“Only 20 percent of our longevity is genetically determined.” ~ Dr. David Sinclair (Ph.D., Author of ‘Lifespan’)
Is Aging a Disease?
Dr. David Sinclair, Ph.D. from Harvard University and author of the bestselling book ‘Lifespan’, has studied the science of longevity at a cellular level for about 20 years.
Sinclair proposes the concept that aging can be thought of as a disease like any other chronic illness.
The logic in this idea is that many of the processes we associate with our decline in the aging process and see as inevitable are modifiable and highly correlated to lifestyle factors.
Regarding aging, many experts agree that genetics play a much smaller role than the life we lead regarding longevity and disease prevention.
“Genetics Loads the Gun; Lifestyle Pulls the Trigger”
Given that longevity is highly influenced by lifestyle, when and where can we start stacking the odds in our favor?
Factors that Improve Lifespan
1. Reduce Stress
Chronic stress has been linked to numerous negative health outcomes, including reduced lifespan.
Dr. Sinclair recommends incorporating stress-reducing practices, such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga, into daily routines to promote longevity.
2. Exercise, but Not Too Much
Physical activity has been linked to numerous health benefits, including increased lifespan.
Dr. Sinclair recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily, such as walking, cycling, or swimming.
However, other research has shown that over-exercising can increase our cellular age.
Intense exercise over a long period of time, such as found in some professional athletes, can place undue stress on our bodies and potentially shorten our lifespan, according to some evidence.
3. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Truage, a company that aims to measure cellular age based on several markers including Telomeres or the ‘Dunendin Pace’ marker, suggests that alcohol consumption can accelerate the cellular aging process by causing oxidative stress, inflammation, and DNA damage to our cells.
Recent research, causing Canadian health authorities to lower the number of alcoholic drinks recommended per week, suggests that the lower the number of alcoholic beverages, the better concerning numerous health markers.
Alcohol consumption has been correlated with countless different health measures affecting longevity, such as all-cause mortality, heart disease, stroke, and some cancers, to name a few.
4. Consider Time Restricted Eating (TRE) and Caloric Restriction
Dr. Sinclair has stated that reducing calorie intake by around 30% can help promote longevity by reducing inflammation, oxidative stress, and other age-related damage to cells.
Time-restricted eating is a dietary approach where one cycles between periods of eating and fasting.
According to Dr. Sinclair, time-restricted eating (aka. intermittent fasting) can promote longevity by activating cellular repair mechanisms, reducing inflammation, and increasing insulin sensitivity.
It’s important to note that time-restricted eating may not be optimal for everyone, particularly menstruating females. Most of the research has been on men, and the stress it places on the body may not be optimal for the delicate balance that female hormones often require.
5. Adopt a ‘Plant Forward’ Diet
Dr. Sinclair advocates for a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods and low in processed foods, sugar, and saturated fats.
He also recommends incorporating foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, such as berries, leafy greens, and fatty fish.
Next Steps to Positively Impact Lifespan
The good news is that our genes are not our destiny regarding disease prevention and longevity.
We have much more influence over our long-term health and longevity than we may have been led to believe.
You have what it takes inside you to make a definite choice that will change the future trajectory of your health.
Our team at Tiger Medical has the experience, clinical skills, and coaching acumen to help you work preventively and get your health and energy back.
To talk to one of our professionals, click here to schedule your call!
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