Modules 3-1/4-2/4-3 Stress & Promoting Health
Adult Health Immune System • Capacity declines after age 20, partially due to thymus and inability to produce mature T cells • Stress and depression can also weaken the immune system
Adult Health - States of Mind • Western stereotype: deterioration is inevitable • In one study, people with positive self-perceptions of aging live 7 ½ years longer • More optimistic elders are about capacity to cope with physical challenge, better they are at overcoming threats to health • Low SES elders are less likely to believe they can control their health, to seek medical treatment, or to follow doctors’ orders.
Taking Care of Yourself in Adulthood • Nutrition/obesity • Exercise • Substance Abuse
Nutrition – Obesity in Adulthood • 20-25% of American adults are obese. Rate has doubled since 1900. • Another 41% are overweight. • Many people show large weight gains between ages 25 and 40 as BMR declines.
Nutrition – Obesity in Adulthood • Adult obesity correlated with increased risk of hypertension, diabetes, & cardiovascular disease • May be a genetic propensity for obesity. It tends to run in families. (May also be learned eating patterns.)
Nutrition Adult Dieting • People who lost weight and maintain the loss become less depressed and reduce health risks. • Studies comparing weight-loss programs shows about equal effectiveness. • The most effective programs include exercise. • Yo-Yo dieting may increase health risks.
Caloric Restriction & Longevity • Animals fed a low-calorie, but otherwise nutritious diet live as much as 40% longer. • Chronic problems such as high cholesterol appear later. • No one really knows why this increases the lifespan.
Nutrition: Vitamins & Aging • Those who take supplements show improved health & physical functioning • Protein supplements may increase muscle mass • Taking prescription drugs changes nutritional needs, rates of absorption • Effective doses, side-effects not known
Nutrition: Vitamins & Aging • Antioxidants (A,C, beta carotene) may slow aging & improve older adult health • Vitamin C deficiency associated with earlier death • Vitamin E associated with reduced heart risk • Calcium, vitamin D delay osteoporosis. • Zinc, B6, C, and E improve immune function • B vitamins improve cognitive function
Exercise - Adulthood • Only 15-20% of Americans get 20 minutes of exercise 5 times per week. • Experts recommend that adults engage in 45 minutes or more of moderate physical activity on most or all days. • Some experts stress aerobic exercise – sustained activity that stimulates heart & lung function (jogging, cycling, swimming)
Exercise & Longevity • In one study, people who were less fit were more likely to die during the 8-year course of the study. • In another study of people in their 40s to the 80s, beginning an exercise program was associated with a 23% lower risk of death.
Benefits of Exercise • enhances the immune system. • reduces body fat and builds muscle. • linked with reduced rates of cancer, especially colon cancer. • strengthens the heart muscle and produces HDL cholesterol • reduces anxiety and depression, improves mood, and enhances alertness and energy.
Exercise & Aging • Strength training as well as aerobic exercise is recommended for older adults. • Endurance training produces gains in vital capacity to age 80 (oldest tested). • Weight-bearing exercise promotes muscle size and strength, blood flow to muscles to age 90 (oldest tested). • Exercise increases blood circulation to the brain & reduces cognitive declines.
Exercise & Aging (Singh, 2000) • Minimizes aging, contributes to health • Optimize body composition (muscle v. fat) • Prevents common diseases • Improves treatment of some diseases • Helps prevent & treat disabilities • Counteracts side-effects of standard medical care • Linked to increased longevity
Biological Theories of Aging • Cellular clock (Hayflick) • 70-80 cell divisions, based on telomeres • 120-year lifespan • Free-radical • Calorie restriction • antioxidants
Biological Theories of Aging • Mitochondrial • Cellular energy producers • Linked to free radical theory • Hormonal Stress • hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis • Stress & decline in immune function