Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Attitudes That Defy Your Age

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Attitudes That Defy Your Age

Article excerpt

We can all feel youthful, optimistic and energised ( not just in our 20s and 30s but in our 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. That's the message Dr Miriam Stoppard is trying to get across with the launch of her new book Defying Age. SARAH IVISON finds out more.

HUMAN lifespan is increasing every year. But while genes play their part in the ageing process, lifestyle, nutrition and attitude are also important.

Grow your brain

Recently it has been shown that exercise actually releases a growth hormone that causes cells to grow in the brain, Dr Miriam says.

"In the past, it was thought that brain cells couldn't grow and renew themselves, hence the devastation of a stroke ( but exercise promotes neurogenesis, the growth of new brain cells," she says.

"As well as the obvious physical benefits, exercise lifts your mood, cures depression and reduces tension and stress."

Keep your bones young

Responsible for 200,000 fractures every year, osteoporosis is a progressive condition that makes bones more likely to break.

Increase calcium in your diet with low-fat dairy products such as semi-skimmed milk and canned fish with bones such as sardines.

If the body lacks vitamin D, it won't be able to absorb the calcium, so stock up on herring, mackerel, fortified cereals, bread and margarine and cod liver oil.

Exercise is also important for bone health. "All you need to do is spend an hour a day on your feet ( walking, gardening, dancing, doing T'ai Chi or housework."

Have a good giggle

Laughter really could be the best medicine, according to research presented to the American College of Cardiology.

Laughing boosts blood flow and researchers say that 15 minutes of laughter a day as well as regular exercise could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

It has been found to help fight infections, relieve hayfever, ease pain, lower levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, restore a full and flowing breathing pattern and help control diabetes.

Drink water

Texan model Jerry Hall, 49, and Joan Collins, 72, both credit their amazing skin and lack of wrinkles to drinking water ( which also helps prevent headaches, reduce infections, keep up your concentration, banish under-eye bags, stop cramps, and keep bowels regular and healthy. …

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