10 Tips for Longevity You Should Do Every Day
"Doing these things can help you add years onto your life, as well as potentially avoid diseases."
Today’s live show with Dr. Nancy Lin looks into the latest science of longevity. Dr. Nancy lays out the top 10 things we should be doing each day to help us live longer. Plus she explains cool, new ways scientists are measuring life expectancy including measuring Telomere length, and new more accurate ways to measure cellular aging for specific health predictions. The good doctor will also share an age defying recipe to try at home.
- 06:04: Chronological Age versus Real Age
- 07:52: Factors that affect and determine your real age
- 09:00: How scientists estimate age
- 13:06: How can you get an estimate of your real age?
- 13:38: Top 10 things to do to live longer
- 14:15: Exercise
- 16:00: Find your tribe
- 19:33: Belly laugh
- 21:00: De-stress
- 25:04: Be a player
- 28:27: Brush your teeth
- 32:54: Sleep
- 36:01: Attitude
- 38:08: Eat clean
- 40:32: How to make a delicious, memory boosting inflammation reducing smoothie
- 48:50: Wrap Up
Did you know that studies show that standing on your head, otherwise known as inversion therapy, may play a role in slowing the brain’s “aging process”? When you stand on your head it turns around the blood pressure in the body, providing a fresh wave of blood flow to the brain which may help improve cognitive function. Much of mental deterioration can be traced to poor blood pressure and hardening of the arteries, both of which reduce oxygen flow. With regular inversion therapy, it’s believed we can overcome some of the risk factors of cognitive decline.
The same can be said for doing crossword puzzles. Have you ever tried to finish the super challenging Sunday New York Times Crossword Puzzle? If not, you ought to! Stimulating your brain by doing crossword puzzles has also been shown to help slow cognitive decline. Keep reading to find out why this is.
Chronological age vs. real age
Your chronological age is the number of years you’ve been alive. It’s the number of birthday candles you put on your cake each year. But your real age, also known as your biological age, is how old you seem to be, meaning there are a lot of physiological and lifestyle factors that determine what kind of shape, age-wise, your body is in. Factors that go into determining your real age include:
- How much sleep you get
- Diseases and conditions
- Lifestyle choices
As an example, a 25-year-old woman who eats fast food every day, doesn’t work out, and smokes a pack of cigarettes a day is going to have a biological age that is likely much greater than 25-years-old. Scientists look at two things in a body to estimate how your body has aged.
Telomeres are part of the makeup of the basic structural units of our DNA. Telomeres attach to the ends of chromosomes, also located in your DNA, and they help the chromosomes stay vital and prevent them from deteriorating or attaching to another chromosome, which can lead to abnormalities and disease. Telomeres essentially determine how quickly the cells in your body age and how quickly the cells die. This is because telomeres shorten each time your cells divide, and studies indicate that the longer your telomeres remain, the longer you will live because longer telomeres equal a slower rate of aging and fewer age-related diseases.
Currently the most promising molecular marker for monitoring aging and predicting life expectancy we have, even more than telomere length, is called DNA methylation. This helps determine the age of the cells in your body. Without getting too deep into the science, DNA methylation acts like a switch that turns genes off. This ability to turn genes off and on influences gene regulation, which influences your body’s ability to respond to environmental changes and to develop at a normal rate. If you have high cholesterol or you are predisposed to diabetes because it runs in the family, you may have that gene but through lifestyle choices, within one generation, you may be able to turn that gene on or off for good or bad. If you don’t have the gene but your lifestyle is full of inflammation, stress, and things like that, you could actually turn on the gene, and end up developing it.
How can you get an estimate of your real age?
There are a number of quality, reliable sites that provide questionnaires and quizzes to determine your real age — Most of these take just a few minutes to complete. Click here if you’d like to give it a try!
