Getting adequate nutrition may be trickier for older adults. Because seniors tend to be less active than younger people, they need fewer calories. Yet research shows that older people may need more of certain key nutrients, such as B vitamins and calcium.
Unfortunately, nutrient deficiencies and malnutrition can persist for a long time before they show up in physical signs or symptoms. Still, there are a few indicators you -- and your doctor -- can watch for.
"The schedule is not written in stone," Peter explained. "But we do make love every day."
Michael Roizen, MD, would say that sex is keeping Kranz young. In his best-selling book, RealAge -- Are You as Young as You Can Be?, Roizen makes the case for the antiaging effects of sex after surveying the available literature. "Having sex at least twice a week can make your RealAge 1.6 years younger than if you had sex only once a week," Roizen says. He defines 'real age' as "an estimation of your age in biologic terms, not chronologic years."
Although Roizen's statistics are sketchy, he derives his figures primarily from a study done in Caerphilly, Wales, and published in the December 1997 British Medical Journal under the title, "Sex and Death: Are They Related?" One of the few efforts to examine the relationship between sex and mortality, the study found that men who reported at least two orgasms a week at the time of the study had less than half the risk of dying from various causes over 10 years of follow-up than those with a lower frequency of orgasm. Drawing on the researchers' remark that the evidence suggested a dose-response relationship -- meaning in this case that the more orgasms a man had, the longer he lived -- Roizen concluded that someone like my friend Peter, who has sex every day, could have a Real Age as much as 8 years younger.
At first blush (and Peter's candor did make me blush), my friend is a convincing example of Roizen's argument. He is youthful-looking, energetic, and actively involved in many interests. Peter still works as a developer of computer systems. He has had a steady, positive relationship with his wife who, at 77 also, still commutes to Manhattan for her own job at a major nonprofit institution.