19 Facts to Boost Your Healthspan (So You Don’t Die Before AI’s Health Singularity)

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Do you live long enough to live forever?

As AI training costs decrease by ~70% annually, we’re at the cusp of extraordinary technological breakthroughs in longevity. At least that’s what I believe.

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However, you and I may have to wait another decade or so until we’ll see cheap and actionable “intakes” that can stop or significantly decelerate aging. To benefit from the upcoming disruptions, we need to survive — and stay healthy.

Are you up for the challenge? Let’s dive into my actionable, evidence-backed steps to optimize your healthspan, all rooted in research and medical science.

Tip 1. Caloric Intake and Lifespan: The Tech Angle

The correlation between caloric intake and longevity is drawing significant interest: Animal studies point to a promising connection, i.e., reducing caloric intake by 10–50% could potentially extend maximal lifespan.

Echoing these findings, human populations known for their longevity exhibit lower caloric intake, correlating with prolonged lifespan and reduced disease incidence.

Besides, trimming calories could counteract obesity and abdominal fat, notorious lifespan reducers. However, the sustainability of caloric restriction poses a challenge, with potential side effects such as hunger and reduced libido.

At least you should avoid overeating, intermittent fasting may be a good idea:

Also check out this quote from Mattson et al (highlights by me):

πŸ‘‰ “In laboratory rats and mice IF and PF have profound beneficial effects on many different indices of health and, importantly, can counteract disease processes and improve functional outcome in experimental models of a wide range of age-related disorders including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease Parkinson’s disease and stroke. Studies of IF (e.g., 60% energy restriction on 2days per week or every other day), PF (e.g., a 5day diet providing 750-1100kcal) and time-restricted feeding (TRF; limiting the daily period of food intake to 8h or less) in normal and overweight human subjects have demonstrated efficacy for weight loss and improvements in multiple health indicators including insulin resistance and reductions in risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”

Tip 2. Power Your System with Nuts

Nuts are the unsung heroes of nutrition, packed with proteins, fibers, antioxidants, and plant compounds. Their nutritional richness translates into definitive health benefits, reducing the risks of heart disease, hypertension, and even some cancers. Notably, consuming nuts regularly could slash the risk of premature death by up to 39%. Including nuts in your diet is more than a snacking choice; it’s a longevity strategy.

Here are some specific health benefits of nuts (source; source):

  • Rich source of various vitamins and minerals, including copper, magnesium, potassium, folate, niacin, and vitamins B6 and E.
  • Linked to beneficial effects on heart disease, reducing the risk and managing the condition.
  • Can help lower high blood pressure.
  • Demonstrated anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Positive impact on diabetes management and prevention.
  • May aid in reducing the risk and effects of metabolic syndrome.
  • Associated with lower belly fat levels.
  • Potential to decrease the risk of some forms of cancer.
  • Consumption of at least 3 servings per week linked to a 39% lower risk of premature death.
  • One serving of nuts per week associated with a 4% reduced risk of all-cause mortality; daily servings can reduce this risk by 27%.
  • Shown to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.

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Tip 3. The Golden Spice: Turmeric

Turmeric, with its active compound curcumin, stands out as a potent anti-aging ally. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties safeguard vital organs and offer protection against numerous diseases and aging-related conditions. Not just a culinary favorite, curcumin has shown promise in extending lifespan in animal studies and combating diseases in humans. (source, source, source, source, source)

Tip 4. The Plant-Based Edge

Diverse plant foods including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains, are linked to a reduced risk of premature death and various illnesses. Vegetarian and vegan diets, rich in these foods, are associated with a 12–15% lower mortality rate. Moreover, they drastically cut down the risk of death from cancer and heart-related diseases by up to 52%. While meat consumption’s effects are debatable, the benefits of a plant-rich diet are clear.

The principles of vegetarianism, including reduced obesity, sugar, and saturated fat intake, can elongate life expectancy. Studies within vegetarian populations have reported an extension of 6 to 10 years in lifespan, underscoring the health benefits of minimizing meat consumption.

Tip 5. Exercise: The Lifespan Extender

Physical activity is a cornerstone of health, potentially adding years to your life. Just 15 minutes of exercise daily could extend your lifespan by three years. Greater activity levels bring even more benefits, underscoring the importance of staying active, especially in an era dominated by sedentary tech engagements.

Consistency in physical activity has been proven to extend life expectancy by up to 6.9 years. Establishing exercise as a daily habit, even if it’s just 20 minutes of movement, outweighs the sporadic bouts of intense workouts followed by inactivity. Diverse activities like yoga, swimming, or brisk walking are excellent for sustaining physical health over time.

Tip 6. Smoking: The Lifespan Reducer

The adverse effects of smoking on health and lifespan are well-documented. Quitting smoking, regardless of age, significantly lowers the risk of early death, emphasizing that it’s never too late to give up the habit. Check out this quote from a popular paper:

πŸ‘‰ “the researchers estimated that quitting smoking at age 35 added 6.9 to 8.5 years of life expectancy for men and 6.1 to 7.7 years of life expectancy for women compared with those who kept smoking (Taylor et al., 2002).”

