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

Attend a Furry Friendly Event: Action-Packed Fun + Exercise with or without your Pup!

7th Annual Fast and Furriest 5K Run + 1-Mile Walk is Ahead for Your Best Friends

236504It’s said some of our most precious gifts we place in museums or vaults; others we take for walks. It is a very unique walk and run for dogs and people I want to share with you.

I think most dogs and pet people find ways to make friends. This observation is based on a recent dog park visit when I met a pet owner and her pooch visiting for the first time. Her dog, Hank, was met with wagging tails. Hank’s mom just moved from Atlanta. Other pet parents learned Hank came into her life in college and has been a constant companion through moves, break-ups, and celebrations including the recent job promotion to Saint Louis. Hank is helping her meet new people and learn about their new home.

Hank and his owner exercise together. I mean serious running. Hank is a Whippet, a superb athlete as well as a gentle companion. Several of us want to make sure Hank can stretch his legs in an upcoming event to help homeless pets.

The 7th Annual Fast and the Furriest 5K Run and 1-Mile Walk will be Sunday, April 26th at Tower Grove Park. The run is unique because it offers Hank and his owner the opportunity to take part in a professionally-timed race together. There are not many across the nation. Others will take part in the walk at a leisurely pace with our dogs. This is an event not only for athletes, but the entire family. Fast and Furriest also offers a children’s fun area, vendor booths and food trucks.

FF_Runner-Dog‘Pooch Poker’ is new to the annual fun-fest. Event organizer Robin Wood of the Animal Protective Association of Missouri (APA) says the game is open to anyone registered for the one mile walk: “Walkers will be dealt playing cards at stations along the 1-Mile Walk route. Players with a winning hand receive a prize at the end of the walk!” Hank and his mom are planning to run and walk with some members of the dog park community.

Animal lovers and APA supporters who can’t participate in the walk or race can still pitch in by fundraising with individual fundraising campaigns. Proceeds from this event will benefit the APA’ s mission of bringing people and pets together, advancing humane education, and creating programs beneficial to the human-animal bond.

You can learn more about this non-profit event and many other exciting community programs underway at the APA Adoption center at http://www.apamo.org/donate/fast-

and-the-furriest/ FF-group-336x223