Stay Young

 Improving Your Memory

To remember more, pay attention more. If you never pay attention, you will never remember anything. Doing word games, puzzles, and other mental exercises—taking a course, reading, attending plays—can provide insurance against impaired memory and dementia later in life. That’s because mental activity stimulates new pathways among brain cells. As the brain declines due to age, you’ve got more of a safety net. This does not mean that a crossword puzzle a day keeps Alzheimer’s away: Genetics, environment, lifestyle, and education play a role. There is also evidence that certain foods may help the brain. Deficiencies of vitamins B-12 and B-1 and folic acid have been linked to cognitive impairment-so, theory goes, foods rich in these nutrients may protect the brain. Antioxidants may also be important, and there is a growing body of evidence that suggests fish oil may be important.

The Alzheimer’s Association suggests eating more:

• antioxidant-rich vegetables such as spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, beets, red bell pepper, onion, corn, and eggplant,


• dark-skinned fruits including raisins, blueberries, prunes, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes, and cherries,


• cold-water fish including halibut, mackerel, salmon, trout, and tuna, and


• nuts, such as almonds, pecans, and walnuts.


It is not the activity that matters but doing something to keep mind and body active.
The best thing to do is something that interests you because you’ll keep at it and push yourself. Use it as an excuse to pursue a dream, a hobby. Something as simple as eating or brushing your teeth with your opposite hand now and then can rouse the brain. What you’re doing is forcing the brain to do something novel. You’re recruiting different pathways. If you’re worried about your memory, you’re probably okay.

In general, the person who comes in complaining about memory problems is the person least likely to have a problem.


Men Are Discovering Secrets to Staying Young

 

When you think of cosmetics, you think of women. But these days there is a growing trend for men to invest in cosmetics and other treatments to maintain their youthful appearance.

In today's society the notion of staying young appeals to people of all ages. And while the clock can't be stopped, there are things that can help you appear to be staying young.


Treatments for hair loss have been around for decades and a little hair color to rinse out the gray around the temples has been popular for some time. But the traditional solution of getting a hot new sports car to prove ones virility while certainly not dead is not universally accessible for everyone.


The American Society of Plastic Surgeons report that more than a million men have undergo skin treatments annually.


Microdermabrasion


One increasingly popular procedure is microdemabrasion in which dead skin cells are vacuumed away in conjunction with the application of a mild crystal formulation. This lessens fine wrinkle lines and enables the skin to absorb nutrients and other cosmetics more effectively. The result of this 30 minute procedure is a fresher, more glowing youthful skin tone that appears more evenly textured.


Chemical Peels


Chemical peels are applied topically, and are intended to remove damaged layers on the surface of the skin. These can reduce surface lines, dark spots, wrinkles and sun damage.


Most men opt for a light chemical peel, which is effective but only lasts for a few months. A medium peel can extend the youthful appearance for as much as a year.


Laser Treatments


A variety of light based treatments including non cutting lasers beams send pulses of light to the skin and stimulates the production of collagen. This in turn firms the skin and gives a revitalized look. The procedure temporarily reddens the skin, but no significant aftercare is required.


Exercise


For anyone truly interested in staying young and youthful looking, there are few treatments as effective as regular exercise. Both endurance and strength exercises assist the body’s natural processes, and helps the skin cleanse itself of certain toxins.



While cosmetic treatments can help you stay younger looking, a solid exercise program will insure the underlying systems are working at their best.


In today's society, increasingly men are following the lead of women by investing in their appearance and doing what it takes to stay young looking.


Staying young is clearly important to more and more people, and will likely remain a growing trend for men as well as women in the years to come. Staying young is about looking good, so you feel good about yourself. When you feel good about yourself, you are more productive and successful.

 

Is It Bad to Drink Water With Meals?

 

Q.  I’ve been told to never drink right before, during or right after I eat because it impairs digestion and leads to weight gain. Is this true?

A. There is little evidence to suggest that drinking water with meals will hurt digestion or cause you to gain weight. When it comes to what you should drink, a foray through Internet blogs will reveal that many people have strong opinions about drinking water, but not all are based on scientific evidence. Some say you should drink water before, during or after a meal. And some claim that you never should drink at any time near a meal. Some advice even states that water should be room-temperature or warm and never cold or icy. And all of these often-contradictory tips also have seemingly rational arguments as their justification.

But what’s the evidence?

First, the human body is composed of around 60 percent water, and there is an intricate fluid balance inside and outside every cell. There is no doubt that we need water. Recommendations for how much vary, depending on how active you are, how hot and/or humid your environment is and how much water you consume in foods. If you’re at risk of becoming dehydrated, you should drink water when you can.

What about water and weight loss?

Water is commonly recommended as part of a weight-loss regimen. Its big selling point is that it has no calories. This is a no-brainer: If it’s a choice between drinking a Big Gulp of soda that might contain 500 to 700 calories, or a glass of zero-calorie H2O, water is the obvious better choice. It won’t make a big difference if you drink it with a meal or separately. No matter when you do it, if you substitute no-calorie water for a drink with calories, the water will promote weight loss by reducing your caloric load from liquids.

But another aspect of weight loss is portion control, and how much you eat may be affected by what and when you drink.

Drinking water may help you eat less by controlling satiety signals in the gut. When the stomach is distended, or stretched out, a feeling of fullness results. So for some people, drinking water during a meal may fill up the stomach and curb appetite.

But the volume of liquid may not be the only determining factor, because that would imply that drinking soda or juice might also lead you to eat less—which doesn’t appear to be the case. Whether a liquid contains calories or not may be more influential.

One 2005 study in the journal Appetite found that drinking noncaloric beverages versus not drinking at all did not affect the amount of food eaten. However, drinking caloric beverages such as juice, soda or milk with a meal resulted in about 100 extra calories consumed. So drinking a noncaloric beverage versus one with calories can help with portion control.

A 2007 study published in the journal Obesity found that drinking water before a meal was found to increase feelings of fullness and to decrease feelings of hunger in older adults, resulting in less food eaten during the meal. A 2010 study in the same journal found that adults 55 and older who consumed 500 milliliters of water (about 16 ounces) before each main meal while dieting lost 44 percent more weight over a 12-week period.

So drinking water, both apart from and during a meal, seems to affect weight loss positively. There is no evidence to show that drinking water with a meal leads to weight gain.

Another proposed mechanism for water’s effects on weight loss is that water may increase thermogenesis, or the calorie-burn that comes with digestion. A 2003 study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that drinking around 16 ounces of room-temperature water alone increased metabolism by about 30 percent within the first 10 to 30 minutes after drinking the water. This equated to about 29 calories burned. The researchers speculate that most of this increased thermogenesis was due to the energy expended by the body to heat the room-temperature water consumed to body temperature as it was ingested.

As far as the claim that drinking water can impair digestion, it’s unclear how that might occur. In fact, it should only improve it. For nutrients in food to be absorbed, they must be broken down by a mix of mechanical effects (chewing, stomach churning) and biochemical effects (stomach acids and gut enzymes). Water helps to dilute and break down the food, and helps it flow through the gut. So its presence would help, not hurt, how foods are digested and the nutrients absorbed.

So go ahead and enjoy your H2O. More appears to help with weight loss, no matter when you drink it.


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