Ageing expert Dr Sharma believes he has the secret to a long life. The good news is that with a couple of changes to your morning routine can help you live a healthier, longer life, without having to cut all the treats you deserve!
We all have things in our lives that we do knowing that they are bad for us. Boozing, takeaway nights, breaking into the emergency chocolate stash . . . Wiping out all the “naughty” aspects and religiously eating celery sticks as of January 1st can be overwhelming – and unrealistic. It is not about having the perfect lifestyle: it is about helping you achieve optimum health for as long as possible within your normal, everyday life patterns.
How is it possible to obtain a healthier, longer life whilst still enjoying life’s indulgences (in moderation)? Dr. Rajendra Sharma can show you how, with his 24-hour guide from his new book Live Longer, Live Younger which reveals how ‘healthy ageing’ is much more important than ‘anti-ageing’.
Over the next few days, we will be posting Dr. Sharma’s easy-to-follow steps on how to slow down the ageing process in your daily routine, starting with 5 simple things you can do each morning.
1. Drink a glass of water
Or consider a herbal tea such as green tea. This will have a cleansing effect on the body. Avoid highly caffeinated drinks (accepting that green tea has a certain amount of caffeine) until you are about to eat something as this artificial jolt speeds up the metabolism, thereby depleting some of the biochemical preparation for the day more quickly than is desirable.
Stretching removes metabolic products that build up during the night – particularly advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) and protein bonds that are a fundamental part of the ageing process. A simple 3-5 minute programme of stretching, yoga or tai chi can minimize the effects of AGEs by increasing blood flow and waste drainage through the lymphatic system. Yoga and tai chi techniques also focus on breathing exercises, which are also invaluable to health.
Exercise can be done at a time of day that suits the individual. Some people do well to burn up the adrenaline they have derived through the day by exercising in the evening, whereas others are better off using up energy reserves that have amassed through the night. However, do not get up too early and sacrifice sleep for exercise. A mix of aerobic, stretching, balancing and strengthening is undoubtedly best. Finally, make sure you shower or bathe as soon as you can after exercise. A lot of water-soluble toxins come out with the sweat, but your body will reabsorb them if they are left to sit on your skin.
Ablutions are a very important part of your morning routine, and include going to the toilet, brushing your teeth and washing your body. Holding onto toxins in your bowels throughout the day is not a good thing; try to empty your bowels in the morning, before breakfast. Taking a bath or shower to remove toxins that your body eliminates through sweat during the night is as important as doing so after exercise.
Clean your teeth regularly. Some age-related health conditions, particularly arterial and heart health, have a direct link with poor oral hygiene, infections and inflammation in the gums. I would strongly advise against applying deodorants, especially antiperspirants, directly onto the skin. Many deodorants carry metals from their container, and spraying yourself daily with a toxin that is capable of being absorbed through the skin will take its toll as metals are associated with so many age-related conditions.
The golden rule is, of course, do not skip it! Skipping breakfast, contrary to popular belief, will push you toward obesity and the health problems associated with that. The idea that cutting back on calories by missing breakfast will help you lose weight is a falsehood – any decrease in calories is more than overcompensated for by a downturn shift in metabolism that leads to weight gain. The simple rules for breakfast are:
- Avoid refined foods such as sweetened cereals
- Go easy on cow’s products, preferably using soy, almond, rice, goat’s or sheep’s milk instead
- Eat some food with any caffeinated drinks
- Consider having a freshly made fruit or vegetable juice or smoothie as an integral part of every breakfast
Praise for Live Longer, Live Younger:
‘Healthy ageing from within as much as from without is the key. Dr Sharma and his book will continue to guide me’ – Marie Helvin, model, author and TV presenter
‘Dr Sharma has been a vital part of my own healthy ageing, and I know that his book will be invaluable to a lot of people’ – Hayley Mills, actress
‘Live Longer, Live Younger is a clear and consise guide to optimizing health as we age… Dr Schama provides us with the information and tools to prevent and heal premature ageing and disease and the sooner we start, the easier it is’ – Fouad I. Ghaly MD, Diplomat of the American Board of Anti-Ageing Medicine