Optimize Your Health in 2022
Longevity Start to the Year!
Through this newsletter, I write on longevity science & health optimization
I am also the host of the Live Longer World Podcast, where I interview scientists, biotech entrepreneurs, and other advocates in longevity science
My twitter is @aasthajs
My Instagram is @aasthajs
My Patreon is patreon.com/livelongerworld
In case you missed..
It’s a special 2021 finale episode of the Live Longer World podcast where I've compiled some of the best & most informative parts of each of my previous episodes and highlighted them in this finale episode.
Stay tuned for more podcast episodes this year!
Now, onto today’s post on kicking off 2022 in a healthy manner!
Optimize your Health!
With the start of the new year, I’m sure most people are more eager than ever to optimize their health, feel sharper, and more energetic. This post is a compilation and summary of my “Longevity Lifestyle” posts. These are simple and cheap science-backed practices that you can incorporate in your daily life to feel more energetic, possibly slow aging, and improve your healthspan (number of healthy / disease free years you live).
I want to make it clear that a longevity lifestyle may not improve your lifespan (number of years you live) by much or eliminate the chances of contracting diseases. Rejuvenation therapies to reverse aging and age-related diseases fall more in the purview of longevity biotech, a field that is working on how to target the biology of aging to delay the onset of diseases, slow and reverse aging. I’ll be writing another post to explain what it means to target the biology of aging and develop biotechnologies that can reverse the damage caused by aging. (If you’re curious to learn more, check out my podcast which is focused on interviewing scientists & entrepreneurs who work in the field of longevity biotech)
However, a longevity lifestyle will almost certainly make you healthier and stronger, and allow you to take advantage of the rejuvenation therapies as and when they are available. The first step towards longevity begins with adopting healthy lifestyle habits. In this manner, you can be more resistant to illnesses, feel sharper, and in some cases even slow or delay aging. For example, exercising and fasting have been shown to slow aging as well! These are proven methods to make you healthier & happier, so why not implement them in your lives right away?
This post lays out the highest-impact longevity lifestyle practices you can implement in 2022 and beyond. Practices discussed:
I’ve summarized the key bullets for each of the practices I’ve laid out. Previously, I’ve also written extensively on some of the practices, so you can refer to those posts for more detailed explanations and tips. Hope this can serve as a useful checklist and reminder for implementing a healthier lifestyle!
Focus, Adrenaline boost, brown-fat activation, reduction in inflammation, production of new mitochondria, stress reduction
How to get started:
Start by turning on the cold shower for a few seconds, then a few minutes eventually
Turn down the air-conditioning while asleep
Spend a few minutes out in the cold without warm clothing
Watch out for:
Cold showers post exercise can blunt muscle gains and beneficial pro-inflammatory effects of exercise
Cold showers before bed can make it harder to fall asleep
Avoid hypothermia of course!
I’ve discussed how exercise is the single best longevity pill we have so far! “Smoking and diabetes will double or triple your risk of death. Having a very high cardiorespiratory fitness is a 5x reduction in all-cause mortality.” - Peter Attia
Exercise for brain health: It promotes the formation of new neurons, improves memory, creativity, and protects against depression
Recent studies show that exercise can even reverse brain aging!
Exercises to Focus on:
High-Intensity / TABATA:
High Intensity workouts like sprint intervals or TABATA confer the biggest bang for buck - you will be sweating in 10 minutes!
Muscle mass and strength is a strong indicator of longevity. This is because muscle mass decreases with age contributing to frailty and sarcopenia increasing the likelihood of falls and fractures with age. Muscle mass protects you from rainy days and can even protect you against diseases like osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis and type 2 diabetes.
Deadlifts, Squats, Kettlebell Swings and Barbell Rows are some of the highest-impact strength training exercises, but start with whatever you’re comfortable with and make progress from there!
Zone 2 training / Cardio:
This could be running, dancing, jogging, biking, swimming, playing a sport like tennis!
Sauna also mimics cardiovascular exercise and has other added benefits such as reduced risk of cardiac death, heart disease, stroke, all-cause mortality, and Alzheimer’s disease!
What do I mean by Longevity Foods?
I know there is a lot of debate in nutrition and there seems to be no trust in anyone advocating for any type of food because there are several opinions out there. However, I will argue that there is some objectivity around certain foods - I mean, a simple example is that everyone will agree that sugar and processed food is bad for you and eating more vegetables is good for you. I will go a step further and say that when it comes to longevity, there are certain foods within the “healthy foods” category that might add more value than others based on the science and data so far. I call these foods longevity foods.
What are some Longevity Foods?
To read more on the benefits of these foods, refer to the full post.
What are some foods you should avoid?
Avoid sugar and processed food as much as you can. Instead of added sugar, try allulose or stevia instead. I’ve written more here.
Limit alcohol. An occasional glass of wine is fine, but alcohol disrupts sleep and is empty calories!
Sleep is a master regulator of our health and helps with memory consolidation, learning, immune system support, emotional resetting and creativity.
Best Sleep Optimization Tips:
I did a one-pager summary of the best sleep optimization protocols for premium subscribers but I’m making it available to everyone here:
Here is a list of the most important supplements to take:
Vitamin D: Can’t overstate the importance of Vitamin D! Vitamin D protects against DNA damage, depression, accelerated rates of aging, possibly even COVID-19 and much more!
Omega-3 / Fish Oil: If you’re eating fish, you can get Fish Oil from your food. But it’s hard to eat fish everyday, so make sure to supplement on the days you don’t get it from food. Fish oil is important for cognitive functioning, fighting depression & anxiety, brain health, preventing cancer, fighting mental disorders, improving sleep etc. It’s extremely important. If you’re vegan, you could supplement with algae.
Zinc: Important for immunity, metabolism, DNA synthesis. I take it everyday.
Magnesium: Supplement, if you are not getting it from your leafy greens. If you eat your greens or almonds, you’re most likely fine.
If you want to know why micronutrient supplementation is important for long-term health, read here.
Intermittent Fasting / Time-restricted Eating
This involves restricting your food intake to a certain window of time. Common time-restricted feeding windows are 16:8 or 20:4 or even 22:2
This would mean that you fast for 16 hours and eat within an 8 hour window or fast for 20 hours and eat within a 4 hour window
You can drink water during the fasting period and black coffee and unsweetened tea is typically fine as well
This practice is associated with improving metabolic health markers, better blood sugar control, reduction in inflammation, and can boost brain function.
I haven’t yet written a post on fasting yet but there is a lot of content online that discusses this if you want to learn more on it.
In summary, incorporate cold showers, exercising, intermittent fasting, longevity foods & supplements, and better sleep habits to your life and you will feel healthier, sharper, and stronger! Essentially, listen to what your mother says :)
What else would you add to your health optimization list? Drop it in the comments!
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Thanks for reading!