Why a Love Heart?

love heartWhy is the Love Heart the Symbol of Love?

Have you ever looked at a diagram of a heart and wondered why it isn’t love heart shaped? What does the heart have to do with love anyway? Why do we use the Love Heart to symbolize love? The heart might beat more rapidly when you see the one you love, but it’s only really a pump.

Medical origins of the Love Heart

The glands of the endocrine system are more closely connected to the emotions because they create and control the hormones. And there happens to be an almost heart shaped one, called the thymus, in the middle of the rib cage, right where some people think their heart is. In most adults it’s pretty shrivelled up, so its role is still not fully understood by modern science, but maybe the knowledge is being rediscovered, rather than learnt for the first time.

Ancient origins of the Love Heart?

In ancient times, esoteric knowledge was deliberately shrouded in mystery or encoded in such a way that only the initiated would understand the true meaning of what was being revealed. Perhaps people misunderstood and the small, neglected, pinkish-gray thymus is more significant than we realise.

The Greek word thymos apparently referred to life force, feelings, consciousness and rising into flame.

Modern Day Love Heart

Today the Love Heart is as strong a symbol of love as ever. Nothing expresses love like a Love Heart neckless. It both symbolises and lies close to the heart.

Give a Love Heart

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B0040EIHOI” alt=”Sterling Silver “Learn From Yesterday, Love for Today, Hope for Tomorrow, Laugh As Much As You Breathe, Love As Long As You Live. Live Laugh Love.” Ribbon Heart Pendant, 18″” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31Po10i1P7L._SL160_.jpg” align=”none” width=”160″ height=”160″]

Why not give this Ribbon Heart Pendant. It has this wonderful inscription:

“Learn From Yesterday, Love for Today, Hope for Tomorrow, Laugh As Much As You Breathe, Love As Long As You Live. Live Laugh Love.”

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B001ULD9L0″ alt=”Sterling Silver “A True Friend Reaches For Your Hand But Touches Your Heart” Ribbon Heart Pendant, 18″” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51COaKpZkRL._SL160_.jpg” align=”center” width=”135″ height=”160″]

Love Heart for Someone Really Special

Diamonds really say that your love is forever. The combination of diamonds the love heart symbol is about as romantic as you can get.

With Love

30 Year Challenge

Filed under Love by

Permalink Print

How To Extend Your LIfe Expectancy

Ageing is natural process of life. .
You are only as old as you feel,

Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print

Best Anti Aging Tips – How to Look Younger and Get Healthy

Every food that you eat is very important on your skin,
“what you eat, is what your skin is”.
A healthy diet will give you smooth and looking younger skin,
so in this video you will learned what are the food and fruits
which will help to protect your skin from aging.

Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print

Anti Aging Diet for Your Skin | Best Health and Beauty Tips | Lifestyle

Putting the right efforts towards the right direction
can make you look young and beautiful for a very long time.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Anti-Aging Tips You Need To Know!

You can’t stop the time on your aging process,
but you can minimized it!
We must take it in gracefully and happily

Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print

Natural Wrinkle Treatment Creams : Egg Yolks for Wrinkle Prevention

Using egg yolks for free wrinkle treatment and prevention ……
Great that this video will help us How to do that

Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print

Anti Aging Tips Natural Anti Aging – For Any Age!

A very informative video that help us realized
that the way of getting a youthful skin is
having proper nutritious food together with proper lifestyle.

Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print

Top 10 Healthiest Vegetables

The more color on your plate, the better!
Find and know what does it means.

Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print

Natural Anti-Aging Tips with Dr. Trevor Cates

Get a video that teached us
How to live a healthy and longer life,
Dr Cates believed that eating food
that rich in antioxidants is a big factor

Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print

5 Natural Anti Aging Tips For A Radiant Youthful Appearance

To have a younger looking is every women’s dream to have.
But don’t you know that olive Oil, Juicing, Fruits and Veggies
is enough to make that happen.

Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print

The Best Anti-Aging Foods

Eat organic foods , don’t overcook your food,
and avoid eating processed foods
it is one of the best tips to look younger than your true age.

Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print

Top 10 Anti Aging Foods for Your Skin

Everyone dreamed is to have a glowy and wrinkled free skin
without even thinking that several cosmetic treatments
and expensive make up that may affect our skin badly
Lets find out How that happen…

Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print

Top Anti-Aging Secrets From 3 Women Who Look Decades Younger Than Their Real Age

No cosmetic surgery, just raw
Diet to stay look younger.
It’s what this video explained to you

Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print

How Long Will I Live?

I’m Wondering How Long Will I Live?

how long will I live

How long will I live?

How long will I live?   I am constantly reading that life expectancy is increasing and that we will all live longer.

Wikipedia shows the current average life expectancy at birth in the United States as being over just 78 years old.

Previous generations of Americans would have had much lower life expectancy, with no realistic expectation of living into their late seventies and beyond. Perhaps because life expectancy seems to be such a hot news item I find myself pondering my longevity.

How long will I live is probably not a question that many people may ponder daily, but it is a vital issue none-the-less.  When planning for the future, especially for things like pensions, estimates may have to be made on this critical question.

I’ve decided How Long Will I Live

I have decided that I want to be on this earth as long as I can be healthy, and no longer.  This is not to say that I wouldn’t like to try to live forever, and see new changes taking place in the world, but I’d want to be fit enough to enjoy the extra years, not stuck in a hospital or care-home bed.

Can I control how long will I live?

[easyazon-image-link asin=”145007619X” alt=”LIVING A LONGER LIFE” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51sVUFpUz7L._SL160_.jpg” align=”none” width=”107″ height=”160″]

Only a part of my life is actually in my control.  I do not generally test my longevity by standing in front of a speeding bus, to see what will happen. Therefore I control my life by protecting myself as much as fate will allow.  I also realize that life is not forever, and it should be appreciated, and respected as a privilege.  I control as much of my life as I can, and when I choose to do it in a healthy way, I may increase my longevity, barring other unforeseen incidents.

Genetic Factors in how long will I live

There are two big factors involved in determining the answer to How long will I live?  These major factors are genetic backgrounds, and my lifestyle. My genetics are predetermined, so I cannot alter them, for example the genetic predisposition for disease a specific disease might be in my genes.

Lifestyle factors in how long will I live

The lifestyle factors in how long will I live is all mine.  I can choose to live a healthy life and possibly live longer.  Alternatively I can forget about risks to my life, and live day to day.  It is impossible to predict what may happen to us, but I want to at least have a chance to live a long and healthy life.  There are five factors which influence longevity that I can control, and although I have not mastered them all, it is something that I think about each day, and try to improve upon.

Five factors which influence how long will I live

Blood Pressure

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B0002T7IXG” alt=”North American Healthcare TV3649 Wristech Blood Pressure Monitor” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41P6TGWJE0L._SL160_.jpg” align=”none” width=”160″ height=”140″]

Blood pressure is a major factor, and involves three of these other five factors.  Smoking, exercise, and stress, can all affect blood pressure, so by controlling these other factors in a positive way, you will be making a huge difference in your blood pressure.  Genetic predisposition to heart disease does affect your blood pressure, but if it is monitored carefully, you have every chance of living a long life.

Controlling Stress

This is sometimes like taming a wild bull, but it is necessary, in order to maintain a somewhat normal blood pressure.  A positive outlook helps, surround yourself with friends and family, and be sure to give of yourself.  Giving in any form, even a smile, can help you to control your stress, and lower your blood pressure at the same time.  When your body feels gratification, you relax, and the blood flows freely.  If you only find fault, you will be tense, and have higher blood pressure, so do a nice deed today!

Smoking Cigarettes

[easyazon-image-link asin=”0615482155″ alt=”Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41CPllMvsdL._SL160_.jpg” align=”none” width=”107″ height=”160″]

Stop smoking and you can possibly add years to your life, and get rid of some wrinkles at the same time.  Smoking constricts the blood vessels, causing high blood pressure, and can also cause lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease.  It is not easy to quit, but it would definitely be worth your life in doing so.


[easyazon-image-link asin=”B001MS0EMS” alt=”The Bean Deluxe Ultimate Abdominal Exerciser, Including DVD and Pump” src=”” align=”none” width=”” height=””]

The most important thing about this category is to find some type of cardiovascular exercise that you can, and will do.  Finding something that is not a chore to do is the key.  If it doesn’t seem like exercising, you will not mind doing it, and it will definitely help your heart to tick longer.

Healthy Diet

[easyazon-image-link asin=”0875964486″ alt=”Healthy Cooking for Two (or Just You): Low-Fat Recipes with Half the Fuss and Double the Taste” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51nGppvbddL._SL160_.jpg” align=”none” width=”128″ height=”160″]

As with exercising, make your diet one that you can enjoy.  If you eliminate everything that you like, you will crave it more, and forget your healthy diet all together.  If you try to eat a balanced meal every day, and smaller portions, there is no need to go overboard.  With your healthy diet and exercise combined, you may add years to your life, and both of these things will improve your blood pressure automatically.

What Is The Answer To How Long Will I Live?

The question “How long will I live?” can be influenced, but not totally controlled by my lifestyle choices.  Many of the factors above affect each other, and by controlling one, I make a positive adjustment to the others without even thinking.

Because our lives are never stable, and are ever changing, I forget about when I will probably die, because there is just too much living to do.  However, by paying attention to the factors I’ve outlined such as respecting my body, and giving as much as I can to others, I plan to live as long as I can.

If you do not think about and plan to have a long life, you probably will not care to pay too much attention to making preparations to ensure that you live a healthy as well as long life. But I would like to be at least, prepared for a long ride, and positively control what I am able to control, in this exciting life of surprise and wonder.

Kind Regards,


Related Posts

Will You Be Dead Before Your 65?

Don’t Become an Unfortunate Statistic




Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print

Toxic Bachelors Die Younger

A friend of mine has just split up with her boyfriend because he wanted complete freedom as well as the relationship. He sounded like a toxic bachelor to me, but I was surprised to hear my friend had never heard the term.

