In case I haven’t mentioned it to you before, I love to read health books. My dad especially likes studying longevity. He is a great role model for staying well. At the moment, he is 82 and still plays tennis. My great uncle is a great role model too and still goes jogging and runs 5K races at 95 years of age. Some people live a very long time and stay healthy for the duration. What is the secret? Bill Gifford addresses some of the many theories and discoveries in his book Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (Or Die Trying).
Some things I think we know, like the need to go exercise regularly and eating well. Some things might surprise you like intermittent fasting seems to slow down the aging process and give us more energy, and some supplements may like human growth factor may actually shorten your life.
Gifford tells us that today the average man lives to about 77 years of age and the average woman lives 82 years long. This is actually far longer than our caveman ancestors lived, which was an average of about 25 years. Gosh, that is hard to imagine, but we are much safer and have our basic needs met so much easier. So, they didn’t exactly die of old age, they died from environmental stress. Our lifespan is longer because we have less accidental death at young ages.
My favorite story ever on longevity was about Jeanne Calment, who lived until she was 122. She sold her house when she was about 80 to a lawyer in his forties on agreement that he would get it when she died, and he would get a good deal. Sadly for him, she outlived him and he never got the house he paid for! But 122 is impressive and she was the oldest gal on the planet for a time.
The funny thing is that most people don’t want to live til 122. Most of us want to live until we are about 90 years of age and a few want to hit 100. I think we would though if we could remain healthy and have a rectangular healthspan…where we are healthy up to the last day, then fall asleep one night and not wake up.
If you read the book, let me know, either way, live well! 🙂