Thursday, April 11, 2019 / Singapore

Five things you can do to give you an extra six years

Across the world mens average life expectancy is 73.9 (down south it's around 83, whilst up in north-west, it's an average of 74).   Men die an average six years younger than women and for reasons that are largely preventable, mainly doing stupid things. Genetically men are more likely to die sooner, but you can still implement certain habits that can help beat the stats, so you live healthier, happier and still add years.

1. Spend time with people who make
you feel good

Stay connected. Your mates are important and spending time with them is good for you. Just by catching up with mates regularly, you can boost brain health and reduce the risk of dementia.

Stuck for ideas of how to connect with more people?  Let's see if these can help give you a nudge:
  • Use technology to Skype or Facetime long distance friends and fam
  • Say hello to people you meet or approach in the street
  • Babysit for your friends 
  • If you've got kids, take them to one of those 'mad house' indoor play parks and empathise with other parents in the same pain
  • Join a local class or group you may have an interest in
  • Get on Groupon and find some cheap activities you and mate can do for cheap
  • Go out to music nights during the week at local venues (local pubs tend to have this sort of thing during the week-just go easy on the booze, maybe a glass on the old vin rouge...)
  • Volunteer at your favourite charity organisation, like soup stations
  • Visit somewhere polar opposite to where you'd normal hang out.  For me, it might be a zoo or a museum
  • Participate in a neighbourhood or community group, like cubs or scouts
  • Have a friend or family member over for coffee or tea
  • Play cards or board games with others
  • Get a gym buddy

2. Talk, more

70% of men say their friends can rely on them for support, but only 48% say that they rely on their friends. In other words: we’re here for our mates, but worried about asking for help for ourselves. Reaching out is crucial.    Getting a trained counsellor, therapist or coach will listen to you and help you find your own answers to problems, without judging you.  They'll give you time to talk, cry, shout,  reflect and just think. It's an opportunity to look at your problems and get them off your chest in a different way, with a professional who'll respect you and your opinions, without judgement.

3. Grab a feel

You've been playing around with them all your life, but do you really know your nuts?  Give them a check regularly and go to the doctor if something doesn’t feel right.  Not sure what you're checking for?  Head to for more help.


4. Do as the French do

The "French Paradox'" (why French people can indulge in fatty foods but not develop heart disease), came to attention in the early 90's. Since then, scientists have been feeding components of red wine to mice and other animals in an attempt to understand the full health benefits and they found that Resveratrol (The Important Flavonoid in Red Wine), could be key to understanding how the french can do it.

Red wine is high in flavonoids, which are antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent certain molecules, known as free radicals, from damaging cells.

One of the most studied flavonoids is resveratrol, which is found in grape skins and seeds. It's also found in some other plant foods, including cranberries, mulberries, lingonberries, peanuts, and pistachios.

Research (though no consistent research), has credited resveratrol with possible protective effects against a variety of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Plus, it's been linked to longevity.

Resveratrol may act on several parts of your body to improve longevity:
  • It activates the longevity-related protein sirtuin 1 (SIRT1)
  • It helps to improve insulin sensitivity
  • It improves mitochondria function, which plays a role in aging
Buuuuut, remember we're not talking a bottle.  I'd suggest only a couple of glasses per week, with a meal (perhaps a treat at the weekend).  Too much can have a massive negative impact on health.


5. Move more

Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis or NEAT for short, includes fidgeting, correcting your posture, and other daily movements, all contribute to extra energy (okay-okay, calorie burning).  So just by tapping you feet at your desk, your still working towards your total energy burnt for the day, it doesn't just have to be 'steps' and your workout.

Add more subtle activity to your day:
  • Take a walking meeting
  • Park further away from the station
  • Get off the bus a stop or two earlier
  • Instead of the lift, take the stairs
  • Cycle to work instead of driving
See guys, it doesn't all have to be hard work in the gym and carrot sticks.

Keep it real


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