It’s been in use for a few years to mean a man who thinks he’s living the good life but will end up in an early grave and I thought it might be time to recap.

According to an article in The Sunday Times, lots of men don’t become mature adults because they don’t have to. They earn good money, live alone or with friends, own the latest gadgets and take exotic holidays out of season. Although they are 58% more likely to die before they reach 50 than men who settle down with a partner, many continue to enjoy their lifestyle until middle age without seeing the drawbacks.

It catches up with them though. Numerous studies show that single men suffer more heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and even flu. They spend more time in hospital and take longer to recover than married men and have shorter life expectancies.

Women on the other hand, seem to do better and live longer on their own!

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

How to Give Up Smoking

Have You Tried to Give Up Smoking?

[easyazon-image-link asin=”0812975413″ alt=”The Art of Aging: A Doctor’s Prescription for Well-Being” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Vs6fhRzgL._SL160_.jpg” align=”none” width=”103″ height=”160″]

You probably need to be over 70 to appreciate Sherwin B Nuland’s book, The Art of Aging but it does contain a novel tactic to help people give up smoking. (The Art of Aging: A Doctor’s Prescription for Well-Being)

As a doctor, Nuland finds he has more success persuading people to quit by appealing to their vanity than he does by warning them about their health.

When he meets a smoker for the first time he asks them why they smoke so much and they ask him how he can tell. He explains they look 10 years older than their age would suggest.

He can recognize a heavy smoker by the lines on their face which are impossible to miss in women over 50 when you know what to look for and a bit harder to detect in men. Apparently, thin lines appear at the corners of the mouth and gradually stretch to the area below the nostrils, eventually reaching the cheeks and corners of the eyes.

Getting people to realize that smoking makes them look older may be an effective way to help people give up smoking.

If you need help quiting smoking I recommend trying NicoDerm Nicotine Patches that you order online from Amazon.

>-> CLICK HERE to order NicoDerm Nicotine Patches safely and securely from Amazon <-<

[easyazon-block asin=”B000JI6CT6″ align=”none”]


Filed under Blog, Health, Personal development by

Permalink Print

Loving What Is Review

Clear communication skills are worth learning at any age but as we get older they could be vital. When we let go of our work commitments or child care responsibilities we will still want to focus on our deep connection with those we love. We don’t want to be all alone with only the television for company.

In old age, good friends and relatives could even make the difference between life and death. They help us do things we can no longer do for ourselves and prevent the tragedy of loneliness which is psychologically distressing and affects our recovery from serious illness.

The problem is that most of us didn’t grow up in families which modeled gentle and effective communication and it wasn’t on the curriculum at school.

I think it will be difficult to break habitual ways of relating to other people when we reach old age. It’s something we need to start improving now.

‘Loving What Is’, by Byron Katie is a good place to start. It’s basically a simple list of questions to ask ourselves whenever we have a problem in a relationship. It helps you see things from other angles – getting beyond blame or thinking the other person is ‘wrong’.

I’m lucky enough to live amongst people who use and value Byron Katie’s ideas but some of my friends found the style of the book off-putting at first. We laugh about it now because those who struggled at the beginning have become the most dedicated at “doing the work” she advocates.

One friend had the book for a year and couldn’t stand it. Then, when she couldn’t resolve difficulties with her boyfriend, she stayed awake all night reading it. The next day she ended her relationship cleanly and took charge of her life.

I love it when there is something easy we can do now as a kind of insurance policy for old age and it starts paying dividends straight away. Byron Katie’s book showed me how to understand others rather than simply judging them and to recognize that I also do the things I don’t like in others. I practice what I learned as much as possible and maybe by the time I’m 90 I’ll be an expert rather than a miserable old woman.

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

Filed under Book Review by

Permalink Print

How To Change Our Lives By Changing Our Attitudes

In ‘Calculating Your Life Expectancy’ I said my mom thinks she’s living on borrowed time. I couldn’t get her to understand that life expectancy increases as we get older and that her life expectancy is 91.5 years.

She may even be in the 50% of her age group who live longer than that, especially as she gave birth at 39 and a significant number of women who live to be 100 gave birth when they were around 40.

The newspapers she reads say life expectancy is 80 or 81 and I couldn’t convince her that the published figure is life expectancy at birth. By the time you’re old enough to read the newspaper your life expectancy has already increased, so although it’s the simplest statistic for journalists to quote, it isn’t the most meaningful for their readers.

Now I’m delighted to report that my mom has changed her attitude. After years of telling people she doesn’t need anything for her birthday, this year she wrote a list.

Since her 80th birthday she stopped wanting anything new because she was sure the things she already had would last long enough. She hadn’t got to the point of not buying green bananas, but she didn’t think she had a future.

This year she asked for new dresses, a frying pan and new lights. She’s even talking about getting a new kitchen. After 6 years of making do with what she’s got her things are wearing out. So she’s decided I might be right about life expectancy and it’s time to start living as though she could reach 90 or beyond.

It’s a much more positive outlook. She’s thinking about living rather than dying and embracing new experiences. We went to the beach for her birthday and she seemed to enjoy herself more than she has in years.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print Comment

How to Reduce Stress

Stress is the body’s reaction to any situation that seems to be an emergency. We automatically shut down digestion and increase our heart rate. Pumping extra blood to our muscles helps us act more effectively during the flight, fight or freeze response.

The problem is that we respond to many situations as though they are life threatening when they’re not and when that happens too often our nervous systems don’t have time to recover. This can exhaust our adrenal glands and lead to stress related illnesses.

There is a solution, but whereas the fight, flight or freeze response is automatic Herbert Benson from Harvard University found that its counterbalance – the relaxation response – requires practice.

Simple techniques, such as deep breathing, trigger this response so it’s easier than you may realise to de-stress even if you are busy. The hardest part is realising that something so easy can make such a big difference to your well-being and remembering to put the techniques into practice.

If you have children, Linda Lantieri’s recent book, “Building Emotional Intelligence” has techniques you can share with them. There is a CD at the back of the book with exercises guided by Daniel Goleman to get you started.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print Comment

Are Elderly People Missing Out on Treatment to Prolong Life?

In an ideal world we would all get the treatment we need to live as healthily and as long as possible. But in the real world we have limited resources and people are being denied treatments that would prolong their life.

It’s not just happening in poor countries. The UK has a National Health Service which promises to provide free and equal health care for all, yet healthcare providers are admitting that age rationing occurs. And the same dilemmas are being faced elsewhere.

Age discrimination is happening unintentionally. When you want to do as much good as possible with the resources you have, someone over 85 misses out on treatment that would extend their life because it would buy them less extra time than it would for a younger person.

I just watched a documentary called ‘The Price of Life’ in which a woman was given a drug which dramatically reduced the effects of her cancer. Her daily life went from being almost unbearable to being positively enjoyable. Since the drug was already working for her it was likely to increase her life expectancy if she continued taking it.

But it was part of a drug trial and she was not allowed to continue receiving the treatment when the experiment finished. Even though the drug trial had been successful it was considered too expensive for the NHS to provide. After long deliberation the NHS can now prescribe the drug, but in the time they took to decide, the woman was put on less effective drugs and died after suffering complications.

We can eat healthily, take exercise and not smoke, but when we live longer we still might get sick. Then even if there is a cure our life could be determined by a cost-benefit analysis which decides we’re not worth the expense.

Suddenly, comprehensive health insurance looks very attractive.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print Comment

Will You Be Dead Before 65?

I’d like to share an email with you that my brother sent to me. He met a woman who has taken charge of her life and it reminded him to do something about his health before it’s too late.

“I met a woman today whose parent’s both died before they were 65. Both her parents worked hard all their lives and only started to look after their health when they were already suffering from illness. They both had high blood pressure.

My new friend had changed her own life as a result of her parent’s premature death. She exercises regularly and has her cholesterol tested regularly. She has found that she has a hereditary tendency to high cholesterol, but is managing to keep her cholesterol lower by regular exercise and paying attention to her diet.

She is hoping that taking this effort now will mean that she is able to enjoy not only her children, but also her grandchildren, which is something her parents were unable to do.”

I congratulate her on taking the tests and facing up to the results.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print 1 Comment

Check Your Smoke Alarm

Smoke Alarm

Smoke Alarm

When Did You Check Your Smoke Alarm??

Your home may have a smoke alarm, but how often do you test it? If it is battery operated it might be time to make sure it still works. When I was looking at national statistics last week I couldn’t find much useful information, but I did find out that 400 people die in fires in homes in the UK every year and you are twice as likely to die in a fire if there isn’t a working smoke alarm.

I went out and bought a new battery for my alarm. Then the next day my neighbour came round saying she nearly burned her apartment down in the night. She likes cooked breakfast cereal but doesn’t have time to boil it in the morning, so she prepares it at night and reheats it when she gets up. Except this time she forgot to turn it off.

Thankfully her little boy woke her up at 3 am saying he didn’t like all the smoke.

It took a while before it dawned on her that she could have killed her family and then she went into shock. She needed reassuring that we all have lapses of concentration when we’re tired, that’s why we have safeguards. The most worrying thing wasn’t that she made a mistake it was that her alarm didn’t go off. Most homes are fitted with smoke alarms. Make sure yours works, and if not buy a new one now.

Get a second Smoke Alarm

Why not Get a second Smoke Alarm? There are some great new models that can detect Carbon Monoxide, Fire, and Smoke. A good example is the Kidde KN-COSM-XTR-B Nighthawk Combination Carbon Monoxide, Fire, and Smoke Intelligent Alarm that is currently available from Amazon for under $40.

[easyazon-block asin=”B003Z4JJX2″ align=”none”]


Filed under Safety by

Permalink Print Comment

Don’t Become an Unfortunate Statistic

Because of their ability to analyse vast amounts of data, computers are changing many aspects of life, including how we do First Aid. I took a course to refresh my knowledge and had to throw away most of what I had already learned because new statistics show that the old techniques cost lives.

