Pillar 1: Screening and surveillance
First stop on the Reyes train to achieving your best possible health, is screening for diseases and conditions. Many diseases, such as heart disease and cancer, have warning signs and pre-disease stages – early detection is critical. Dr Reyes says, “Anybody can send you off for tests. The key issue here is who is looking at the results and picking up on the early warning signs of problems? It needs someone who is very experienced in screening to pick up on these. If you do it properly, it is going to be expensive. My health screening service will set you back about £10,000 pounds (Dh58,000) and the major tests need to be re-done every three years.” Dr Reyes points out that people will happily spend a fortune on maintaining their car and their house, but balk at spending it on their health. He says, “Which is worth more? Most people don’t even do the things that are free – such as exercise and eating well. Maintenance of anything is expensive.”

Pillar 2: Nutrition and supplementation
While our bodies have not changed much over the past 50,000 years, says Dr Reyes, our diets have – and most of this change has been in the past 50 years. He believes that this shift in eating habits and diet plays a big role in the explosion of diet-related diseases, such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, our poor nutritional state isn’t purely down to our own changing diet. According to Dr Reyes, the quality of food has deteriorated in recent years, too, leaving us with less nutritional goodness in our meals. He says, “We used to catch and eat animals that had been running around, eating a varied, fresh diet. Now we eat animals that stand around in a pen all day long, being stuffed full of hormones. We are eating unfit animals.” This is where supplementation comes in. “Supplementation is to make sure that your diet, which could be defective in areas, has enough of the trace elements necessary for good health. Boost your nutrition with a good selection of daily supplements.”

Pillar 3: Exercise
There has never been an easier time to be fit, says Dr Reyes, and yet obesity and inactivity are increasing. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy and stick to it. He says, “A lot of the people who are out there ‘exercising’, are not able to do it properly because they don’t have the right muscle strength and flexibility. The Greek philosopher Aristotle said, ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.’ If you want a champion’s body, you have to build a champion’s routine – and stick to it.” Dr Reyes advises doing a variety of different sports, activities or routines in the gym so that you use your body to its fullest. “One of the best activities you can do is parkour – or free running.” Parkour involves running around built-up areas making use of whatever structures you come across, such as staircases, ramps, benches and bridges to jump, run, do pull ups and generally give the whole body a conditioning workout. For details of parkour meet-ups in the UAE, visit

Pillar 4: Anti-ageing therapies
Multiple studies from the National Institute on Ageing and other scientific research bodies point to hormones as being helpful in the fight against ageing. We are not talking about stopping wrinkles here, more about stopping the ageing of the body as a whole, its mental and physical functions, and the intricate functions that go on inside the body. Dr Reyes says, “At a much more advanced level of health promotion, there are hormone therapies that help with anti-ageing. But these should only be prescribed by someone who knows what they are talking about – not just how to use them, but the right way to use them. It’s not as simple as replacing decreasing hormone levels – it’s to do with maintaining good body condition.”

Pillar 5: Stress management

Not only is living with stress not enjoyable, it also takes its toll on your body, wearing it out in less time. Dr Reyes likens it to a fish swimming upstream. He says, “I think of it like swimming in a stream of life’s insults. By insults I mean, radiation, environmental factors, genetic presdisopositions to disease... there’s a price to be paid for the energy used to swim against the stream. Those who have high-pressured jobs are swimming in fast streams, using a lot of energy and taking big health risks.”

According to Dr Reyes, the stressed out brain looks exactly like the aged brain, with depleted connections between nerve cells. There are a couple of different theories about why stress might have this effect on the brain. One is that stress raises the body temperature, resulting in thermal injury to intraneural connections. Another is that stress interferes with the cortisol receptors in the brain, causing a chemical imbalance, killing of nerve cell connections.  Whatever the cause, the results are undeniable and disturbing. “It’s up to individuals to accept that everyone is under stress all the time,” says Dr Reyes, “It’s just a matter of deciding how much stress you allow in to your life – and denial of your stress is not a good thing. It can be very damaging to your health.”