Category Archives for "aging"

November 2, 2020

How to use peptides safely with Dr. Miles Spar

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Dr. Miles Spar, the Medical Director for Vault Health is an expert in men's health. On Episode 458 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss peptides, what they are, how they work, and how to safely use them to improve your health and fitness.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:16.050] – Allan
Rachel, how you doing?

[00:02:18.120] – Rachel
Great. Allan, how are you today?

[00:02:20.850] – Allan
I'm doing good. You know, we're doing a lot of people might not know about the behind the scenes part of a podcast. We record these intros in this discussion sometimes a week or two or three ahead of when an actual episode airs. And so in this case, we're recording a few weeks ahead because I'm planning a trip to the United States to see family get my crap out of my daughter's garage and then, of course, to vote. And so I'm pretty excited about that.

[00:02:47.700] – Allan
You know, we got into covid. I was a little concerned. You know, my mother and her mother are not in the best of health and my stepmother isn't either. So, you know, with this thing and all the ramifications of being an at-risk person, you know, it's one of those things you're thinking about on a pretty regular basis when you're sitting around in your apartment with nothing else to do, which is why I go back and listen to that Slip-to-Success Episode, because that's really where my head was, is that I might not see our parents again.

[00:03:17.790] – Allan
So it's a little daunting, but I'm happy to be going back to get some of my stuff out of my daughter's garage and ship some of it down here. We started pricing that out. And it's you have to in your head, justify do I really want to pay that much to ship that thing, to have it down here? And I'm hopeful the answer for a lot of that is no. But you know how things go when you're trying to get rid of things that you own.

[00:03:41.850] – Allan
You end up toting them with you.

[00:03:43.680] – Rachel
Oh, for sure. I'm glad you get to come up and visit your family. It sounds wonderful.

[00:03:49.080] – Allan
Well, how are things going for you?

[00:03:50.370] – Rachel
Oh, good, good. The weather's been great. It's been great for running in the mornings and we just got a new weight set for our gym. So I'm excited to unwrap everything and get to it.

[00:04:01.500] – Allan
OK, tell us about that.

[00:04:03.390] – Rachel
We bought an Olympic bar and a full set of weights, so we've got everything from forty-five down to two and a half and just excited to get it all out. It took about six or eight weeks I think, to get here. So we've been anxiously awaiting like a little much, but yeah, we can't wait to get it unwrapped.

[00:04:23.190] – Allan
Well, that's that's one of the things, as you know, covid came along and people wanted to start training at home. They're like, well, I could outfit a home gym, but you got to start, you know, figuring out the equipment and then you go to buy the equipment. Well, you're not the only one. And so a lot of these places stocked out. I was looking at a Concept2 rower because back in June, I didn't necessarily want to wait all the way until like January when I could go back and get because I have a little rower. It's not a Concept2. But I was thinking I'd just buy a Concept2 and ship that down here and then I'll sell my rower up there. But they had a waiting list and I was like, well, OK, I'll just if I, if I have a waiting list, I may as well wait. You know, it was a shame. So but that. Good, good, good. You have to let us know how it goes.

[00:05:07.050] – Rachel
For sure. Absolutely.

[00:05:08.400] – Allan
Post pictures on Facebook.

[00:05:10.140] – Rachel

[00:05:11.520] – Allan
All right. So one more thing. I do have to let you know, we're recording this interview, Dr. Spar on peptides. And just for full disclosure, Vault Health, which is the company that Dr. Spar founded and works for, is a sponsor of the show. So if you do visit Vault Health, I do want you to know that we get a little bit of a kickback on that if you schedule your call and get on your call.

[00:05:37.950] – Allan
They do. They do pay us for that referral, but it doesn't cost you any more. And I'm not telling you that's who you need to go to or that you even need to do peptides. But I wanted to have an episode out there because so many people will start hearing about this. And it sounds really magical and it sounds really cool, but there's some pitfalls. So how about we go ahead and get into the episode? And Rachel, I will be right back with you afterwards.


