8 Laws of Health Series | Intro
JUNE 14, 2012 by RANDY BIVENS, MD
There’s a Yiddish blessing, ‘biz a hoondred oon zwvuntzig’, which translates: ‘may you live to 120’. Scientists at USC recently calculated the theoretical age a human should live to: 120. Also, Roy Wolford, a pioneer in the science of aging, suggests it is possible for the human body to last 120 years. This may be due to our DNA’s remarkable ability to repair errors that it develops. Research suggests that this ability breaks down around 120.
So why aren’t we all living this long? On average, Americans are only living for 78 years. Are there changes we can make in order to make those additional 42 years a reality?
The answer is that there is not much stopping us from reclaiming these extra years (and theoretically adding a third to our lifespans). The solution lies in 8 simple remedies, which we can start pursuing today. They will make us live longer and more satisfying lives than we may have imagined.
Water: First things first, did you know that most of mankind is chronically dehydrated? This problem comes with a simple solution: how much do you weigh? Just take your body weight (in pounds) and divide it in half. That number is the recommended number of ounces you should drink every day. Perhaps it goes without saying, but if you’re exercising, working in hot weather or have a fever, you’ll need to drink more.
Exercise: Most of us live rather stagnant lifestyles; yet science has proven that movement is key to a healthy lifestyle. Walking is a great exercise and most should not have trouble doing it. Just walk at least 2 miles a day (at a speed of at least 3MPH). It doesn’t even matter if you break this time into short periods. Do this six days a week and you will be on your way to better health!
Nutrition: Nutrition has a profound influence upon longevity. Dr. Wolford (who I mentioned earlier) was able to double the lifespan of mice by simply restricting their caloric intake. In the West, we eat far too many calorie dense foods—these are foods that provide us with too many calories, have fewer nutrients, and less fiber. Because of this, our stomachs fail to signal us that we should stop eating and we consume too much. By eating more whole foods, raw or simply prepared, we would naturally eat fewer calories.
Rest: The old saying, ‘Early to Bed, Early to Rise,’ seems to have anticipated the science of good sleep. Getting adequate rest is very important for our health and longevity. While sleeping, many important functions occur that are necessary for good health. Rest allows our bodies the time needed to repair and restore.
Sunlight: Vitamin D has been shown to be very important in maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin D is one of those substances that our bodies need to eliminate ‘free radicals’– toxins in our modern environment, which are believed to cause many of our ailments including cancer and auto-immune diseases. Getting plenty of sunshine each day is important in maintaining high levels of Vitamin D.
Fresh Air: It sounds too simple to be true, but getting plenty of fresh air is important for health. Think about it. We can go for weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without air! Remember to take some deep breaths several times a day, preferably outdoors.
Temperance: When we examine the habits of people who live over 100 years of age, we notice an almost universal characteristic: a temperate lifestyle. Namely, they choose good things in moderation and avoid things that have negative effects on their health and quality of life. Balance and good sense are key in all things.
Trust in Divine Power: Have you ever heard the term ‘Blue Zones?’ This is a designation given to groups of people who have had unexpected longevity. A common factor among these people is trust in divine power. This connection between spiritual and physical health has been shown to be significant in adding years to our lives.
So how do we live to 120? First we start by beating the odds! Right now, the lifespan of the average American is 78 years. However, data suggests if we were to follow the guidelines I just listed, it would not be unusual to live to 100 and beyond. Just imagine, 60 years could be only the mid-point of our lives! If you’re up for it, we’d love for you to join us on this journey to longer, healthier, and more fulfilled lives.