To prolong life, you need to follow a number of simple rules: good sleep, exercise, taking vitamins.
But how to do it right? In this article, we tell you in detail, as well as attach links to interesting and useful materials.
Rule 1: Sport is life.
The first thing I advise everyone to think about doing sports regularly. Very cool cyclic sports are swimming, running, cycling. They pump your cardiovascular system really well. They get the blood flowing throughout the body, especially if it’s swimming or running, when all the muscle groups are involved. If it’s cycling, of course, there’s very little upper body involvement. And if you do it regularly enough, I think your overall health will be better.
Of course, there are peculiarities. For example, swimming is suitable for almost everyone, while running is not suitable for people who are overweight, i.e., for example, if you weigh more than 100 kg, the first thing you must do is lose weight, walk, walk, swim, and only then start running. Who has joint problems. Somehow I was spared this problem and therefore I ran quite a lot, and I didn’t have any special problems with my joints.
What are the most effective workouts
After I ran an ultramarathon, I somehow accomplished my goal, it was unclear what was the point of doing next, i.e. the goal was accomplished and that was it, so I spent the next 3 years practically not running.
Now I’m back to cycling. Cycling is a sport bike workout in the gym, with dim lights, cool music, and a pretty good interval workout.
What distinguishes a good interval workout? That you work in different heart rate zones. It’s extremely important to train your cardiovascular system to not only, there, here you run out and you run at a regular speed, but to do some kind of acceleration, deceleration, acceleration, deceleration. It’s called fartleks, intervals.
In cycling, it’s some kind of hill runs, hill runs. It trains your cardiovascular system better, plus you can work better in 45 minutes, more tired, but it will be a pleasant fatigue, than if you run or drive for 2 hours at the same speed, for example.
Yes, volume training is definitely important, too. If you have a lot of time, you can just run for 3 hours, there, 30 kilometers, or ride a bike for 3 hours, there, I don’t know, 100 kilometers, 90 kilometers. Those kinds of workouts are important too, but if you have very little time, like I have right now, i.e. I have a pretty busy schedule, then I choose interval work, but interval work that’s going to be environmentally friendly enough for my body. That is, I’m not a big follower of the same crossfit, because it is a very high load on the joints and the cardiovascular system in principle, too. There’s a very high heart rate and not everyone knows what heart rate zones they should be in, how long they should be in.
Very advised, we’ll leave links in the comments and in the release description to articles about heart rate, about heart rate zones. If you understand once you understand how it works, then from there you can understand if you’re training right or wrong. For example, how do you know if you’re in the 3rd heart rate zone, the middle zone, and it’s called a conversational tempo? You can talk to someone without getting out of breath and continuing to have a calm conversation. And in that zone, if you’re in it, you can run for a very long time. You don’t get lactate in your body. You can run simply, here, as long as you have enough, there, as long as you have had breakfast, as long as you have enough willpower, and as long as your joints are ready.
So you don’t have to run 20 kilometers off the couch right away. I can now run 20 km from the couch, conventionally, there, without running regularly. But if you haven’t been running, start slowly, there, a mile, a mile and a half, running, walking, running, and increasing the volume by literally 10% a week.
I also advise you, if you don’t want to do running, just add walking, walking into your life, regular. When I was on the Duquesne diet, there was some really cool advice there – almost never use the elevator. And, really, that’s some regular exercise that you can provide for yourself if you live above, I don’t know, the 3rd floor. And I got a dog for that, among other things, just so that I would have a regular excuse every day to spend 1.5-2 hours walking, walking, walking. It’s good for living longer, for your cardiovascular system to be at its best and for your body too.
Rule 2. Weight within limits
Here we come to a very important indicator that affects longevity, how long you live, and that’s weight. I have a very complicated relationship with my weight because I gain it regularly. It’s very easy for me to do that. I love to eat sweets and for me a chocolate bar is an indivisible resource. So at some point I started ordering Ritter Sport Mini, small 17 gram chocolates, just because if I’ve already opened a chocolate bar, I finish it all the way through. It’s better to finish 17 grams than 100 grams.
I’ve been on other diets, but in general I’ve now come to interval fasting. What is interval fasting? It’s you choose how many hours you don’t eat at all, i.e. it’s easier for me to not eat at all than to restrict myself from eating daily. I chose that it’s from Monday night to Wednesday morning. Respectively, 36 hours I do not eat anything, I drink only water, if I drink tea or coffee, then I do not add sugar, milk and everything else, I try not to drink any, there, even without sugar, with zero calories, carbonated drinks and so on, i.e. just water, teas, well, maximum, there, an Americano something.
