Will We Ever Live Forever?
Many people interested in staving off the effects of aging will mainly be so for vanity reasons. They don’t actually want to be immortal, but rather they’re just interested in looking younger while they live longer and perhaps having a few less aches and pains. But there are those with greater ambitions. There are those who want to slow their aging so that they can live forever and then enjoy all of the existential changes that would come from that.
This is Completely Impossible of Course. Right?
Well, not if you listen to certain thinkers. In fact, most scientists believe that the first person to live forever has already been born. The argument goes that someone born today who lives for 120 years will get to benefit from all of today’s modern medicine and lifestyle/health knowledge.
In thirty years’ time, we might have even better medical technology and be able to cure a lot of life-ending diseases so everybody can live longer. Twenty years later and we might be able to extend the average life span with gene doping (perhaps by rejuvenating the telomeres). Thirty years later and we may be able to perform a brain transplant…
250 years later and we might be able to upload our consciousness to the computer. It sounds far-fetched but so too would the internet, were you to explain it to someone alive hundred years ago!
The Top Methods for Extending Lifespan Greatly
To demonstrate just how possible this is, let’s take a look at some of the best options we have for extending lifespans in the near future…
Insertional gene doping is already being used by doctors and essentially allows you to permanently alter your DNA through a single injection. Among other things, this could someday enable us to strengthen cell walls – extending our lifespans by approximately 30% and making us less susceptible to fire or toxins.
In the distant future, we may be able to emulate the abilities of some species of jellyfish that can actually live longer by restoring their entire bodies by returning to a polyp state.
Right now, we don’t know if it is truly possible to upload our consciousness or even if we would want to. One speculated methodology though, involves potentially replacing each brain cell or brain structure with mechanical parts, one piece at a time.
Think this sounds like something out of science fiction? Actually, such a procedure is being attempted in the near future. Hitler experimented with head transplants during WW2 as well! Not ready for a head transplant just yet? Don’t worry! In the meantime, the best you can do is simply to live as healthily as you possibly can…
Ways to Age Slowly
Let’s face it. Everyone ages differently and not everyone ages the same way as others, even within families. There are habits you can take up or activities you do (or don’t do) that affect the aging process. Here are ten ways you can slow the aging process so that you live longer and stay healthier to improve the quality of all your years:
Stay Out of the Sun
While having a tan is nice and attractive, it ages the skin terribly. The UVA and UVB rays of the sun will damage your skin and will lead to wrinkles. Instead of having a face lift, just put on sunscreen every day and don’t use tanning beds. Wear a broad brimmed hat in order to keep the sun off your face. The moisturizer in the sunscreen will also be protective against getting wrinkled skin.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleeping less than seven hours a night will prematurely age you and you won’t function as well from a cognitive standpoint. By sleeping at least seven to nine hours of sleep at night, you will be cognitively sharp and will age better than if you go without sleep.
You can take over the counter sleep preparations containing diphenhydramine but you would do best to practice good sleep habits (not exercising before sleep, sleeping in a dark room, using a white noise machine). These are ways to sleep that will help you survive longer and keep you looking and feeling young for a longer period of time.
Quit Smoking or Don’t Start
Smoking ages you like practically no other habit you could get into. If you are a smoker, quit smoking, and if you don’t already smoke, don’t pick up the habit. It causes breakdown of collagen in the connective tissue of the skin, leading to premature aging of the skin. No number of moisturizers or a face-lift can change the wrinkling brought on by smoking cigarettes. Not to mention that smoking leads to age-related diseases like cancer and heart disease. In fact, smoking is the number one cause of age-related diseases. If you smoke you will live shorter.
Cut Down on Alcohol Consumption
While drinking a glass or two of wine has been found to be protective against heart disease, you will increase your risk of cancer and heart problems if you drink any more than that per night. Alcohol can also cause skin changes that are indicative of the aging process.
Studies show that regular aerobic exercise can extend life and reverse and slow the aging process. This means getting thirty minutes of aerobic exercise per day on most days of the week. You can do any type of aerobic exercise you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming. On the off days, you can engage in anaerobic exercise such as using weight machines or lifting weights. This can improve your muscle mass and help you gain muscle strength. It can reverse the natural loss in lean muscle mass that goes with aging.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Diets rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes can give you vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that will prevent aging and help you to live longer. Antioxidants are especially helpful in that they scavenge for oxygen free radicals that can damage the cells of your body, including the DNA. DNA damage from oxygen free radicals is believed to be the cause of some cancers. Stay away from trans fats and other processed foods that can result in diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Stress in your life can prematurely age you. You can decrease stress by getting rid of stressors in your life, whether they be relationship stressors, work stressors, or financial stressors. You can also decrease stress by practicing meditation, doing yoga, or participating in any of the Chinese martial arts programs like tai chi and qi gong.
Engage Your Brain
You can engage your brain through practicing brain-teasing exercises, reading, or taking a community education class. By staying mentally sharp, you can reduce some of the age-related cognitive deficits that can occur when you allow your mind to stagnate.
People who remain socially active with friends and loved ones will live longer and will age less than people who are reclusive. Get out there and meet people through clubs or other activities if you don’t already have friends to stay in contact with.
Take up a Hobby
Research has shown that people with hobbies to engage their brains and bodies with will enjoy themselves more and will age less. It doesn’t matter what activity you choose. It can be woodworking, painting, or even cooking. Try to engage in activities that you can share with another person because this also allows you to be social while doing something you love to do.
Ways to Improve Your Longevity
According to the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, the three most important things in life are health, wealth, and happiness. Fast-forward from classic Greece to 2016 and those three things are still pretty much what many of us yearn for more than anything else. As well as this, a great number of us probably aspire to live longer lives too.
