You might have heard about the concept of Blue Zones (first identified by the author and researcher Dan Buettner) – areas around the world where people commonly live to 100 and over. Okinawa in Japan and Ikaria in Greece are two such places where people live longer; thought to be because of a number of combining factors, including a healthy, varied diet, a purpose for living, a strong community and keeping active.
Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow, now 75, has been visiting these places as part of a new documentary, How to Live to 100. In it, Jon meets a host of inspirational older people, among them an Ikarian man who has just taken up sailing at the ripe age of 80. As they say, it’s never too late!
There are lifestyle changes that we all know should be put in place if we want to live longer – getting more exercise and stopping smoking and cutting down alcohol are amongst the most common. By taking control of our lifestyle choices at a younger age, we can now try to control how we experience our later years, avoiding the early decay of our cells and effectively syncing our dynamic biological age to be in line – or younger – than our standing chronological age.
A group of scientists at uda, the world’s first drink engineered to help us live longer, backed by Harvard, Oxford and Cambridge scientists, share some tips below on how to aid personal longevity that go beyond the usual advice… Prioritising our microbiome composition The human gut microbiome produces a functional complex in our bodies – it stimulates the immune system, breaks down potentially toxic food compounds and synthesizes certain vitamins and amino acids. By eating plenty of fibres and taking probiotics, we can ensure that our gut microbiome is being optimised, meaning that it can protect us from certain bacterial infections. Similar to fingerprints, no two gut microbiomes are alike, but there is a common group of microbe types found in everyone. Studies from the National Institute of Ageing have found that people whose gut microbiomes had grown more unique with age were able to walk faster and had better overall mobility than their peers with less microbiome divergence. Hitting the sauna Studies have found that those who sauna regularly have lower heart disease than others, because of the cardiovascular strain that is relieved during sauna sessions – one can reduce the rate of heart attack. Another benefit to regular sweat-sessions is the act of detoxing. Studies conducted in eastern Finland have shown that compared to men who only used the sauna once per week, moderate sauna users (2-3 times per week) are 22% less likely to experience sudden cardiac death, and frequent users (4-7 times per week) are 63% less likely to experience sudden cardiac death.
What are some ways you look after your health and wellbeing? Let us know on socials @PlatinumMagUK!