It’s easier for me. It’s 36 hours without food. And basically, here, people who believe in the calorie theory, I don’t really believe in it, because calories are very ambiguous, unevenly counted, and plus I believe that the body doesn’t always take in all the calories you eat. But generally speaking, people who believe in the calorie theory, I’ll tell you that interval fasting, for example, for 36 hours is conventionally you reduce your weekly calorie intake, there, by, 1/7, percent, 14 percent. Accordingly, it’s easier for me, I use this interval fasting, plus there’s some research that says that our ancestors could not eat regularly and therefore they also starved because access to food for very many centuries, millennia has been unstable and therefore that allows our body to pick up some fat reserves there, rejuvenate, get rid of some old reserves and so on. If we find the relevant research, we’ll include references. That’s the way I feel about it so far.
And in weight it’s extremely important to keep track, there’s such an indicator as the BMI index (body mass index), which counts how much you can weigh without falling out into overweight or into first, second, third degree obesity, depending on your height. Of course, if you’re a jock and have a lot of muscle, the BMI index isn’t very relevant to you, but if you’re a regular person like me, you can use it to keep track of how much your weight is within healthy limits.
Rule 3. Healthy Sleep
Sleep. Another important area of your life that affects your recovery, which allows you to assess the level of stress in your body. Because I, for one, don’t feel stressed. I go to the doctors and they say, “Do you feel any stress or strain?” I say, “No, I don’t feel it, I’m flat and good and normal.” But there are indicators during sleep that you can tell by how much you’ve recovered, not recovered, how your body is affected by alcohol, for example, and how stressed it is.
I use the Oura Ring for that. Now the 3rd generation is out, very interesting, the guys have updated it. I’m thinking about maybe getting a refill on it. But basically the last generation works pretty well too.
What do I keep track of there? I keep track of how many hours I spent in bed, how many hours I slept. I’ve learned that I need eight hours of sleep on a regular basis. I track my resting heart rate. The ring measures my heart rate at its lowest point throughout the night. So, for example, if my resting heart rate is 52 – I’m well rested, I’m not stressed, if 56 – somehow average, if 60 – I’m probably either under-served, or I drank a lot of alcohol beforehand, or I’m very tired. That is, I understand by this indicator that I need either more sleep, or, for example, to reduce the frequency of alcohol consumption.
Actually, once I got into sports, I started drinking a lot less anyway and most of the time it’s at most wine by strength of alcohol, well, sometimes there, whiskey, but extremely rarely. But in general, once you’re doing sports regularly, you realize that if you’ve had a drink, in the morning you just feel that it prevents you from showing results, from training well, especially if you’ve had not just a glass of wine, but overdosed on some kind of appetizer and went into some kind of intoxication there.
Rule 4. Air Quality
The next important thing that also affects cardiovascular risk, can cause heart attacks, ischemic strokes, impaired heart rhythm, worsened heart failure, increases the risk of lung cancer, chronic, acute respiratory disease and asthma, is air quality. So I have devices in both my home and my office that purify the air, that check the humidity in the air. And accordingly, I make sure that I breathe cleaner air whenever possible and thus also live longer on average, I hope.
Wondering about air quality? See the links in the description. There’s a very cool article there with research.
Rule 5. Strong immunity.
The next thing is immunity. This is where I’m somewhere in the middle. On the one hand and naturally, there, I wash my hands after going to the restroom, in general, I, there, don’t drink raw eggs, don’t feed pigeons, which are, like, carriers of a bunch of diseases and flying rats. On the other hand, if, there, I don’t know, an apple isn’t maximally perfectly washed, I’m not going to be particularly steamed about it.
I believe that some level of bacteria and viruses have to get into the body. And accordingly for the immune system to be better, it is better to do sports, better to be in the sun more often, swim, but without these kinks, that after, there, I do not know, each touch you wipe your hands with antiseptic and you do not let your body in any way contact with new any microorganisms, and your immune system is not in a state that it should give some immune response, but it is in some kind of state of sterility. So I think there has to be some healthy balance in that.
Rule 6. Taking vitamins
I try to be outside a lot, but I regularly find it very easy to fall into a vitamin D3 deficiency in my body. So I pretty much drink D3 year-round. At the moment I’m drinking D3 along with K2, as my doctor advised it’s better absorbed, and I’m drinking a fairly high dose – it’s 5,000 international units multiplied by 2 pills a day, so it’s essentially 10,000 international units.
A lot of people will say that’s a really huge dose, but I’ve observed by taking blood tests that with that dose, I’m at a healthy D3 count, and my wife, who doesn’t take it, she’s mildly D3 deficient. In general, in our latitudes you have to drink it year round and in fairly high doses, even if you are out in the sun, even if you like to sunbathe, even if you travel a lot.
I also often drink Omega-3. Right now I’m drinking it with astaxanthin, that’s what it would mean. I won’t say what that would mean right now. Anyway, that’s what my doctor advised me to do.
