When the question comes to living longer, the response can be a mixed bag. Generally, the images of people in their 80s and 90s around us are filled with immobility, a cluster of health issues, and repeated hospital visits. But the Sards in the Mediterranean region seem to have figured out how to live and grow old painlessly and while retaining their health. The secret is nothing but a consistently healthy lifestyle.
The New Book
Dr. Howard Luks, an established orthopedic surgeon, has written a new book named Longevity… Simplified, where he’s laid out the science of achieving a quality lifestyle for healthy aging. According to Luks, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, elevated cholesterol, dementia, etc. are in actuality nothing but different manifestations of a broader scaled physical decline, which has already attacked the body as the result of poor mitochondrial health for years. Luke suggests that metabolic health is the only cure-all secret key, which means leading a lifestyle of eating healthy, being active consistently, and sleeping well. It’s as simple as that!
As Luks explains, mitochondria are the powerhouse of the body cell, providing the brain, heart, and muscle with the necessary ATP for their functioning. Mitochondria burn fat to work more efficiently. However, they start to lose their flexibility while being affected by insulin resistance and other issues that develop with aging. In such conditions, they start to burn glucose through glycolysis, increasing the level of sugar in the blood. Easy low heart rate exercises improve the damaged mitochondrial flexibility by promoting fat oxidation in the body and increasing the capillaries to bring in more blood. As a result, the mitochondria start to burn fat again, repairing the earlier damage and improving overall health in the process.
The Simple Solution
The simple prescription to achieve better mitochondrial health is to move more, eat better, and sleep well. This simple strategy leads to better metabolic health and physical fitness and hence, increases your health span. Though it may sound unbelievable, every physiological process in our body can be affected by a consistent lack of sleep. When you combine this lack of sleep with practices of poor diet and the absence of physical activity, the adverse changes in the body add up with time. This leads to health issues like insulin resistance, heart attacks, aging-related cognitive decline, etc. So, a healthy change in our mundane lifestyle pattern is all we need to achieve a better quality of life and aging, prolonging the average lifespan.