Avoid the usual diet mistakes – Podcast

diet bad!According to research undertaken by M & S, 14 million of us started a new year diet this week. However, for most of us this will end by mid-february. 

Each time we start a diet, we are resolving to be healthier but still can’t resist those treats. How do we find the willpower to be successful? It seems to be just that little more difficult if you’ve had a baby and want to lose weight, or you’ve just gone through the menopause.

In this podcast, exclusively recorded for Elixir, Nutritionist Claire Hughes gives us the lowdown on why our diets fail, what women and older people can do to lose weight and how we can make a difference to our way of thinking about food in 2011.


Moderate exercise increases stamina in older people


Japan: Home exercise programmes can improve fitness and well being, Japanese researchers report.

Adults who walked at an aerobic rate for at least 20 minutes at least twice a week and to increase the total number of steps they walked daily showed significant gains in stamina, vitality and mental health after 32 weeks.

While the health benefits of exercise are clear, most studies investigating these benefits have involved supervised workouts, which can be costly and inconvenient in real life, the researchers point out. In the current study, published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, they tested whether an at-home, unsupervised 32-week program would also be beneficial.

The researchers, at the Nara Medical University School of Medicine in Kashihara, randomly assigned 200 adults 42 to 75 years old to the exercise group or to a control group. In addition to walking, the exercisers were asked to attend a two-hour exercise class every four weeks.

At the end of the program, people in the exercise group showed significant improvements in a test of walking stamina and another test that required them to sit on a chair, stand, and sit again as many times as possible for 30 seconds. Male exercisers showed a greater increase in general and mental health than their counterparts in the control group, while women reported better physical functioning, general health and vitality.

The benefits of the program were “comparable” to those that would be seen with a standard supervised exercise program, says the report.

“The present method can be recommended as feasible for application in the community because many opportunities to perform home-based walking exist in daily life,” it adds.


Life begins at 100 say longevity experts

Bali: Medical breakthroughs hold out the prospect of living longer and healthier lives, with current life span norms set to be turned on their head, according to anti-ageing experts.

“Life begins at 100? This is an unthinkable today, but in the future, 100 can be pretty young,” Robert M. Goldman, chairman of the American Academy of Anti-Ageing Medicine, told a conference on the resort island of Bali.

Stem cells, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and therapeutic cloning are being used in the relatively new field of anti-ageing medicine.

Goldman instanced a calendar with naked pictures of actress Sophia Loren at the age of 71 wearing only a pair of earrings underlined how perceptions of age had changed.

“If somebody told you 14 years ago that they were going to have a former sex symbol pose in earrings only, you would have been disgusted or you would have closed your eyes,” he said. “Today she looks great at the age of 71.”

Stem cell therapy will allow people to regain lost hair, remove wrinkles by renewing skins, and grow new nerves for paralysed patients, Michael Klentze, director of the Klentze Institute of Anti-Ageing in Munich, Germany, told Reuters.

Stem cells have the ability to act as a repair system for the body, because they can divide and differentiate, replenishing other cells as long as the host organism is alive.

“People who have hair loss they can hope in the next months they’ve got new hair, not strange hair, but their own hair,” he said.

He said a new method called proteomic diagnostics could detect prostate cancer through a urine test years before regular scans discovered it.

“We can stop the progress of a prostate cancer and we don’t need a biopsy or anything else. No operation, no nothing.”

He said people had different risk factors depending on gene mutations inherited from their ancestors and if these factors were identified and measured correctly, people could expect to live longer and healthier.

“If you measure these very exactly, then you know very early you should change your lifestyle. But it is very important not to start this when you’re 85 years, but start at 40 or 45,” he said.

Klentze disputed, however, Goldman’s concept of life beginning at 100.

“There’s a limit to how long you can live. It’s not possible and it’s not what we want. We want a normal life, 85 or whatever but healthy,” he said.

“US males are more into life extension, they’re talking about life extension, living 150 years. For the Europeans, it’s more live a good life, vital and healthy.”

Both these experts will speak at Anti-Ageing London, a conference held at the Royal College of Physicians in Wimpole Street London from 15-17 September – for more information go to www.antiageingconference.com