Previously, if I was up a nearby mountain without a phone and someone’s breathing stopped, my training was to give them mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and shout for help. I would have been afraid to leave them because they might die while I went off looking for assistance.

Now I would run for help because records prove that in my area people are rarely far away in an emergency. Even though the old resuscitation method would extend the survival time, they are more likely to live if I left them to fetch the mountain rescue team.

It’s an unlikely scenario for me, but there were lots of practical tips that made the course worthwhile, such as putting a number 1, 2 or 3 next to names in your mobile phone so the emergency services know who to call first if you are unconscious after an accident.

The course also made me think how many hidden benefits there could be from other organisations sharing the information they have on their databases. I was impressed by the way First Aid courses can use statistics to change their methods and to get their message across to a class. Our local police also make use of statistics when people are caught speeding. They show hard hitting evidence of the number of pedestrians killed by people driving three miles above the speed limit.

Such statistics help us make more informed decisions. If we could compare which hospitals and doctors have the best recovery rates for operations and which procedures are the most reliable it could have a bigger impact on life expectancy than waiting for scientific breakthroughs.

There is an amazing article about ‘What happens when patients find out how good their doctors really are?’

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print Comment

How Much Money Will You Need In Old Age?

retirementDon’t Get Caught Out – The Cost of Living Changes as You Get Older.

While we are young and healthy it’s easy to calculate how much money we need for necessities such as food, warmth and shelter. As we get older the situation changes. You may think you’ll need less and you’ll be able to live on your pension, but age related health issues are expensive to address and you may have to pay. In retirement the amount of money we spend on health increases, and this money often has to be found from savings or a pension.

Even in countries that provide free health care, people in the last 7 years of their lives tend to spend their own money on pills and products to improve mobility, reduce pain or relieve symptoms. Sadly some people who can’t afford to pay for treatment die waiting for operations or for Government approval to fund expensive drugs.

The state can’t pay for complete and perfect health care for everyone and as people live longer the systems we rely on are being put under even more pressure. Expensive drugs are available which extend life expectancy and improve the quality of life for people with certain diseases such as breast cancer and Alzheimer’s. Yet people die while experts decide whether to fund treatment or not.

Drug companies can charge a high premium for pills which reduce suffering, restore health or extend life. They know that if we have the money we will pay even if our governments or insurance policies won’t.

It’s very difficult to know how much money to provide for our old age. New treatments will be available by the time we need them, but will we be able to afford them?

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print Comment

What is Co-Q10?

I’m Curious about Co-Q10

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B0019GW3G8″ alt=”Doctor’s Best High Absorption Coq10 (100 mg), 120 Soft gels” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/311hqYUNB6L.jpg” align=”none” width=”300″ height=”300″]

Many people now take supplements of CoQ10 on the advice of their doctors or nutritionists to improve heart function, slow down the progression of Parkinson Disease or just to stay healthy. Recently the skin care industry started getting in on the act by adding it to anti-wrinkle products and eye creams. Yet is this necessary when we make it ourselves in the body?

Co-Q10 is a naturally occurring chemical compound attached to enzymes (Co stands for coenzyme). It helps convert glucose into energy for healthy cell growth and acts as a powerful antioxidant to protect cells from free radical damage.  Confusingly Co-Q10 is also called Coenzyme Q10, CoQ10, CoQ, Q10, or simply Q. (see How To Prevent Free Radical Damage Blog May 12th).

So why are people taking CoQ10 as a supplement?

Levels of this coenzyme decrease as we get older and were found to be particularly low in people with heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Clinical studies have shown that taking supplements of CoQ10 may help some people and more research on Parkinson Disease is currently taking place. However I can’t find results for many skin care tests on humans.

In theory Co-Q10 looks promising as an active ingredient to prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging. If we have less than optimal amounts in our skin it affects our ability to produce elastin which is needed to keep the skin flexible and looking young. Co-Q10 is small enough to penetrate the skin so it could be easy to replace it as we get older. I’m going to test it on myself.

I’ve added some powdered Co-Q10 to one bottle of sun cream to use on the left side of my body and I’ll use an identical bottle of cream without the Co-Q10 on the right side.

Summer has arrived and this experiment will make me much more conscientious about applying lotion before I go out in the sun. I’ll report back if there is any visible difference.

Do remember that it’s advisable to check with a doctor before taking supplements.

>-> CLICK HERE to order Co-Q10 safely and securely from Amazon <-<

[easyazon-block asin=”B0019GW3G8″ align=”none”]

Filed under Health by

Permalink Print Comment

Race for Longevity could be Won in Our Lifetime

Race for LongevityMapping the human genome by the year 2000 would have been impossible if knowledge had accumulated at a steady pace. Instead it relied on breakthroughs, often in unrelated subjects, which continuously accelerated the rate of progress.

No one could predict exactly what those breakthroughs would be, but scientists knew they would occur because overall knowledge doubles every three years.

Now the race is on to slow down aging. We’re currently adding up to two and a half years life expectancy every decade, that’s up to 6 hours every day. The quest is to add a year every year so that those who are able to benefit can live indefinitely. Ray Kurzweil believes that by 2045 technology will have reached the point where that can become a reality, and Aubrey de Grey is confident that some people alive today can live to 1000 or beyond.

If they’re right, can we as individuals keep up with the pace of change that happens around us? Imagine being born 1000 years ago and adjusting to all the shifts taking place in religion, politics, technology or even just food and fashion. Today’s 80 year olds often struggle with the challenges of modern life, how will we cope when change is occurring even faster and we’re over 500? We’re going to need to be very adaptable.

I don’t think any of us are psychologically prepared for the changes that will happen this century. We need to stay fit and healthy to still be here in 2045, but we also need to do something about our mental limitations, otherwise a longer life might not be a blessing, but a curse.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print Comment

Do We Die Prematurely Because of Our Beliefs?


Baby boomers are changing patterns of aging by refusing to slow down as they get older, but there are times when we all become aware of our own mortality. I don’t know anyone who is totally immune to cultural conditioning when it comes to milestone birthdays such as 40 or 50.

Perhaps our ability to live beyond 80, 100 or even 120 is restricted by society’s attitudes to age backed up by scientific and historical data telling us that death is inevitable. It’s the opposite of the placebo.

We are all familiar with the extraordinary power of the placebo which is purely based on belief. It is more amazing than any drug because it can have positive effects on the symptoms of every disease. Yet very little is known about its twin, the nocebo effect which is at least as powerful and can be deadly.

The nocebo is not just present in extreme cases of Voodoo. We might be immune to those anyway as long as we don’t share the beliefs of the Witch Doctor.

It’s also present in our society and it’s much harder to stand outside its influence when we’re unaware of our underlying assumptions or we think our beliefs are true.

This week’s New Scientist tells the story of a man who died on schedule because his doctor said he was dying of liver cancer and only had a few months to live. After he died the autopsy showed the doctor had got it wrong. The man died because beliefs were presented as facts.

The nocebo is also responsible when doctors tell patients about possible side-effects of drugs and the rates of those effects to go up.

Likewise people who believe they have a high risk of developing a disease are more likely to get it than those with the same risk factors who don’t share the belief. This is worth being aware of if you get your DNA tested. Could you completely dismiss a report that showed a high tendency towards one or more hereditary disease?

I suspect we all have unexamined beliefs that are limiting our enjoyment of life and ultimately reduce our life expectancy. And we are influenced by others far more than we would like to admit. But that’s enough negativity. If we are going to breakthrough the pervading ideas about mortality we need to cultivate the life-affirming qualities of the placebo effect, share our optimism and generate new possibilities.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

How To Prevent Free Radical Damage

Face CareAging is a slow progression of damage that can be caused by free radicals.

These destructive free radicals are minute particles which are unstable because they contain an unpaired electron. They quickly set up chain reactions in the body, like a domino effect, where one free radical takes an electron from the molecule next to it to make up a pair. The next one becomes a free radical and that takes another electron from a nearby molecule and so on until something stops the process (usually an antioxidant).

Unfortunately when free radicals occur in our cells they damage each molecule in the chain and the ce lls don’t fully recover. Over time they can affect the whole body and contribute to loss of sight, hearing and other organ failures.

We can’t see what’s going on at the molecular level, so the damage doesn’t start showing up until whole groups of cells have been affected, such as when our skin loses its elasticity or we get wrinkles. Strong sunlight and pollution generate free radicals in the skin so the parts of the body most exposed to the sun and the environment show the first signs of aging.

All it takes to stop a cascade of free radicals is a molecule that acts as an antioxidant appearing in the right place at the right time. Antioxidants can give free radicals an electron to complete a pair without becoming unstable in the process. So the domino effect is halted and no further damage occurs.

We get antioxidants in three ways. Firstly, we can make them in our bodies, but they seem to become less available as we age. Secondly, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables provides protective antioxidants, but I’m sure my diet is inadequate. And thirdly, we can absorb them through our skin.

In the last 10 years clinical studies have shown that regular use of products containing antioxidants really can protect or reduce wrinkles. (Like most things though, it’s best not to over do it. Too many antioxidants applied to the skin could cause irritation.)

I’ve already been eating more oils to increase my intake of antioxidants and essential fatty acids . Now I’ve realised I can boost my intake simply by feeding my skin.  So I’ve started to use oil on my body after a bath or by having a massage. I’ve made a blend of rosehip oil and sunflower oil as a kind of multivitamin for the skin. It’s such a pleasant way to improve my health, I don’t know why I didn’t think of it a long time ago when I learned we can absorb nutrients through the skin.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

A Fantastic Alternative to Milk

Almond milk a better Alternative to Milk?alternative-to-milk

I grew up believing I needed to drink a pint of milk every day to get enough protein and calcium. For the first few years at school, we were given a small bottle of milk every day and when we were older our lessons about diet were based on materials provided by the Milk Marketing Board.

