In an interesting recent scientific observation, Aubrey de-Grey suggests that the first person who will live to be 150 years has already been borne and that someone who will live to 1000 years is only 20 years behind them. The recent figure from national statistics of UK show that number of people reaching 105 or older has almost doubled in the past decade. Dr Ashok Panagariya tells you why…

Longevity has therefore arrived with a bang, however, the flip side is that the esthetic of aging would be troublesome and who would want to live for decades with wrinkled, prune like skin. Who would want to spend lifetime earned money for injection Botox, cosmetic surgery or on treatment of Alzheimer and to the costs of others hospice facilities.

Needless to say this would add grossly to the economic burden to the exchequer. In the circumstances like these it is imminent that people would look into their own brains and mind, use the natural resources to their advantage and enjoy qualitative longevity.

Humans have the capacity to influence the electrochemical dynamics of their brain by voluntarily changing the mental processes to positive emotions in relation to self and environment through yoga, biofeedback or complete engrossment (reading, listening to music, watching movies, playing golf or bridge) which stimulate the neurocircuits of relaxation and pleasure system and inhibit stress circuits in the mind-brain axis!

The brain and the ever-changing fluid environment communicate interactively in a bidirectional manner. Such mechanisms protect Telomeres, the protective ends of chromosomes, which are the markers for qualitative longevity. Longer telomeres produce healthier and happier people.

While you cannot turn back time but you can slow down the aging while keeping the functions of the various organ intact. While a healthy life style would save not only a huge money but would also give one, an opportunity to enjoy the world around and also combat stress of ever-increasing pace of modern living and a polluted environment which predisposes to premature ageing.

Interestingly the whole concept does not require a great deal of scarifies or exploration. A positive food for thought and a programmed beneficial diet are value additions for preventing life style based diseases and living a longer, healthier and happier life. Good time management, non-confrontational problem-solving attitude, forgive and forget attitude, perfection in office and casual approach at home, being pleasant and appreciative, passion for aptitude, low environmental reactivity, a sense of belonging and productive gossiping are the keys to being happy and healthy. A day time power nap and 6-7 hours sleep are icing on the cake.

Certain things imbibed in day to day practice with some degree of flexibility can achieve wonders. The simple menu would be eating less by 20%, take lot of water, use natural anti-oxidant by remembering a dictum “Black is Beautiful”, thus black tea, black grapes, black carrots, apple and sweet potato along with ample use of Indian spices like turmeric, flax seed, almonds and walnuts.

If whole programme looks heavy, just remember to use your feet more often, take lot of water and sticking to the dictum that “20% less calories will enhance your qualitative life for 20 years”.

Dr. Ashok Panagariya is famous Neurologist and Padam Shree Award Winner.


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