What little I know about living longer can be encapsulated with just a few bullet points.

1. Choose parents with longevity genes. That is probably the best thing you can do.

2. Eat wisely. I've been taking vitamins and mineral supplements for 40 some years am convinced that you need it to quench free radical destruction which is the main reason for taking the supplements. Moderate consumer of alcohol. Rarely hard alcohol, wine on occasion but am cutting back on that recently.

3. Sleep is something most people overlook. As I am getting older it seems I need more. Sleep has gone from 4 to 6 hours a night to 6 to 8 hours a night, and it is a disturbing to me but seems natural. At least not much I can do about it.

4. Telomere length is one of the best predictors of longevity so anything you can do to enhance and stop telomere destruction will be helpful. About four years ago I began taking a supplement called Astralagus for that end and when tested I'm in an age group of people about 40 so I do think this has made a substantial difference. This is a project originated by Yale Hirsch and I have done additional work on my own. But supplements are not enough you still need

5. Exercise. There I have avoided the idea of all things in moderation and gone to extremes; 80 some marathons. Way too many… pretty stupid in retrospect but fitting with my general psychological makeup I suppose.

6. The absolute best predictor of how much longer you're going to live is lung function based on the Framingham study. So big question here. How do we increase lung function, what form of exercise does the best job of that?

From what I've read and my own personal experience, high intensity training (HITS) or (PACE 8) are the best. This means short intense blasts of 10 to 30 seconds of almost all out sprints, weights, swimming, whatever it is but short intense exercise is far better than hundreds of repetitive miles of running or biking. I've been doing this exercise approach for the last 10 years or so and I believe it is also one reason why my telomere length rates so high.

I've never been gifted athletically the only thing that helped was to stay in the game… To persist. Seldom have I been number one or number two. I can hang in 3rd to 5th position but certainly I have no great athletic ability. All that is help there is to work very hard at it… So I get extremely upset when I see gifted athletes pass away their abilities through lifestyle choices or not working at it.

I have looked at things like fasting which is supposed to increase longevity, but I point out the number one advocate/practitioner of that died early and it did not seem to be an appealing lifestyle.

7. What may be the number one enhancer of longevity is to be in love with something… Your wife, your career, your hobby some one thing that just drives you crazy that you really live for.

Well, I'm certain I've rambled on long enough, considering the hundreds of books I've read seminars I've gone to on longevity and such– not much of a statement but that is as I see it.

I also have a little different take on the medical profession. I try to stay away from doctors. Only go if there is an acute issue. I'm on no medications, have blood workups done every two years and occasionally do other tests but these are all self-directed. In short, I think monitoring and being responsible for your health works better than turning your health over to the medical professional. Not that I wouldn't do that if there was a major issue but for the most part the daily maintenance function, responsibility, is mine. I own that and I work really hard on it so I study, I read, I don't trust a lot of what I read which means I cogitate before I take action anymore. It used to be the other way around. 

anonymous writes: 

Interesting about the astralagus. My sister's good friend and college classmate is who some consider the US telomere guru. Dr. Ed Park has some very expensive astralagus that is not the sort favored by the senator, I see. his books might prove helpful though.

The idea I like is following something one loves. I have watched Larry look for Noah's Ark, then for the trading Holy Grail and now for the fountain of youth. I follow all his pursuits with wonder and admiration.


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