A longevity expert has revealed the secrets to living a long life – from the simple dietary tweaks you can make to the amount of exercise you should be doing each week.
Australian doctor David Badov said simple health checks are the key to maximising your wellbeing and prevent diseases associated with old age.
Dr Badov – who has been practising for nearly 30 years in internal medicine and gastroenterology – is passionate about disease prevention and has a particular interest in inflammatory bowel disease, colorectal cancer and liver disease.
‘Research has shown us the key to living a longer life is to exercise regularly, not smoke, drink within safe levels and have a healthy diet,’ Dr Badov told Daily Mail Australia.
‘For example, we know that smoking is one of the major causes of cutting your life short. But for those over the age of 40 having a closer eye on your body could be the key to longevity of life. In a way longevity can be defined as the absence of disease.’
A longevity expert has offered his health guide to living a longer life so you can stay in the best shape possible, well into your later years (stock image)
Dr David Badov’s top three tips for living a longer life
1. Lifestyle including healthy diet and exercise, managing stress and practicing good mental health
2. Reduce known risk factors such as smoking or excessive alcohol
3. Identify life-threatening diseases early: Longevity is the lucky state of not having fatal disease.
Eat more vegetables, less meat
Dr Badov said there’s ‘inconclusive’ research to pinpoint the ‘best’ diet for everyone – but a ‘varied and balanced diet is the key to living a healthy life’.
‘There is a widespread disagreement, even among the best nutritionists, as to what constitutes the “best” diet,’ he explained.
‘There are however some commonalities: More vegetables and less meat, and more fresh food versus processed food seem to be important factors in diets recommended by expert nutritionists.’
Avoid high fat diets
Dr Badov said there hasn’t been much debate on the ‘downsides of animal protein consumption’ but studies have found heavily animal-based diets lead to illnesses.
‘Study after study has demonstrated that heavily animal-based diets are associated with high cardiovascular mortality and cancer risk. Processed red meats are especially bad and carcinogenic,’ he warned.
‘Also diets high in fat or high in sugar should be avoided as these can cause the body to maintain excess weight and clog arteries.’
For those aged between 18 to 65 years, Dr Badov recommended 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity or combination of both each week (stock image)
Eat less to maximise lifespan
Dr Badov highlighted the old saying: ‘Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.’
‘What is probably more important is to eat less – there is increasing evidence both in animal models and humans that “longevity” genes are activated by caloric restriction and intermittent fasting,’ he said.
The Australian doctor supported his answer by quoting Harvard Medical School professor David Sinclair, who’s ‘one of the foremost authorities on anti-ageing’.
‘He simply says: “one thing you can do to maximise your lifespan right now, it’s this: eat less”.’
Do up to 300 minutes of exercise a week
When it comes to exercising, Dr Badov said this comes down to an individual’s age.
‘Everyone should be doing some form of exercise,’ he said.
For those aged between 18 to 65 years, Dr Badov recommended 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity or combination of both each week.
‘It is also recommended that additional muscle strengthening activities are also done twice a week,’ Dr Badov said.
The Australian guidelines recommend healthy adults should drink no more than two standard drinks on any day (stock image)
No more than two standard drinks
The Australian guidelines recommend healthy adults should drink no more than two standard drinks on any day. They also recommend drinking an absolute maximum of four standard drinks on a single occasion.
‘While there is no safe amount of alcohol keeping within these guidelines can help reduce the risk of alcohol related injury,’ Dr Badov said.
‘Reducing alcohol consumption can help people to feel less anxious or depressed, and reduce the risk of developing long-term health problems such as cancer, heart disease or liver cirrhosis.’
Dr David Badov (pictured) said simple health checks are the key to maximising your life
How often should you get health checks
‘It’s a fact that very few of us will die from old age, it’s usually heart diseases, stroke or cancers that cut our lives short,’ Dr Badov said.
One in two Australians will develop cancer at some point in their life while one person dies from a heart attach every 12 minutes.
‘Standard physical examinations by a doctor and routine tests are limited in the information they can provide on your health,’ he said.
Screening health programs such as HealthScreen Australia check for diseases and health conditions before there are any major symptoms.
‘Through the use of state-of-the-art imaging facilities, we can detect early cancers, heart diseases, aneurysms, cerebrovascular disease (stroke risk) and other “silent killers” which aren’t caught in routine blood tests and physical exams,’ Dr Badov said.
‘Early detection of disease can provide more treatment options and therefore give patients a better outcome.
‘Our proactive approach will identify your risk of future disease and create a personalised program to better health, longevity and active lifestyle.’