[00:06:46.140] – Allan
Dr. Spar, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:48.720] – Dr.Spar
Thanks, Allan. Great to be here.

[00:06:50.670] – Allan
You know, today we're going to talk about peptides. And I as I kind of follow the health and fitness space, I, I tend to put one foot out there in the area I call biohacking, just kind of know maybe what's going to be coming down the line five years, ten years down the line. But that curve is accelerating.

[00:07:12.600] – Allan
You used to hear about something and say, OK, when's that going to hit mainstream? And it would be a generation later, like with some medications. And then you'd hear about this new thing bodybuilders were doing and it would be mainstream maybe five years later. And now I can listen to a podcast like Ben Greenfield or Dave Asbury. And they were talking about SARMs a year ago, two years ago or three years ago.

[00:07:37.140] – Allan
And it was happening then and then. Now times, you know, I think a lot of the things that we're calling biohacking are actually coming so fast and getting mainstream so quickly with technology we have and the communications we have. It's really kind of amazing what's happening right now.

[00:07:54.330] – Dr.Spar
It is. It's exciting and a little bit overwhelming. So I love that you have the podcast because it's really hard to separate the wheat from the chaff and to know it's the what isn't, what's safe, what isn't and what's proven. And like you said, it's good when things move fast, but it also means sometimes we don't have all the data yet. So it's great to kind of talk about, well, what do we know and what do we not know that you need to watch out for?

[00:08:16.740] – Allan
Yeah, and even in 2020, we still have snake oil salesmen.

[00:08:21.370] – Dr.Spar

[00:08:22.170] – Allan
They come to town and try to sell us something that isn't going to help us at all.

[00:08:26.070] – Dr.Spar
Yes, especially on fitness. That's a big one. You know, one of the number ones where you get questionable recommendations and products.

[00:08:33.870] – Allan
Because we're eager to do something and everybody likes that easy button concept of what's what's the one thing I can do. And I'd love to say, yeah, say maybe one day science will figure that out, but we don't quite have it. But peptides are really, really interesting to me because you're literally going in and the way I understand it and correct me if I'm saying this wrong, but I can think of your genetic code is like an operating system for our body.

[00:09:03.030] – Allan
And in general, it's going to function and do certain things. Yet we can introduce things like peptides in there, which then basically turns on and off or dimmer switch. However, you want to kind of look at it in your head the way that our genetic code is working and cause our body to do things good or bad. I mean, but most of what we're going to try to do here is some good.

[00:09:26.610] – Dr.Spar
Yeah, I think it's a good way of putting it, actually, because peptides, basically they're signaling molecules. Right? So they're different from exogenous hormones or hormones you take in or separately, even though it's confusing to some peptides or hormones. But in general, when we think about hormones, we think of instead of relying on the body to produce something like testosterone, we're going to give testosterone because the body isn't producing enough or for whatever reason or even using growth hormone, which we'll talk about later, just taking extra growth hormone.

[00:09:54.660] – Dr.Spar
And that's a little more of a big hammer, right? Because you're just basically saying, yeah, we're not signaling the genetic code, like you said. We're just basically saying, yeah, whatever you genes turn off, we got this. Peptides are a little more elegant. They rely on the body's own natural rhythms and their natural processes of when they're going to produce something like a hormone. And yet it helps to coax them to maybe do that at a little higher volume.

[00:10:20.400] – Dr.Spar
Just like you said, I love that the dimmer switch. It's a great way of putting it.

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[00:11:58.710] – Allan
Now, I remember reading about SARMS a few years ago and thinking, OK, this is kind of interesting cutting edge stuff, but you had to basically, if you went, looked online for what SARMS were, they'd say, yeah, we'll sell you this. But it's not for human consumption. You know, what? Why are you selling it to someone that's not a scientist? But they were. What's the difference between SARMS and peptides?

[00:12:21.240] – Dr.Spar
Sure. They're actually they're actually really different. So peptides are chains of amino acids, proteins, which are what most enzymes and a lot of hormones and a lot of substances in the bodies are large chains of amino acids. But peptides are smaller chains of about 50 amino acids or less. And like I said, they're signalling molecules. So they're naturally produced in the body. And that's a key thing because SARMs are synthetic peptides are all naturally produced in the body. There's about 7000 that are naturally produced and some of them are also made available to use as well to give yourself or to take.

