#400 The New Science of Living a Longer and Healthier Life with Professor Rose Anne Kenny

Longevity is a hot topic these days. We’re obsessed with anti-ageing as if getting older should be avoided or even reversed at all costs! Of course, we can’t do that and I’m not sure we’d really want to. But today’s guest brings valuable insights about what we can do, to make sure we age healthily and happily.

Professor Rose Anne Kenny is a medical gerontologist, Regius Professor of Physic and Chair of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin. She’s the Founding Principal Investigator of Ireland’s largest population study of ageing (TILDA) and the author of the international bestseller Age Proof: The New Science of Living a Longer and Healthier Life.

In today’s conversation, Professor Kenny reveals that while 20 percent of ageing is genetic and can’t be changed, 80 percent is epigenetic – in other words, we have the power to influence how quickly or how slowly we age.

Her number one recommendation is to have good quality friendships and relationships throughout our lives. Then follow a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, and reduce stress. Nothing too surprising, perhaps. But what might surprise you is just how far reaching the effects of these relatively simple measures can be – and how much what you do in your 20s can impact your 80s.

We talk about how to avoid metabolic syndrome and why it’s important to know key biological markers throughout life. We discuss the benefits of community, family, volunteering and inter-generational friendships, and the undercurrent of ageism that prevails in society.

Loneliness increased threefold during the pandemic, according to the TILDA study, and it’s left some people feeling afraid to reconnect. Yet isolation is known to cause inflammation, suppress immunity and speed ageing.

Professor Kenny believes we should flip convenience on its head when it comes to exercise. Instead of taking the easy option which means moving less, we should look at the ‘harder’ options, such as taking the stairs or carrying heavy bags, as convenient ways to build activity and strength training into our lives. She also shares excellent advice on sex and intimacy, sleeping better, laughing more, and finding purpose all around you.

This is a wonderful and practical conversation that is going to give you a variety of simple ways to play the long game when it comes to ageing. And the empowering message is that it’s never too early or too late to start.

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Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/400

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