Prevent not only body aging but also brain aging. The aging process of the brain and the body are intimately connected and influence each other. In our younger years, the brain undergoes significant growth, reaching near full maturity by the age of 6. By the time we reach our mid to late 30s, the brain begins to shrink, and certain cognitive functions, such as memory, may begin to decline.

The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Nadzeya Sankovich.

Nadzeya Sankovich is a journalist and writer for Health Reporter. Her body of work includes over 30 peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed publications focusing on longevity and mental health. Nadzeya has lent her talents to various healthcare organizations, from charities and foundations to private clinics and telemedicine platforms. Driven by a passion for making health knowledge accessible to all, Nadzeya is committed to empowering people to take control of their well-being.

Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?

I grew up in an ordinary family, just another kid trying to figure out my place in the world. I tried various sports, from gymnastics to cycling, and found solace in reading and volunteering at animal shelters.

Throughout my teenage years, I kept journals and wrote short stories, dreaming of one day becoming a writer or journalist. I pursued that dream by studying journalism in college, and after graduation, I landed jobs at several major media outlets.

But fate had other plans. I was once offered a position with a telemedicine service, and my interest in the healthcare industry was piqued. I was fascinated by the depth of knowledge medical professionals had about the human body, and my love of learning led me to join the field.

It’s important to me to do things that have meaning, both for myself and for others. I believe that everyone should have access to proper healthcare and the resources to take care of themselves. That’s why I’m passionate about simplifying medical knowledge and making it accessible to everyone.

Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

The most interesting story in my career is my career itself. When I first started working in the healthcare industry, I had a lot of self-doubt. I didn’t have a medical degree or years of experience, and I thought it was too late.

However, I have learned that in the health industry and medicine, some will become neurosurgeons or molecular biologists, while others, like me, will write about health and wellness.

The possibilities are endless, and it all starts with taking action. In our profession, you can’t just go with the flow and rely on what you already know. You have to keep moving forward, just like in “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”

Now I’m sure that it’s never too late. I even wrote an article about medical professionals who started their careers after their 30s. From Hollywood costume designers to aerospace engineers, these people showed me and others that anything is possible.

At the risk of sounding cliché, I have also learned throughout my career that the key to success is to love what you do. But love alone is not enough.

You also have to set goals, stay curious, and expand your horizons. The field of medicine is constantly evolving, with new discoveries being made every day. It’s important to keep up with the latest research and learn from the best in the industry.

Medicine is not just about pills or surgery. It’s about intellect, compassion, and innovation. Every day we make a difference in someone’s life, and that’s what makes it so fulfilling.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I started writing about longevity, healthy aging, and living a full life after being inspired by my great-grandmother, Nina. She didn’t give me any specific help, but she is the greatest motivation I’ve ever had.

My great-grandmother, Nina, is now in her 90s but seems much younger than I am. She remains an active and cheerful person, speaks 4 foreign languages, and can recite a poem or song for any occasion. She still loves to walk and always invites the whole family to join her.

Although she has endured many difficult times, including World War II, the early deaths of all 5 of her brothers, near-total blindness, and the death of her husband at the age of 40, she never loses her zest for life. And my great-grandmother shares her positive vibes with everyone around her.

When I ask her about the secret to her longevity, she says she doesn’t know. But by following her example, I want to help as many people as possible achieve a happy and healthy old age.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Great to hear! As a leader, your job is to help your team learn and succeed. This starts with motivating them every day, building relationships, showing respect, and solving problems together. Remember, your team is your people.

I always praise my team members for their excellent work and remind them how valuable they are. I see the sparkle in their eyes when I compliment them. However, it is important not to overpraise and to remain sincere.

During my time in politics, I experienced emotional burnout and stress. I struggled to do everything well, write quality research and articles, and manage my journalists effectively.

However, I saw that my team was completely uninterested in what they were doing — it was a job for money, not for pleasure. I felt drained and discouraged.

Then I asked myself some critical questions: Do I enjoy what I’m doing? Do I get excited about new projects? Do I believe in it? And how could I expect others to believe me if I didn’t?

I decided to quit my job and radically change fields to pursue my passion for health. Although it was hard at first, I slowly built a new life and a team of dedicated journalists and medical experts.

Reflecting on your passion can provide true inspiration and make you a better leader in the long run. Throughout my career, I’ve realized how important it is to share that passion with others. So make sure everyone clearly understands what they’re doing and why.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I am a professional journalist, and one of the areas I am most interested in is longevity and healthy anti-aging strategies. Together with a team of experts, we have been reporting on health and wellness topics for years, backed by our research data. Our articles have been cited in Forbes Health, Medical News Today, Inverse, Healthline, and Live Science, among others.

