Healthy to Age 100: 5 Tips from a Top Doctor

Wearable_fitness_JOUR_36253_448800Thinking about improving your health? You might listen to David Carr, M.D., the clinical director for the Division of Geriatrics and Nutritional Science for Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Carr has reviewed thousands of medical studies in his practice and has some positive news about healthy aging: we can achieve significantly healthier outcomes with easy lifestyle changes and less effort than you might think.

“Exercise is number one,” Dr. Carr says. “There are studies that suggest regular physical activity can have positive effects on physical health, quality of life, and cognition. Even as little as 20 minutes of walking a day can yield great benefits.”

Thirty minutes of exercise, 5 times a week, is the minimum bar set by the Department of Health and Human Services.IMG_20151028_113009

It is easy to build up gradually in your regular routine. For example, choose the stairs instead of the elevator. Park at the distant side of a parking lot instead of circling until a spot near an entrance opens.

Dr. Carr’s longevity prescription also includes a workout for your brain and social life. “Cognitive and social stimulation are number two,” he says. “There is simply not much stimulation if you stay home alone and watch TV. The brain is like a muscle — it needs to be used, stimulated, and pushed.”

In his medical practice, Carr has found having a “care” is part of the “cure”, because people who have social connections live longer.1000102_10201651982325609_766739615_n

“Interacting with other people in social situations is crucial. It’s also important to keep your hobbies going – board games, puzzles, cards, playing a musical instrument or staying active in volunteer work,” are a few of the suggestions Dr. Carr offers.

caroline-attwood-225496-unsplash - CopyDr. Carr’s number 3 tip is focused on your plate: “A good heart healthy diet will probably also turn out to be great for the brain,” he says. “You should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables every day and consume fish at least a couple of times a week.”

His next tip for living to 100 or more includes regular health checks to catch diseases early when they’re still treatable.

202874“Controlling risk factors for vascular disease is tip number four. We know the number one killer of the brain and heart is vascular disease or atherosclerosis. If you have high blood sugar, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure, you should see your family doctor for treatment, and keep those risk factors under control.”

Dr. Carr finds relaxation to be vital. “I’m convinced that high stress levels over a lifetime can have a very negative impact on our organ systems,” he says. “So trying to keep stress under control is probably the fifth leg of the table.”DEYVTHFARF

Simple Steps to Protect Your Sight

IMG_e9a6ypAfter a long winter, the sun’s warmth feels great. Just as our skin needs sun protection, the eye’s surface is vulnerable for potentially blinding sun-related diseases. The long days of sun filled recreation and many other spring activities can also lead to an increased risk of eye damage.

Dr. Mary Kay Migneco, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences instructor at Washington University School of Medicine, advises sunlight is a risk factor for several eye diseases including cancer: “Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can increase the risk for development of cataracts and macular degeneration. While non-vision threatening, lesions on the lids such as basal cell carcinomas are also at increased risk.” 202874

It is important to start wearing proper sun protection at an early age to protect eyes from years of damaging rays. To be eye smart in the sun, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends you wear 99 percent and higher UV (ultraviolet radiation) absorbent sunglasses to protect your eyes:

  • Choose wraparound sun-glass styles so the sun’s rays can’t enter from the side.
  • If you wear UV-blocking contact lenses, you’ll still need sunglasses.
  • Add a hat to maximize protection; broad-brimmed hats are best.
  • Limit exposure to UV-intense conditions: sunlight is strongest mid-day, higher altitudes, and reflected off water, ice or snow.

Anyone of any age and skin pigmentation is susceptible to ultraviolet damage and some people may be at a greater risk. Many factors influence sun sensitivity including medications. There are drugs that can make your eyes more vulnerable to light explains Dr. Migneco, “Photo-sensitizing drugs can lead to photophobia.”

If you are taking any of the following common drugs, Dr. Migneco says it is vital to wear sunglasses and a hat whenever you go outside:

• Psoralens (used in treating psoriasis)
• Tetracycline
• Doxycycline
• Allopurinol
• Phenothiazine

Spring is often a time to tackle outdoor chores. Lawn mowers propel objects at high rates of speed. Regardless of the debris thrown by a mower, it will penetrate the cornea, cause intense pain and inflammatory response. These eye injuries are easily preventable with safety eyeglasses that are worn during yard work. Wear safety glasses while doing home improvement projects that involve grinding metal, sandblasting, power washing or leaf blowing.

