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Achieving and maintaining a healthy bodyweight as you age

Our metabolism naturally slows with age, right? At least that’s the common notion, which lets us off the hook for the middle-age spread that many people take on, some well before middle age, and beyond. Well, not so fast. It turns out that lifestyle plays a bigger role than scientists had suspected. The story is told in “Surprising Findings about Metabolism and Age” by Chika Anekwe, MD, and Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, Harvard Health Publishing. Metabolism is a fancy word, but its meaning is straightforward: the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. The calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy the body needs to function. Even when you’re at rest, your body needs energy for breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels, and growing and repairing cells. The number of calories your body uses to carry out these

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Just how long can you live?

Humans may be able to live for between 120 and 150 years, but no longer, according to study published online in the journal Nature Communications. Using a mathematical model, it predicts that after 120 to 150 years of age the human body would lose its ability to recover from illness and injury. The study is based on data from more than 500,000 volunteers condensed into one number that measures the physiological toll of aging: the “dynamic organism state indicator.” The model suggests that even under ideal circumstances, key biomarkers of aging would eventually decline so much that they could no longer support a living organism. Therapies that extend the body’s resilience may eventually enable humans to live longer, healthier lives. The other factor is quality of life. Beyond a certain point, if a person is too frail to enjoy life, what’s the point? How many times does a heart beat

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Aging and arthritis in Canada

A common myth amongst Canadians is that arthritis is a disease of aging, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. While it is often worse as we age, early detection can help along with other tactics. So if you’re older, get your children tested as it can make a huge difference for them and yourself. Over 6 million Canadians are affected by arthritis and most commonly, osteoarthritis. Women also suffer more than men from what can be a debilitating chronic condition with over 60% of Canadians with arthritis being women. Women are affected most because their tendons and joints are more elastic due to childbirth and it is also believed that the drop in estrogen levels after menopause plays a key factor. For men, they are mostly affected in the hip joints. September is arthritis awareness month in Canada and the Canadian Arthritis Society is launching a national awareness

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The Sword of Clear Thinking

Once the weapon of choice for the warrior, the sword has acquired special symbolic meaning. From the Palace of Justice in Rome to the Tehran courthouse in Iran, justice has been depicted as a young woman (“Lady Justice”) holding a set of scales in one hand and a sword in the other. It’s easy to understand that the scales signify weighing up counter arguments. The sword is generally said to indicate that justice can be “swift” and “final” but that does not tell us much. In Western esotericism, too, the sword is associated with the intellect. There — in a world that often emphasizes feelings — the sword often has negative connotations. In the Tarot, for example, most sword cards indicate difficult circumstances. But why is the sword associated with justice and the intellect, or, we could say, with truth? There is more to this archaic weapon than we generally

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Menopause: Natural part of life but social taboo

In my house, menopause is not a taboo subject. I talk about it openly with my husband, two daughters and son, and I want them to do the same with me. After all, they are all here with me as I am transitioning into my third act of life. It really is a family experience. For the most part, the only people who talk about menopause are women near or in middle age. However, the more we discuss this change of life, the less mysterious and shameful it will become. Sure, there will be some discomfort and embarrassment around “the talk,” just like there is around the puberty talk. Yet about half of the world’s population enters this natural stage of life, so it seems a bit odd that we have reached a point after many millennia where menopause is still considered taboo.   But not for much longer. Western society

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