My main goal is to explain medicine and healthcare simply, to offer a fresh and informed take on modern and trendy topics, and to rely only on proven data from authoritative sources.

In addition, I am constantly working to create a community of medical experts because shared knowledge is the most powerful tool. That’s what I’m doing at Health Reporter right now — together, we can bring the most value to our readers.

Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.

In this world of disinformation, there are many interesting or even ridiculous things. For example, during my research, I sometimes come across articles that suggest anti-aging strategies like “be rich,” “be religious,” or even “eat tomatoes and bread crusts every day” to increase longevity. Although it might sound intriguing, this information needs more scientific evidence.

Of course, when it comes to human life, it’s difficult to measure the actual results of certain anti-aging strategies because it would take a lifetime of study. It’s especially difficult when you’re a journalist trying to get results and conclusions faster than waiting ten years.

So, I have to connect with other people and experts who have achieved longevity or know enough about it.

For example, I was once on vacation in the Italian village of Acciaroli, where many people live to be over 100 years old. How do these local old people, who spend their days sitting in bars, live so long without constantly consulting a doctor?

Acciaroli has the highest percentage of centenarians in the world, with an average age of 89. During my 4-day stay, I never saw any seniors playing sports. Instead, they watched soccer, played cards with tourists, and sunbathed on the beaches. And they love to spend their days sitting in bars and talking, seemingly all day long.

Once I approached a group of seniors playing cards and overcoming my shyness, I decided to ask this very question — how do they live so long?

“Keep your brain in shape, don’t be lazy, spend more time with your loved ones, and live in Acciaroli,” he said with a laugh.

In fact, there was some truth in his words. This village is surrounded by mountains and the sea, and the air is always pure. The products in the shops are fresh and natural, although Italian people still complain that things were better before. Most locals have small gardens where they plant vegetables and fruits.

There’s also not much technology in the village. For example, there are no card payment options, and the use of social media among the locals is virtually non-existent.

The people here spend time together, laughing and enjoying life, and you can definitely feel it.

The trip to this village showed me that their anti-aging trick is not about the treatment but about prevention. Medicine can heal, but the way of life in Acciaroli prevents illness from occurring in the first place.

Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”? (Please share a story or an example for each)

Living a long and healthy life is the result of many different factors. One of the most important factors is a healthy diet and exercise, along with not smoking or drinking alcohol. I’m sure you’ve heard this many times.

However, sometimes long-lived people do not exercise and may even smoke and drink moderately. You may wonder how they manage to live so long, but the human body has many complexities that scientists have yet to understand.

So, I will outline 5 important factors that are scientifically proven by both experts and “super-agers”:

1. Prevent not only body aging but also brain aging.

The aging process of the brain and the body are intimately connected and influence each other. In our younger years, the brain undergoes significant growth, reaching near full maturity by the age of 6. By the time we reach our mid to late 30s, the brain begins to shrink, and certain cognitive functions, such as memory, may begin to decline.

This decline in brain function sets off a domino effect of aging throughout the rest of the body. To delay this process, keep your brain active with cognitive training and stimulation.

You can plan a new route home, play crossword puzzles and other word games like Scrabble, memorize phone numbers, or learn a new foreign language.

When visiting a new place, draw it from memory as a map. Wash dishes, sort laundry, or take a shower with your eyes closed. Count with your mind, not with a calculator.

2. Remember to rest.

You need to take a break from time to time. After all, one of the main problems of the modern lifestyle is chronic sleep deprivation, which significantly reduces life expectancy.

In this case, the parts of the brain responsible for producing immune cells do not have time to become active, which reduces the body’s immune defenses. Try not to work at night, follow biorhythms, go to bed before 10 PM, and get up before 6 AM.

It is also important to sleep in a cool room because the body’s metabolism and age-related changes depend on the ambient temperature. Falling asleep in a good mood, drinking a glass of milk, reading a favorite book, or taking a warm shower can also help.

3. Maintain sexual activity.

Scientists have established a direct link between a person’s sex life and longevity. Men without an active sex life are at risk for various heart diseases, and impotence increases this risk. The same is true for women, although more research is needed.

4. Recharge with the help of nature.

Try to spend more time in the fresh air by going to the woods, hills, mountains, or the sea. Activities such as rock climbing, orienteering (which is also good for the brain), or just walking are also beneficial.

Gerontologists suggest that living in rural areas, where people feel more relaxed, is better for health. Work and fresh air contribute to longevity, although it is important to note how much living in the bosom of nature meets a person’s needs. If you have lived in the city all your life, moving to the village can have a negative effect.

Longevity is also positively influenced by mountainous conditions. Some physiologists explain that the particularly high longevity in mountainous areas is due to a decrease in the oxygen content of the air, which slows down oxidative processes and aging.