Nothing to add.

Tip 7. Alcohol: Moderation is Key

While heavy drinking has detrimental health effects, moderate consumption, particularly of wine, can have protective benefits against various diseases and may lower the risk of early death. Nonetheless, the debate between the benefits of moderate drinking and total abstinence continues.

πŸ‘‰ “Moderate consumption is associated with a reduced likelihood of several diseases, as well as a 17–18% decrease in your risk of premature death.” (source)

Tip 8. Chase Happiness

Happiness isn’t just a fleeting feeling; it has tangible benefits on longevity. Studies indicate happier individuals may significantly reduce their risk of early death. Cultivating happiness is a worthwhile investment in your long-term health.

Tip 9. Stress and Longevity: Finding Balance

Chronic stress and anxiety take a toll on lifespan. Strategies for stress reduction, including laughter and optimism, can extend your life, making stress management a priority for longevity.

Chronic stress can accelerate cellular aging and lead to various health issues, including cancer. Engaging in mind-body therapies like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can mitigate stress and its long-term impacts on health.

Tip 10. The Strength of Social Bonds

A robust social network isn’t just about companionship; it can boost your survival chances by up to 50%. In the digital age, nurturing real-world connections remains a potent health and longevity strategy.

Maintaining close ties with friends and family can significantly impact your health and longevity. Strong social relationships are linked to a 50% lower risk of early death. Whether through meaningful conversations or shared activities, enriching these connections fosters overall well-being and may encourage healthier lifestyle choices.

πŸ‘‰ Harvard Medical School: “Scientists evaluated the health, lifestyle habits, and self-reported social activity of more than 28,000 people (average age 89) whose survival was tracked for an average of five years or until death. Within the first five years, the more people socialized, the longer they lived. Each of the following groups lived longer than the one before it: those who socialized occasionally, monthly, weekly, or every day. People in any of these groups lived longer than those who did not socialize at all.” (source)

Tip 11. The Benefit of Being Conscientious

Conscientiousness, characterized by self-discipline and organization, correlates with a longer lifespan and fewer health issues. Cultivating these qualities could be a game-changer for your overall well-being.

Tip 12. The Perks of Coffee and Tea

Both beverages are associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases and a lower risk of early death. Moderation is crucial to reaping these benefits without the adverse effects of excessive caffeine.

Tip 13. Sleep Your Way to Longevity

Adequate sleep is critical for cellular function and overall health. Regular sleep patterns and optimal sleep duration are essential strategies for longevity.

Tip 14. Embrace the Sun

Sun exposure is a simple yet effective way to boost your Vitamin D levels, crucial for bone health, muscle function, and converting glucose into energy. A staggering 50% of adults suffer from Vitamin D deficiency due to inadequate sun exposure. Just 15 minutes under the sun daily can maintain healthy Vitamin D levels, reducing the risk of fractures, heart disease, and diabetes. Supplementing this with Vitamin D-rich foods and supplements can further fortify your health, offering a protective shield against all-cause mortality, including a notable decrease in cancer-related deaths.

Tip 15. Don’t Overlook Dental Hygiene

Daily flossing might seem mundane but is a powerful tool against gum disease, which is directly connected to increased heart disease risk and mortality from heart attacks. Flossing wards off harmful bacteria and is pivotal in maintaining cardiovascular health.

Tip 16. Lead an Active Sexual Life

Regular sexual activity not only enhances well-being but is associated with reduced all-cause mortality. A sex-positive outlook correlates with a 78% increase in reaching expected life expectancy, highlighting the importance of a healthy sexual perspective. More here: https://www.healthline.com/health/ways-sex-helps-you-live-longer

Tip 17. Limit Screen Time

Reducing TV watching can have profound benefits on physical and mental health. Excessive screen time is associated with inactivity, weight gain, and reduced social interaction, with substantial evidence linking prolonged TV viewing to a decrease in life expectancy.

This seems more like a secondary factor to me, i.e., your increased screen time leads to less physical and social fitness which directly reduces your life expectancy.

Tip 18. Avoid Unnecessary Risks

Lifestyle choices greatly influence longevity. Avoiding risk behaviors such as prolonged sitting, smoking, and alcohol abuse can prevent significant loss of life years. Active, healthy living combats risk factors like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.

Just don’t do stupid stuff — especially men.

Tip 19. Stay Proactive with Health Screenings

Regular check-ups and screenings are crucial for catching and managing health issues early on. Adhering to recommended vaccination schedules and routine tests can maintain uninterrupted health, reinforcing the foundation for a longer, healthier life.

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A Few Words…

For tech enthusiasts and professionals, we believe the future is bright. 🌞

Integrating these habits not only promises a longer life but ensures that we are in our best shape to witness and contribute to the exciting tech advancements on the horizon. The future of tech, intertwined with our wellbeing, offers a compelling incentive to embrace these lifestyle strategies.

Stay healthy, live longer, and be part of the extraordinary tech evolution ahead. You can only stay on the right side of change if you actually live.