The health experts’ stay-young secrets

You can stave off the damage nature does to your body, both inside and out, by starting an anti-ageing regime today.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

You can stave off the damage nature does to your body, both inside and out, by starting an anti-ageing regime today.

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“Apply sunscreen every day”

Dr Huma Jaffar, consultant, Division of Dermatology, National University Hospital.

“Fight ageing: Be smart with your day and night skin regimes! For example, regularly applying sunscreen during the day (to minimise harmful sunray damage) and a vitamin A-based cream at night (to build up skin collagen) can make a tremendous difference!

“Around 90 per cent of the signs we normally attribute to ageing skin, like brown pigmentation and wrinkling, are related to UV damage from the sun. Protection is key.”

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“I walk my dog”

Dr Sonia Davidson, endocrinologist.

“I go on a 30-minute brisk walk every day with my ‘personal trainer’, Sputnik. He’s a rescue dog our family adopted from a shelter about three years ago and he’s an extremely enthusiastic walker.

“My daily walk with Sputnik provides excellent exercise, allows me to maintain my weight and is a great form of stress release. I hope that keeping fit will help the ageing process and provide protection against the development of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

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“I exercise my brain”

Dr Alex Knopman, clinical neuropsychologist.

“Keeping your brain active and challenged throughout life may help reduce your risk of dementia. So I started really getting into chess – it’s a new way of thinking about things, solving problems and employing strategies. I also got a telescope and started learning about astronomy. “There’s a whole host of different things you can do to stimulate your brain – it could be learning a new card game, a language, a musical instrument, joining a bridge club, going dancing, or taking an art class. Basically, you should be activating and exercising your brain for as long as you can.”

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“I eat natural yoghurt every day”

Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos, head of dietetics and human nutrition, La Trobe University.

“Maintaining the good bacteria in your gut is a huge step towards healthy ageing, so I go past the fridge and eat two to three tablespoons of natural yoghurt with active probiotics every day. More and more we’re discovering that a healthy bowel is important in all aspects of health, including chronic illness, the immune system, mental health and mood. Many studies are showing a link between the microbiome, the composition of bacterial colony in the bowel, and obesity and chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and colorectal cancer, and even the ageing process.”

“I love my life”
Marc Cohen, professor of health sciences, RMIT University.
“Several big studies have shown that love is the best thing for longevity and overall health. But you need to practise it every day and put love in action.
“I practise all those positive psychology things, like gratitude and good feelings and connection and being present in the moment. I love my work, I even love doing things like the dishes or the washing. I accept that it’s something that I have to do and I do it the best way I can – I treat it as time out.
“This has a positive spin-off for your psychology and also for your physiology – it balances your stress hormones and reduces inflammation, and it also gives you the greatest resilience and the ability to respond to what’s going on. If your life becomes a manifestation of love in action that, I believe, is the best thing you can do for longevity.”
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“I run to stay healthy”

Dr Carmel Loughland, associate professor, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Newcastle.

“I enjoy a mix of weight training for my bones and muscles, interval training for fitness and stamina, and I’ve started running for weight control and endurance. I’ve come to running later in my life.

“Most of my work time now is spent sitting, and there’s a lot of evidence that this is unhealthy, inflammatory and ageing. As a psychologist, I’m especially aware of the benefits that physical activity has for both your mental health and well-being.

“Running gives your brain a rest, it reduces the impact of stress on your body, and it increases all the good chemicals – these are all excellent ways to fight the effects of ageing.” W


A host of new, less invasive – and less distorting – anti-ageing treatments has cropped up for women who want to look younger without resorting to face-freezing injections.

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Flawless Skin

This new state-of-the-art facial treatment assures that anyone can have flawless youthful skin. Estetica’s Skinjexion Facial Treatment touts itself as the safer and more affordable alternative to medical-aesthetic injections. The 90-minute anti-wrinkle treatment costs $350 and is available at all Estetica Beauty Studios islandwide. Visit for more information.

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Radiant Skin

Astersping’s Wrinkles Erase Face Treatment promises to strengthen skin elasticity and diminish fine lines and wrinkles, as well as enhance cell regeneration process to firm and smoothen skin texture for a glowing and radiant skin. At $350, the 85-minute treatment is available at The Centrepoint (Tel: 6737 9177) and Plaza Singapura (Tel: 6339 0855). For more information, visit