My mom dutifully made me drink my daily pint and she did the same. Now she has osteoporosis and has had her hips replaced. She’s not the only one. It’s common for people in countries that consume the most dairy products to have rotten teeth and weak bones, while people in African and Asian countries that don’t consume much milk often have strong teeth and bones.

I’ve read contradictory theories for and against milk, but the fact is that although there is plenty of calcium in milk, it didn’t help my mom. Perhaps there is something else in milk that stopped her absorbing it.

Milk is also mucus forming, so I’d prefer to get some of my calcium from vegetables and nuts.

Not Milk, Nut Milk

[easyazon-image-link asin=”0880072180″ alt=”Not Milk…Nut Milks!: 40 of the Most Original Dairy-Free Milk Recipes Ever!” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/513RV6YGCKL._SL160_.jpg” align=”none” width=”109″ height=”160″]

Almond milk

I’ve just started making my own fresh almond milk. Almonds are particularly high in calcium and the recipe from Not Milk, Nut Milk, by Candia Lea Cole combines them with flaxseeds (also called linseed), which the author says can help to overcome hypoglycaemia, diabetes and heart disease. Flaxseeds are high in Omega 3 fatty acids and that’s a good reason to include them in my diet.

This almond milk recipe also uses lecithin – from soya beans – to make a creamier drink and aid digestion. My version of the recipe has less honey than the one in the book.

Almond Milk Ingredients

⅓ of a cup of organic almonds
1 tablespoon of organic flaxseeds
1 teaspoon lecithin granules (available from health food stores as a food supplement)
2 teaspoons of honey (or more if you like it sweeter)
3½ cups of warm water

Grind the almonds and flaxseeds. (I use a Magimix).
Transfer the powdered nuts and seeds to a blender.
Add warm water and lecithin.
Liquidize until creamy then strain through a piece of muslin or cheesecloth.
Stir the honey into the liquid and pour into bottles. It should keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
I use the leftover bits of nuts and seeds as ingredients for nut burgers.

I prefer this to cow’s milk, but so far I haven’t found a more delicious alternative for butter or cream so I haven’t given up on dairy products altogether.

Buy Almond milk online

If you don’t have time to make Almond milk you can buy it easily online from Amazon.

[easyazon-block asin=”B002H062DA” align=”none”]

Soya Milk

The other simple and easy alternative to milk that I use is soya milk.

Buy Soya milk online

[easyazon-block asin=”B00474CWJW” align=”none”]


Filed under Health by

Permalink Print

Realize your Retirement Dream

retirement dreamWhere do you want to live when you get old?

Some people dream of retiring to a small place by the sea, but for others moving is a difficult decision they face when they can’t continue living the way they used to. At that point the options available are limited, yet if we plan ahead we can enjoy a sustainable lifestyle surrounded by people we know and have an active role in our community at any age.

Four years ago I got together with a group of people and bought a country estate with a mansion and outbuildings, some of which were already converted into apartments. We have separate homes with small private gardens and share 10 acres of grounds where children play and we grow our own food.

None of us was thinking about retiring when we started. We were simply sharing resources in ways that benefit everyone and working together on common goals. This has led to deeper relationships and a true sense of community.

We are now in the process of converting a redundant outbuilding into new houses and we’ve found that a large proportion of people applying to join us are over 60. It’s a wonderful environment for young and old, but we don’t say yes to too many older people because we like the diversity of a balanced age range.

Many of these older people have thought hard about how they want to live and know that a community like ours would meet their needs better than anywhere else. But it’s better to make that choice earlier in life to have a chance of making it a reality.

Having seen the alternatives to living in a close knit community I’m glad I’ve started doing it in my 40’s.

I’ve just been to visit my mum who lives with lots of other retired people 200 miles away. Everyone living there has moved from their previous homes and needed to get used to new surroundings and make new friends. They all live independent lives in separate apartments and get together regularly to play cards or share common interests. In some ways it’s similar to the community I live in, but there are no young people living there and no sense of common purpose.

My mum doesn’t get a full range of social interaction and – in contrast with our community – children visiting quickly get bored and want to leave.

Older people are a valuable asset to our community. They have time for gardening, passing on skills and occupying children, sitting around the fire leading a sing-a-long, and contributing their ideas at meetings. It’s a far healthier and satisfying way to live. If you think it would suit you, why wait? It has advantages at any age.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Benefits of Aging

benefits old ageThere’s a moment in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull where the hero is told he has reached an age when life stops giving you things and starts taking them away. If Jones subscribed to that view presumably most of the action in the film wouldn’t have taken place, but it does sum up a persuasive belief about old age. It’s particularly noticeable in films because there are very few good roles for older people.

For most of us, our fitness levels decline with age and as early as 27 our arithmetic, language and memory skills start to slowly get worse. But according to this week’s New Scientist there are compensations. While processes that rely on “fluid intelligence” deteriorate, our “crystallised intelligence” associated with wisdom, actually increases. And we can slow down the aging process by staying physically active, playing brain training games, eating a healthy diet and avoiding tobacco, alcohol and harmful drugs.


Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can

Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can In my search to learn how to live a long and healthy life I’m keeping an open mind about the causes of illness and how to achieve full recovery. So when  Caroline Myss’  book, “Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can” helped a friend overcome a long illness, I thought it was time to check it out.

Myss suggests that people can become attached to past abuse, trauma or a current illness because the pain brings some sort of benefit. This can range from the comfort of special treatment (such as the safety of a support group), to the ability to use a wound as a weapon (as in, “You have to do what I say because I’ve been through this major trauma and you haven’t”).

She recognises the importance of acknowledging trauma and the need for support, but for her that support can only be a way across the water, it’s essential to get off the boat on the other shore and move on.

There is a tendency to hold onto a ‘wound’ because it becomes familiar and we sort of know how to live with it. The friend, who recommended this book, saw this pattern in herself and turned it around. She said, “It created within me an excitement and I asked myself: Wouldn’t it be fantastic to connect with people through my strengths and have them acknowledged rather than my weaknesses?”

For Myss the healing process can be helped by transcending the physical level of illness. As well as the understanding the psychological level, she explores the symbolism of chakra’s, astrological ages and even divine will. She suggests that, “Transformation through illness is a time-honored spiritual theme, and faith in the Divine can yield dramatic insight and healing.”

Although I find some of this hard to accept, my friend found it helpful to look at the symbolic aspect of her illness, especially the bit about looking at archetypes.
It gave her an opportunity to step back and instead of seeing it as purely personal, she was able to get a new perspective which led to healing.


Why People Don’t Heal and How They Can
A practical programme for healing body, mind and spirit
Caroline Myss, Bantam 1998

Filed under Blog, Book Review by

Permalink Print

Hi-Tech Running

Garmin Forerunner 50

Garmin Forerunner 50 Hi-Tech Running

I intended to buy a new GPS system for my car, but ended up buying a fun gadget for taking running seriously. I knew Garmin produce satellite navigation systems for vehicles, so I looked on Amazon and up popped information about the Garmin Forerunner 50 + Footpod for runners. It comes with a special watch and a footpod to clip onto one of the laces (or Velcro strap) on your running shoes. It records mileage, speed and calories on the large watch display and when you’re near your computer it will wirelessly download the data.

I bought a similar device that works with my ipod, but I didn’t get on with it because it needed to be inserted in a concealed compartment inside special running shoes. I’d prefer my old Nike trainers which have a split at the front to allow my toes to spread, so it wasn’t any use. You can now buy a pouch to attach the ipod gadget to other trainers but the battery seems to have run out and I can’t replace it.

In an ideal world I wouldn’t need anything to motivate me to follow an exercise program. However, in reality important projects and people compete for my time and I tend to skip sessions. Keeping accurate records on computer helps me recognize when this becomes a pattern and I get back on track. It’s like having a personal trainer.

Although I haven’t used all the Forerunner’s features yet, it’s already keeping me fit and healthy. The only drawback so far is that I didn’t get around to buying the GPS for my car.


Garmin Forerunner 50 + Footpod
[easyazon-block asin=”B000UVZ5TA” align=”none”]


Filed under Exercise, Health by

Permalink Print

How Many Calories Do You Need?

How many calories do you needI’ve always been told I have a fast metabolism because I eat lots of cakes and chocolate without getting fat. But, I’ve also been told it won’t last because after the age of 30 metabolism slows down by about 1% a year. There seems to be some truth in this because over the last few years I put on 14 lbs. So, when I was offered a metabolism test at a fitness centre, I couldn’t resist.

A small wire was taped to my hand and another to my foot. Then a tiny current was passed up and down between them. Like the Osron Body Fat Monitor this gadget measured resistance that blocks the flow of electrical current and calculated my percentage of body fat. The difference is that it claims to distinguish between fat and muscle or lean body weight.

In theory, women should have about 15 – 25% of their weight as fat, which I just managed to be within. But it was a shock to find out that I am carrying around almost 40 lbs of fat and 3 litres of excess fluid (toxins).

The machine produced a readout which looks like a credit card receipt. It told me to eat at least 1633 calories per day to maintain normal body functions (that’s without doing activity or exercise). Any less and my body would apparently go into starvation mode by slowing down my metabolism and taking the extra calories it needs from muscles rather than fat.

A personal trainer was on hand to help me interpret the results. He said I needed to lose 7 lbs of fat and gain 4 lbs of muscle. That’s probably good advice, but I’m not convinced the machine is capable of such accuracy and I don’t believe there has been enough research done to know what the ideal proportions are for each individual. But the readout does suggest that I do have a high metabolic rate and may be useful as a set of personal statistics to see if anything changes next year


Osron Body Fat Monitor

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

How to Check Your Blood Pressure

Blood Pressure


Using A Blood Pressure Monitor

High blood pressure is called the ‘silent killer’ because there are rarely any symptoms. It forces the heart to work too hard, which over time can lead to heart failure. Have you checked yours recently?

