Ageing expert Dr Sharma believes he has the secret to a long life. It’s not a chemical face cream or strange vegetable, but just some simple guidelines to allow your body to live longer and feel younger. So here are his top tips for optimum health in the workplace, even if you’re stuck behind a desk.
You’ve followed Dr Sharma’s 5 step morning routine and you’re ready to start the day!
The commute to work
If travelling, avoid mechanized transport for the first or last 10 minutes of the journey. Get off the train, bus or tram one or two stops before your place of work. Aim at 10-15 minutes of brisk walking (100 steps/minute) as part of your 30-40 minutes/day of exercise. Keep your ‘work’ shoes at work and make the journey to and from the workplace in trainers so that this regime is easy on your feet.
Through the morning
If you are a sedentary worker, ensure that you sit on your chair at a height where your elbows are above your keyboard or writing level, but not so high that you have to slouch forward to rest your arms. Try to walk about every 15-20 minutes. During this break, stretch your back and limbs, do neck rolls, flap your hands and wriggle your toes. Here are a few important tips:
- Try to keep your computer at least 1 metre (3 feet) away from you even if the screen is closer
- Obtain an electro-magnetic-absorbing front screen if you spend more than 2-3 hours in front of the computer
- Ensure good aeration to avoid volatile oxidative compounds produced by house-cleaning products and the heat within the computer
When doing physically active work such as housekeeping, building and decorating, landscaping, plumbing, and so on, ensure that you use both sides of your body equally. It will feel strange at first, but it is important to balance your muscular development as it will improve your sense of balance and your overall strength.
Keep hydrated, especially in warm, stuffy environments, or if your work builds up a sweat. You need to be aiming to drink at least 0.5 litres of water during the morning, the afternoon, and again, during the evening.
Try to absorb sunlight during your breaks; expose as much skin to the vitamin-D-forming ultraviolet light as is sensible.
Keep caffeine Limit caffeine intake from colas, tea or coffee to a maximum of 2-3 cups of medium strength daily. Use the quick-fix caffeine kick as you would alcohol or drugs – sparingly – with recognition of the consequences to your health.
Avoid anything containing highly refined sugars such as biscuits – although some enjoyment is never a bad thing! Try keeping a variety of nuts to hand, including pine nuts mixed with pumpkin and sesame seeds. A handful of this combination when you feel hungry, and a delay of five minutes before enjoying any sweet food, will lead to a reduction in the amount of the ‘bad stuff’ you ingest as hunger hormones will be satiated by the ‘healthy stuff’ hitting the bloodstream.
Lunchtime and the afternoon
Don’t skip lunch for the same reasons as not missing breakfast. Try to have a midday meal consisting of protein and vegetables instead of carbohydrate. Ideally, have a siesta – as is enjoyed by many parts of the world. (In evolutionary terms, think about what animals and babies do after a meal: they sleep.) A power nap of a few minutes after a meal can be helpful in balancing the hormone levels.
Reach for those nuts and seeds and try to eat some fruit at around 4pm – bananas are especially good as the sugar content gives a quick energy boost, while the starch content releases energy more slowly and so will stave off hunger pangs until the end of the workday. Grab another handful of nuts and seeds half an hour before you are due to leave your workplace or as you prepare for the evening after a day at home. This will reduce any craving for a quick fix of alcohol, unhealthy, processed salted nuts and crisps, or snacking on the kids’ early tea or supper.
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