I asked a favorite client of mine about his long term goals and he replied that "To die as young as possible as late as possible". That really resonated with me. We all want to live longer but none of us want to be crippled or dependent in the last years or decades. So if you want to look at adding 'good' years to your life there are a few things to consider:
A. What things are most likely to kill me or make my life worse?
When you look through the statistics, 62% of the causes of mortality are directly related to your lifestyle! The top 5 are:
1. Heart Diseases - including heart attack, stroke, heart failure, hypertensive disease.
2. Dementia and Alzheimers - That's right, its now #2 and has increased 239% between 2011 and 2013!
3. Diabetes. Type I and II has increased every year.
4. Cancers - pancreatic, breast, prostate, lung etc
5. Other heath related - depression, lower respiratory diseases, Liver disease...
These 5 make up over 62% of all causes or mortality and while I don't have a cure for them (yet) there certainly ways to drastically reduce your chances and prolong healthy life!
B. How to I reduce my chances of getting old prematurely?
Trying to prevent the visible signs of aging is a billion dollar industry, but it is the invisible or less obvious signs that are more critical to the situation. One of the things that is directly correlated in an increase in these top 5 causes is something called Metabolic Syndrome.
Metabolic Syndrome is characterized by having 3 of these 5 things:
1. High waist circumference. 102cms + for men and 88cms + for women.
2. High triglycerides - these particles derived from glycerol and fatty acids cause problems. (fasted over 8.3mmol/L)
3. Low HDL Cholesterol - Under 2.2mmol/L for men and 2.7 for women (high LDL is not implicated in Metabolic Syndrome.)
4. High Blood Pressure - 130/85 is enough to tick this box!
5. High fasting Blood Glucose over 6.1mmol/L
One of the easiest ways to avoid all of these symptoms is to get your body in good shape. Most of the time when your waist measurement falls to below 90 for men and 80 for women, what you did to get there will drop your triglycerides, increase your HDL, drop your blood pressure and stabilize your blood glucose levels.
C. How can I stay as young as possible as long as possible?
My 4 tips for staying young are:
1. Lead a fit and healthy life.
Make exercise a fun and regular activity. You don't need to work super hard or very long to see results. In fact as little as 10 mins can make a difference!
2. Fuel your body right!
Counting calories can be useful but is a flawed system when it comes to looking after yourself. For one it assumes the calories from lollies and sweet potato are the same! They clearly are not and while quantity matters, when it comes to living long what also matters is quality. There is a list of foods that likely increase things like Alzheimers, cancer, autoimmune diseases like Type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis and a lot of good science to back it up!
3. Take the magic pill weekly!
No it isn't blue! The magic pill is strength training! By weekly improving your strength you will see benefits like; toning, shaping and weight loss, stronger bones, improved HDL cholesterol, a stop in muscle wastage which helps prevent falls, increased metabolism, better functional independence and improved insulin sensitivity. the best part is you don't need to do long complicated weights to see these results. As little as 20/30 mins a week can get you all these benefits!
4. Surround yourself with inspiring like minded people.
Having a good social network is important when it comes to longevity. And the influence they have over you will be determined by the type of people they are. Hang around smokers and you likely will become one too, hang around drinkers... same thing. Hang around people who exercise and go on adventures and you will become one of them! Creating a culture where people like this spend time is what we work hardest on at Vision Bundall.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.