Check Your Blood Pressure with a Blood Pressure Monitor

Taking your own blood pressure reading is easy. The only equipment you need is blood pressure monitor, also called a sphygmomanometer. Here’s a link to a blood pressure monitor on Amazon.com.

–>Buy A Blood Pressure Monitor Safely and securely from Amazon<–

[easyazon-image-link asin=”B0009XQUES” alt=”Omron HEM-780 Automatic Blood Pressure Monitor with ComFit Cuff” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51iT5fqQd%2BL._SL160_.jpg” align=”none” width=”160″ height=”160″]

It’s good to get one with a digital readout that takes your pulse at the same time. You place the cuff around your arm, just above your elbow then inflate it enough to take your blood pressure. Some models do this automatically at the press of a button, others need pumping up by squeezing a little bulb. Either way is easy. Then you deflate the cuff and the machine records your blood pressure.

High blood pressure is often referred to as 140/90 or above, but the guidelines vary so it is best to check yours with a doctor. The first number measures the level of pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats, pushing blood into your arteries. The second number measures the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart rests between beats.

Regular exercise lowers blood pressure, but it’s normal for it to go up during and after a workout.

[easyazon-block asin=”B0009XQUES” align=”none”]


Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

How to Prevent Heart Attacks

The South Beach Heart Program

What can we do to Prevent Heart Attacks?

Arthur Agatston has been a heart specialist for over 20 years. So when he says, at the beginning of his book, The South Beach Heart Program, that we already have the knowledge to detect heart disease early and treat it effectively without the need for surgery, he got my attention.

Using the latest technologies, including an advanced blood test, he identifies people who are at high risk of heart attacks and strokes, before they develop any symptoms. He teaches them about diet and exercise and offers medication where necessary, and even though he sees people with high risk factors, his patients have virtually stopped having heart attacks or strokes.

Other doctors who practice preventative medicine are seeing similar results. But millions of people are missing out because their doctors are not aware of the latest medical advances or because their medical insurance pays for treatment rather than prevention. Heart disease is still the number one killer in many countries, yet if Agatston is right, most of these deaths could be prevented.

His easy writing style and genuine passion for the subject makes even the most technical information about the heart, diagnostic tests and medications easy to understand and interesting.

There is one condition he can diagnose without doing any tests. He says that if you put on weight in middle age and most of it is around your waist you are likely to have insulin resistance, which is also called prediabetes. This can lead to diabetes and damage your arteries.

A doctor he knows claims that when a patient’s stomach is the first part of their body to appear through the door, the diagnosis is already made. Apparently, waist circumference is a reliable indicator of who will develop diabetes and heart disease.

Agatston also gives practical advice on diet and lifestyle and for anyone who doesn’t take his advice, there’s a section on what to do if you’re having a heart attack. Many people don’t recognise the symptoms quickly enough and the earlier you get treatment, the better your chances of survival.

We don’t give enough credit to people who prevent disease or disasters, but Dr Arthur Agatston is one of a growing number of doctors who are heroes of our time. I hope he succeeds in his mission to educate people so that we can eliminate heart attacks and strokes soon.

In the meantime there are fantastic Heart Monitor watches that you can buy online

[easyazon-block asin=”B000P8VWQS” align=”none”]


The South Beach Heart Program

The Heart Speaks by Mimi Guarneri MD

Filed under Health by

Permalink Print

Minor Diet Changes Can Make A Major Difference to Our Health

Adding salt to my diet miraculously improved my life and a friend of mine improved her health just by eating more fat.

Conventional wisdom says fat bad for us, so my friend avoided it wherever possible until her doctor told her she was making herself ill.

She was right to avoid saturated fats, such as butter and cheese, but she needed to eat foods rich in essential fatty acids, such as olive oil.

They are called essential fatty acids because we can’t make them ourselves and it’s vital to consume adequate amounts to maintain good health. Every cell in our body is surrounded by a double layer of fat molecules and as we are always making new cells we need good quality of oils and fats to produce good quality cell structures.

There are two types of essential fatty acids, the omega-6 group and the omega-3 group, and we need both in the right proportions. JL Wilson MD suggests a ratio of 4:1 for optimum health.

Omega-6 fatty acids are found in seeds such as sesame, sunflower, safflower and corn whilst foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, sardines, soya beans and flax seeds (also called linseed).

Unfortunately, my friend’s doctor forgot to tell her not to cook with olive oil so she didn’t get the health benefits immediately. Essential fatty acids breakdown when heated to form harmful free radicals. She eventually switched to sunflower oil which has a higher boiling point and fries the food without burning the oil.

JL Wilson also suggests we should, “Avoid all nuts and seeds that have been commercially roasted or deep fried. The high heat and poor quality oils used in this process usually make them go rancid quickly. Rancid oils are poisons and need to be avoided. They interrupt the normal metabolism of oils in the body and contribute to free radical damage in the cell walls.”

By adding nuts, seeds and oils to her diet, my friend’s health problems cleared up, the condition of her skin improved and she even started to look younger.


Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

The Heart Speaks

The Heart SpaeaksThe Heart Speaks by Mimi Guarneri MD, covers the same information as Arthur Agatston’s The South Beach Heart Program and reinforces the same conclusions, but Mimi Guarneri is a gifted storyteller as well as a physician. She illustrates all her main points with real life stories about her patients, told so skilfully that even though we only meet them for a few pages, we care about them and the outcome of their treatment. Agatston opened my eyes to the realities of heart disease and Mimi Guarneri brought it home to me in a way that went beyond the statistics.

Both books explain that contrary to what most of us think, heart disease is becoming an equal opportunities killer. More women are dying after a heart attack than men. In fact, Guarneri says, half a million women die of heart disease in the US each year (compared to 43,000 deaths from breast cancer). But because we still believe heart attacks mainly happen to men, and that includes over 80% of doctors in one survey, it can be harder for women to get treatment. Mimi Guarneri says, “Many physicians order fewer tests for women and prescribe fewer preventative measures.”

One reason why heart disease goes undetected in women for a lot longer is because women’s symptoms don’t always follow the same pattern as men’s. In one study they found that the top 5 symptoms for women were unusual tiredness, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, indigestion and anxiety.

If I was ever sick I’d want to be treated by a doctor like Mimi Guarneri. She encourages her patients to tell their story and discovers how understanding feelings of loneliness, anger and grief can be part of the cure for heart disease. Prescribing a dog for one patient was one of her more unusual treatments. She says, “Every disease has a narrative behind it, often a surprising one; the challenge is to find a way for the patient to reveal it – not only to the physician, but sometimes to himself.”

Reading ‘The Heart Speaks’ is an enjoyable way to learn about the heart and at times it was so gripping I couldn’t put it down. The message is clear – heart disease is currently the number 1 killer, but it is preventable if we know what to do and take action soon enough.


The Heart Speaks by Mimi Guarneri MD

The South Beach Heart Program by Arthur Agatstons

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Are You Getting Enough Salt?

saltMy reaction to health education programs that repeatedly tell us to eat less salt, has always been, “What about the people who don’t eat enough salt?” I was sure I couldn’t eat any less.

The official advice may improve the overall statistics for heart attacks, but it’s assuming the whole population has the same needs. People with high blood pressure might benefit from the advice, whilst for others, continuing to eat less and less salt could cause serious (but not high profile) health problems.

The message is reduced to a sound bite to reach people with limited attention spans. We don’t get enough information to work out our individual needs.

Excessive salt is harmful, but so is too little. We need the sodium in it for our nerves to send messages to the brain and many other functions in the body. Macrobiotic practitioners also say too little salt makes us weak.

I’ve always suspected I might not get enough salt because my blood pressure is on the low side of normal and I don’t eat processed meals or add it to my food. Luckily, I don’t have adrenal fatigue, but having read JL Wilson’s book on the subject I was influenced by his longer explanation of our need for salt. He says,

“The majority of people with normal blood pressure do not experience a rise in blood pressure with moderate salt intake. In fact some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are caused by your body’s need for salt.”

The classic symptoms of lack of salt include being sleepy until 10 a.m. and again in the middle of the afternoon. Both true in my case. So I’ve taken his recommendation of drinking salted water in the morning.

It doesn’t taste as disgusting as I thought it would and even though I only add a tiny amount of salt it is making a difference. I’m more alert in the morning and less tired in the afternoon. It’s added an extra two hours to get on with things, everyday.


Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Living on Adrenaline?

Living on AdrenalineI love the adrenaline high you get from sports like surfing and skiing, so I bought Adrenal Fatigue by J.L. Wilson to see if my lifestyle could put my adrenal glands out of balance and to learn about the endocrine system from an expert. As a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine with a PhD in Human Nutrition, a third doctorate and two masters’ degrees, I thought he would be a reliable source of everything there is to know about the adrenals.

When the book arrived, I was disappointed. The cover and the cartoons inside made it look lightweight, but I’d read great reviews so I persevered and I’m glad I did because I wasn’t getting enough salt in my diet.

I filled in the detailed questionnaire and found I don’t have adrenal fatigue, although I do have some of these symptoms he lists:

•    Difficulty getting up in the morning.
•    Craving salt or salty foods.
•    Lack of energy.
•    Increased effort to do everyday tasks.
•    Decreased sex drive.
•    Decreased ability to handle stress
•    Increased time to recover from illness, injury or trauma.
•    Lightheaded when standing up quickly.
•    Mild depression
•    Less enjoyment or happiness with life.
•    Increased PMS.
•    Symptoms increases when meals are skipped or inadequate.
•    Thoughts less focused, more fuzzy
•    Memory less accurate.
•    Decreased tolerance of people.
•    Don’t really wake up until 10 a.m.
•    Afternoon low between three and 4 p.m.
•    Feels better after an evening meal.
•    Decreased productivity and harder to stay on task

I’ll be referring to the book a lot because it contained great information I haven’t come across anywhere else.