[00:12:57.750] – Dr.Spar
And about 60 are actually approved by the FDA. And these have the same type of impacts as hormones in that whatever their direct thing that they are coaxing along will cause that thing they're coaxing along to have a broader impact. So the peptides themselves are very elegant. They're very specific to like one hormone or one chain in a pathway that they will stimulate. But it's really only that one thing that they'll stimulate. So, for example, we'll talk later about peptides that stimulate growth hormone release.

[00:13:31.230] – Dr.Spar
That's really all they do. They don't have by their actions. And then they rely on the impact of growth hormone to have a bunch of actions and example of peptides that many people might have heard of are these GLP1 agonist for diabetes like Victoza or Semaglutide or Ozempic? These are newer medications for diabetes that help with weight loss that are great. And they really only work on this glucagon-like peptide that they stimulate the release of and that then helps a lot with insulin sensitivity.

[00:14:01.200] – Dr.Spar
Whereas SARMs. They're are actually synthetic. They're small molecules like peptides. That's really the only thing that's the same. And the reason that they're selective, like we used to have SERMs, a selective estrogen receptor modulators, the SARMs are selective androgen receptor said the surge or things like tamoxifen and related estrogens. These are ones that are related to androgens, but they're selective in that. Hormones like androgens are hormones by definition means a hormone has impacts all over the body.

Right. So that's what defines a hormone when you learn in med school a hormone, basically something that goes everywhere to every kind of tissue. So SARMs say, well, we don't really want to have impact all over the body for certain things that we're really trying to build muscle. We want something to be androgenic and muscle, but we don't want it to affect the liver and the kidney and the testes and shut down testicle production of testosterone. We want to just to really focus on building muscle or maybe also fat to lose some fat.

[00:14:57.630] – Dr.Spar
So that's what SARMs are meant to do. They're actually broader molecules that look a lot like bigger hormones, but they're designed to specifically have less widespread impact than a whole hormone or whole steroid would be.

[00:15:15.690] – Allan
It was interesting because when I was first reading about SARMs, I think, you know, the broad interest in this was how do I gain muscle? How do I lose fat? How to get more growth hormone, which also helps improve both of those. It was interesting to find out that there are peptides that can actually improve our immune function, which I think at the time of COVID. That's huge. Can you talk a little bit about that peptide or those the class of peptides and what they do?

[00:15:43.680] – Dr.Spar
Yeah, absolutely. That's a big interest right now. And there's some really good studies on some of these peptides helping the immune system. I don't want to say that these are cures for COVID, but these are anything that really we can make specific claims related to COVID about because there haven't been studies were uncovered. However, there are some good studies in some of these with virus in general in helping boost the immune system as it protects us from viruses. So the main ones are ones that are initially produced from the thymus gland.

[00:16:14.880] – Dr.Spar
We all have a thymus gland, but it involutes as we age in that thymus gland is what really produces a lot of our immune system. Cells are T-cells are named after our thymus land and those are the some of the important cells, our immune system. And they also help not only just produce these T-cells, but they help tell the T-cells how to operate and how to do what they do best. And yet over time, that thymus gland, like I said, invalutes.

[00:16:38.280] – Dr.Spar
And so it gets less active. So these peptides, especially one called Thymosin Alpha One, and you'll see it abbreviated TA1, really is something that naturally is produced in the thymus clan, but it's produced less and less as we age. So when you're over 40, have less of it. Yet it's very helpful to boost this type. The immunity called cell-mediated immunity, these T-cells, immunity that are really the most important arm of our immune system against viruses, we have like the antibody arm, which are great for bacteria and help a little bit with viruses.

