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Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 1/5)

Read upside down
Consciously going outside your comfort zone every day, such as reading upside down, puts the brain under mild stress, damaging the cells - in repairing this damage your body also repairs age-related damage, says Dr Marios Kyriazis, a U.S. ageing expert.

Switch things up
Dr Kyruazis also suggests writing with your non-dominant hand, arguing the opposite to what you passionately believe, even listening to music you loathe, to keep your brain active.

Breathe through a straw
Take a few minutes each day to take deep, long breaths through a straw - with this simple exercise you end up breathing more deeply, which can improve your lung function and capacity (which otherwise reduce with age), slowing your heart rate and lowering blood pressure, says Dr Mike Moreno, author of The 17-Day Plan To Stop Aging.

Eat something red
"A red pepper contains more vitamin C than an orange, beetroot contains nitrates that help to relax blood vessels, and tomatoes are packed with lycopene (a powerful antioxidant), especially when cooked, which may help protect against cancer, heart disease and other health problems," says Dr Susan Jebb, of the Medical Research Council's Human Nutrition Research unit in Cambridge.
"And red grapes are rich in resveratrol, thought to have anti-inflammatory, cancer-preventing and cholesterol-lowering properties."

Be careful in the loo
You might be good about washing your hands after the loo, but there's no guarantee the person before you was as virtuous. This means the main door handle can be a bacteria hotspot, increasing the risk of infection and putting the immune system under unnecessary strain.
"I always try to exit using the lower part of the handle, not the part that is grasped by the whole hand - and hope for the best!" says Hugh Pennington, emeritus professor of bacteriology at the University of Aberdeen.

Banana boat
Reduce your blood pressure (and risk of strokes and heart disease) by increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods such as bananas, fruit juice and dried fruit. "Potassium helps counteract the damaging effects of excess salt in the diet," says nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker.
The recommended daily dose of potassium is 3.5g; to lower blood pressure, you need 4.7g - found in precisely one banana.

Practise squatting
Squatting - lowering yourself as if to sit on a chair, hovering, then standing again - is widely regarded as the single most effective muscle-strengthening exercise of all (and the closest one movement gets to a full-body exercise). It's important to keep agile so you can get out of a chair (or off the loo) in old age, and to prevent falls.

Have a cuppa
This has been shown to reduce levels of stress hormones and even boost survival rate following a heart attack by 28 per cent. Researchers at Harvard Medical School believe antioxidants in tea may help the blood vessels relax.

Get to bed early
Just one extra hour in bed could be enough to lower your blood pressure in as little as six weeks.
A recent study from Harvard Business School of people who slept for seven hours or less a night found that going to bed an hour earlier led to a significant drop in blood pressure (and risk of heart attack and strokes). The researchers think too little sleep affects the body's ability to deal with stress hormones.

Take yoghurt to the hospital
Patients who take a daily probiotic drink in hospital have a reduced risk of the superbug clostridium difficile (C.diff).
"The simple probiotic in a yogurt drink will not only keep your bowel healthy, but has been shown to have a positive effect on immunity," says Dr Sarah Schenker. "Many experts believe probiotics provide a better line of defence for hospital patients than hand gels and washing."
One Scandinavian study showed taking a probiotic a few days before surgery "significantly" reduced the risk of post-operative infections.

Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 2)
Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 3)
Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 4)
Fifty ways to live to 100 (Part 5)
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  1. I do believe with their study. probiotics provides us good bacteria to fight back with the bad bacteria in our system.


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