Making a New Year’s Weight Loss Resolution? Drive Less

weight and driving

Click to watch the video at the National Library of Medicine.

If you, your senior parents, or anyone else in your family is thinking about weight loss as a New Year’s resolution, watch and listen to this short National Library of Medicine (NLM) video that explains how newly published research in the journal Preventive Medicine has found an inverse association between the number of miles a person drives and weight loss.

An inverse association means that amount of weight loss increases as the miles a person drives decreases.

The NLM page with the video also includes a transcript. It’s also possible to click on the “CC” symbol at the bottom right of the video and turn on captioning.

Check out the abstract of the article, Quantifying the Association Between Obesity, Automobile Travel, and Caloric Intake. The full article is not free, but may be available at a public library and definitely at a hospital library. You can read a bit more about the research in a U.S. News Health article.

SuperWomen — Take Care

 Adult children try to do it all. Adult daughters sometimes do even more and take risks with their health.

Spend a minute reading this short, succinct article, reminding those of us who are mothers, adult daughters, and daily workers that we need to take time and use a bit of our energy to care for ourselves.

In Superwoman Could be Healthier, writer Nancy Rudner Lugo reminds us,” that women ages 45 to 64 have the lowest well-being of any age group or gender, and are worse off than women a generation ago.” She points out that just adding a bit of exercise several times a week can make an enormous difference in our quality of life.

A nurse practitioner and public health professional, Rudner Lugo consults on workplace health and nurse coaching. She has published quite a few short health and wellness articles in the Florida Seminole Voice and has a knack for filling her articles with information while keeping them short and to the point.

Reading Glasses and More Reading Glasses

I’ve just finished reading You Can See Mortality Better Through a Pair of Reading Glasses, an essay in today’s Washington Post. The opinion piece, by Janice Lynch Schuster, looks at reading glasses — and how nearly all of us eventually require them — as a metaphor for viewing and accepting our mortality.

Writing with irony and just a touch of humor, Schuster describes how her perspective on reading glasses has evolved, from earliest childhood through the present, from her grandmother to her mother. Of course, now it’s her turn to wear glasses, much as she wishes she could avoid them.

Perhaps five or six years ago I bought my first pair or reading glasses to wear over my contact lenses. My wonderful eye doctors, bless them, suggested going to the drug store to buy cheap pairs. So after regularly misplacing my single pair, and conducting stressful searches to find them, I bought a several more — one for upstairs, another for downstairs, one for the car, one for my purse, and another for my desk at work. Today I have eight or nine pairs, and with a few exceptions they rarely cost more than six or seven dollars each.

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Elders’ Mental Wellness and Outlook on Life

Click on the image to listen to the program.

Recently I listened to an NPR radio program, On Point, featuring a discussion about Mental Wellness in the Elderly. The program originates at WBUR in Boston with host Tom Ashbrook. Ashbrook’s guest was Dr. Marc Agronin, a geriatric psychiatrist (there aren’t many of these physicians in the whole United States) and the medical director for mental health and clinical research at Miami Jewish Health Systems in Florida.

In his interview, Dr. Agronin points out that many people, including adult children, mistakenly believe that elders get more depressed as they grow older. Actually the frequency of problems with depression goes down, not up. He also notes that people in their 80’s have the highest sense of well-being. In response to a listener question Dr. Agronin said that people in their eighties have  “…lifelong perspective, more knowledge, have dealt with loss and coped well with it.”

Dr. Agronin was also featured in a  May 1, 2011 New York Times article, Doctor Focuses on Minds of the Elderly.

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