All that time you're spending at yoga or spinning class makes you feel good now, but it will have an even bigger payoff a few decades down the road, new research reveals.
Physically fit, healthy middle-aged adults have significantly lower health-care costs as they age, compared to their less physically fit counterparts, according to research presented this week at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research 2012 Scientific Sessions.
The record-shattering opening success of The Avengers, which sold more than $200 million in theater tickets in the United States and did about $640 million in business worldwide during opening weekend, is further evidence of an amazing fact: Robert Downey, Jr. not only rules Hollywood, but he's staged an even more impressive turnaround than General Motors.
Consider this: Since 2008, nine movies featuring the 47-year-old actor have grossed more than $1.5 billion in the U.S. alone, and his name on the marquee is perhaps the surest guarantee of a box-office smash. That's an astonishing run, especially because it wasn't that long ago -- 2001, to be precise -- that Downey seemed destined to become fodder for those "Whatever Happened To...?" articles in the supermarket tabloids. His drug addiction and erratic behavior earned him a prison stay and led producer David E. Kelley to fire him from what seemed like his last chance for resurrecting his career, a supporting role in the hit TV series Ally McBeal. Downey sank so low that despite his enormous talent, he was virtually unemployable.
For such an important job, motherhood is a remarkably inexact science. There are no foolproof formulas for raising a child, no hard-and-fast rules. The puzzle requires trial and error and a willingness to learn from the countless mistakes of others down through the millennia.
Forget about achieving any peace of mind. At least there are books to consult -- a veritable library of how-to volumes or, better yet, how-I-tried-to-do-it books that virtually shout out, "And this is what happened!"
In honor of Mother's Day, here are five recent examples:
My mom (left) started teaching when I was in high school, first at an inner-city junior high in St. Louis, Mo., and then at a high school out in the boonies. She disliked both jobs for different reasons, but was still miserable after she quit.
The previous decade, she had enjoyed raising her four children in the rural Illinois college town where my dad taught. We moved to St. Louis so my brother and I could attend a parochial high school. To make it work, my dad commuted and was only home weekends, while my mom tried to find a job.
The outlook for many American workers has improved steadily since the official end of the recession almost two years ago -- but not for midlife and older workers among the ranks of the country's long-term unemployed.
In April, close to 30 percent of the nation's jobless workers had been out of work for more than a year -- a total of 3.9 million people, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released this month. Long-term unemployment has become such an issue that some economists question whether the recession permanently raised the nation's unemployment level, according to this Bloomberg report.
In November, I wrote about Pittsburgh's Experienced Dreamers contest for entrepreneurs 45 and older. The former smokestack city offered a $100,000 prize to the out-of-town entrant with best idea for locating a new business, philanthropy, or artistic endeavor in Pittsburgh.
The prize goes to Tess Almendarez Lojacono (right), a 55-year-old artist currently living in East Aurora, NY. She won by proposing to relocate and expand her already-existing Fine Art Miracles, a five-year-old company that teaches fine art classes to residents of assisted living facilities and nursing homes.
Everyone loves saving money, whether it's on a new pair of shoes or a fancy set of wheels. But sometimes uncovering deals can be more work than it's worth.
U.S. unemployment edged downward slightly in April, to 8.1 percent, but only because more workers dropped out of the labor force, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released today. Private employers added 130,000 jobs during the month, but new positions were offset by the loss of 15,000 government jobs.
The job report was weaker than expected, dinging stock prices early today. But economists and other analysts generally were upbeat, especially because the labor bureau also revised previously released payroll numbers for February and March to show an additional 53,000 new jobs had been added those months. "We're still growing, just gradually," Nigel Gault, an economist at IHS Global Insight, tells MSNBC.
Let's face it -- we're all voyeurs. We love to peek in on other lives to observe human struggles, triumphs and heartaches. Whether your impulses tend toward empathy, or schadenfreude, or merely a detached bemusement, there's rarely anything more satisfying than a juicy memoir.
The form is particularly compelling when it gives us the chance to watch an ordinary person deal with exceptional circumstances. Oftentimes, unexpected events -- or even a chain of events -- bring about some inner crisis that forces a person to go in fascinating new directions. There's a chance for deep self-evaluation, in some cases, and perhaps even a sort of rebirth.
We tend to think of the Olympics as a festival of youth. But there's an impressive number of 40-and-over athletes competing for spots on the U.S. team that will travel to London -- proving that age isn't the most important factor in athletic prowess.
Here's a rundown:
The swimming stalwarts. You're probably familiar with swimmer Dara Torres (left), the 45-year-old champion vying to compete in her sixth Olympics. She won three silver medals at the 2008 games in Beijing, where she earned the distinction of being the oldest female swimmer in the history of the games. In the process, Torres set an American record in the 50-meter freestyle with her time of 24.07 seconds. She finished second in that event in the 2011 U.S. Winter National Championships. Torres shared some of her workout tips in this SecondAct article.
Meanwhile, distance swimmer Janet Evans, 40, a four-time gold medalist who retired from the sport in 1996, is making a comeback. Evans has qualified for the U.S. Olympic trials in both the 400-meter and 800-meter freestyle events. Here's a SecondAct piece about that feat and another article about how Evans has modified her training regimen in middle age.