[00:17:06.930] – Dr.Spar
And that's what vaccines help with. But really for viruses, we really need this thymus that this T-cell arm, the cell-mediated immunity arm. And that's what times an alpha one helps, helps boost production of these T-cells and helps them mature better and helps teach them what to go against, what not to do. So they're actually used in autoimmune diseases because it helps teach the immune system. This Thymosin Alpha One does teaches the immune system.

[00:17:32.340] – Dr.Spar
What's something that really we want to attack and what's our own self that we don't want to attack? And that's an autoimmune disease, right when you're attacking yourself. So they're used in viruses and autoimmunity and allergies. And then they also help, even with chronic infections like Lyme is a big one or chronic fatigue syndrome. That is unclear at Epstein Bar, which is another virus or Lyme.

So, Thymosin Alpha One is the main one that we see very well studied. It's actually used in as a pharmaceutical. It's approved in over 70 countries around the world. So it's not a way out there. It doesn't happen to be FDA approved in this country for a lot of things, but it's a very safe peptide to use.

[00:18:10.980] – Dr.Spar
The other one you hear about less so, but to some degree it's called Thymosin Beta Four. So I mentioned Thymosin Alpha One and this one is Thymosin Beta Four. That also has some immune-modulating activities, but that's more around cancer care that's used. And so I would really say for listeners that are interested in boosting immunity in a really sophisticated way, the Thymosin Alpha One is the way to go.

[00:18:35.680] – Allan
Another area which I found kind of interesting and as I was reading the story on this is the guy just sort of accidentally somewhat overdosed, I guess. He shot himself up some peptides and he found himself in a position of excitement for about eight hours.

[00:18:54.300] – Dr.Spar

[00:18:55.270] – Allan
And so there are actually peptides that can improve your libido. Could you talk to them?

[00:19:00.300] – Dr.Spar
Yeah, this is really exciting. And it's something that, like you said, it was found accidentally. So it's interesting. One of the hormones that leads to melanin in your skin and helps to promote skin pigment actually as a precursor to ACTH, which is a hormone that many of your listeners might know about, comes from the hypothalamus pituitary gland that can produce this hormone that produces skin darkening, but also the precursor to that hormone that produces skin darkening is called Melanotan.

[00:19:35.730] – Dr.Spar
And that also actually helps with libido and erectile function from essentially acting way from a nerve stimulating erections as opposed to like Viagra and PDE5 inhibitors. Those all help promote vascular flow, right? So they help with the blood vessel part of erections. These help with the central nervous system being turned on. So it's all a nerve part of not just erections, but libido. And in fact, when they study this and they found the form that doesn't cause as much skin darkening because the first form just cause a lot of skin darkening and the libido isn't really helpful unless you really want to have really, really, really dark skin.

[00:20:14.070] – Dr.Spar
So they found this basically it's Melanotan two, and they found this substance called PT141 or Bremelanotide, which is a derivative of Melanotan two and works the same way and stimulates this libido very strongly. They actually have it as an FDA approved medication for women with hypoactive sexual desire, especially post-menopause, because it works in men and women, because it's working in the brain, it's not working in the penis. It's working in the brain. I'm getting you turned on and that helps libido and it helps with erections.

[00:20:45.330] – Dr.Spar
And especially helpful, though, off label, so to speak, for guys who have maybe tried Viagra or PDE5 inhibitors. And they're still not getting good erections because they're just not into it. And it's more of a mojo thing than just a blood flow thing. So these are very powerful and getting you turned on, you inject them or you do an intranasal an hour or so before sex.

[00:21:07.740] – Dr.Spar
And like I said, it's an FDA approved drug for women. For men, we use it as well. It has some side effects to watch for. It can cause a little bit of nausea that's usually fleeting and some flushing. And it's not recommended for guys with really high blood pressure. But other than that, it's really well-tolerated and it works wonders in guys who are really frustrated because they've tried ordering Viagra online and they're still like, yeah, whatever.

[00:21:29.820] – Dr.Spar
I don't even want to take it because I'm just not into it or I take it and I still don't really get an erection because I'm just I'm not into it. And this is works at that at that central nervous system level.