Top Ten Daily Longevity Tips
Move that body. Exercise is so important. It has proven time and time again to reverse aging. You do not have to go and do something that you’ve never done before that scares you and debilitates you. Just stay active and move your body for at least 30 minutes every day. This can include going for a walk, swimming, or taking a cycling class. Integrating at least 15 minutes of strength training three times a week keeps your bones healthy and keeps you feeling stronger both physically and mentally. Exercise is going to help you stay young. It’s probably one of the best things that you can do to stay young at a cellular level.
Find your tribe
When you spend extended periods of time by yourself, you might find that you start to feel a little depressed or lonely. Remember those telomeres we talked about earlier? Well, a study conducted on African gray parrots showed that a parrot kept in captivity had shorter telomeres than parrots who lived among other parrots of its kind — the same is true for us. Isolating yourself from other people, or spending a lot of time alone can actually cause, or contribute to, a number of health conditions including inflammation, depression, heart disease, and mental decline. So reach out. Call or email family members. Take a cooking class or join a group that has common interests. Expand your social network in whatever way you can. If you’re an introvert, that’s okay… even just coffee with a close friend can be good for you.
There are blue zones all around the world, or areas in the world where people continuously live to more than 100 years old. They’re centennials and they’re thriving and happy. They include places like Sidonia, Spain, parts of California, and parts of Japan. It’s believed that one of the main reasons people live so long in these places is because they have a social network, among other factors. They had group they relied on, and if anything happened they would go to their group. Staying in touch with friends and family can ward off stress and could add years to your life.
You know the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine”? Well, it’s true! Laughter can bring balance to the body, as well as get your endorphins going, which make you feel happy and less stressed. Lots of laughter can also help take your body from a more acidic state to an alkaline one, which is ideal. Laughing and maintaining a positive attitude can add up to five years onto your life.
We talk about this all the time, with good reason. Stress leads to so many problems in the body, not to mention in your life. Stress can cause your body to be in an overactive, constant fight-or-flight state, meaning your body physically does not know how or when to relax and reset. This can lead to a host of health problems like diabetes, obesity, chronic inflammation, and heart disease, to name just a few. These conditions and diseases can vastly shorten your life. So the key to living longer here is to stress less. You can do this a few different ways. Go for a walk, go sailing, read a book, take a bath… find something that helps you calm down and decompress, for just a few minutes every day. Tai-chi is another great way to calm your body and your mind, as is taking a few moments each day just do breathing exercises. All you have to do is take a nice slow breath in through the nose and let it all out with an audible exhale. Try it – it’s really liberating. Another thing you can do is, as you breathe in, scrunch your shoulders up to your ears, and as you let out that audible exhale, let them drop. You will feel less stressed in seconds.
Be a player
Remember, at the beginning of this article we talked about giving that Sunday New York Times Crossword a go? Well, playing any type of game that challenges you mentally will help improve cognitive function and keep you mentally sharp far into your senior years. The brain has an incredible ability to heal itself, and that ability never goes away, even as we age. Playing brain games can challenge both your mental agility and your memory because they force the brain’s neural connections to work and become stronger as a result. A scientist who did a lot of research on Alzheimer’s once believed that once you lose cognitive function, you can never gain it back. However, research within the last 10 years now says otherwise.
The brain has an incredible ability to heal itself and that ability never goes away, even as we age. So playing brain games can challenge both your mental agility and your memory because these force the brain’s neural connections to work and become stronger as a result. Crossword puzzles are wonderful, Sudoku puzzles, trivia questions, card games, learning an instrument, and there are many other ways for us to keep our cognitive function up. Any new game or new hobby is going to build new brain cells. You can also just try to do things differently than you’re used to doing them. For example when brushing your teeth, use the non-dominant hand, or take a different path to work, or learn a new language.
Brush your teeth
Didn’t expect that one, did you? It’s true, taking good care of your teeth can actually help you live longer. Here’s how:
- It can cut down on inflammation and other toxins in the body.
- Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- In pregnant women, good oral hygiene can increase the health of mother and baby.
- Reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system, especially your heart, since toxins in your mouth go into your bloodstream.
Be sure to brush at least twice a day and floss every day. Stick to an anti-inflammatory diet and make sure you get to the dentist routinely for teeth cleanings — generally every six months. If you grind your teeth, invest in a nightguard. While you’re at it, invest in a tongue scraper too! Doing these things will cut down on disease and inflammation, which will help you live longer. A few weeks ago, we did a whole show about dental health, which included a great recipe for all-natural toothpaste that you can make with ingredients you probably have in your kitchen right now.
Get Better Sleep
Get a solid seven to eight hours of quality rest each night. Do whatever you need to make sure that you’re getting your quality night’s sleep. Avoid using your electronic gadgets while in bed because the blue light that is emitted by these gadgets is going to keep you up and prevent your brain from making the melatonin, your optic nerves and your eyeballs are going to be awake, and it’s going to think that it’s day time. Use blue blocker glasses which block out any kind of blue light.
Make sure that you don’t drink too much water to avoid getting up to pee in the middle of the night, turn off the news, and try some of these other tips for getting quality rest. Get into a routine and go to sleep at same time every night, and wake up at the same time every day. Your body loves routine and it helps to set and make the circadian rhythm really strong and healthy. The circadian rhythm is the natural biological clock within you that knows when to wake up and when to sleep.
Having a positive attitude is really big. This can improve all of the systems in the body. Research shows that of people dealing with a really heavy chronic disease or a painful debilitating condition, two things helped get them out of feeling horrible and onto the path of healing as fast as possible. The first thing was having a support system, and the second was their attitude. So you may be feeling less than optimal. If you have a good attitude, your mind is so powerful, you have the ability to shift and change from the state of despair, sadness and anger, to an attitude of thankfulness and hope. You don’t have to quantum leap all the way to joy, bliss, and happiness but maybe you’re not so angry and you’re just more patient. We just want to go up that emotional scale to get us to feeling better and once we do that we can continue to shift our attitude so we can improve all of the systems in our body, enabling us to live longer.
If you watch our show regularly, you had to know this one was coming. What you eat means so much in terms of your health and wellness. Eating a “rainbow diet”— one that is loaded with lots of colorful fruits and veggies — will reduce inflammation, ward off disease, give you energy, and ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need to live a long and healthy life. Aim for organic foods whenever possible, and eat only minimal amounts of lean meats and beans in proportion to the amount of fruits and veggies you eat. Avoid anything processed, fried, or refined, and try and stay away from caffeine and alcohol. These can cause inflammation and promote other diseases and conditions like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
Inflammation-Reducing, Memory-Boosting Smoothie Recipe
- 1/2 cup blueberries.
- 1/2 cup raspberries.
- 1/4 cup pineapple.
- 2 tbsp ground chia seeds, flax seeds or hemp seeds, for omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 ice cubes.
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, hemp milk, flax milk, or coconut milk.
- Optionally, you can add one scoop of raw organic protein with some greens in it. This will provide you with 20 grams of protein.
To make this smoothie, all you have to do is pour the ingredients into your NutriBullet or blender and just blend it up. Take the almond milk and pour it into the blender, then add blueberries and raspberries. Add the pineapple and chia seeds to the mixture with the ice cubes as well. Once you have the whole concoction ready to go, put the cap on and blend. If you want it a little bit liquidizer, you can add more water, almond milk or any non dairy milk.
This is very healthy and good for you. It is an anti-aging, memory boosting, inflammation reducing smoothie.
Today’s show was all about things you can start doing right now to live longer. We discussed real, or biological, age versus chronological age and revealed that your real age is determined by your DNA and by your lifestyle choices. Factors that slow down aging include things like becoming more social, eating anti-inflammatory foods, exercising, getting more rest, and laughing as often as you can.
Doing these things can help you add years onto your life, as well as potentially avoid diseases and conditions like Alzheimer’s, arthritis, chronic inflammation, obesity, and heart disease.