Chores inside your home may present an eye injury risk too. Using hazardous products such as oven cleaner and bleach can impact your eyes. Common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year.

picnicThe aroma of barbecues and fish fries are a part of outdoor fun. Take care around the grill or fire pit, often the sparks or ashes that fly through the air can get into your eyes. Cooking foods that can splatter hot grease or oil can also put your eyes at risk.

Cookouts and picnics may take you into contact with poison ivy, poison sumac, or poison oak. If you come in contact with any of these plants keep your hands away from the eyes. Exposure directly to your eye will require medical attention.

major-league-baseball-469468__340Popular sports can also pose a risk to your eyes. A national survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology finds more than forty percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports. Most people do not wear protective eye-wear when playing sports like tennis or baseball. According to the U.S Eye Injury Registry, 5% of all eye injuries result from baseballs. Doctors say the smaller the ball, the greater the risk of an eye injury. Golf balls, tennis balls, and paint balls are the causes of common sports related eye injury.

Hitting the road on a trip? Put goggles in the trunk for car trouble. Spewing radiators can project steam at the eyes. Snapping bungee cords can hit the eye at 50 mph.
Everyone is at risk for eye damage and injuries but a few simple steps can help protect your sight for many seasons to come.mississippi-423903_960_720

Game of Numbers as Technology Unlocks Insights in Fantasy Football

Football is back and in offices and coffee shops, fans are talking about their favorite teams and their fantasy drafts. Even on late night television; Jimmy Fallon and drummer, Questlove, of the Roots shared fantasy football draft insights.

It is a serious matter for millions of football fans. Recent research by Intel shows 75 percent of fantasy football players demand real-time data, and two-thirds feel that technology is critical to helping them successfully manage their teams.

Tech tools can help teams determine how factors such as weather, time of day, travel schedules, team composition and the frequency of injuries could affect the likelihood of a win.  More than five million pieces of data from on-field sensors, video feeds and other sources will be collected and analyzed to give teams and fantasy football players a competitive edge this season!  STATS, one sports technology, data and content company, uses real-time scores, historical sports information and turnkey fantasy sports platforms. This information is provided to media companies and professional sports leagues, and to teams for game analysis and tactical coaching tools.

Check out this video on how technology and mobile connectivity are bringing fans closer to the game:


Tech tools change the fantasy football experience

Tech tools change the fantasy football experience

A Team Offering High Tech Fun and Skills for the Future

 

How many fun team sports will help young students land a high paying job? Your answer may include some professional sports, but high school players who reach the pros are almost as rare as lottery winners! 

Another team sport underway at schools across the nation promises fun and long term career potential for girls and boys alike.

It is a growing initiative backed by some of the biggest names in business to get youngsters’ attention with innovative, after-school projects.  Corporations including Intel and General Motors are using high-tech team sports to recruit the next generation of engineers, innovators and scientists.

Ask any kid what they want to be when they grow up and you’ll get an almost infinite number of answers. But ask a parent what they want their child to be when they grow up and, these days, you may get one predominant answer – employed!  And while unemployment statistics vary, many large companies are having difficulty filling high paying positions that require candidates with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) based education.

This is why the FIRST® Robotics Competition is more than just an exciting extra-curricular activity and fiercely competitive team sport. It is actually the beginning of a student’s recruitment connection with the companies who both provide sponsorship and are actively looking to recruit the innovators, scientists and engineers of tomorrow.

Students have fun and learn valuable skills

Students have fun and learn valuable skills


The FIRST® Robotics Competition was founded in 1992 by Dean Kamen, inventor of the self-balancing, two-wheeled personal transporter known as the “Segway”, FIRST®.  The competition attracts hundreds of thousands of students each year as well as hundreds of major corporations like Google, Microsoft, Johnson and Johnson, Underwriter’s Laboratories and General Motors who provide hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorship and support.

