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Twelve steps to living to 120
Professor Mora believes that it is possible to delay the ageing process of the brain. / E. G.
Living to 120 is not necessarily out of our reach, Human Physiology professor Francisco Mora tells us. Mora, who teaches at Madrid's Complutense university, says that just 25 per cent of our life expectancy is determined by genetics, while 75 per cent is decided by lifestyle factors.

Mora, who is in Vélez-Málaga this week giving a University of Malaga summer course, advises us to eat little (to produce fewer harmful molecules), avoid smoking and get plenty of physical and mental exercise to ensure longevity. His findings are based on scientific experiments which confirm that delaying the ageing process of the brain is possible.

Also among the professor's twelve steps to enjoying a longer life include drinking little alcohol, travelling, and learning to adapt to social changes. It also helps to live with somebody else and to avoid trauma. Mora tells us that sleeping in the dark is also beneficial as the brain releases a rejuvenating hormone, melatonin, which possesses antioxidant activity. Maintaining one's zest for life and trying new experiences is also essential. "When a healthy person no longer gets excited about things such as going to the theatre or going away, that usually signals the beginning of the end," he warns.

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