5 tips to a longer and happier life

20 September 2017

University of Sydney experts discuss how to best look after our minds and bodies as we age and discuss helpful insights that are changing people's lives for the better.

We asked one of Australia’s leading ageing experts for five ways to live a longer, happier life - it turns out that love could be the most important thing of all.

“Love - it’s the best predictor for old age. Loving relationships of all kinds appear to have a protective view of the brain," says Professor Maria Fiatarone Singh, geriatrician from the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sydney Medical School.

“This includes any relationship that is psychologically supportive.

“A sense of purpose – get involved with something bigger than you, something altruistic.

“Be physically active, for a healthy body and mind. Resistance weight training has even been shown to improve cognitive impairment in older people.

“A healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, wholegrains and olive oil.

“Don’t smoke, enough said.”

University of Sydney experts will lead a panel discussion tonight at the Charles Perkins Centre on the subject of “health hacks”. In this Sydney Health forum, they will highlight helpful insights that are changing people’s lives for the better, and teach us all how to best look after our minds and bodies as we age.

“There is tremendous interest in how to live a healthy lifestyle but very often the discussion is about quick fixes, shortcuts, and silver bullets,” said panellist Associate Professor Emmanuel Stamatakis from the University’s School of Public Health and Charles Perkins Centre.

“We need to bring the discussion back to long-term, realistic, and feasible lifestyle changes.   

“Popular media are always keen on the “next big thing” for health improvements and there is a lot of gross misinterpretation of research out there.  As a result, the public is very confused, vulnerable, and less likely to take the right actions to live healthily.

“Individual actions and lifestyle choices play a role but we should not discount the huge importance of the environment for healthy living.

“In an environment that makes the healthy option inaccessible and difficult poor health is inevitable, you cannot expect that many people will be able to bypass the restrictions poor environments pose.”  

Dr Melody Ding, epidemiologist and population behavioral scientist says that there are lots of small things we can do every day which are an investment in a longer, healthier and happier life.

“Live everyday with mindfulness, healthy habits, a positive attitude and stay connected (and not just on social media) with your loved ones.

“We need to redefine what it means to lead an ‘active life’. We keep hearing we need to exercise more, but most of us are too busy to find the time. We need to learn how to build more exercise into our daily routines – incidental exercise.

University of Sydney panellists:

Event details:

Sydney Ideas Health Forum - Health Hacks

20 September 2017, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

Charles Perkins Centre Auditorium, Johns Hopkins Drive, University of Sydney

About Sydney Ideas Health Forums

Each year, the University of Sydney’s health and medicine disciplines host a series of public health forums that bring together experts and interested people to discuss key healthcare issues affecting millions of Australians. Follow via #SydHealth

Kobi Print

Media and PR Adviser (Medicine and Health)

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