Take these 10 steps to live a longer life – from delaying breakfast to list-making


EATING 30 different fruits and vegetables a week, taking an early night and having a cold shower could be the key to living longer, preventing illness and losing weight.

Top neuroscientist Dr Julia Jones says simple changes to our daily routine are more beneficial than the gym.

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Top neuroscientist Dr Julia Jones says simple changes to our daily routine are more beneficial than the gymCredit: @DrRockUK/Twitter

She told Sun on Sunday Health: “Just making simple adjustments to our lifelong routine can add decades of healthy life.”

Julia runs an eight-week smart wellness longevity plan to help people boost their life expectancy.

Here she shares her top ten tips.

1. DELAY BREAKFAST

DELAYING your breakfast a few times a week can give cells the full time they need to do essential repair work, reducing your risk of everything from cancer to Type 2 diabetes.

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Leave 16 hours overnight between your last meal.

a healthy bowl of muesli with a lot of natural ingredients

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a healthy bowl of muesli with a lot of natural ingredientsCredit: Getty

Drinks during the fasting window are OK. Just don’t fill them with sugar or milk.

Stick with water, tea and coffee. Many scientists, including me, now regularly eat one healthy meal a day.

2. THINK 30-A-WEEK

RESEARCH has shown that people with a higher diversity of gut bacteria have a reduced risk of illness.

But eating the same five fruits and veg each day doesn’t boost diversity.

Different multi-colored healthy fruits and vegetables isolated on white background.

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Different multi-colored healthy fruits and vegetables isolated on white background.Credit: Getty

You should aim to try 30 different types a week to boost gut diversity.

Frozen fruits and veg work as well as fresh, so buy different  frozen products in bulk to keep costs down.

3. GET OUT OF BREATH

YOU don’t need a full gym workout but get out of breath a few times a week. Stop using the lift and take the stairs.

Walk faster. Short bursts will work – simply adjust some if your habits.

Mountain biking – woman with fatbike enjoys summer vacation

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Mountain biking – woman with fatbike enjoys summer vacationCredit: Getty

Cycle to the shops instead of driving.

4. PROTECT SKIN

ALL our organs age at different speeds. There are biological clocks working at different rates inside us.

Our skin actually ages fastest and this means we need to take extra care of it.

Sunburn seen on the back and head of 8 year old girl

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Sunburn seen on the back and head of 8 year old girlCredit: Getty

When the skin suffers, it not only experiences damage in its own cells but also sends damaging signalling molecules through our bloodstream that can reach other parts of the body and kickstart problems elsewhere.

Always wear high SPF sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy.

5. KEEP GUT HEALTHY

OUR gut is home to lots of microbe bacteria and when they are not in balance, our health may hit trouble.

Keep your gut healthy by regularly having food and drinks that contain live bacteria known as probiotics – for example, kombucha drinks, kefir, live yogurts and fermented sauerkraut.

kombucha cocktail curcuma and mint flavor, glass jar with fermenting scoby, black background and tablecloth with black textures.

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kombucha cocktail curcuma and mint flavor, glass jar with fermenting scoby, black background and tablecloth with black textures.Credit: Getty

Note also that if a fermented food is not kept in a store’s refrigerated section, the ­product will not contain live bacteria.

6. MAKE A LIST

LISTS help to declutter our minds and reduce stress. Just writing one produces changes in the brain, reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

And then, once you successfully tick a few things off, the feel-good reward chemical dopamine will be released in the brain.

Male hands making a to-do list in a notebook over a blue office desk.

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Male hands making a to-do list in a notebook over a blue office desk.Credit: Getty

You will feel a buzz.

7. TAKE BRAIN FOR A WALK

DAMAGE to the brain can start decades before symptoms become apparent, especially if we are overweight.

Brains have been shown to shrink as waistlines grow. Ensure your brain is getting good blood supply and calming signals by walking outdoors in nature every day.

8-bit RGB flat JPEG file, 3543×5325 pixels (11.81×17.75 inches) @ 300.00 pixels/inch, written by Adobe Photoshop 7.0

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8-bit RGB flat JPEG file, 3543×5325 pixels (11.81×17.75 inches) @ 300.00 pixels/inch, written by Adobe Photoshop 7.0Credit: Getty

You also need to challenge the brain throughout life by learning new, complex tasks to build new connections – try learning a musical instrument or a new language.

8. GET COLD – OR HOT

BEING exposed to very hot or very cold conditions is potentially life-threatening for the human body.

