic care, those in the study continued to report an improvement in reduction of pain, and activities of daily living.
Chiropractic first, use opioid painkillers cautiously, to save lives
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the value of chiropractic care, calls attention to information published online by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), spotlighting the lethal epidemic of opioid painkiller prescribing and importance of appropriate preventive action by federal and state bodies. Included online are several methods to prevent overprescribing and increase patients’ accessibility to effective, drug-free treatment options, such as chiropractic care, for pain relief.
“Higher rates of prescribing mean more drug-related fatalities,” states Gerard Clum, D.C., spokesperson, F4CP. “In 2012, U.S. medical providers approved 259 million painkiller prescriptions, translating into 46 deaths per day. As alarming as these numbers are, they will continue to climb until our nation stops turning to prescription painkillers as the first choice for pain relief.”
Municipalities across the nation are taking notice of the latest risk reports related to prescription drugs and positioning themselves on the opposite side of the epidemic. Recently, two counties in California sued five of the world’s largest narcotics manufacturers with accusations of creating the nation’s drug crisis through a “campaign of deception” aimed at boosting sales of potent painkillers, such as OxyContin.
“The pro-active actions of California counties and the CDC symbolize a step in the right direction,” says Dr. Clum. “However, to spark real change, more influencers need to take similar measures toward ending this toxic epidemic and igniting universal acceptance of conservative methods, such as chiropractic, as a first choice for pain relief.”
Chiropractic care is an evidence-based, drug-free approach for common health concerns and pain relief. Evidence confirms that the care provided by a doctor of chiropractic is often linked with better clinical outcomes, greater patient satisfaction and noteworthy cost savings. A plethora of reports, including, “Never Only Opioids: The Imperative for Early Integration of Non-Pharmacological Approaches and Practitioners in the Treatment of Patients with Pain” support the early use of drug-free care for pain relief.
“Protecting ourselves against this ill-fated epidemic needs to be a primary focus,” says Dr. Clum. “The first step is increased awareness about treatment risks and better, drug-free options and the second step is action: using drug-free options, such as chiropractic care, first. I expect the transition away from prescription drugs will be tough, but the lives saved along the way will make it worthwhile."
Even a 5-minute run can help prevent heart disease
Good news for runners: A new study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology suggests running, even for a few minutes a day, can reduce your risk of dying from heart disease - whether you plod along or go at race speed.
Researchers studied more than 55,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 100 over a 15-year period, looking at their overall health, whether they ran and how long they lived.
Compared to nonrunners, those who ran had a 30% lower risk of death from all causes and a 45% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, investigators found. In fact, runners on average lived three years longer than those who did not hit the pavement. When data was broken down by age, sex, body mass index, and smoking and alcohol use, the benefits were still the same.
The speed and frequency of a person's running routine did not make a huge difference either. The data showed novice runners who ran less than 51 minutes, fewer than 6 miles, slower than 6 miles per hour, or only one or two times per week still had a lower risk of dying than those who did not put on running shoes.
However, researchers did discover that consistency was key. They found participants who ran consistently over a period of six years or more gained the most benefits, with a 29% lower risk of death for any reason and 50% lower risk of death from heart disease or stroke.