The Year of Improving Longevity
Happy New Year! It’s that time of year again when people take a fresh look at who they want to be – new year, new you…right? But as we all know, it’s not quite that simple. While setting specific, measurable goals is important, it can be disheartening when these goals are stacked against a lofty, intangible hope or dream. This is why the classic New Year’s resolutions like “losing weight” or “getting stronger” can be both anxiety-inducing and rife with disappointment when looked at against all the other health worries or goals across a lifetime.
But what if taking a longer-view, holistic approach to your “new” self could actually improve outcomes and lead to more enjoyment throughout the journey? Longevity. While goals can be set for small achievements along the way, a true change has longevity. But what does this mean? How do we achieve longevity – in both our habits and our lives? Let’s start by defining a word that’s become quite popular in the longevity arena – healthspan.
What is healthspan?
Healthspan considers the quality of life versus simply the duration. The average lifespan is about 82 years, while the average person spends their final 16 years dealing with poor health. Longevity medicine works toward pushing that number of years in declining health down. The typical resolutions around the first of each year certainly fit into the scope of increasing healthspan, but embodying these steps to optimize overall health is the path to a longer, healthier life.
Most would be comfortable saying they would rather “die young” as late as possible than actually dying young. While this is not a simple feat, there are relatively simple steps to take toward such a goal. At Boulder Longevity Institute, we share our expertise in unique areas that are being shown to increase healthspan, reduce the markers of poor health and disease, and improve overall wellness. Let’s dive into just a few of these cutting-edge options.
Hormones are chemical messengers produced by various glands in the body, such as the pituitary, thyroid, adrenal, and reproductive glands. They play a crucial role in regulating numerous bodily functions and processes, including growth, metabolism, reproduction, and mood. Hormones are essential for longevity because they help maintain the balance and harmony within the body. As we age, hormone levels naturally decline, leading to various health issues and accelerated aging. By addressing hormone imbalances and optimizing hormone levels, individuals can promote healthy longevity. Hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid hormone, are vital for brain health, joint function, sexual well-being, and overall vitality. By understanding the significance of hormones and proactively addressing any imbalances, individuals can enhance their healthspan and live longer, healthier lives.
Peptides are novel tools for taking control of health in areas previously thought to be impossible to change. Peptides, like our hormones, decline as we age. You’ve probably heard about GLP-1 agonists like Semaglutide, but other peptides, like Tesamorelin, can also decrease extra fat in the stomach area and have been shown to markedly improve visceral fat related to fatty liver disease. Peptides are now being shown to improve mental health. With a rapid onset (unlike standard antidepressant drugs), lack of side effects, and strong safety profile, peptides could represent a more accessible, sustainable path to balancing the mind. MOTS-c (a mitochondrial-derived peptide) is showing signs of being “exercise in a pill.” A study in mice showed that a mouse fed a high-fat diet with no exercise, supplemented with MOTS-c, remained insulin sensitive and never got obese. The uses of peptides are endless, and we are learning more every day with evolving research.
To dive deeper into the world of peptides, including what they are, common uses, and more, check out our BLI Academy QuickCourse PEPTIDES 101.
Supplements have become one of the most confusing areas of longevity medicine. Everywhere, someone is telling you to try this or that, leading many people to experience a laundry list of supplements and pill fatigue. However, supplements are critical. The deteriorating quality and lacking nutrient density of our food means we have to supplement to get key vitamins and minerals. It’s important to source your supplements from verified suppliers (be wary of Amazon fraudsters) to make sure you’re getting true ingredients and minimal fillers.
If you’re like most of the world and found yourself over-indulging this holiday season, a good way to get back on track is with a detox. A BLI favorite is CellCore’s detox kits. (Use code HPCXRQNm to access.)
Shifting the Paradigm
Understanding longevity requires prioritizing health by getting outside the box of standard, old-school healthcare and taking advantage of the rapidly, exponentially evolving landscape of longevity medicine. It also includes building on those simple resolutions to “eat better” or “hit the gym” by deciding that it is never too early (or late) to take control of how you feel as you age.
Shifting the paradigm to consider longevity at a younger age is imperative to increasing healthspan. The process of aging begins in the womb (actually it begins when your parents are in the womb!). Ongoing damage to our cells occurs the second we’re born. This damage can accumulate over time and is spurred by genetics, errors in cell reproduction, and free radical production brought about by lifestyle choices and other environmental factors. The slow, often unnoticeable accumulation of damage can lead to chronic disease. These chronic diseases of aging can act undetected in the background well before symptoms become visible.
This is not to say that one must make certain choices by a set age to achieve a longer healthspan. Enter Cellular Medicine. Cellular Medicine aims to improve the foundational health of individuals by working to correct or enhance the natural functions of the body at the cellular level using biologically identical or similar tools. Cellular Medicine addresses the root cause of the root cause. It looks at what happens inside the cell, from the redox reactions to the mitochondria.
Longevity medicine is not static – it is ever-evolving and recreating itself, building upon foundational science and new discoveries. At BLI, we’ve created a few tools to help anyone from the health newbie to the seasoned “hacker” stay informed in this complex field. Tools like the Boulder Longevity Institute Glossary allow practitioners and clients alike to search for key terms and familiarize themselves with critical concepts in the Cellular Medicine and longevity space. Taking it further, the Human Optimization Academy bridges the gap between information overwhelm and incomplete scientific explanations, allowing anyone to take control of their health while staying abreast of the ever-updating knowledge in the world of advanced research-based healthcare.
Working towards longevity is as much art as it is science. There is no “perfect protocol” or “secret sauce” that applies to everyone. But data, and specifically having a baseline, is important for tracking your progress. As we head into a new year (and a new you), here are a few key areas we recommend establishing your baseline health to compare to year-over-year.
As we head into a new year (and a new you), here are a few key areas we recommend establishing your baseline health to compare to year-over-year:
- Foundational Biomarkers: Check out the BLI Assessment to learn more about our comprehensive baseline health analysis.
- Brain Health: Consider a WAVI Scan and Review to understand your brain’s processing speed, power and acuity and screen for early decline. (Program Clients receive 25% Discount)
- SECA Body Composition Scan: Want to get a new year baseline of your physical body composition, consider scheduling a SECA Scan by requesting an appointment through your Patient Portal. (Included for Program Clients. Fee for non-Program Clients.)
- Mobility & Strength Evaluation: Certain simple movement tests like how long you can hang on a bar or how quickly you can sit-to-stand have direct correlations to health and aging. If you’re local to our BLI Clinic, consider coming in for a Mobility & Strength Evaluation. Request an appointment through your Patient Portal. (Included for Program Clients. Fee for non-Program Clients.)
Maybe the best resolution is not “stopping this” or “doing more of that,” but to take back control of your health – and your life – with data, science, and guidance along the way.