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Heat, Cold & Other Stressors For Longevity

Key Takeaways

  • We need to induce adversity & stress in our lives: ancestrally, we’re built to withstand stress to survive – now, our society is built on comfort, so we aren’t expending energy to live anymore

  • “80% of your future health is in your hands – it’s modifiable, 20% is genetic which you can’t do much about. You have the tools to change your aging.” – Dr. David Sinclair

  • Try to get low-intensity exercise every day – walk around the block after dinner

  • Exercise vigorously (high-intensity training), 10-15 minutes per day, totaling 75 minutes per week

  • Resistance train regularly to build and maintain muscle mass – particularly in big muscle groups of the back, legs, posterior chain

  • Cycle heat and cold exposure as often as possible, even every day – if you don’t have access to a facility, vary the temperature in the shower or bath, change the temperature in your house

Adversity For Longevity & Healthspan

  • Ancestrally, we’re built to withstand stress to survive – now, our society is built on comfort, so we aren’t expending energy to live anymore

  • Adversity mimetics: things that mimic biological adversity that is conducive to better lifespan and healthspan

  • Adversity signals survival circuit and turns on specific survival genes

  • A single gene alteration can have a significant impact on an organism’s lifespan

  • Three main adversity sensors: mTor (senses levels of amino acids in the cell), AMPK (senses energy/glucose), sirtuins (sense NAD)

Just Move

  • “Get off your ass” – Dr. David Sinclair

  • Sitting is bad for us: even if you work, alternate between a standing desk and sitting

  • Your body needs to be in a state where it is pushed to take in more oxygen and mimic hormetic effects

  • Exercise isn’t just for aesthetics: exercise can slow down cancer, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, and reduce all-cause mortality

  • Most diseases are an accumulation of symptoms of aging – if you slow the disease rate, you’ll reduce aging

  • 10,000 steps is not a magic number but when we move we burn calories and get the body into a better state

  • Tip: take a walk after you eat

  • We need a mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercise

  • Vigorous exercise: get breathing rate and heart rate up for at least 10 minutes 3x/week

  • Hypoxia turns on helpful genes to stimulate blood vessel growth and mitochondria & free radicals are generated

  • Exercise at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week

  • Building stamina: the more mitochondria you have, the more chemical energy you’ll produce and build blood vessels and transport more oxygen to the body

  • Exercise doesn’t just mean running: you can go for a long walk, paddleboard, skateboard, weight lift, play sports, etc.

  • Resting heart rate is a good measure of fitness, if it is high you’re either too stressed or unfit

Resistance Training

  • Resistance training or weight training supports posture and ability to stay upright, maintains hormone levels, improves balance, builds or maintains muscle mass – especially as aging

  • In the U.S., 19 people per minute fall and break a hip which is close to a death sentence in older age

  • You can boost testosterone by maintaining large muscle groups – legs, back, posterior chain

  • In just 12 weeks, exercise can slow and kill senescent cells

Exercise For Increased Glucose Sensitivity & Epigenome

  • As we age, muscles and brain become less sensitive to glucose

  • Muscles don’t bring in glucose as effectively and lead to damage in blood vessels and the brain which trigger disease

  • Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is made by muscles after exercise and stimulates production of blood vessels which transport oxygen

  • People who exercise are epigenetically younger than people who haven’t based on the Horvath clock and other similar clocks measuring biological aging

  • “80% of your future health is in your hands – it’s modifiable, 20% is genetic which you can’t do much about. You have the tools to change your aging.” – Dr. David Sinclair

  • You can’t improve what you don’t measure InsideTracker: David Sinclair co-founded a company that can tell you biological age and creates personalized and actionable plans to help people optimize their bodies through nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment

  • Hyperbaric chamber: room or standing tube where pressure is increased and the amount of oxygen you breathe in is increased as a result

  • The science: hyperbaric chamber can reverse telomere shortening which will slow down aging

  • You can spend an hour in a hyperbaric chamber and read, meditate, etc.

  • Results of human studies on hyperbaric oxygen treatment: improved memory, increase in T helper cells, reversal of telomere shortening

  • Theory: hyperbaric chambers work similar to exercise and simulate hypoxia

  • Tested protocol: 5 sessions per week, 90-minutes in length, for 12 weeks

Cold Therapy

  • A huge benefit of being cold is the production of brown fat which revs metabolism, is high in mitochondria, burns white fat, and possibly secretes healthy hormones

  • Cryotherapy lasts a few minutes and can feel good for several days after

  • Start in middle age before it becomes harder to incorporate discomfort

  • If you don’t have access to cryo-chamber: take a cold shower, sleep with fewer covers

Heat Therapy

  • Heat therapy is one of the most ancient therapies for aging

  • Men who participate in the sauna a few times per week have about 20% less risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality caused by heart attacks

  • Sauna activates heat shock proteins which help fold proteins correctly and stimulate pathways that build blood vessels and make more mitochondria

  • There isn’t a verified protocol but it doesn’t seem like you can overdo it as long as it’s a dose you can tolerate and maintain

  • If you don’t have a sauna, take a hot bath or shower


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