‘Over 50s sex life could delay dementia’

An active sex life for the over 50s could help fight off dementia, scientists have claimed.

Research conducted by Coventry University in the UK has found that regular lovemaking among the over 50s leads to sharper cognitive function, due to the release of hormones. The study was published in the journal Age and Ageing and the results suggest that the release of hormones including oxytocin and dopamine during sex can promote learning and memory.

“The findings have implications for the promotion of sexual counselling in healthcare settings, where maintaining a healthy sex life in older age could be instrumental in improving cognitive function and wellbeing,” the study states.

More than 6,800 individuals between the age of 50 and 89 in England were asked questions about their love life and then completed a series of mental tests. The challenges included recalling lists and recognizing patterns, both of which are shown to demonstrate healthy brain activity.

Participants listened to a list of 10 words and were asked to repeat them back straight away, then again after five minutes. People were also asked to solve sequences with a missing number. Sexually active men scored on average 23 per cent higher in the word tests and 3 per cent more in the number challenges, while women who had regular sex recorded improvements of 14 per cent and 2 per cent respectively.

“Any part of the body needs to be exercised to keep in good shape and because sex triggers so many changes in the brain it will inevitably help keep it agile and capable,” psychosexual counselor Pauline Brown is quoted as saying by MailOnline. “There can be physical barriers caused by ageing, but these results show just how important it is for couples to keep this part of their relationship strong and healthy.

“Sex is a key part of what it means to be human, whether as a young adult or someone of advancing years. And it makes people feel good so it encourages them to be more positive about life and more likely to eat well and pursue other healthy activities like Pilates or line-dancing.”

Around 850,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with dementia. Previous studies have found that taking vitamins B6 and E, drinking green tea and dancing have all been shown to reduce the risk of developing the condition.

Nine in 10 toddlers aren’t active enough

New figures have revealed more than nine out of 10 toddlers are not doing enough exercise to stay healthy.

Just nine per cent of children aged between two and four are getting the advisable three hours of physical activity per day. The benefits of being active include improving bone health and supporting brain development, while also helping social and mental skills to develop.

Now experts are asking the Government to come up with new ways of supporting more exercise for children.

The British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (BHFNC), based at Loughborough University, are asking politicians to include stipulations for more exercise in policies – encouraging young children at nursery and in their communities to be given more opportunities to stay active.

“This manifesto outlines how we can create an environment for our children that encourages them and stimulates them to be active,” Elaine McNish, director of the BHFNC, said. “This manifesto is a call to policy makers to ensure that early years settings are supported to create active environments.

“We know that active children are more likely to become active adults so it’s vitally important to get it right at the beginning to give children opportunities to play from a young age and develop a lifelong love of being active.”

With obesity proving an increasingly difficult problem to solve among adults, it is believed that encouraging activity from a very young age may help prevent weight problems as the children get older.

“We know that physical activity is an important component of a healthy lifestyle for everyone and the under-fives are no different,” Lisa Young, project manager for prevention and behaviour change at the British Heart Foundation, added.

“Developing a love of being active from a young age is important as we know active children become active adults, and active adults are healthier adults.”

Why coconut oil is your skin’s best friend

Over the past few years, coconut oil has become popular in both the food and beauty worlds. While it’s a great cooking and baking ingredient, this oil is also perfect for your beauty routine, since it’s a natural product without any chemicals or additives. In tropical parts of the world, where coconuts are more common, using coconut oil on your body is an ancient practice, but for those of us who don’t live in those areas, we’re just getting the hang of this helpful oil now.

So why is it so beneficial for your beauty routine? Coconut oil contains good fats that provide us with energy and Vitamin E, which is essential to maintaining healthy and smooth skin. It also has the ability to penetrate your skin more than off-the-counter products because of the way it bonds with proteins in your body. Plus, there’s the added bonus of it being much more cost effective than handfuls of items you’d get from the beauty store.

Coconut oil is a perfect product for all your facial needs, starting as a moisturizer. Regular products contain a high amount of water, which initially makes you feel like your skin is moisturized, however when the water dries up, you’re left feeling tight and flaky again. Coconut oil, since it does contain plenty of saturated fats, provides deep moisture and helps strengthen tissue and remove dead cells on the skin’s surface. All you need to do is rub a small amount between your fingers and pat on to freshly washed skin, just as you would your normal moisturizer.

Coconut oil can also be used as a make-up remover, especially if you have a difficult time getting off waterproof mascara and eyeliner. Just dab a small amount on a cotton ball or cotton pad, and gently sweep off the make-up from your eyes, then rinse with warm water. The oil breaks down waxy make-up and gives you the added bonus of leaving your skin hydrated.

Speaking of taking off make-up, you can use coconut oil as a face wash and cleanser. Other products have a tendency to strip your skin of its natural oils, which in turn results in an overproduction of oil that can lead to acne and clogged pores. To make a cleanser, take a small amount of coconut oil and emulsify it between your fingers. Gently massage it into your skin in circular motions, until the impurities on your face are washed away, then pat your skin dry.

The list goes on for coconut oil uses, including lip balm, night cream, sunburn relief, and even a cheekbone highlighter to make a tired face look brighter. Just remember; a little goes a long way with coconut oil, so don’t go overboard with your new favourite product.