Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten why you were there? Diminished cognitive health—from this type of mild decline to more serious dementia—can have profound implications for overall health and well-being. Sustained brain health and enhanced lifelong learning are vital parts of aging and improve quality of life. Cognition, which includes mental processes such as intuition, judgment, language, remembering and the ability to learn new things, has a key role in wellness.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC 2009), by 2030 the portion of the U.S. population aged 65 and older will double to about 71 million. The growing number of older Americans will put unique demands on public health, aging services and the nation’s healthcare system. The CDC suggests that chronic diseases (e.g., cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes) place a profound health and economic burden on older adults, owing to associated long-term illness, diminished quality of life and greater healthcare costs.
I“It’s not in my genes to be fit.” “My grandkids wore me out, and I can’t exercise.” “I was just lucky to lift that much weight.” “My days are so boring—the only thing I look forward to is a good meal.”
Did you know that neuroscientists are now convinced that the brain is capable of superior performance even into the 10th decade and beyond? Terry Eckmann, PhD, an associate professor at Minot State University in North Dakota and an advisory board member of the International Council on Active Aging, shares what you can do for your mental and physical health to promote a healthy brain.newsletter_teaser: Did you know that neuroscientists are now convinced that the brain is capable of superior performance even into the 10th decade and beyond? Terry Eckmann, PhD, shares what you can do for your mental and physical health to promote a healthy brain.
What makes us weaken with age? The prime culprit is sarcopenia—age-related loss of muscle mass, strength, power and function (Sayer et al. 2013; Morley 2012). Morley (2012) says 5%–13% of 60- to 70-year-olds and 11%–50% of people in their 80s have sarcopenia, which means “poverty of flesh.”