I used to think I wanted to live forever. And then I began to see what it takes and where the very elderly often find themselves (institutionalized.) From what I’ve read, the best way to extend your life span is to eat very, very few calories. That idea, however, originated during the Renaissance and we can assume it grew out of a way to look at the good side of famine. The study I cite above, from 2007, is one of the only ones to recommend this process, and Wikipedia has a section about calorie restriction called “Confounders,” which I assume means there are plenty of studies that DON’T think calorie restriction helps. Anyway, eating less is out of the question for me. I just won’t.
Now I believe what I’d like to do is simply keep my quality of life as high as I can while I am here. So here’s what I do to make that happen:
1)Keep a puppy in my life so I am sure to walk 10,000 steps a day. Yes, it doesn’t have to be as large a puppy as B2, but he’s the one who presented himself to me.2) Have your joints replaced when necessary so you can continue to move around relatively painlessly. I had a hip replacement ten years ago.
3)Practice yoga so you can maintain enough flexibility to get up off the floor if you do happen to fall. Also so you can tie your walking shoes. I practice about five days a week.
4) See a cardiologist once a year to make sure you don’t have cardiovascular problems that go undetected.
5) Have all those shots they recommend for the “elderly”: flu, shingles, pneumonia.
6)Have your cataracts removed so you can read and continue to drive.
7)Learn to moderate your intake of alcohol. A glass of wine with dinner.
8)See a podiatrist every once in a while to keep your feet in good shape, and in between visits, have regular pedicures so your feet don’t hurt while you’re doing those 10,000 steps.
9) Go to the dentist, and make sure you have enough teeth to eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
10) Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables — emphasis on the vegetables. I became totally plant-based about five years ago.
11) Control your blood pressure and blood sugar so you don’t have a stroke or get diabetes.
12) Be present to your friends. What you do for a living not only doesn’t matter, but isn’t even discussed in most other countries. Who you love and who loves YOU matters.
There are others, like travel as much as you can, keep up with technology and innovation, and live life with a spirit of giving, but they are the overlays rather than the basics. And I forgot to mention sleeping 8 hours a night, which is a basic, but would push this post to 13 steps, which might be unlucky.
Good luck getting all of this done. It’s pretty time consuming. If you are over 40, it’s your new work:-)