There are very few guarantees in life, but if you do the following five things I can guarantee you will live longer than you would have if you didn’t.
- Make your body resilient by doing regular strength training at least 2-3 times a week. Our bodies tend to get more brittle and fragile as we age. If you don’t use it, you will lose it. Luckily, you can slow that process and damn near hold it to a stand still through the application of proper and consistent strength training. Strength training increases muscle and bone density and it upregulates growth factors like testosterone and growth hormone that normally decline with age. The other day I read about a 73 year old grandma who deadlifted 180 lbs! She talked about how strength training helped her rehabilitate her body and improve her quality of life after an illness she had in her 60’s. She said she was more fit at 73 than she was at 33. Absolutely inspiring! From personal experience, I have a male client that is 75 years old who deadlifted 260 lbs for 5 reps at a bodyweight of only 160 lbs. He’s been training with me 2-3 times a week for almost 3 years and is in better shape than a lot of 20 and 30 year olds I know.
- Never stop accumulating movement skills, especially tumbling and getting back up. When we are young we tumble, fall and play all day long. Our bodies get good at minimizing and absorbing punishment. As we get older we stop tumbling and playing. After too long our bodies don’t absorb punishment and bounce back the same way they did when we were young. Sometimes a bad fall can be the beginning of the end. I’ll share another personal experience on this one. When I was a kid my grandmother lived with us. Despite being a long time smoker she was in pretty good health until she had a bad fall and shattered her hip. She lost the ability to do some of the most basic things like use the bathroom on her own. We literally watched her health deteriorate in a matter of months before she died. It was extremely sad and shocking at how quick her health declined when she lost the ability to move on her own.
- Get some aerobic exercise lasting at least 30 minutes a few times a week. This can be as simple as a walking, hiking, or riding your bike to work. It will get your heart and lungs pumping, improve circulation, help your body detoxify, calm stress, stimulate the pleasure centers of your brain and help you recover from more intense strength training.
- Eat food that was food 2000 years ago.
- Up your food quality at least one notch from where it is today. The more notches you raise your food quality the longer you will live and the better your quality of life. This one is the gift that keeps on giving.
- Brush and floss your teeth daily. Poor dental hygiene is linked to cardiovascular disease (CVD). More systemic inflammation originates from your mouth than anywhere else in your body. If you don’t like to floss buy a water pick. I asked my dentist about it and she said that it’s all good as long as you get something between your teeth every day. I’ll admit something to you. I have a block against flossing. For some reason I only do it regularly when I stay in hotel rooms. Maybe its because I keep my floss in a really visible place in my toiletry bag or because I find myself trying to kill time in hotel rooms that I don’t normally have at home. Whatever the reason behind my block against flossing, I decided to buy a water pick one day and I instantly became compliant. It seems like it takes less time and I love the way it makes my teeth feel.
- Don’t text, or sext, and drive. Whatever it is can wait. If that isn’t enough then just try to keep in mind how big of an asshole it makes you look like.
- Wear your seatbelt. Odds are that you will get in at least one car crash in your life. It takes two seconds to increase your chances of surviving by 80%.
- Look both ways before crossing the street.
So that covers about everything from exercise to getting hit crossing the street. I can’t guarantee how long you will live, but I do feel comfortable guaranteeing it will be longer than if you didn’t follow these rules.
Live long and prosper!