• Saturday, March 02, 2024
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New Year, new you: 5 science-backed steps to a healthier 2024

The effects of sedentary lifestyles on physical health

The life expectancy of the average Nigerian is 61 years, to live longer it is important to make life choices in the New Year to improve health and longevity.

Dr. Brett Osborn, a Florida neurologist and longevity expert, proposes five practical steps rooted in science to pave the way for a vibrant 2024 and beyond.

1. Build muscle, build health: Age-related muscle loss isn’t just about flabbiness; it’s linked to frailty and cognitive decline. Dr. Osborn recommends strength training to combat this. Building muscle, he emphasizes, “is the fastest way to melt fat off your waistline” and even improves brain function. He suggests compound exercises like squats, presses, and deadlifts, prioritizing proper form and gradual progression.

2. Keep Blood Pressure in Check: Uncontrolled hypertension raises the risk of heart disease and stroke. Dr. Osborn advises monitoring blood pressure daily with an automated cuff and aiming for normal levels. Remember, a healthy diet, exercise, and stress management are essential, with supplements potentially offering additional support in the New Year.

3. Get a Glimpse Inside:  As we age, inflammation rises, hormones fluctuate, and blood sugar control weakens. Dr. Osborn likens this to internal “rusting.” He recommends regular bloodwork to assess key markers like HbA1c, insulin levels, lipid profiles, and inflammatory markers. By understanding your biochemistry, you can optimize it through diet, exercise, and, if needed, hormone replacement therapy under a doctor’s supervision.

4. Tame the Stress Beast: Chronic stress wreaks havoc on your health, impacting blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and testosterone levels. Dr. Osborn emphasizes mindful stress management.

Techniques like deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and red-light sauna sessions can be effective. Prioritize vacations (disconnect from technology!), quality sleep, and social interaction. Remember, strong social ties, as seen in longevity “blue zones,” are robust stress buffers.

5. Prioritize Sleep for Body and Mind: Optimal sleep is a cornerstone of health, regulating stress hormones and cognitive function. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Establish a regular sleep schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and minimize screen time before bed.

These five science-backed steps, championed by Dr. Osborn, offer a practical roadmap for a healthier, happier 2024.

Remember, consistency is key. By incorporating these strategies into your daily life, you can take control of your health and embark on a journey towards a longer, more vibrant future.