One of my current life goals:
Live to be 140 years old, in hyper-health.
How can we do this? Let me share some ideas:
First, don’t die.
The first necessary component:
Don’t die of external ‘trauma’ which can be (partially) avoided.
For example the rules for me include:
- Don’t text (or use my phone) while driving.
- Don’t use headphones when walking in public places.
- Don’t use a phone while walking in public (risk of getting hit by a car, or slipping, and cracking my brain open).
- No skydiving
- No riding a bicycle
- No riding a motorcycle or motorbike/scooter
- No buying sports car (temptation to drive aggressively, which can lead to my own death, or the death of others).
Probable ways to die (which are preventable)
Essentially don’t die of:
- Car accident (if I am a driver)
- Slipping and cracking brain open (grippy shoes are important)
- Cell-phone related death (texting while crossing the street and getting hit by a car)
- Getting hit by a car while on bicycle or motorcycle/scooter.
Now that we got not dying of preventable trauma, let us continue.
Humans can live to be 122 years old
Here is the list of the longest verified ages:
For women, the oldest recorded age is 122 years.
For men, the record is 116 years.
So in terms of human life, the definite possibility is 122 years. So this is currently our benchmark.
Is it possible to live to 140 years?
No idea. But this is my thought:
If we strive to live to be 140 years old, we are more likely to live to be 123 years old, than if we strive to become 122 years old.
My philosophy is:
Better to shoot really high, and fall a bit short, than to shoot lower, and hit it.
For example if I aim to live 140 years old, I might live to be 125 years old. If I aim to be 120 years old, I might only live to be 110 years old.
Once again — better to shoot “unrealistically” high, than to aim lower.
Why hyper-health is essential
I have this notion of being ‘hyper healthy‘. The basic notion is this:
To be hyper healthy means to have high muscle mass, low body fat, and to be physically/mentally strong.
For example, I want to be able to deadlift 500+ when I am 80 years old. And as I get older, I want to keep my muscle mass high, while keeping a low body fat percentage (under 10%).
I am 5 foot 10 inches tall. Ideally as I age, I will stay around ~170 pounds of mostly muscle mass, at less than 10% body fat. If I can maintain this until I’m 100 years+, I will be very happy. This is my simple goal.
The longevity secret?
I obviously don’t got the answers, but here are some of my hypothesis regarding longevity:
- Intermittent fasting
- No sugars, carbs, or things which spike blood level
- Walking a lot
- Spending a lot of time with young and optimistic people (for example, I far prefer talking to college kids than ‘young urban professionals’).
- Continual mental challenges (philosophy, art)
- Excitement: Excitement to keep traveling, exploring, learning, creating, and teaching.
- Thermal irregularity: Embracing both ice cold showers, and very hot sauna.
What kills us?
Generally most people either die from:
- Heart disease
So if we aspire to live to be 120-140 years old, we need to prevent dying from these things. But how can we do that?
How to not die from heart disease
It seems the big secret is:
Don’t consume sugar, don’t consume high fructose corn syrup, and don’t eat simple carbs.
A good overview is the public health article: ‘Toxic Truth of Sugar‘.
Essentially based on my understanding, the CAUSE of heart disease is probably from metabolic syndrome (or a cocktail of many metabolic diseases).
How to NOT get metabolic disease
What causes metabolic syndrome, or metabolic disease/damage to our bodies?
Too much regularity in consuming high-sugar/high-carb foods. For example every time you eat a high-sugar, or a high-simple carb food or drink item, your pancreas shoots out a ton of insulin to help transport that sugar/carbohydrates to your muscles. But when there is TOO MUCH sugar, the sugar/carbohydrates get converted to fat in the liver (which leads to ‘fatty liver disease’). And obviously, your body stores the sugar/carbohydrates into your fat cells. This constant back-and-forth of insulin in your body leads to ‘insulin resistance’, which creates a cascade of metabolic problems in your body. And the more you fuck up your metabolism, the more likely you will die of heart disease/cancer.
