Running The Longevity Gauntlet

Us humans are running the longevity gauntlet, we always have been, and we always will be. The gauntlet that we are running today looks different from the one we were running a hundred years ago, and much more different than the one of a thousand or a hundred thousand years back. And the gauntlet will look much different in the next couple decades as well. The gauntlet is always changing due to breakthroughs in medical science as well as personal lifestyle choices.

Each of us is running the same gauntlet, but because of personal choices each of us makes in the way we live our lives, this gauntlet looks a lot different for each of us. For some the gauntlet feels like an endless set of obstacles, while for others it seems almost non-existent.

Most people living in the Western world address the gauntlet via medical treatments, prescription drugs, or questionable supplements, each of which is designed specifically to help us clear the current hurdle we face in the gauntlet. If we are lucky, and most are, we clear the hurdle, take a breath and then find ourselves facing the next one, which modern medicine has been working diligently on a treatment for. We undergo that treatment and if we are lucky enough, we survive and get to face the next hurdle. This is the gauntlet.

Micro-Adventure Primer

"Adventure is a state of mind, a spirit of trying something new and leaving your comfort zone. It's about enthusiasm, ambition, open-mindedness, and curiosity." - Alastair Humphreys

A Quick Escape From The 9-5

Micro-adventures are close to home, easy to plan, and maximize the core ideas of what an adventure is all about.

We don't need to travel far and away to experience an adventure. There are so many opportunities for adventure within an hour drive from home. Living the adventure life is as much about quantity as it is about quality. Find the right balance and we are on our way.

Don't get so caught up in the planning stage (i.e. getting permits and campsites and all the logistics), gear acquisition, and all the other stuff, that it becomes so overwhelming that we end up pushing back the date so often that we eventually cancel the adventure. Or if we do go through with it, we are more than happy to postpone the next adventure for a date further down the road to allow for more planning. Eventually, we trade the adventure life for something that is a lot less of a hassle.

Try new things as much as possible. It will expand our overall skill set and learning something new is an adventure in and of itself. 

Find a fun and exciting destination, like a waterfall, water slide, or a cave, then make the adventure just getting there (and getting back). 

And remember, an integral part of any adventure is the unknown (eg the possibility of getting a little lost). So don't over plan!

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Add Years to Your Life

There are quite a few things we can do to add quality years to our lives, unfortunately there is a lot of clutter that we have to wade through to find out just what we need to do to live longer. Some are extreme, some are completely mundane, and some involve plain luck (like the guy who lives to 105 while smoking and drinking daily). It’s not enough to just follow someone else's lead. We need to take the best science we can find and figure out how to apply it best to our lives. And then we need a little luck.

“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years.”

Cut The Sugar

Not only is obesity a major culprit in many of the diseases Americans are suffering from today, but it also accelerates the aging process itself, even more than smoking, according to the largest ever study of the telomeres (our “chromosomal timeclock”) in human cells.

When lifestyle factors were taken into account, however, dramatic differences emerged. The difference between being obese and being lean corresponds to 8.8 years of extra ageing. From New Scientist.

The consumption of sugar is the single-most contributor to weight-gain and eventual obesity in humans. Not only will cutting your sugar intake help with attaining and maintaining a healthy weight and body composition, but your skin will benefit as well.

80 Percent of All Deaths Are Lifestyle Related

This is the statistic that gets me up and going in the morning. Simply stated, we have a say in determining whether or not we are going to get one of the aforementioned diseases. All we have to do is live a healthier lifestyle than we have been living. And even a little bit helps. Just adding a regular walk to your daily routine will add several years (healthier years) to your life. Cut a little sugar, do a few push ups, it all adds up.

These are the major lifestyle factors that take healthy years off our lives:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity and Sedentarism
  • Drinking Heavily
  • Chronic Stress

The key is to make as many small changes as we can to get the greatest effect. Swapping marathons for couch time would be a definite improvement, but if we are still doing the other bad things, we really won’t get the results we are hoping for. In fact, being a chain-smoking ultra-marathoner might actually take years off our lives.

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