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Here’s what you can do at any age, from Australia's trusted, straight-talking doctor and broadcaster Dr Norman Swan.


A parent or planning to become one

  • Stop smoking if you’ve started. The first ten cigarettes are the most harmful so you’ve got to quit altogether. Avoid alcohol and other drugs if you’re trying to have a baby and minimise them afterwards.

  • Make sure your blood pressure and weight are normal.

  • Eat a Mediterranean-style diet.

  • Exercise at moderate intensity, including strength training, for 45 minutes most days of the week.

  • Women of childbearing age should be taking folate supplements.

  • Avoid maternal obesity. It’s associated with accelerated ageing in the offspring, with increased risks of diabetes and premature death from heart disease.

  • Take actions which will optimise the birth weight of your baby so that he or she will have healthy organs which will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. That includes having a normal blood pressure, not putting on too much weight during pregnancy, and not smoking or drinking any alcohol during pregnancy.

  • Encourage your kids to get as much education as possible so they enter adulthood with healthy brains which have deep resilience.

  • If you have a healthy diet, that’s what your kids should eat too.

  • Encourage good sleep patterns in your kids and no late night screen time.

  • If you haven’t got a good GP you like and trust, try hard to find one.

  • So You Want To Live Younger Longer? - Norman Swan

    The ultimate guide on what you can do at any age to stay young and healthy longer, from Australia's trusted, straight-talking doctor and broadcaster, Dr Norman Swan, bestselling author of So You Think You Know What's Good for You?

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