In the last couple of years, David and his team have found that there is a “backup hard drive of youthfulness” in the cell. Their mission is to access that hard drive and reset it – to turn on those longevity genes. They’ve learned that the sooner you start turning those on, the better.
“We now know from studying twins that 80% of your health in old age is up to you, how you live your life.” – Dr. David Sinclair
So how do you turn them on? There are five simple steps:
#1. First of all, don’t smoke. We’ve all heard this before – cigarettes will kill you – but with the rise of smoking alternatives, such as vaping, this warning is still very applicable. The chemicals we put in our lungs have a significant effect on our body chemistry and health. Smoking damages cellular DNA and accelerates the aging process – It’s undeniable. David’s mother died from lung cancer. She smoked, and years later, had a tumor the size of a grapefruit in her left lung. They took out the tumor, and she lived another 20 years, but in excruciating pain and hardship.
#2. Second, don’t eat too much. And that doesn’t just apply to the “unhealthy foods” – it applies to food in general. Dr. Sinclair isn’t recommending malnutrition, of course, but a healthy amount of intermittent fasting. Skipping a meal a day is okay, even if you’re an athlete. He recommends to stop eating when you’re about 60 or 70% full. We’re conditioned to eat the food in front of us at a young age – who else was encouraged to have a “clean plate” as a kid? But fasting can help turn on those longevity genes.
#3. Third is the obvious: High Intensity Interval Training (what we call “HIIT” workouts). In these moments of extreme physical stress and mental toughness, the body becomes hypoxic, which is another word for “lacking oxygen.” When you’re out of breath, your blood is flowing, nourishing your body, and those longevity genes are turned on. We need to be in survival mode to fight back against aging, but the truth is, we spend our whole lives trying to reduce adversity. It’s ironic that a passive, comfortable life actually reduces our lifespan, but it’s true. Get out there and break a sweat.
#4. Fourth is the type of food you eat. Dr. David Sinclair recommends eating plant-based foods, and also healthy amounts of monounsaturated fats – like olive oil and avocados. These fatty acids are great for your body and some contain polyphenols, which are molecules that plants make when they’re stressed. Eating “stressed food” actually activates those longevity genes. Red wine is another example – It’s full of polyphenols and one in particular called “resveratrol” that Dr. Sinclair and his team have been studying for 20 years. It activates those longevity pathways really well.
#5. And lastly, get a good night’s sleep. The body has to restore itself overnight, and if you skip sleep, you are pushing yourself closer and closer into old age. Take a nap every once and while. It’s amazing what it will do for your health.
So there you have it: 5 simple things you can do to live longer. Dr. David Sinclair says that doing those things will at least get you an extra 14 years on average. It’s just living a good life.