The ten essential longevity hacks you should be doing as often as possible to make sure you stick around as long as possible
The average guy takes their health for granted and at best, their efforts to preserve health are transient. Supporting your health and prolonging longevity requires a consistent plan of action which is deployed daily. There are erroneous assumptions surrounding health, some so severe that they can derail a person’s well-being forever. For example, there is a widespread belief that the body will adapt to the stress it is presented with, no matter what. In one context this might be true, however, to do so there could be serious harm done to the health of anybody who tolerates incessant levels of stress. Here’s how you can take ownership of your daily environment while triggering an improved state of health in the process.
Avoid the thirst
The topic of hydration has gained popularity in recent times, yet there is still a lot of confusion as to why it is essential. From the perspective of health, when the body is hydrated it has a positive outcome for several vital organs. The heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood when adequately hydrated because stroke volume is increased. Experiencing undesirable elevations in blood pressure are also less likely to occur when hydrated, thus helping quash stress on the heart. Renal function benefits from a heightened state of hydration, exposing the kidneys to less stress while processing toxins. And that annoying brain fog is also lessened when hydration is maintained. There is evidence to suggest a body water loss of less than 2% can negatively affect your brain function and cognition which explains why hydration carries such significance in this context.
As a baseline, your daily fluid consumption should never drop below one gallon, in some cases, the need for additional fluid will be warranted. Climates, the volume of exercise and body weight are variables which may demand an increase in fluid. Carbohydrate consumption is another relevant factor given that it attracts fluid into the muscle and away from other areas of the body including vital organs. For this reason, it would be prudent to consume additional liquid to account for this known physiological effect. Natural electrolytes derived from coconut water powder found in the supplement HYDRA-CHARGE would provide a favorable uplift in hydration, along with water itself. Armed with the ability to saturate cells with fluid, these micronutrients are a worthwhile investment for better hydration.
Improve your mitochondria function Mitochondria are double-membrane-bound organelles which are referred to as the powerhouse of the cells inside your body. An appropriate analogy to illustrate the action of the mitochondria would be a digestive system. Their role is to assimilate nutrients, extracting useable energy in the process to fuel the cells within the body.
Curbing inflammation by avoiding pro-inflammatory foods (sugar, fast food, refined flour, additives, sweeteners and processed meats) will help combat the degradation of mitochondrial function. Enhancing insulin sensitivity to make the cell walls surrounding the mitochondria more permeable will help to support mitochondrial efficiency. Intensely good quality sleep contributes towards mitochondrial efficiency by assisting the lymphatic system to remove cellular waste.
Making a conscious effort to support mitochondrial performance carries a remarkable number of health benefits.
Smiling conveys a positive demeanor. Positivity manifests into more of the same at rapid speed. Negative thinking is abhorrent because it sabotages the human brain, spreading like a metaphorical cancer until the mind is no longer able to view anything in a favorable light. Smiling is nature’s antidote to negativity and it is relatively simple to do. Even under stressful circumstances turning a brief smile can immediately change your mood.
Doing so in the face of adversity is immensely empowering because it disarms the negative force which is currently assaulting your senses. Allegedly, it takes 26 muscles to smile and 62 to frown. Whether this is true or nothing more than a myth, it can act as a gentle reminder that smiling is the better choice.
Try an infrared sauna
Infrared saunas are an excellent way to benefit from heat therapy. Light waves emitted from infrared saunas cause the body to heat-up. The upshot of this is that toxins are released through sweating, acting as a natural cleansing mechanism. Recent research revealed that infrared saunas help the body secrete approximately seven times more toxins than traditional sauna but the benefits don’t stop at detoxification. Noteworthy health benefits include enhanced blood circulation and skin purification.
Being able to recycle blood around the body at a faster rate means that almost everything will improve. Recovery, performance, cognition, health and detoxification for example. I personally use and suggest the Clear Light Sauna because it is the only one that is proven to block out all potentially harmful electromagnetic field rays.
Give yourself some quiet time
Terrifyingly, 44% of the USA population have reported an elevation in stress over the last half-decade. Evidence like this suggests abstaining from the excessive use of mobile devices could have significant benefits. Limiting your time online will allow your brain to fully relax, reducing cortisol and adrenaline.