5. And finally, don’t let the numbers get you down.

Aging can be unsettling, but let’s not forget that it also has some benefits. As we age, our brains get better at filtering out what’s important and what’s not. We also begin to appreciate our loved ones more, and research shows that older people make fewer mistakes at work than younger people.

Sure, our bodies may change, but we don’t have to give up the things we love. The happiness of an older person is no different than that of a person of any age.

If we cannot change what is happening, we must change our attitude. Old age is not the age of loss: you still have energy, dreams, goals, and possibilities.

Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?

My advice is simple — you need to learn to see happiness in the present. But how often do you actually practice that?

According to a study by German psychologist Ernst Peppel, you only stay in the present for only 3 seconds. After that, you perceive the situation as the past and direct your gaze toward the future.

A happy and fulfilling life is a state of mind. You must accept all the good and bad life offers and stop identifying yourself with your thoughts, behavior, or circumstances.

One of my favorite tips is not to divide days into holidays and weekdays. Each new day is beautiful in its own way. If you are in a good mood, nothing prevents you from preparing your best dishes, calling relatives and friends, and spending the evening together.

Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?

DNA determines many of our traits, so the increasing availability of genetic analysis is revealing much about what we can pass on to future generations.

However, life expectancy does not seem to be part of genetic “inheritance” — numerous studies show that it is much more influenced by social, economic, and lifestyle factors.

So it is better to eat right and exercise than to rely on your grandmother’s good genes.

Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?

Negative things are more easily noticed and remembered by people due to evolution. Therefore, seeing the good requires more effort than we would like. We’re talking about literally rewiring the brain.

The more attention we pay to something, the more we begin to notice it. For example, try writing down ten good things that happened to you today and give thanks for them each day before you go to bed.

Over time, the brain is rewired, and the ability to see the world more fully, in all its shades, develops.

Seeing the good doesn’t mean wearing rose-colored glasses. It means having choices, reacting differently in different situations, experiencing different emotions, and becoming more resilient.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

One of my favorite quotes is an Arabic proverb: “He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.”

2 years ago, I had a serious kidney disease and could not get out of bed. I think it happened because I often wore light clothes like short skirts when it was 14°F outside. I also walked barefoot on cold floors, sat on cold surfaces, and did other careless things without thinking of the consequences.

The worst part was that the doctor initially prescribed the wrong medication, and my condition worsened a few days later. As I lay in bed in excruciating pain, I completely reevaluated my approach to health in my life.

When you lose your health, you can no longer enjoy anything — not work, not socializing with friends and family, not doing the hobbies you love. Did I want to be in that situation again? Absolutely not. And unfortunately, we often reevaluate things in our lives only after something bad happens.

So I must remind you that good health gives you the energy to pursue your aspirations. Hope drives us to overcome obstacles. When you have hope, you believe in the possibility of a better future, which motivates you to work toward it.

Together, good health and hope create a positive and powerful mindset that can help us achieve anything. In addition, my name Nadzeya means “hope” in Belarusian, so the concept of hope is even more meaningful to me.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

You know, sometimes the simplest things are the most important. So I would like to create a movement of caring for personal health and mind, for other people, for nature, and for the world we live in.

Caring includes all the positive things we do to maintain, revive, or correct our living world so that we can live in it. Recent neuroscience research has shown that helping others activates brain regions associated with pleasure.

I believe that our health, our ideas, our society, and our planet need to be supported, protected, and built.

What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?

I am currently writing articles for the Health Reporter. Here, I continuously monitor all the news and events in the healthcare industry and aim to provide a comprehensive medical explanation for them.

I also work with experts to break down major news stories, such as a promising cancer vaccine in its first phase of human clinical trials, Kourtney Kardashian’s vaginal vitamins, and the U.S. insulin scandal.

I also analyze a lot of new scientific research and provide the latest tips for maintaining mental and physical health. These include how to avoid burnout on dating apps, how to say no to your kid, and how to tell good health advice from bad on TikTok.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.


  • Savio Clemente

    Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), Media Journalist, #1 Best-selling Author, Podcaster, and Stage 3 Cancer Survivor

    The Human Resolve LLC

    Savio P. Clemente is a Board Certified Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC, ACC), media journalist, #1 best-selling author, podcaster, stage 3 cancer survivor, and founder of The Human Resolve LLCHe coaches cancer survivors and ambitious industry leaders to amplify their impact, attract media attention, and make their voice heard. He inspires them to get busy living in mind, body, and spirit and to cultivate resilience in their mindset.

    Savio has interviewed notable celebrities and TV personalities and has been invited to cover numerous industry events throughout the U.S. and abroad.  His mission is to provide clients, listeners, and viewers alike with tangible takeaways on how to lead a truly healthy, wealthy, and wise lifestyle.