How to live longer: Three longevity tips that do not involve diet or exercise – expert tip

Loose Women: Dr Hilary discusses how to live longer

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It is hard to overstate the combined benefits of eating healthily and exercising regularly. These lifestyle decisions offer the best shot of prolonging your lifespan. However, as Dr Mayoni Gooneratne, Founder of Human Health by The Clinic, explained to, there are other important tips too.

There are a number of lifestyle habits that do not fall into these conventional categories but they can have a profound impact on your overall health.

According to Dr Gooneratne, adopting a breathing practice is an overlooked but important tip for promoting longevity.

“A two or three minute breathing practice even in the shower where you are aware of every sensation of water and soap on your skin can be truly meditative with huge benefits on lowering cortisol and therefore stress,” she explained.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that has a very important role in helping the body respond to stress.

One of the primary benefits of modifying your breathing technique is that it can control high blood pressure – a precursor to heart disease.

Harvard Health explains: “Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide.

“Not surprisingly, it can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure.”


The lockdown has stripped us of one of our must basic human needs – socialising.

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As Dr Gooneratne explained, socialising can unlock numerous health benefits that contribute to longevity.

In fact, many studies point to the devastating toll not socialising can have on the body.

Actual and perceived social isolation are both associated with increased risk for early mortality.

A meta-analytic review published in the Sage Journals sought to establish the “overall and relative magnitude” of social isolation.

The researchers conducted a literature search of studies providing quantitative data on mortality as affected by loneliness, social isolation, or living alone.

Remarkably, they found results remained consistent across gender, length of follow-up, and world region.

“Overall, the influence of both objective and subjective social isolation on risk for mortality is comparable with well-established risk factors for mortality,” they concluded.

If you’re nervous about socialising after months of lockdown. Dr Gooneratne had a handy tip.

“We would encourage you to stick to what you feel comfortable doing and simple things like joining a monthly virtual book club, or singing group has helped many of our patients benefit from the positives of socialising,” she said.

Finally, Dr Gooneratne emphasised the longevity benefits of getting a restful night’s sleep.

“Here at Human Health, I have begun ‘prescribing’ sleep like a true medicine,” she said.

“A five-day run of a properly implemented sleep regimen will make all the difference to your health, if you have suddenly found yourself out of kilter,” said Dr Gooneratne.

Wise advice. Sleep can improve your health in innumerable ways, from maintaining a healthy weight to keeping your heart healthy, says Bupa.

“We suggest a relatively early meal, absent screen activity from around 7pm, a warm Epsom salt bath (rich in magnesium to promote sleep) and a warm oat milk turmeric latte to help you fall asleep and the stay asleep,” added Dr Gooneratne.

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