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MagazineNovember 1999 (Vol. 10 Issue 8)Shorts

* For the elderly, walking can be an effective way of strengthening the mind as well as the heart

* For the elderly, walking can be an effective way of strengthening the mind as well as the heart. A recent six month trial of walking versus toning and stretching exercise in older adults showed that the walkers experienced positive improvements in memory, planning and scheduling (Nature, 1999; 400: 418-9).

* Ice packs may cause just as much damage as hot water bottles when applied directly to the skin. A 59 year old woman who damaged the skin on her thigh by resting it on an ice pack for 20 minutes. The damage can be avoided by placing something between the ice and the skin (Br J Sports Med, 1999; 33: 278-9

* People who live the longest are also likely to have had the healthiest lives, according to one study. This contradicts the widespread belief that the older you get, the sicker you get. Researchers found that of the 37 centenarians studied, most had lived healthy, independent lives well into thier 90s. When the end did come , it tended to come quickly (Lancet, 1999; 354: 652).

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