This year, General Motors will sponsor more than 70 teams in the FIRST® Robotics Competition and provide additional sponsorship and event support to over 600 teams in other programs such as the FIRST® LEGO League and the FIRST® Tech Challenge.

The FIRST Championship games for 2014 will be held at America’s Center Convention Complex in St. Louis April 23-26, 2014. The Gateway City also hosted the robotics competition in 2011, 2012 and 2013 with thousands of people attending to see the robots and students in action!

Image

Students have an opportunity to learn about all kinds of technology at competition exhibits

To learn more about the teams, how to get involved and the upcoming season go to  http://www.usfirst.org/

 

Be Eye Smart and Protect Your Sight at Work and Play

Labor Day has come and gone, but summer sun and temperatures continue across most of the nation. Fall does not officially arrive until September 22, 2013 for countries in the Northern Hemisphere. There is still a lot of outdoor fun and living ahead as Daylight savings time continues until November 3, 2013.

Just because September is here, don’t forget as our skin needs sun protection, the eye’s surface is vulnerable for potentially blinding sun-related diseases. The long days of sun filled recreation can also lead to an increased risk of eye damage.Image

Dr. Mary Kay Migneco, Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences instructor at Washington University School of Medicine, advises sunlight is a risk factor for several eye diseases including cancer: “Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can increase the risk for development of cataracts and macular degeneration.  While non-vision threatening, lesions on the lids such as basal cell carcinomas are also at increased risk.”

It is important to start wearing proper sun protection at an early age to protect eyes from years of damaging rays. To be eye smart in the sun, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends you wear 99 percent and higher UV (ultraviolet radiation) absorbent sunglasses to protect your eyes:

    Choose wraparound sun-glass styles so the sun’s rays can’t enter from the side.

    If you wear UV-blocking contact lenses, you’ll still need sunglasses.

    Add a hat to maximize protection; broad-brimmed hats are best.

    Limit exposure to UV-intense conditions: sunlight is strongest mid-day, at higher altitudes, and reflected  off water, ice or snow.

    On cloudy days the sun’s rays can pass through.

Anyone of any age and skin pigmentation is susceptible to ultraviolet damage and some people may be at a greater risk.  Many factors influence sun sensitivity including medications. There are drugs that can make your eyes more vulnerable to light explains Dr. Migneco, “Photo-sensitizing drugs can lead to photophobia.”

If you are taking any of the following common drugs, Dr. Migneco says it is vital to wear sunglasses and a hat whenever you go outside:

     Psoralens (used in treating psoriasis)

    Tetracycline

    Doxycycline

    Allopurinol

    Phenothiazine

Fall is often a time to tackle outdoor chores. Lawn mowers propel objects at high rates of speed. Regardless of the debris thrown by a mower, it will penetrate the cornea, cause intense pain and inflammatory response.  These eye injuries are easily preventable with safety eyeglasses that are worn during yard work. Wear safety glasses while doing home improvement projects that involve grinding metal, sandblasting, power washing or leaf blowing.

Chores inside your home may present an eye injury risk too. Using hazardous products such as oven cleaner and bleach can impact your eyes. Common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year.

The aroma of barbeques and fish fries are a part of outdoor fun.  Take care around the grill or fire pit, often the sparks or ashes that fly through the air can get into your eyes. Cooking foods that can splatter hot grease or oil can also put your eyes at risk.

Cookouts and picnics may take you into contact with poison ivy, poison sumac, or poison oak.  If you come in contact with any of these plants keep your hands away from the eyes. Exposure directly to your eye will require medical attention.   

Popular sports can also pose a risk to your eyes. A national survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology finds more than forty percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports.  Most people do not wear protective eye wear when playing sports like tennis or baseball.  According to the U.S Eye Injury Registry, 5% of all eye injuries result from baseballs. Doctors say the smaller the ball, the greater the risk of an eye injury. Golf balls, tennis balls, and paint balls are the causes of common sports related eye injury.

Hitting the road on a trip? Put goggles in the trunk for car trouble. Spewing radiators can project steam at the eyes.  Snapping bungee cords can hit the eye at 50 mph.

Everyone is at risk for eye damage and injuries but a few simple steps can help protect your sight for many seasons to come.Image