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“Remember, ageing well shouldn’t become a chore. The whole idea is that the changes you are making should make you feel better now; what you do now will play a big part in what your life is going to be like in 10, 20 or 30 years’ time” says Patrick.

  • Get your beauty sleep – the better you sleep, the more you exercise and the less you stress, the longer your telomeres are likely to be. As far as longevity is concerned, seven hours’ sleep seems to be the optimal amount of shut-eye the average person needs a night.
  • Regular exercise – a study this year in the European Journal of Epidemiology  found that those in the top quarter of daily steps (ideally over 6 500 steps a day) had longer telomeres compared to those in the bottom quarter.
  • Attitude is important – it pays to have a positive attitude and a low stress life. Post-traumatic stress disorder, childhood traumas, depression and a cynical attitude are all linked to accelerated ageing. Those who practice meditation regularly have longer telomeres according to the following study
  • Give up those vices – shorter telomeres are associated with heavy alcohol consumption and smoking in older people. Read more here.