From procrastinating breakfast to making lists, follow these 10 steps to living longer

Eating 30 different fruits and vegetables a week, going to bed early, and taking cold showers could be the key to living longer, preventing disease, and losing weight.

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

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

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Top neuroscientist Dr. Julia Jones says simple changes in our daily routine are more beneficial than going to the gymPhoto credit: @DrRockUK/Twitter

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

Julia runs an 8-week Smart Wellness Longevity Plan to help people increase their life expectancy.

Here she shares her top ten tips.

1. DELAY BREAKFAST

By shifting your breakfast a few times a week, you can give cells the full time they need to do important repair work and lower your risk of everything from cancer to type 2 diabetes.

Leave 16 hours overnight between your last meal.

a healthy bowl of muesli with lots of natural ingredients

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a healthy bowl of muesli with lots of natural ingredientsPhoto credit: Getty

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

Stick to water, tea and coffee. Many scientists, myself included, 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 lower risk of disease.

But eating the same five fruits and vegetables every day doesn’t encourage diversity.

Various multicolored healthy fruits and vegetables isolated on white background.

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Various multicolored healthy fruits and vegetables isolated on white background.Photo credit: Getty

You should aim to try 30 different types per week to increase gut diversity.

Frozen fruits and vegetables work just as well as fresh, so buy a variety of frozen foods in bulk to keep costs down.

3. WALK OUT OF THE BREATH

YOU don’t need a full gym workout, you get out of breath a few times a week. Don’t use the elevator anymore and take the stairs.

Walk faster. Short bursts will work – just adjust a few to suit your habits.

Mountain Biking - Woman with fat bike enjoying summer vacation

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Mountain Biking – Woman with fat bike enjoying summer vacationPhoto credit: Getty

Go shopping by bike instead of driving.

4. PROTECT SKIN

ALL our organs age at different rates. Within us, biological clocks work at different speeds.

In fact, our skin ages the fastest and that means we need to take extra care of it.

Sunburn on the back and head of an 8-year-old girl

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Sunburn on the back and head of an 8-year-old girlPhoto credit: Getty

When the skin suffers, not only does it suffer damage in its own cells, but it also sends harmful signaling molecules through our bloodstream that can reach other parts of the body and cause problems elsewhere.

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

5. KEEP GUTS HEALTHY

OUR gut is home to many microbes and when they are out of balance our health can be in trouble.

Keep your gut healthy by regularly consuming foods and drinks that contain live bacteria known as probiotics — for example, kombucha drinks, kefir, live yogurt, and fermented sauerkraut.

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

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Kombucha cocktail curcuma and mint flavor, glass with fermenting scoby, black background and tablecloth with black textures.Photo credit: Getty

Also note that a fermented food that is not kept in the refrigerated section of a store does not contain live bacteria.

6. MAKE A LIST

Lists help to declutter our minds and reduce stress. Just writing one creates changes in the brain and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

And then when you successfully check off a few things, the feel-good reward chemical dopamine is released in the brain.

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

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Male hands make a to-do list in a notebook over a blue desk.Photo credit: Getty

You will feel a buzz.

7. GO FOR A WALK WITH YOUR BRAIN

DAMAGE to the brain can begin decades before symptoms appear, especially when we are overweight.

It has been shown that as the waist grows, the brain shrinks. Make sure your brain gets a good blood supply and calming signals by taking a walk outside 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 7.0Photo credit: Getty

You also need to challenge your brain for a lifetime by learning new, complex tasks to make new connections – try learning a musical instrument or a new language.

8. GET COLD – OR HOT

Exposure to very hot or very cold conditions is potentially life-threatening to the human body.

But when we venture into these environments for short periods of time, longevity pathways in our cells are activated for positive health effects.

Smiling woman relaxing in sauna

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Smiling woman relaxing in saunaPhoto credit: Getty

Turn your shower on cold for a boost, go for an outdoor swim, or hit the hot sauna.

9. Do push-ups every day

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

To overcome this decline, you need to regularly overload the muscles.

Man doing push-ups on a concrete wall

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Man doing push-ups on a concrete wallPhoto credit: Getty

Make slow-motion movements that push your largest muscles to the point of fatigue — try doing push-ups or squats really slowly until you can’t anymore.

10. RESOLVE STRESS

THE release of stress chemicals damages brain tissue and wreaks havoc on your gut bacteria.

Remember to breathe – breathe out longer than you breathe in. Listen to music and relax.

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

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Young beautiful african american woman relaxing and listening to music with headphones, she is lying in bedPhoto credit: Getty
  • For more information on Julia’s Smart Wellness program or to order her upcoming book F-Bomb: Longevity Made Easy, visit neuronwellness.com.

TRIED AND TESTED

QUALITY SLEEP is so important to our health.

Getting enough of it helps keep you in good shape, supports your emotional and mental well-being, and can even help you maintain a healthy weight.

We've tested the best products to ensure you always sleep well

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We’ve tested the best products to ensure you always sleep wellPhoto credit: Getty

On the other hand, too little sleep or disturbances in the night rhythm can lead to exhaustion.

Here, Jane Atkinson looks for ways to get enough sleep. . .

SCENT

Many aromatherapy essential oils can help promote relaxation and sleep, and this new device is a brilliant way to fill your bedroom with them to help you doze off.

The Rove Aroma Diffuser is a great way to fill your bedroom with aromatic essential oils to help you fall asleep

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The Rove Aroma Diffuser is a great way to fill your bedroom with aromatic essential oils to help you fall asleepPhoto credit: Madebyzen.com

The Rove Aroma Diffuser scents your room straight from the oil bottle, with no water required, giving you a powerful dose of essential oils.

I'm an expert on children's sleep - my easy way to help with bedtime separation anxiety
How to fall asleep in five minutes or less

You simply pop a bottle of essential oils into the base and adjust to your desired intensity and duration for up to 90 minutes.

It charges via USB and lasts 30 hours.

It’s so delicious that I took it with a bottle of lavender essential oil when I was away from home to help me sleep.

Best to turn off before bed as there is a little motor noise.

I love it.

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

WAKE UP PILL

B-SYNC ON is the first and only nutritional supplement developed by sleep scientists and pharmacological experts to support and enhance your waking process.

B-Sync On is the first and only nutritional supplement developed by sleep scientists and pharmacological experts to support and enhance your waking process

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B-Sync On is the first and only nutritional supplement developed by sleep scientists and pharmacological experts to support and enhance your waking processPhoto credit: B SYNC

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

You take it before bed and about seven hours later it starts releasing it into your body.

Clinically proven to sharpen focus, induce a sense of well-being upon waking and help you transition from sleep to wide awake with ease.

It definitely works – my only problem is that I like eight hours of fags.

So I was awake at 5 a.m. after almost seven hours and there was no way I could nod off again.

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

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

COMPLEMENT

CHELATED Magnesium has been described as the best pill for overall health.

Easily absorbed by the body, chelated magnesium is good for combating tiredness, fatigue and lethargy

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Easily absorbed by the body, chelated magnesium is good for combating tiredness, fatigue and lethargyCredit: Sp

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

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

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

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

However, you need four a day!

See www.solgar.co.uk.

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