The modern day paradigm of stress is being overworked, undervalued and always chasing time. Meditation offers an accessible solution to everybody, regardless of circumstances. Spending just ten minutes per day meditating in a state of complete silence, free of distractions or internal thoughts which spew anxiety can have a really tangible impact on your health. Meditation takes practice and effort, but over time, developing the ability to be within oneself and free of external forces for that short duration will give you a host of rewards that’ll trickle into your life and training.
Dose up healthy fats
For years the media have piggybacked the inaccurate truths surrounding fats to surge fear into naive consumers. While it is true some processed fats are to be avoided, there are many healthy fats which are loaded with the ability to elevate your health. Omega 3 polyunsaturated fats boast properties which support reduced inflammation, suppressed LDL cholesterol readings, an improved HDL cholesterol read-out and superior insulin sensitivity.
Flaxseeds provide a non-animal variety from ALA while deep sea fish are a tremendous source of EPA and DHA polyunsaturated fats. It is widely acknowledged that those from the Mediterranean region generally have fantastic health due to the native diet. One staple kingpin of the highly regarded “Mediterranean Diet” is healthy fats, derived mainly from fish and nuts. This way of eating provides a real-life example of a comprehensive study, demonstrating how other humans can learn from dietary practices which have helped millions of people preserve health and longevity for centuries.
Exercising comes in many guises. Generically, it is often a formidable remedy to most ailments, physical and mental. Having the objective to exercise every day, using a variety of resistance training methods, lower impact aerobic activity and more intense anaerobic conditioning will help stifle the onset of many illnesses. The psychological benefits are also noteworthy, given that exercise causes a surge in endorphins which enforce that “feel good” factor.
Sleep quality over quantity
Learning how to get a high-quality level of sleep is paramount to longevity. In the absence of good quality sleep, the body experiences more stress in every context. Muscles don’t recover as fast, endocrine performance diminishes, cognition declines, cortisol secretion grows and cell degradation accelerates. Consistently living with unhealthy sleep patterns will quickly multiply the biological age of any human.
Removing distractions later in the day, avoiding cell phones, laptops and general activities which either induce stimulation or stress is mandatory. Understand, the period leading up to bed-time is key to achieving quality sleep. Going to bed feeling stressed, distracted or excessively stimulated will obliterate any chance of successfully reaching the highly restorative REM stage of sleep frequently enough. The outcome is fatigue, more stress and over time a decline in mental well-being as the mind becomes suffocated by this vicious cycle.
Soak up the fresh air
Gone are the days where most humans are outside all day on the land. Instead, we are usually cooped up inside air-conditioned or heated airtight buildings inhaling the same recycled air. Exposure to this environment can produce serious health problems to which many people are oblivious. Once airborne, micro-organisms can be shuttled into the lungs, having the potential to induce health issues including Legionnaire’s Disease.
Getting outside every day to benefit from fresh air is essential and is a pre-requisite to protecting health. Mentally, it also means that there are small pockets in the day where the mind can benefit from a break, outside alone and attaining Vitamin D in the process.
Autophagy isn’t a well-documented subject in the world of fitness, however it is crucial. In essence, the process involves the processing of damaged cells within the body. Simultaneously new cell formation is also facilitated via this same process. Leveraging the power of intermittent fasting on a regular basis can encourage autophagy to occur more efficiently.
As liver glycogen levels become depleted, autophagy can occur at an optimal rate, peaking for approximately 48 hours afterward. Leveraging a controlled fast on a regular basis can yield many benefits. I often perform a controlled fast for 16 hours 2×3 times per week, but for muscle building purposes, I still stay extremely hydrated while including my fermented Glutamine, fermented BCAA’s, HYDRACHARGE, multi-vitamins and minerals during this time.
Taking ownership of your health should be encouraged at every opportunity. Without health everything else in life quickly becomes futile. Even with sights firmly focused on aesthetic improvements there is always scope to prioritize health. Installing the ten steps from this column into your life will help do that because aesthetics naturally progress when health is underpinned through consistent practice. In other words, to look healthy you have to be healthy.
Kris Gethin, is a nutrition consultant, trainer and CEO of Kaged Muscle. Get more from Kris @krisgethin