If you think you might be overworking your adrenal glands this book is packed with useful suggestions that are easy to implement. It also covers hypoglycaemia and low blood pressure in depth.


Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Do You Crave Chocolate?


According to a Naturopathic Doctor called JL Wilson, a craving for chocolate can sometimes be your body’s craving for magnesium, since chocolate contains a significant amount of this vital mineral.

He says that magnesium can reduce the symptoms of PMS, but other components of chocolate are detrimental to our health, so it’s better to use chocolate cravings as a reminder to get magnesium from another source.

The physical cravings for chocolate should decrease within about two weeks of taking a magnesium supplement, or you could start cooking romantic dinners with foods that are high in magnesium instead. Use nuts such as almonds or cashews, green leafy vegetables and peas and beans.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Having a Blood Test



Doctors often recommend blood tests to obtain accurate information for a diagnosis or to get more details about your current state of health.

A needle and a syringe are used to take blood out of a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow, and the blood is analysed in a laboratory.

A blood count is often the first part of a blood test.  It determines whether the amounts of platelets and red and white blood cells in your body is within the “normal” range.

Some people expect blood to be blue when it comes out of the veins, because it doesn’t have oxygen in it, but in fact, it is dark red.

Blood is never blue. There’s a rare condition which gives it a bluish hue, but even then the overall color is red. Veins appear blue because of the way light is absorbed and reflected by the body and because of the way our brains process color.

The iron in red blood cells gives the blood its colour (Like the way iron, with oxygen, gives rust a reddish color).

Iron’s affinity with oxygen allows red blood cells to carry oxygen through the arteries to all the tissues. The cells then pick up carbon dioxide on their return journey to the lungs.

One of the most important red blood cell tests is used to find out how much iron (which is combined with proteins and called haemoglobin), there is in the blood. If a person suffers from anaemia their haemoglobin level will be less than normal and the amount of oxygen in the body is reduced.

The total number of white blood cells and how many of the different types of white blood cells are present is also counted.  This is called the differential white blood cell count.  White blood cells are involved with immunity, breaking down micro-organisms and fighting infection. More are produced when there is a bacterial infection, bleeding or a burn.

Platelets are also counted. They are used to seal cuts, so a low number of platelets can make a person vulnerable to bleeding and a high number makes blood clots more likely.


Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

How to Put a Natural Bounce in Your Walk

foot-skeletonIn an anatomy class I attended with Alexander Technique students we were asked where we thought the weight of our body reached our foot when standing.

Most of the class imagined the weight was balanced right at the back of the ankle. Yet, if you look at this picture you’ll see a large bone extends back from the ankle joint.

The ankle is actually on top of an arch, which spreads the weight both forwards and backwards. This is more balanced than most of us imagined.

Now Ted.com has released a video showing that the human foot has a spring mechanism that helps it bounce, just like the foot of a kangaroo. There is a ligament, called the plantar fascia that starts at your heel and goes along the bottom of your foot attaching to each of the bones that form the ball of your foot. It works like a rubber band to create the arch shape that readily absorbs shock when it is pressed down and springs back unless our habits prevent it from doing its job.

I found that a muscle, called the tibialis anterior, that stretches from the top of my big toe, to just under my knee, wasn’t as active as it could be, so I was tending to drop my arches. I drew the line of the muscle on my leg with a washable marker to get a sense of it and saw that when I drop my arches the muscle loses its straight shape. Neither the muscle, nor the ligament can function properly like that.

It reminded me to put more weight on the outside of my foot when walking, which has helped put the spring back into my step.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Spinal Knowledge

back-spineYou probably have a clear idea of the shape and position of your spine, but are you right?
I wasn’t. I thought my vertebrae were the knobbly bits I could feel, just beneath my skin on my back.

In fact those bones are long pointy processes that stop the spine bending or twisting too far. The weight bearing vertebrae are much nearer the middle of my body.

I also hadn’t realised that the natural curves of the spine take it even deeper into the centre of my body. Learning this has changed my posture and I can stand for long periods without getting tired.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Body Knowledge is Power

anatomy studyAnatomy is so complex the textbooks break it down into separate chunks to explain it. The concepts are easier to understand that way, but it makes it harder to see the body as an integrated whole, or relate any of it to a real live human being. I have to remind myself how important anatomy is, otherwise I’d give up.

Why is it important? Firstly, learning about the amazing interplay of diverse elements working to support us helps us appreciate our body and look after it better. Secondly, if you ever get ill and don’t know basic anatomy and physiology you could be at a disadvantage. You might be motivated to find out about your particular disease, but it probably isn’t the best time to start learning when you’re sick.

Also, when you’re ill there is often a sense of powerlessness because you don’t feel in control. Lack of knowledge about how your body works can add to the feeling of helplessness. Doctor’s explain things, but you don’t understand.

More worryingly, if you don’t follow what the doctor is saying, he or she might not explain all the available treatments and you end up with less choice. As long as you have basic knowledge and know where to find out more, you are more likely to pick up the bits you need in an emergency.

I was discussing my blog with a friend who had first hand experience of what I was talking about. She recently had pneumonia, and because she didn’t know enough about the body to understand what the doctor told her, she was going to have to go to hospital.

Then it became clear that her husband understood what was needed and the doctor agreed she could stay at home. She is sure she wouldn’t have recovered as quickly in hospital and she would have been separated from her young child.

Since learning anatomy, she has been back to the doctor for a blood test and this time she understood the results.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Ski Skeleton

Ski-seatSince writing about Robot Skeletons, I’ve found out they are already being used by skiers to help them ski for longer periods and prevent knee injuries. My brother recently took up skiing at the age of 48, and its not unusual to see skiers in their 60’s and 70’s on the slopes. I’m hoping I’ll even be able to ski when I’m 90.

Next month, my focus is on how the body works. I’m learning all I can to stay young and delay the need for technological assistance, although I’m already tempted to use the ski skeleton.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

How Long Will I Live?

What is old age?This month I’ve discovered my life expectancy is 10 years higher than the figure quoted in newspapers. Before I even started improving my health I already have a 50% chance of living past my 91st birthday. What’s more, life expectancy is increasing by a year or two every decade.

It’s a positive start to the year and I’ve been changing my attitude to aging. How we behave is not just affected by how old we are, it’s also affected by how many years we expect to live.

A report by Science for Global Insight says, “Older people in the future will not behave like today’s older people. In many ways they will behave as though they were much younger.”

We’re going to stay much more mobile. Technology is going to allow us to be more active as we get older. Rather than resorting to a wheelchair, we’ll strap robotics to our legs.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Immortal Jellyfish – Can We Too Live Forever?

immortal jellyfish

Immortal jellyfish

Immortal Jellyfish?

A tiny jellyfish, shorter than its name, Turritopsis Nutricula, has managed to reverse the aging process.

Most jellyfish die after reproducing, but this “immortal jellyfish” reverts to its younger self and scientists believe it can repeat the cycle indefinitely.

Originally found in the Caribbean, immortal jellyfish are multiplying rapidly and swarming around the world. It’s great news for geneticists studying aging, but not so good from an ecological point of view.

This turritopsis nutricula immortal species of jellyfish is thought to be the only animal in the world that really can live for ever.

The immortal jellyfish is able to change from its mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage, its first stage of life, and back again. If as it seems, the immortal jellyfish can change from adult to newborn and back again it could in fact live forever. There does not appear to be any biological limit to its life span. The immortal jellyfish is the only known animal that appears to be able to live forever.

What is Immortal Jellyfish Secret?

The key to its immortality lies in a process called transdifferentiation, where one type of cell is transformed into another type of cell. Some animals, such as salamanders can regrow their limbs. The immortal jellyfish seems to be able to take this a step further and can repeatedly regenerate its whole body.

The implications of studying this jellyfish and being able to discover how it is actually able to reverse the natural aging process are enormous. As a result of this research could we too live forever?

If a jellyfish can live forever, why shouldn’t we? In the meantime perhaps we need a little help staying and  looking younger!



Filed under Health, Life expectancy by

Permalink Print Comment

Running Away From Aging

runningEven the least vain amongst us wants to do something about their appearance when they start looking old. You may not feel any different, but as soon as you get gray hair, people’s expectations of you change, whether you like it or not.

Not everyone goes as far as cosmetic surgery, but millions of women use hair dye and men cover up bald patches. And it can make a major difference to our lives in a society where youthfulness is highly valued and old people are often ignored.

While we take the time to cover up the first signs of aging, preventing them is far less popular. Like a lot of people, I didn’t do anything about it until I needed to, but I’ve got good reasons to do something now.

Apparently, we don’t just get steadily worse as we age. Unless we can do something about it, the rate of aging accelerates. So in your 40’s you might see minor changes, but in your 50’s it gets a lot tougher and the pace of deterioration continues to speed up until you reach 90. Then for some reason it seems to slow right down.

I’m sure it’s easier to take up a new sport now and continue it for many years, than it would be to start in 10 years time. Also, friends in their 50’s say it’s much harder to lose weight than it was when they were younger.

I don’t want old age creeping up on me. Tomorrow I’m taking up running!

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Is it Selfish to Want a Longer, Healthier Life?

live longerAlthough I believe that the will to live is inherent in being human, my mind tells me to focus on more urgent issues. Children are dying of malnutrition every day and I should be doing something about it, not thinking about myself.

In reality, doing something about poverty and thinking about my own needs aren’t either or situations. They are two sides of the same coin. It’s a wish to see people flourish, which has to include me as well as others.

Perhaps it’s too much to hope that every human being can flourish, but any structure (e.g. family, workplace or society) that doesn’t have it as an abiding principle will encourage a culture of violence or abuse.

The desire to live a longer, healthier life is not about clinging on, keeping what we have and taking what we can. It is a symbol for living a life to the full.

Taking care of ourselves may actually mean we aren’t a burden to others in our old age. As long as it isn’t at the expense of our other responsibilities, it may be one of the best things we could do.


Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Check Your Body Mass Index

body fat monitorI checked my body mass index and percentage of body fat today. It was very easy. After inputting my height, weight, age and gender to an Osron Body Fat Monitor, I held it with both hands, keeping them outstretched, and after a few seconds the figures appeared on a tiny screen. The machine measures electrical resistance by passing a tiny current around the body. It is slowed down more by fat than muscle.

You can work out your own Body Mass Index (known as your BMI) without a gadget. This figure is used by insurance companies when determining life insurance policies.

Multiply your height in metres by your height in metres. So if you are 1.5 metres tall, it would be 1.5 x 1.5 = 2.25
Divide the answer by your weight in kilograms. Using the same example, if you weigh 60kg, the calculation would be 60 divided by 2.25 = 26.67

The answer you get is your body mass index, which you can check against a chart to get an indication of how your weight might affect your health. Body mass index is thought to be associated with your risk of developing heart disease, some cancers and osteoporosis.

Your BMI doesn’t make any allowances for muscles though. You may be healthier than the chart suggests, so that’s why I did the body fat percentage test as well.

Both gave me healthy readings, but not as good as I would like. It’s a helpful reminder to keep eating fruit and vegetables and to do more exercise.

(The results are not accurate for children or pregnant/breastfeeding women.)


Osron Body Fat Monitor

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Barack Obama’s Inauguration

Barack ObamaAre we witnessing or experiencing a shift in consciousness? We held an Obama party where I live, to watch the live coverage of the inauguration in Washington today. To have been one of the millions who stood in the audience must have been far more moving, but we got a sense of it here in England.

Will it make a difference that so many people around the world shared in America’s hopes for a better future? I think so. I was taught ‘Mass Psychology’ at university, which analyses how under certain circumstances, group-mind is possible. Today, we came together, around the world, and shared the aspirations of one man who has already achieved one dream. It was only for a short time, but it will have had an effect.

Perhaps we are witnessing a change in consciousness which will address some of the problems facing humanity. When we extend our life healthy expectancy by 30 years, we’ll make sure that others, currently less privileged than ourselves, share the benefits.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Getting Things Done

Getting things doneThere is a 2½ mile cycle trail through our local woods which I cycled with no difficulty last summer. I used to combine it with other trails and ride 10 or 12 miles without stopping. Two weeks ago, as my first attempt at exercise this year, I struggled up the hills and needed several rests.

I’ll definitely need to improve my fitness for this challenge.

My tyres were a bit flat that day, which made it harder (I know it’s a poor excuse). As I cycled along I thought how much better it would be if I was more organized. I wouldn’t have forgotten the pump, for a start. It’s essential for any kind of exercise plan and I think it’ll help me in other ways as well.

Improving my diet is only working on the days I plan ahead and have healthy snacks available. On other days I reach for a chocolate bar whenever I feel hungry. It’s always easy to revert to our habits when we’re tired, hungry or stressed.

So, I’ve bought the book, “Getting Things Done” by David Allen and started putting it into practice. It’s not an obvious self-help book for prolonging life-expectancy, but it can have a major impact on lifestyle.

Clearing the mind of all the to-do-lists has been the biggest benefit so far. All my projects are now clearly defined with next steps planned. Most of them have been deferred, done or delegated.

Previously, I resisted any idea of routine, believing it was dull. Now I’m enjoying having a rhythm in my life, like writing this daily blog. And I’m more spontaneous because everything that’s important has been scheduled, so I don’t have the feeling that I should be doing something else.

Today, I did the cycle path again. I was better prepared and I’m pleased to say it’s already getting easier.


Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Scientists Playing God

science researchIn some countries, concerns about the environment have caused strong resistance to Genetically Modified Organisms in plants and food. Where I live there were organised protests and civil disobedience. Yet, in my experience, the campaigners are strangely quiet about genetic modifications to human DNA, except about the use of embryonic stem cells.

I don’t know where I stand on the scientific issues facing us today, but I think it’s important to be aware of what’s going on. If we don’t understand the concepts, we might still have to live with the consequences. And when we interfere with nature there may be no going back.

Craig Venter, a key figure in decoding the human genome (for profit rather than philanthropic reasons), claims to be on the verge of creating synthetic life. I found the video below both fascinating and alarming.

On the other hand, the ability to tweak DNA to prevent the early-onset of Alzheimer’s or to cure Cystic Fibrosis and other genetic disorders, is completely compelling.

Interfering with cells to slow down aging is ethically more ambiguous, but if it becomes a practical, pain free option, it will be hard to resist.

Where will we draw the line and who will decide?

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

What Are You Prepared To Do To Stay Young?

thoughtful youthAs we have seen, a robotic suit to help old people walk  is now a reality and wheelchairs could become obsolete. Wouldn’t it be even better not to become frail in the first place?

The workings of our cells are miraculous, but far from perfect. Natural selection allows structures to evolve that are fit for purpose, rather than ideal. Cells need to be doing too many things at once and the focus seems to have been on reproduction rather than longevity.

Each cell has to be fully functional at every stage in its development and contain a mini internal factory to replicate itself.

Scientists don’t have those constraints. They are producing robotic devices, no larger than 100 nanometres, to repair the body.  Human trials are already underway to test tiny bubbles carrying anti-cancer agents inside the body. When they locate a tumor they attach themselves to the affected cells and deliver the medication.

Similar devices will be used for prevention as well as for cure. Artificial red blood cells will be able to carry oxygen around the body more efficiently than our own cells. This could boost our energy levels to help us stay young and active in later life.

Mentally, it’s easier to recognise the potential of the robotic suit than the microscopic devices because it is visually appealing and can be demonstrated anywhere. Both are very new technologies which could have a major impact on the quality of our lives, but nanotechnology is exciting because it will do so in ways that most of us haven’t even imagined. No wonder the scientists who are working in this field are talking about the possibility of unlimited life expectancy. Which would you prefer?

(A nanometre is 1 billionth of a metre. A line of 100,000 nano particles would be 4 mm long, approximately the size of an ant.)

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

The Inner Life of a Cell

virus cellHave you ever wondered about your immune system?

  • What exactly is it?
  • Where is it located in the body?
  • What does it look like?
  • And how does it work?

The immune system is far more complex than just one process. It involves lots of interconnected systems, performing multiple functions to maintain health and respond to disease. So, how do we begin to understand it?

Old textbooks use military language to explain how we fight disease. For example, our skin is our first line of defence, every cell has a membrane to keep pathogens out and the job of our white blood cells is to combat infection.

Harvard University has  presented a different view, suggesting that each cell has the ability to absorb nutrients and remove unwanted material without being at war. Different organelles work in co-operation like a well choreographed dance.

This video explains what is going on:

Each week, I’ll look at different aspects of the immune system and how they relate to each other.


Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Robot Skeletons

A friend is designing a new house and making sure it’s wheelchair accessible for her old age. That’s not the future I envisage.

For a start, I’m having Alexander Technique lessons to keep me mobile. One of my teachers is 90 and she’s a fantastic role model. She has so much strength and energy, she helps me off the massage bed at the end of the lesson and I land in an upright position with no effort from me. You wouldn’t think she’s twice my age.

Also, I hope that before long we’ll be saying wheel chairs are, “So last century.” There’ll be small motorized vehicles, like Segways, to help us get around, and if that’s not enough, we’ll attach robotic devices to our clothes to help our muscles. Exoskeletons are already being tested in Japan. See below:

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Which Health Checks Are Worth Having?

blood pressureThe start of the year is an easy time to remember to have an annual health check. The question is which tests are beneficial and which are a waste of time and money?

Discovering health problems before any symptoms appear is both appealing and daunting. If there is anything wrong, it will buy extra time to put things right and, if I get the all clear, it’ll provide a baseline to compare how I’m doing in future.

I don’t know why I’ve never thought of having a check-up before.

First, I’ll have the standard tests:

I’m vegetarian so I think my cholesterol levels will be fine, but this is a simple test and well worth taking.

Blood Pressure
Any check-up is likely to include blood pressure, which can help to assess the risk of heart disease or stroke

Kidney disease and diabetes
A urine test can detect kidney disease and diabetes.
And, as I eat a lot of cake and chocolate, I’ll have the glucose blood test for diabetes.

Blood analysis
I’m curious to know more than that, so I’ll have a small drop of blood analysed using a dark field microscope. Once I’ve seen my own live blood cells moving around and interacting, I’m sure I’ll appreciate what’s going on inside my body instead of taking it for granted.

Live blood Cell Analysis

At this stage, I’m not having any tests that are invasive or harmful, such as x-rays.
Genetic profiling promises to be the way forward, but some governments are saying it’s a complex subject which is being promoted with dangerous simplicity

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Do We Have an Allotted Number of Breaths and Heartbeats?


The ancient yogis believed that the way you breathe determines the length and quality of your life. By observing nature, they realised that some animals, such as elephants and tortoises, breathe slowly and have long lifespans, whilst birds, dogs and rabbits have rapid breathing and much shorter lives.

On that basis, they suggested that slow, rhythmic breathing helps keep the heart strong and the body well supplied with oxygen. Ultimately, this contributes to a longer life.

The palaeontologist, Stephen Jay Gould, supported this view. He found that Elephants, with a life expectancy of 70 years, have about 1 billion heartbeats in a lifetime. This is roughly equal to the number of heartbeats mice have, even though they only live for 4 years. The same applies for many other animals, but it isn’t a neat equation. Small dogs have fewer heartbeats and primates have more.

Humans have approximately 2.5 billion heartbeats by the time they are 70, and over a billion more if they live to be 100. So we don’t just run out of heartbeats and die.

There is probably some connection between breaths/heartbeats and lifespan that we don’t understand yet. In the meantime we could all benefit from better breathing and caring for our hearts.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Shifting Our Perspective from Linear to Exponential

“People who think that evolution is just one gene changing at a time, have missed much of biology,” says Craig Venter, who was involved in sequencing the human genome. “We find all kinds of species that have taken up a second chromosome or a third one from somewhere, adding thousands of new traits in a second to that species.”

