I’ve got a fabulous little book 50 Simple Ways to Live a Longer Life: Everyday Techniques from the Forefront of Science, and I recommend you get it and read it. But in the meantime I know most of you won’t, so here are the first 10 simple ways to live longer. Some of the ways the book listed these don’t make sense to me so I’m making a few modifications. Other than that, I’m supplying them right out of the book. After part V, I’ll give you some of my own ideas.
This is Part II. The other parts can be found here:
Visualize a long and healthy life
Your non-conscious mind will then drive you to to do things that you know contribute to a long and healthy life.
This is one thing on which virtually all aging experts agree. Calorie restriction increases life span. Basically a 40% reduction in calories below what you need to maintain will increase your lifespan 40%. Your body adjusts. Calorie restriction doesn’t just increase lifespan, it gives you a vital and vibrant life. Most people will not do this and so I suggest a 20% reduction to get some of the benefit without looking somewhat anorexic. After I get really healthy and fit, I’m going for the 20% reduction.
This is a hard one for me. I’m a fan of six small meals, but the research is there. In animals, regular fasting has the same effect as calorie restriction. One recommendation is to skip breakfast, eat a light lunch, then eat a normal dinner. Experts believe the underlying anti-aging mechanism is probably the same as calorie restriction.
30 to 60 minutes of brisk walking up to 5 times a week, works wonders. It’s the 80/20 rule of exercise. You get much of the benefits without the hard work of rigorous exercise. I happen to believe that intense workouts provide the maximum benefit, but I’m not there yet. I’m past walking, but I haven’t achieved the intensity level I believe is needed to really get the most benefit.
I think this one goes right along with visualization in number 1. Don’t accept or act like you are getting old. Don’t buy into stereotypes or allow others to talk about what it’s like to get old. I’m guilty as hell on that one so I need to clean up my own act.
Even the conservative establishment has come around to supplementation – slightly. People simply don’t get the optimal level of nutrients from their diet and the JAMA recommends daily multi-vitamin supplementation. Most studies on vitamins have either used isolated supplements (they work synergistically) or bad supplements (vitamin E studies don’t use the right kind of vitamin E). There is conclusive evidence and many good studies (selenium and C taken together for example). In any case if you don’t overdo it they can’t hurt.
Note: This can be dangerous for some so you might want to check with your doctor. In addition to the well known heart and stroke benefits, aspirin is becoming the super cancer prevention supplement. For no other reason than that, you should consider it. A 50% reduction in colon, prostate, melanoma, skin, stomach, and esophageal cancers? A 20+% drop in breast and ovarian cancer? I’m headed to get my baby aspirin right now!
Keep Your Bones Strong
It turns out Vitamin D and exercise is more important in preventing bone loss than calcium supplementation. Ladies take note! Take a D3 supplement and exercise for healthy bones.
This is a big one. It seems that people who have strong social and family connections live longer and healthier lives. It has also been linked strongly to having a healthy brain in old age.
I don’t really know why this helps, but I guess it has something to do with feeling good about yourself and having less stress. Regardless of why, it turns out to be one of the most powerful ways to ward off premature aging and death. Volunteering is correlated with a 50% reduction in premature death. That’s hard to believe, but that’s what the book said. I’m a little skeptical, but I don’t doubt it has some and maybe a lot of benefit.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.
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