16 Jul Dr Michael Mosley’s 10 simple shortcuts to getting healthy
via Science Focus by Ian Taylor
There is a slightly condescending phrase that perky fitness trainers are fond of saying to anyone lacking the motivation to train: “If you don’t have 20 minutes a day to invest in your health, you’re lying to yourself!”
They’re not wrong, of course, but who says that those 20 minutes have to be spent hyperventilating on a treadmill? Not Dr Michael Mosley, for one. The broadcaster, author and health hacker has a new podcast series called Just One Thing. Available to download from BBC Sounds, its aim is to reveal surprisingly simple things you can do to boost your health and wellbeing. Each episode covers a short, sharp intervention – from cold showers to gorging on sauerkraut – that could literally change your life.
“I wanted to look at things that people could easily fit into their lives, which they might not be doing at the moment and where there was some real science behind it,” Mosley explains. “I do it, and another person – a member of the public – does it too, and I also interview a leading expert about how strong the science is.”
Mosley has long been an enthusiastic guinea pig for the science he reports on. He is widely credited with popularising intermittent fasting, and even used a low-calorie diet to reverse his own type 2 diabetes. He’s also made programmes on sleep, exercise, meat-eating and e-cigarettes, plus many other topics, on BBC Two’s Trust Me, I’m A Doctor. In short, he’s made a career out of living longer. Good work if you can get it.
“Of the 10 things we cover in this series, I still regularly do eight of them,” he reveals. He eats fermented foods such as kimchi, practises gratefulness, takes morning walks in green space and, at the age of 64, can probably do more press-ups than you can.
“One of the most surprising things was the cold shower,” he says, of the increasingly popular way to boost your immune system. “I never thought I would get into cold showers but I’m actually enjoying them now. It’s taken a while – several weeks – but I actually get in and frolic around. I sing a bit. And it’s no longer a pain. I’ve got into it and it makes me feel brighter and alert.”
Conversely, Mosley didn’t enjoy taking hot baths in the evening, which was another intervention that he explored on Just One Thing, which is linked with improving insomnia. “I just felt I didn’t want a hot bath in the evening and a cold shower in the morning,” he says. “I didn’t really find it did much for my sleep anyway.”
The other one he hasn’t continued with is learning a new skill – a surprise, considering he’s known for having a crack at things. “I was picking up drawing and to be honest, I’m terrible at drawing. What I’d like to do is pick up dancing instead. I’m waiting for things to open up [after lockdown fully ends]: Zumba, I think.”
We delve into the science behind the 10 habits and behaviours Mosley covers in the series. Just don’t pretend you haven’t got time to read about them…
… keep reading the full & original article HERE