Dr. Caroline Leaf – Aging is an inevitable part of life, but this doesn’t mean we must accept that our health will get worse as we get older. In this podcast (episode #232) and blog, I speak with successful businessman, visionary and longevity investor Sergey Young about his new book, The Science and Technology of Growing Young, quick and simple longevity habits that can help you stay healthy and age well, the three horizons of longevity, dangerous aging “hacks” people should avoid, the relationship between mental health and longevity, and more!
As Sergey points out, you can improve your health and longevity by transforming the way you live your life. There is so much hope for the future! Aging doesn’t have to be a curse.
Sergey has made it his life’s work to show people that longevity is not only possible, but achievable, which is why he founded the Longevity Vision Fund. This fund invests in:
- More affordable technology for early diagnostics, so that we can catch things early like cancer, which means better recovery rates and longevity!
- Growing livers in lymph nodes, to overcome donor liver availability issues and the medical cost of transplants.
- Technology and science that gives hope for long-term, sustainable healing and longevity.
Unfortunately, the science of longevity has become a pretty crowded and confusing space. It is hard to know what to do to stay young and healthy, especially when there is so much conflicting advice out there!
One of the best ways to approach the field of longevity science is what Sergey calls the 3 horizons of longevity:
1. What you can do today. This involves changes to your lifestyle, including:
a) Focusing on early diagnostics (comprehensive, annual medical checkups).
b) Getting rid of bad habits, like smoking and eating junk food.
c) Eating a healthy diet. A healthy, mindful diet can extend your life by 3 to 10 years. This includes eating lots of veggies and fruit and restricting your calorie intake!
As Sergey notes, eating healthy is not more expensive than eating processed food all the time—this is an illusion. If you plan well, real food fills you up for longer and is less expensive, especially in the long-term, because it reduces your overall healthcare costs.
d) Exercising regularly. Try different styles of working out and aim to get 10000 steps in a day.
e) Practicing mind management (mindfulness and meditation). Good mind management builds up your stress resilience, thereby decreasing the impact of toxic stressors on your mental and physical health. We need to remember that our body is not designed to handle constant stress. But in our modern world, so many people are stressed all the time, and it is affecting our health! Thankfully, there are so many great devices, apps, books and tips out there to help us learn how to manage our mind and control how everyday stressors affect our overall wellbeing and longevity.
In fact, when you learn how to manage your mind, all the other pieces of a healthy lifestyle fall into place, because you are learning how to live mindfully! This is the foundation of aging well.
For more on mind management, health and longevity, preorder my new book Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess.
f) Starting the day off right. It is important to have a good morning routine. Bring in different activities, like listening to the silence, visualizing how amazing your life will be, telling yourself that today will be an excellent day, doing some physical activity for 1-2 minutes, journaling, or reading.
g) Monitoring the quality of your sleep.
h) Being a good person. Be kind, give back to the world and be a meaningful part of the community. Just start with one small act of kindness every day, and see how your life changes!
i) Having a purpose—live beyond yourself! Having a sense of purpose and giving back in life not only adds years to your life, but life to your years.
The great news is that you don’t have to wait for new and exciting technologies to improve your health and longevity! Sergey has lots of great longevity tips on his website, so check them out.
2. What will be available tomorrow. This is the focus of Sergey’s Longevity Vision Fund. It focuses on technologies that are in the development stage, like stem cell therapies and smart hospitals, which will be available in the next 5 to 10 years.
3. What you need to be aware of for the future. This is the visionary horizon, including the ability to change organs, human avatars and merging A.I. and the human brain. This is both an exciting and undefined stage in the longevity field.
Health really is wealth! As Sergey points out, if we are feeling sick and awful all the time, what kind of contribution can we make to the world? But, if we feel healthy and happy, we can be a resource, instead of just drawing on resources!
Of course, this is sometimes easier said than done, especially these days. The global COVID-19 pandemic has hit a lot of us hard. It can be challenging to have hope for the future, especially when we feel like we have lost so much this year: time, money, structure, excitement, celebrations, family, friends, community—you name it!
But the current pandemic doesn’t have to be the be all and end all. As Sergey notes in his recent Thrive Global article, COVID-19 has taught us some very important life lessons:
- We need to embrace uncertainty and realize how fragile life is. COVID-19 has shown us what matters the most, highlighting what is important in our lives and how small acts of kindness and connection are so powerful.
- We need to realize that adversity can be an opportunity to grow. The current pandemic has given many of us a chance to rediscover ourselves and our relationship with the world around us.
- We need to learn how to use technology well. The current pandemic has shown many of us the benefits of technology, and how it offers us unique opportunities to learn new things and socialize in new ways.