Perhaps we look at the folks who live in the Blue Zones and envy their incredibly high life expectancies. Maybe we wonder how on earth they do it and kick ourselves when our own life expectancy is still milling around in the seventies. There are proven ways you can boost your longevity without having to spend a fortune. Let’s take a look!
Walk More Often
My dad recently got to sixty and he complained to me that he just doesn’t do enough physical activity. He lamented that he feels too old and self-conscious to go to the gym. So what can he many others like him do? Go for a walk! Even if you just walk to the grocery store three or four times a week you could easily add a few years to your life.
Fish can lower your risk of developing a few kinds of cancer, and it can also cut your risk of having a heart attack by around a third. The best fish are the oily fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and mackerel.
Lift Some Weights
As we get older, our muscles begin to wither. It’s just a fact of life. When muscles wither, our quality of life diminishes. To maintain your strength and bone density, you could consider lifting weights 2-3 times per week.
Get a Pet
The modern-day philosopher Ryan Holiday remarked that few things remind us how to live in the present than a pet. He’s right! Rather than slipping into depression due to an increasingly small world, you should give yourself someone to hang out with in the form of a loving pet.
Adding supplements to your diet is a fantastic way to give you a boost physically and mentally. You can take supplements such as wheatgrass powder to improve your skin and lower your risk of developing cancer and diabetes, as well as supplements to guard against memory loss and dementia, such as vitamin B12. Which will increase life expectancy by one third.
If you continue to live off junk food, there is a good chance that you will shave a few years off your life. Junk food increases your risk of developing cancer and can cause potentially fatal diseases associated with weight gain, such as heart failure. You don’t need to go overboard by eliminating all fats from your diet; dieticians recommend more than anything else a well-balanced diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, fiber, seeds, meat, protein, and good fats to help you live longer.
Nothing affects the quality of the aging process or accelerates it faster than worry and in our modern world; it’s easier than ever before to be anxious. If, however, you want to improve your longevity and live longer, you need to find a way of cutting out the anxiety from your life. This might mean changing jobs or moving out of the city, or it could be something simpler such as taking up yoga.
Detoxify Your Body
Every now and then, our body reaches a point where it can’t take anymore. It becomes overwhelmed and overburdened with toxins. This just means you need to detoxify your body every three months to give your liver a break and flush out all the nasty toxins from your body.
Finally, you should laugh more often, as they say laughter is the best medicine. Laughter not only puts you in a better mood, but it also improves blood flow to your heart by a whopping fifty percent. This in turn reduces your risk of developing heart disease.
Cut Calories to Live Longer
It’s no secret that we live in a society that is addicted to the Cult of Youth. Advertisements featuring young and good-looking people surround us daily. We are given the constant message that to be young is to be free and liberated. We buy creams and oils that promise to revive our flagging health, energy and outward appearance. However, what if there was a way to maintain good general health while potentially living longer?
It has long been known that simply by eating less over time, we can potentially lengthen our lives and ward off certain diseases. It’s called caloric restriction, and can, apparently, add a number of years to your life. The exact bodily processes are not well known, but it would seem that by cutting our calories, our bodies become more efficient and many of our cells live longer.
The Possible Benefits of Caloric Restriction
There is scientific evidence that practicing caloric restriction over a period of time can produce the following benefits:
Why Does Caloric Restriction Work?
Studies on animals such as rats, mice and dogs have resulted in a strong correlation between restricting the intake of calories and the lengthening of lifespan. It is thought that by restricting our caloric intake the metabolism of our bodies slows down, becomes more regulated, and results in fewer cell damaging free radicals.
The effect of this is potentially less damage to our body’s cells, meaning less risk of organ damage, and a possible anti-aging effect. This has the potential to help us live longer and keep us healthier during that time.
Importantly, these studies strongly suggest that caloric restriction can have positive benefits even if up to fifty percent of the normal intake is cut out.
Further evidence suggests that cutting it by sixty percent and above has the reverse effect, causing premature death and starvation. Clearly there is some science behind it, but it’s still vital to maintain a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Ideal Caloric Restriction for Longer and Better Living
Given how many of us overeat regularly and have thus trained our bodies to crave sugars, fats and more and more food, it might seem a daunting task to try and cut our caloric intake effectively. However, help is at hand. There are a number of simple things you can do each day to cut your caloric intake and manage your diet.
Decrease Your Food Consumption and Caloric Intake
Using smaller plates at main meal times can trick the brain into seeing it as a full meal that is unrestricted. The meal itself is smaller than you’d normally eat, but your brain considers it a full meal because the plate is full.
Serving smaller portions at all meals tricks your brain into eating less over time. University studies have found that if we are given a large amount of food, we will mindlessly eat it all. This is why you can mindlessly indulge in a full bucket of buttered popcorn at the movies and have eaten it all without noticing at the end of the movie!
Eat Three Meals a Day
By eating three main meals a day and skipping snacks, you can more effectively manage your weight and your caloric intake which in turn will help you live longer and healthier. Using taller and skinnier drinking glasses helps to fool your brain into thinking that it is drinking more when it is actually drinking less.
There is also some evidence to suggest that eating protein (like eggs) for breakfast suppresses our appetite for longer throughout the day. Using chopsticks to slow down your eating actually allows your stomach to send ‘I’m full’ signals to the brain more effectively, thus cutting your caloric intake by eating smaller portions.
Pay Attention to Your Eating Habits and Control Them
Whatever the exact scientific evidence behind the efficacy of caloric restriction in humans, it’s certainly clear from studies that a healthy diet and exercise combined can extend our lives and help us maintain a better quality of life. At the very least, it is wise to ignore the many questionable health claims of fad diets and advertised superfoods so that we can take control of our diet using some simple methods.