Or this study which has the theory:
Increased sugar consumption might influence metabolic disease development through accelerated cell aging.
If sugar consumption, or metabolic syndrome/insulin resistance, or any metabolic diseases CAUSE ‘accelerated cell aging’, this means:
Consuming sugar might cause you to die earlier.
So the very simple idea is this:
If you desire to live to be 120-140+ years, don’t consume ANY sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial (or natural) sweeteners, or don’t eat anything sweet.
Also as an added precaution:
Don’t eat any ‘simple carbs’, or perhaps even ‘complex carbs’.
What I don’t eat or drink
I don’t eat:
- I don’t eat potatoes, rice, bread (doesn’t matter if whole wheat or white– both are no).
- No dairy (no milk, cheese, etc)
- No starchy veggies (no potatoes, carrots, yams, etc).
- No sugar, high fructose corn syrup, no sweeteners
- No fruits (I’m very suspicious of sweet fruit)
- No alcohol (no wine, no liquor, no beer)
- No pastries, desserts, sweets, candy, etc.
If it tastes sweet or starchy, I don’t eat it.
For drinks, all I drink is water and black coffee.
Anti-moralization in food/drink
I don’t have any quips about alcohol, weed, drugs in general (from a moralistic perspective). My simple goal is this:
Maximize my hyper-healthiness, and strive live to be 140 years old.
What about drinking wine?
There has been a lot of talk of ‘resveratrol’ (one of the main phenols in red wine) as contributing to longevity.
Perhaps drinking alcohol/wine is an act of ‘hormesis‘ (a small dose of poison actually strengthens your biology).
I’m not sure, but for myself (as an East-Asian), I cannot tolerate alcohol well. Even half a glass of wine will make me drunk, and give me ‘Asian flush’ (I turn red, and my body becomes inflammed).
If your genetics allow you to drink alcohol, perhaps alcohol is beneficial towards longevity.
Why I drink coffee
Besides being addicted to caffeine, coffee/tea/caffeine is a ‘hormetin‘ (a substance which induces hormesis). Hormetins can include:
- Bitter greens (bitter kale, collard greens)
- Bitter herbs (cumin, cayenne, turmeric)
- High altitude
- Heat and cold exposure
- Irridation (small levels of exposure to radiation)
Hormesis in order to maximize lifespan
A good description of hormesis from this book:
Hormesis in aging is defined as the life-supporting beneficial effects resulting from the cellular responses to single or multiple rounds of mild stress. Various mild stresses that have been reported to delay aging and prolong longevity in cells and animals include temperature shock [cold showers/hot saunas-weather], irradiation, heavy metals, pro-oxidants, acetaldehyde, alcohols, hyper-gravity [squats/deadlift/weight-lifting], exercise, and food restriction [intermittent fasting].
Intermittent stress is good for us. A life DEVOID of any stress would cause us to rapidly wither away (for example being in space and not having gravity weigh down our bodies and bones CAUSES us to age faster!) But a life of chronic stress is obviously bad for us.
What we need is more ‘eustress‘ (positive stress in our lives).
Intermittent fasting to fight cancer
There are theories that intermittent fasting can help starve pre-cancerous (or cancerous) cells. Basically when you’re fasting, your body undergoes a cellular process called ‘autophagy‘, in which your stronger cells eat your weaker cells. The theory is this ‘vacuum cleaner effect’ can either PREVENT or fight/starve off cancer.
According to a review by Drs. Longo and Fontana of the University of Southern California, CR without malnutrition [calorie restriction without malnutrition/ie, intermittent fasting] is the most potent and reproducible physiological intervention for increasing lifespan and protecting against cancer in mammals. CR reduces the levels of a number of anabolic hormones, growth factors and inflammatory cytokines, reduces oxidative stress and cell proliferation, enhances autophagy (cell destruction) and several DNA repair processes.
So basically intermittent fasting can protect us from cancer by reducing certain factors which may cause cancer. Intermittent fasting can also allow our bodies to engage in DNA repair processes (which increase our human longevity).