In an article by a biohacker, if we find it, let’s leave a link in the description too, I found that he takes odorless garlic in capsules, and has also made it a habit for himself for the fall. Perhaps it affects immune levels. Garlic is said to be quite beneficial, and in capsules it doesn’t create bad breath.
Rule 7. Early diagnosis
I am an advocate of early diagnosis and if you can detect a health problem at an early stage, its solution is much cheaper, the probability of a positive outcome is much higher and in our space, Kiev, blood tests, additional laboratory tests, consultations with doctors are very inexpensive. I take a comprehensive blood and urine test every year. When I started, it used to cost me about $50, maybe. Now I get about $250. But I look at a huge number of indicators, I can track them over time, and if some of them are not normal, then I easily go to the specialist in order to figure out what’s wrong with them, perhaps undergo some additional examinations, and accordingly return them to normal.
I think that if you don’t do it every year, you accumulate some risks and then to solve the problem of lack of D3 conditional will be much more expensive.
People because of D3 deficiency, they have less strength, they may work less, they’re less productive, less efficient. That’s why, by the way, I put D3 in the office and told the employees:
Drink it, please, feel free.
People fall into a state of near depression if they don’t have enough D3 in their system. It’s biochemistry. It’s not a question of whether or not you have a happy life. It’s not a question of objectively existing reality. It’s just biochemistry. You have some indicator down, you feel bad, emotionally bad. If it lasted long enough, you could slip into a bad state, even though it was basically just a deficiency of some micronutrient, macronutrient, or some vitamin.
I’ve had a couple of times where some of my vitals weren’t normal. I went to an endocrinologist, we did more tests, I took some extra vitamins and pills, retested, and got those numbers back to normal. Plus we rechecked the ultrasound of the thyroid gland, if everything is normal there on the ultrasound, ie, there are still some instrumental examinations, which makes sense to do, if there is something not normal.
What are the indicators that I am tracking now and together with my family doctor we have come to them?
- Blood and urine test – once a year
- Complete blood count
- HOMA index
- vitamin D
- Some additional indicators
- liver testsMale health indicators (testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, etc.)
- thyroid health
- lipid complex.
In fact, many labs have ready-made programs that you can choose from. If you’re not as willing as I am to spend $250 a year purely on blood tests, go in, pick some program there, like “men’s health 25-45” or “women’s health 25-45” or give your parents some package, there, 45+, 55+, and just get even those basic tests.
If you start doing that, you’ll start tracking, you’ll have some dynamics, you can always talk to your doctor about what’s not normal, what’s in the lower end of the norm, and understand what your specific body features are, i.e. what your weaknesses are that make sense to track. Of course, you can know them anyway. For example, my grandmother had diabetes and so I keep track of all the insulin resistance and so on. But along with the tests, any doctor, even there in the early stages, will be able to figure out what your dynamic is, how quickly it’s manifested, and the earliest to detect it and start treating it if something has started.
Rule 8: Take care of your teeth
And then there’s dental care, because the teeth are the first barrier that gets food inside the body and affects the digestive system. This is where I switched to using an irrigator long enough ago. In our latitudes, it is extremely rarely recommended. More often than not, at best, people go to the dentist for regular dental cleanings. But one must be able to ask the dentist and any doctor the right questions:
– How can you avoid those frequent visits?
– What would make sense to change my habits so that I could, for example, go for a dental cleaning less often?
– What else does it make sense to do that is not costly, not difficult, so that this problem does not arise in the future?
And at some point, when I asked that question, my dentist recommended an irrigator.
They’re relatively inexpensive – something like $30 basic models cost. It’s pressurized water that hits your teeth, your gums, massages your gums and allows you to clean your teeth of food debris, especially after you’ve eaten, like nuts. And some dentists even recommend it as along with brushing your teeth.
I started just at one point a regular task once a week and just brushing my teeth once a week with an irrigator to remove plaque. And that allowed me, instead of going to brushes every 3 weeks and having problems with bleeding gums, to go to brushes every six months.
And then I bought an ultrasonic toothbrush and started brushing about once a year and even using an irrigator even less often.
I mean, I’ve read studies, they are quite ambiguous, because manufacturers sponsor them themselves, but in general my experience is that it seems that ultrasound, exactly ultrasound, because there are, there, quasi-sound or somehow, there, well, at other frequencies, which work, which are cheaper. Anyway, the right toothbrush, it really cleans better, you have less plaque, you have to go to the doctors for cleaning less often and I have less problems with tooth decay. Well, I’ve always had a few.
Rule 9. Working with information
And here we come to working with medical information. There is a lot of information. I extremely dislike reading medical articles, and even less I like to read all sorts of answers on quora or sites run by copywriters who rewrite everything with copy. Here’s one copywriter writing this, everyone rewrites it, people start googling: “Here’s my problem, what do I do?” I think it’s all bullshit.