But putting ourselves in these environments for short periods activates longevity pathways in our cells for positive health effects.

Smiling woman relaxing in sauna

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Smiling woman relaxing in saunaCredit: Getty

Turn your shower to cold for a burst, go swimming outdoors or have a hot sauna.

9. DO DAILY PUSH-UPS

LOSS of muscle tissue leads to frailty and increased risk of falls and fractures. It also lowers the effectiveness of your immune system.

To beat that decline you need to overload muscles regularly.

Man doing push-ups on concrete wall

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Man doing push-ups on concrete wallCredit: Getty

Do slow-motion moves that make your largest muscles reach the point of fatigue – try doing push-ups or squats really slowly until you can’t do any more.

10. BEAT STRESS

THE release of stress chemicals damages brain tissues and plays havoc with your gut bacteria.

Think about breathing – breathe out for longer than you breathe in. Listen to music and relax.

Young beautiful african american woman relaxing and listening to music using headphones, she is lying in bed

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Young beautiful african american woman relaxing and listening to music using headphones, she is lying in bedCredit: Getty
  • For more details about Julia’s smart wellness programme or to order her forthcoming book F-Bomb: Longevity Made Easy, go to neuronwellness.com.

TRIED AND TESTED

QUALITY sleep is so important for our health.

Getting enough of it helps to keep your in good shape, aids your emotional and mental wellbeing and can even help you maintain a healthy weight.

We tested the best products to ensure you always get a good night's sleep

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We tested the best products to ensure you always get a good night’s sleepCredit: Getty

Meanwhile, not getting enough sleep or disruptions to your night cycle can lead to fatigue.

Here, Jane Atkinson looks at ways to get enough shut-eye . . . 

SCENT

MANY aromatherapy essential oils may help to promote relaxation and sleep, and this new gadget is a brilliant way to fill your bedroom with them to help you nod off.

The Rove Aroma Atomiser is a brilliant way to fill your bedroom with aromatherapy essential oils to help you nod off

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The Rove Aroma Atomiser is a brilliant way to fill your bedroom with aromatherapy essential oils to help you nod offCredit: Madebyzen.com

The Rove Aroma Atomiser scents your space directly from the oil bottle, without the need for water, so you get a potent dose of essential oils.

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You simply push an essential oil bottle into the base, switch it to the intensity and run-time you want, for up to 90 minutes.

It charges with a USB and lasts for 30 hours.

It is so dinky I have taken it, with a bottle of ­lavender essential oils, when I have stayed away from home to help me nod off.

Best to turn off before you actually go to sleep as it does have a little motor noise.

I love this.

It is compatible with 5ml, 10ml and 15ml oil bottles and costs £55. See madebyzen.com.

WAKE-UP PILL

B-SYNC ON is the first and only supplement designed by sleep science and pharmacological experts to ­support and improve your wake-up process.

B-Sync On s the first and only supplement designed by sleep science and pharmacological experts to ­support and improve your wake-up process

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B-Sync On s the first and only supplement designed by sleep science and pharmacological experts to ­support and improve your wake-up processCredit: B SYNC

It contains vitamins B5 and B12 plus zinc and caffeine in a delayed-release capsule.

You take it at bedtime, and about seven hours later it starts to release them into your body.

It is clinically proven to sharpen focus, with feelings of wellbeing upon waking, and helps you transition with ease from sleep to wide awake.

It definitely works ­– my only problem is that I like eight hours’ kip.

With this, I was awake at 5am after just under seven hours, and there wasn’t a chance I was nodding off again.

Good if you only like seven hours, or if you have gone to bed late and know you need to get up early.

£23.99 for 20 capsules – see b-sync.life.

SUPPLEMENT

CHELATED magnesium has been described as the best pill to pop for all-round health.

Chelated magnesium is easily absorbed by the body and good for tackling fatigue, tiredness and lethargy

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Chelated magnesium is easily absorbed by the body and good for tackling fatigue, tiredness and lethargyCredit: Sp

It helps to regulate blood pressure, supports the immune system and could reduce a person’s risk of heart disease and cancer and boost overall health.

It is easily absorbed by the body and good for tackling fatigue, tiredness and lethargy.

I take it every day and am convinced it helps me sleep better.

Solgar Chelated Magnesium delivers 100mg of magnesium per tablet and costs £13.75 for a bottle of 100.

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You do need four a day though!

See solgar.co.uk.





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