The good news! Your genes aren't responsible for how you age.
April 19, 2016
75% of your health as you age is down to lifestyle.
Not genetics, but lifestyle.
What you eat, how you exercise, whether you smoke or drink, how stressed you are.
So we can no longer blame our genes!
Hopefully most of you are on board with this way of thinking.
If you're not then spring really is the best time to tray and make some gradual changes to your lifestyle. More daylight, more warmth (eventually?!) and this results in more energy.
Let me start with some unorthodox advice..... watch some TV!!
Yes I'm serious. Watch the BBC's How To Stay Young and find yourself kicked into action.
Angela Rippon is pretty darned healthy. She's not overweight, she eats healthily, she's active and her brain health (as shown in the course of episode 2) is fantastic.
However she has an excessive and unexpected amount of internal fat around her heart. Why? It's not entirely clear. And that doesn't mean that you should throw out the whole idea of staying healthy. Or that you need to only eat vegetables for the rest of your life.
But there are plenty of choices that you can make that will help ensure you stay as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Scientists are developing drugs that can help reduce internal fat but it’s largely down to diet and exercise.
Episode 1 of the BBC's How To Stay Young shows a few different approaches to prolonging your health... and your life. From a vegan diet (or introducing more fresh vegetables and fruit and reducing meat and dairy intake) to reducing stress levels, there are many things you can tweak.
One of the things the documentary address is the benefits from eating high resistance starches found in pulses like lentils and chickpeas. While you'd need to eat a large volume of pulses to get the benefits, this does confirm to me that diets such as the paleo diet are restrictive in the wrong areas. I can't imagine a diet without nuts, seed, pulses and legumes. And they have great health benefits.
Whereas a study on the population of the town of Loma Linda, California (where vegetarianism is very popular) found that for vegans overall mortality is reduced by a quarter compared to meat eaters and they’re half as likely to get heart disease.
So a diet lower in meat and dairy but higher in pulses and legumes would benefit us more in the long-term.
So why not use this spring to start making some valuable changes to your lifestyle? It will soon become habit and routine.
As Angela Rippon says, you can't always take the pharmaceutical route.
'You have to take personal responsibility for your wellbeing and your ageing.'