If you really want to understand something, ideally you go to PubMed and a bunch of other scientific sites that publish studies, most often in English, rarely translated or overdue, on how some indicator affects something. And there’s context there, most often the studies say that for such and such a group of people in such and such parameters, it worked out so-and-so, but not these headlines: “British scientists proved that brushing your teeth twice a day and you’ll live 150 years”. More often than not, journalists distort these meanings, distort the information presented in the studies, embellish it, amplify it, and you read the original studies and there the context is broader and slightly different. So my advice is to read the originals.
There are very cool options when, for example, you don’t have a lot of time and you don’t read hundreds of studies on a disease, but you find summarizing material there, like the medical consensus for that disease. And you see that, first of all, most doctors agree that we should do this; second, for patients who have this factor, it makes sense to use this; and third, this treatment has still shown to be effective, and it’s used all over the world. So it’s a kind of contract of doctors, how they treat this or that disease, the established rules.
Plus I sometimes ask the family doctor to read these materials and then tell me, on the issues that interest me, and tell me some kind of a rundown, because she naturally understands more terms, more specifics of this or that research and can translate into my language, into a simpler language, as a non-medical person.
Rule 10. Visit the family doctor
And in general, I suggest you add working with a family doctor, picking a family doctor who will track your vitals, your specifics, who is close to evidence-based medicine and who you can consult with.
Plus, it makes sense to experiment in some places. For example, I have now ordered genetic tests from 23andMe in the U.S., and I want to take genetic tests for myself and my wife and see what conclusions we get, what indicators we get, what new things we learn.
It’s a kind of experiment. I’m not sure it will have a positive ROI or that I’ll learn anything interesting, but why not try it if it’s relatively inexpensive but allows you to learn something more about your body and its characteristics.
I haven’t gotten to the biohacking clinics yet, but I’ve been discussing biohacking with doctors I know and a doctor I know advised me that actually long term you should be monitored by 4 specialists, plus there is research that needs to be done regularly to greatly increase your chances of living longer. I’ll read it out because I haven’t worked that in yet. According to this doctor I consulted, you need:
- a family doctor.
And you have to have regular endoscopies.
Here, most likely, after some time I will test this approach, I will come to it, somewhere spot I naturally went to an endocrinologist or gastroenterologist, naturally to a cardiologist, because from heart problems, this is directly the most frequent reason for deaths and why people live less than they could live.
But right now I haven’t worked out that kind of interaction with four or five medical specialists at once, who monitor my results over the long term. Yes, and in general, well, as it were, we have such a problem that people come to doctors when they are already sick, and doctors are paid when they are already sick, and not doctors are paid when you are healthy, when you are not sick, and rarely do people come to doctors not with the question, “How do I cure X or Y? ” but, “How do I change my habits, my life, so that I don’t have X or Y, or live longer?”, i.e. some kind of preventive medicine is not yet in high esteem in our country.
And I am an advocate of preventive medicine, i.e. I don’t get into problems and change my habits, change my approach to life, in order to live longer, but not to urgently fix problems. That is, if to speak in the language of a car metaphor, I’m for regular and proper maintenance instead of something broke and you kind of then start to fix it urgently, it catches something else or you drive long, something knocks there, you drive long: “Well, I’ll get to it sometime”.
In general, as you understood, if the problem can be solved with money, including in terms of health, I believe that this is not a problem, but a certain expense. So I try to solve everything with money whenever possible, for example, I wear contact lenses from time to time, and I can wear semi-annuals, one-years, I can wear monthlys, I can wear day lenses. I just decided at some point that I was going to wear day lenses. My eye will have the best ventilation, breathing. I just throw them away at the end of the day. I have less risk of getting some kind of conjunctivitis or something.
And essentially the only other way this problem could be solved with money is through vision correction, but I don’t really believe in it because, first of all, technology changes every 3-5 years, very short lifespan, no long-term follow-up, plus I personally saw people regress with the old technology when they do vision correction and then 10 years later it gets worse again, and this is inevitable, in case of myopia, inevitable evaporation of part of the eye.
Psychotherapy is okay! Why and when do you need a psychotherapist?
Well, the same goes for mental health. We have an issue about psychotherapy. I’ve been going to a therapist every week for over, I think, two years now. It’s not always about some kind of personal experience. Sometimes it’s about negotiations, about business, about working with employees, with partners, with potential clients or customers. But it’s the kind of exercise to be in a good emotional state, to expand my range of decisions, to be less nervous, to experience less stress, too. And as a result, I hope to live longer.
Again, this is my experience, consult your doctor before using anything. And I would really appreciate it if you would write a comment about your experience, share your experience, and recommend this article to your friends. May they live longer, too, and we’ll all, in our 90+ or 120+ years, lie on the beach and talk about how great it is that we took D3 in time and can relax on the beach in Hawaii, or not in Hawaii, it doesn’t matter. I’ll see you soon. Bye-bye.