This makes more sense than what I was taught at school. Darwin thought finches in the Galapagos took many generations to evolve different types of beak. But, his theory didn’t really explain how they survived the interim period, before they developed the right beak to reach the food.

Shifting our thinking, away from the linear, step-by-step approach, towards the concept of acceleration, isn’t just happening in biology:

World population is increasing exponentially
The power of computers is doubling every year or so, and
Scientists took 15 years to understand the genetic code of HIV, yet they were able to sequence the SARS virus in 31 days.

That’s why Aubrey de Grey (see blog, 3 January) is confident that, “The first 1000-year-old, is probably only about 10 years younger than the first 150-year-old.”

The race is on for people who are alive today to benefit from technology that ironically, slows down aging.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

We Not Only Live Longer, We Die Longer

According to Thomas Perls, we not only live longer, we die longer.

The most disturbing information I’ve read recently, is the official statistics of how most of us spend our last years.

The World Health Organisation produces figures of healthy life expectancy for nearly every country, so you can easily work out how many years, on average, people have to cope with being ill.

The British Government states it more clearly. It shows that life expectancy has been increasing at a faster rate than health expectancy. Based on the 2004 figures, men are told to expect to live with a limiting illness or disability for 14.3 years, while for women it’s a shocking 17 years.

Being ill for 2 weeks is bad enough.

World Health Organization figures
British figures

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Why Women Live Longer than Men

jumping off cliff

According to Thomas Perls, a researcher at Boston University, women outlive men in all developed countries and have been doing since at least the 16th century (despite deaths from childbirth). But the gap between men and women is closing.

Biological differences play a role, but there is growing evidence that lifestyle has a major effect on life-expectancy.

In the last 20 years, women have been taking on traditional male occupations and behavior patterns, such as, drinking and smoking. Over the same period, female deaths from lung cancer have risen sharply. Figures from Atlanta suggest middle aged smokers of  both sexes now have similar life expectancies.

Smoking may be “the great equalizer.”

Monastic life, on the other hand, can extend life expectancy and even-out the differential between men and women. Marc Luy, from the University of Rostock, Germany, found that monks and nuns with similar routines and low stress levels also have similar life expectancies.

So, with a regular routine, reduced stress and a positive outlook on life, men may catch up with us. It could happen!

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

When Does Old Age Happen?

What is old age?There used to be social pressure on people to act their age. When 50 year olds stopped dressing in drab clothes, they were accused of being ‘mutton dressed up as lamb’. Now look at Madonna! Attitudes have changed.

Older people are looking younger (even without cosmetic surgery) and many continue to behave like 30 year olds until their 70’s. Does refusing to accept old age help to fend off its onset?

At the other end of the scale, young people are extending adolescence and waiting to have babies later in life. Could this be an unconscious effect of knowing we are going to live longer?

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Should We Increase Our Life Expectancy?

TimeSome people are against increasing our life spans for ethical reasons. They are concerned about overpopulation and the need to look after more old people.

We are going to have to address these problems, but does that mean we have reached the most desirable lifespan and should stop any future improvements in health?

I accept I have to die eventually, so that my daughter’ s descendents can continue to have children. When I gave birth, my capacity to love expanded beyond my imagination and I wouldn’t want anyone else to be denied that experience, unless it’s their choice. And I realise that if generations of people before me hadn’t died, it would not have been sustainable for me to have a child.

However, there are benefits to living longer healthy lives. After raising a family, older people in good health can still contribute to society. Perhaps we undervalue the role old people could play in helping to solve the problems facing the world today.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Scientists Optimistic about Prolonging Life Expectancy

Life-expectancyThe Cambridge researcher, Aubrey de Grey, says that extending healthy living by 30 years is a moderate aim. It is only the beginning of what we can achieve.

Life expectancy is already improving at the rate of one or two years every decade and new therapies are expected to continue these advances. But in the future, technologies we don’t yet have, will be used a s a springboard to bring on the next level. Then we won’t just see small incremental steps. The rate of improvement will accelerate and we might even be able to increase life expectancy by one year every year.

When these breakthroughs gather pace, those of us who initially extend our lives by 30 years may be able to stay ahead of the game. Aubrey de Grey predicts, “The people who are young enough to benefit from these first therapies, that give this moderate amount of life extension … will mostly survive long enough to receive improved treatments that will give them a further 30 or maybe 50 years.”

He thinks most of us currently accept the inevitability of aging. But when we realize we can live much longer without becoming frail or suffering from age related diseases, we are going to want to do something about it.

Recommended Book:

Aubrey de Grey and Michael Rae
Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Eating a Sensible Diet without Giving Anything Up

cakesWe had a lot of fun over Christmas playing games on a Wii Fit, but it caused some embarrassment when it showed us how heavy we are. It lets everyone know if you are overweight for your height and an alarming arrow points to the danger zone if it says you’re obese.

Luckily, I’m not overweight, but I wasn’t entirely happy with the results. I’m 14 lb heavier than I was in my twenties and it’s time to do something about it.

Rather than starting on a diet, I’m going to avoid eating anything unhealthy on weekdays, until I’ve eaten 5 portions of fruit and vegetables. It doesn’t mean I’ll eat fruit for breakfast. I can still have porridge (without sugar) because it’s reasonably healthy, but I won’t be having toast and jam. My mid-morning snack will be an apple instead of biscuits or a cake.

This way I don’t have to give up croissants on Sunday mornings or desserts when I go out for dinner. I think it will work because there’ll be less hours in the day when I’m eating foods that are high in sugar or fat. Whilst I’ll eat fewer calories overall, a higher proportion of them will come from fruit and vegetables – instead of chocolate and processed foods.

If I can lose weight this way it might work for others, so I’ll let you know how I get on.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Extend Your Life Expectancy by 30 Years

New Year's DayIt’s New Year’s Day and like millions of other people, I’ve got the impulse to look ahead and make plans. I’ve given myself a year to extend my life expectancy by 30 years and improve my chances of staying healthy in old age.

To be able to do that I need to work out what my life expectancy is at the moment. There are plenty of online calculators, but they come up with different results:

So, one day a week I’m going to focus on finding the most reliable way to establish my current life expectancy and then, how to increase it. I’ll have a thorough check-up and send my DNA to a lab to be analysed.

The rest of the week I’ll look at diet, lifestyle, body awareness and relationships. I’ll also report on what the experts are saying and highlight any relevant breakthroughs in science, medicine and technology.

Sunday is the quietest day of the week for me, so that’ll be the day to reflect on how things are going, the purpose of it all and what I can do so that others will have the same chance of life.

I have no idea how this will turn out, or how to measure my success without waiting until the end of my life to see if it worked. The only thing I’m sure of right now is that by this time next year I’ll know myself a whole lot better.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

We are All Living Longer

According to biochemist Gregory Petsko, “The average lifetime has more than doubled since 1840 and it’s increasing currently at the rate of about 5 hours every day.” His three minute talk shows why that isn’t such a good thing, as well as offering hope that we might be on the verge of a medical breakthrough.

You can listen to Petsko’s three minute talk here:

<!– ckey=”5F64DF39″ –>

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

Calculating Your Life Expectancy

Each Christmas my mum thinks it’s going to be her last. She believes she’s living on borrowed time because she doesn’t understand what life expectancy means. It’s only an estimate which predicts that half the women, born in the same year as her, would die by the time they were 81.

Life expectancy is a statistical average, and 50% is the average. My mum is in the half that live longer and because she’s in that half she can expect to live a lot longer yet. At 85 her official life expectancy is 91.5 and she still has a 50/50 chance of living longer than that. Even 100 year olds are expected to live approximately another 2 years.

Governments publish tables to show what your life expectancy is at any age.

American Life Expectancy

United Kingdom Life Expectancy

Or search Google for the name of your country and Life Expectancy Table.

Some countries may present the information differently, but they usually include a column of ages from 1 to 100 and a column of remaining life expectancy. The number of remaining years shown alongside your age, plus your age, equals your life expectancy.

National averages are a valid starting point, but if it was that simple, I wouldn’t be writing this blog. Other factors such as diet and lifestyle have an effect, but right now, I don’t know which diet is best or how my current lifestyle influences my life expectancy. That’s part of the challenge.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print

New Year’s Resolution

New Year's Resolution

Why I’m Bothering with a New Year’s Resolution

When I decide to start something tomorrow, or some time in the future, it means I won’t do it. I only follow through if I get the ball rolling by taking action immediately.

That’s why I gave up on New Year’s Resolutions when I was 10.

Except for one New Year’s Eve when a resolution popped into my head at a party. I committed to making one small change everyday that would improve my life.

It was so easy, I only had to clean the bathroom or sew on a button, but gradually the changes became more substantial. By September I was travelling round the world and my resolution had become instinctive.

Now it’s happening again. Christmas is barely over and I’ve found a New Year’s Resolution.

It came about because of a conversation with my brother after scattering our father’s ashes.

My dad had been ill for a long time, with no chance of recovery, so one day he said, “I’ve had enough.” A nurse helped him into bed and he died. It was sad, but he was luckier than some of the others in the nursing home who sit there every day, waiting for the end.

All over the world there must be families going through a similar experience. It’s a strong incentive to improve our lives, but how do we make sure we don’t end up the same way as my dad and other parents?

I’ve been reading up on the subject and it looks possible to add at least 30 healthy years to average life expectancy by changing our lifestyle.

My brother suggested starting in January and I agreed. It’s like my previous New Year’s Resolution, with a twist. As well as improving my life on a day-to-day basis, I’m going to learn how to extend it.

And I’m being true to myself by getting the ball rolling now by doing research and starting my first ever blog. It will motivate me and I hope it will encourage others to take up the challenge too.

Filed under Blog by

Permalink Print
SEO Powered By SEOPressor