The key to living a long and healthy life

It can seem impossible to avoid the lure of quick weight loss tips and fad diets. But what if there was a way to live a long, healthy and fulfilling life without falling prey to them?

Internationally recognised physician scientist, Professor Luigi Fontana, and his team at the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney is leading the team running the LIVEPLUS trial. This longitudinal research project, funded by the Australian Youth and Health Foundation , hopes to demonstrate the benefits of implementing a 5:2 pesco-vegetarian diet, physical activity and stress reduction particularly for patients with coronary heart disease. Professor Fontana’s research looks at the beneficial effects of different dietary and exercise interventions on cardiovascular disease and cancer, the two main cause of morbidity and mortality in Australia.

Professor Fontana explains, “Our society has become obsessed with losing weight, but it shouldn’t be all about dropping extra kilos or following the latest fad diet. Instead, the focus should be on avoiding the development of chronic diseases to live a longer, healthier and more fulfilling life.”

This all sounds great, but how do we achieve this? 

Change starts with creating good habits. Habits start with changing our mindset and thoughts, Professor Fontana continues, “What we eat, drink or do everyday shapes not only our metabolic and physical health, but also the mechanisms by which the brain processes concepts and forges our thoughts. Our thoughts turn into actions that gradually become habits. We are the result of what we consume, think and do over and over again”.

We can ignore what our body and mind tell us and pretend that everything is ‘ok’ but that can of course have a negative consequence. Professor Fontana says looking at our health and well-being is like maintaining a new car, ‘If we decide to purchase a new car and drive it without servicing it or ignore the warning lights, we cannot expect it to last as long as if we study the user’s manual, change the oil and regularly maintain and service it. By doing these things our car will not only last a long time but will likely lead to a more pleasant and safe journey.’

We must begin to understand how our state of physical, mental and spiritual integrity profoundly influences every stage of our life. To maximise our health and wellbeing we must begin by taking good care of ourselves in a holistic way. 

What changes and habits will you implement? Maybe you’ll nourish your body with a new wholesome recipe, get moving or reconnect with nature

Life is a gift! Let’s do our part to live long and healthy lives.

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