8 Factors that Lead to Longevity
Human nature is a funny thing.
For example, it’s kind of strange how willing we are to suspend our disbelief about some things, but other things? We feel like we know these things for certain.
Here’s what I mean by that.
Nearly half of all adult Americans buy lottery tickets. They know they won’t win. On some level, they’re very aware that they’re throwing money away. If they play regularly, they’ve experienced the feeling of loss again and again and again.
And yet, they still think, “This might be the one for me!” and so the next time the PowerBall rolls around, they buy in again.
Talk about suspending disbelief.
On the other hand, they’re also certain that their life will go a certain way. They’ll feel young and fit for about 25 years, then they’ll have children and a house, and all of a sudden, the aches and pains they feel are “normal”.
They’ll say things like, “Everyone knows it’s practically impossible to lose weight after 40…”
Or “We all deal with bad vision once we hit middle age”…
Or even, “At my age, of course I have high blood pressure. That’s just the way it goes.”
And a small sliver of this is true… We all age and eventually we all die.
But the accuracy ends there.
The new truth is that you don’t have to plan on a few decades of health, and then a slow, but steady decline towards infirmity and then death. Here’s why.
Dr. Daniel Stickler
Just the other day, I spoke with Dr. Daniel Stickler. He’s a medical doctor, the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer at The Apeiron Center for Human Potential, and a pioneer in the revolutionary field of epigenetics.
All of Dr. Stickler’s efforts are focused on one thing: human optimization. Instead of using outdated, symptom-based medical practices, he has created a new system-based paradigm for medical practitioners – one where no matter what state of health you’re currently in, with the right protocols, you can be brought to peak performance.
With clients all around the world, Dr. Stickler has demonstrated that we don’t have to follow the path of slowly getting sicker and more incapacitated until the day we die. Instead, we can take charge of our health and live out our days in health and vigor.
Too Good To Be True?
A long and happy life minus the aches and pains and pills and illnesses that so many people face?
How can this be?
According to Dr. Stickler, 75% of what kills us is lifestyle related.
Most people die from things like heart disease, stroke, and respiratory illnesses. The top ten killers are all lifestyle related. Even cancer is lifestyle related. While there are some rare cancers that are 100% genetic, almost all other cancers – including the most common ones – are related to lifestyle in some way.
This means if you can adjust your lifestyle, you can avoid the very things that kill so many of us.
The goal of medicine should no longer be to treat someone until their symptoms go away.
Instead, we must bring all parts of the human system into a healthy lifestyle that generates a positive outcome
Here’s how to make a lasting change – one that’s big enough to give you a long, enjoyable life.
First, you must know that you can’t take individual paths to wellness. It’s a whole life thing. Think of it this way – when an overweight person wants to lose weight and become healthy, they would probably increase their exercise. They might even lose a few pounds this way. But if they’re still living on a fast food and energy drink diet, smoking a pack a day, and sleeping only five hours a night, are they healthy? No, not at all.
When you want to address something, you must adjust it all.
Control These to Live Longer
If you want a longer, more able-bodied life, the main areas you must look at are as follows:
Sleep – Aim for 7-9 hours a day. Many people say they can function on 4 or 5, but living on very little sleep does long term damage, so make sure you get more sleep – even if you think you don’t need it.
Stress – While it may seem unavoidable, you have to find a way to manage your stress. Stress contributes to everything from heart disease to diabetes. Use stress management techniques like meditation and exercise to repair yourself.
Cognitive Function – Here’s an odd statistic. People who retire after the age of 65 have a longer lifespan. You’d think it would be the opposite, but no. People who retire earlier also increase their risk of dying earlier. Part of this is because of the social benefits that come with working but another part is that we need challenges in order to maintain cognitive function. If you haven’t retired, keep on pushing past your limits at work. If you have, then it’s time to dig into a new project that will keep your mind occupied and engaged.
Hormones – Long ago, we relegated hormones to just a few times in life – puberty, and then menopause for women. We now know that regulating hormones throughout adulthood is very important to long term health. Get yours checked routinely.
Nutrition – This is a big one. The common Western diet is one based on convenience instead of nutrition. Rather than lying to ourselves and hoping for better results, we must bring our nutrition back into balance with real, clean food and plenty of water.
Supplementation – Here’s another important element to pay attention to. The food we eat today is not as nutritious as it was 50 or 60 years ago – and I don’t just mean because we’re digging into cheeseburgers instead of salads. The amount of vitamins and minerals in the plants and animals available today are not what they once were. Adding supplements can correct for this lack of nutrients and bring us back to optimal health.
Environmental Exposures – It stands to reason that people who live in areas with high levels of pollution suffer more from respiratory and other ailments. We need to limit our exposure to pollutants and other toxic environments – whether that means changing jobs, moving, or even just wearing a mask in times of high exposure, this change can save your life.
Movement – These days, we live sedentary lives, and it shows. Human bodies were made for movement and challenge, so it’s no wonder we experience illnesses and injuries when we let our joints and muscles fall into disuse. Move regularly and continually ask more from your body – it make ache temporarily, but these short-term issues will give you long-term gains.
If any one of these items is out of whack, you can expect negative consequences.
When all of these elements are in homeostasis, however, you can then experience the next level of health.
Forget about the lottery tickets and bank on this instead:
Health is a spectrum moving in one direction – you can come in anywhere and move forward from there, so keep optimizing these eight elements and see just how much your quality of life will improve.