PREVENT THE BRAIN DRAIN
Knowledge is power when it comes to staying sharp. In an ongoing Brandeis University study involving 7000 participants, university graduates performed just as well on complex mental tasks as nongraduates who were 10 years younger. Missing a few letters after your name? Shout yourself a shiny new piece oftech. Less-educated individuals boosted mental function by mastering a new tool, which forces you to switch mental gears, says researcher Dr Margie Lachman.
PREVENT THE GUMMY MOUTH
It's not just hair that recedes. Gum recession can make you-literally-long in the tooth.
Make friends with floss: plaque build-up leads to inflammation and infection, the preconditions for gum recession, says Dr Rob Watson, dentist and founding member of the Oral Health Advisory Panel. Using your mouth like a mortar and pestle? Clenching or grinding teeth can also send gums into retreat.
PREVENT THE PAUNCH
Individuals with spare tyres have a greater risk of heart disease than those with the same BMt who carry weight elsewhere, reports the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
According to researchers at the University of Aberdeen, the hormones that tell the brain you're satiated become lazy as you approach middle age. Your move? Retire your fork before you feel full.
PREVENT LIVER SPOTS
Often seen on lawn bowlers and leatherskinned beach lizards, these benign spots come from
years of UV bombardment. Sunscreen is your only annour against liver spots, so unless you SPF-d religiously as a kid, they're probably on the way. But cosmetic help can cover the damage: skin-bleaching creams teamed with laser therapy, freezing or chemical peels can lighten liver spots. "Look for an OTC cream containing hydroquinone," advises dermatologist Dr Stephen Shumack.
PREVENT BUNG KNEES
Around 80 per cent of individuals aged 50 and above suffer dodgy knees caused by osteoarthritis says orthopaedic surgeon Dr Chris Vertullo. Lighten your load. : "Every five kilos over your ideal weight doubles your risk of OA of the knees," says Vertullo. More Chris Hemsworth than Jonah Hill? ; You're not immune: sporting mishaps such as ACL tears are a key risk factor, "Practise landing, fine-tune your balance and develop good stepping technique," says Vertullo (for the surgeon's own anti-injury warm-up, visit knee-surgeon.net.au