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[00:22:56.560] – Allan
Now, I guess, you know, and of course, this is going to be the exciting one, is that there are quite a few peptides that can actually increase our growth hormone, which is another one of those hormones that declines as we age.

[00:23:11.710] – Dr.Spar
Yeah, and growth hormone know, I'm sure your listeners know, growth hormone and it's kind of like the fountain of youth in a way, because it really does. Growth hormone is really responsible for muscle growth and fat loss and helping us feel more energetic, helping us sleep better, helping us with brain cognition. And it does decline as you age. It's also impacted by lifestyle factors. So things that help boost your own production of growth hormone, like getting enough sleep and intermittent fasting, are really helpful.

[00:23:41.630] – Dr.Spar
You produce most of it at night when you sleep. So if you eat a lot of food close to bed, you're going to blunt your production growth hormone. If you don't get enough sleep, you're going to blunt your production of growth hormone. So anything you do first has to be on this foundation of watching, not eating a lot. Ideally, then you might intermittent fasting and making sure you're getting enough sleep and managing stress because all that impacts it. But even with all that, some guys get frustrated that not doing the same workout I've been doing, but now I'm making less gains or I'm losing muscle mass and they get testosterone checked and that's fine.

[00:24:12.730] – Dr.Spar
So then they think about growth hormone. The problem is, I've never really advocated using growth hormone itself because I kind of said at the beginning of the show, it's not very elegant to just take over of growth hormone and give your body a big boost of it, because the way it works is in this pulsatile fashion, it works best when it's produced a lot at night. And then that's when your body's, say, recovering from a workout and responding to that workout by building up bigger muscle cells and building up muscle and hypertrophy in the muscle. That's how you get bigger muscle.

[00:24:42.640] – Dr.Spar
And then it goes down as the day goes on during the day and comes up at various times in the day. And you want that normal circadian rhythm of production. If you just give yourself HGH, human growth hormone, it kind of takes over that and it actually then makes the growth hormone work less well over time because the body gets kind of sensitized to it. So that's where peptides are much more elegant because all they do, the peptides that help stimulate growth hormones, own natural production, get their effect by relying on that same natural pulsatile flow.

[00:25:13.120] – Dr.Spar
So giving peptides that produce a little more growth hormone from their own body relies on the body's natural production and doesn't make the body get sensitised to it, doesn't destroy that normal circadian rhythm, and also doesn't come with some of the risks that we worry about of constantly adding growth hormone, like a concern about cancer risk or blood sugar being too high. So these are really helpful and safe ways to boost your own body's natural production of growth hormone.

[00:25:40.630] – Allan
Yeah, it's the more I read into hormones, the more I actually realize I'm never going to fully understand the endocrine system and how it works, because it's just I mean, of course, there's entire professions, entire doctors that just focus on endocrine. So it makes sense that it's not something I'm going to just pick up from reading a few books and articles.

[00:26:00.940] – Dr.Spar
No, you have to go to the doctor for sure. And I'm just going to go in the weeds a little more on the growth hormone. What about some specific so listeners can really know what to ask for. And again, this is all things you do through your medical practitioner. You can certainly do it with us at Vault Health or someone else, but don't do this on your own. But so it does get a little complicated growth hormone. So the way it works is this your body, right, stimulates its own production growth hormone from the pituitary gland.

[00:26:29.470] – Dr.Spar
However, the peptides that help release that, if you just take a peptide that is called the growth hormone-releasing hormone that just tells the body make more growth hormone. And the examples of that are like, Sermorelin people might have heard of or Tesamorelin, which is also which is actually a pharmaceutical called Egrifta approved for HIV lipodystrophy and or something called CJC1295, which is the newest generation. Those are great and they actually do help and they can help with decreasing fat and increasing muscle and energy and even cognition.

[00:27:04.510] – Dr.Spar
However, the body will naturally see, Oh wait we're stimulating too much growth hormone. We're going to put a brake on that. And the brain will make something called somatostatin, which basically, “statin” is stopping kind of and “somato” is body. So it's like stop this body-building hormone because we don't want a lot of growth hormone all the time. So you so it stops the release of that extra growth hormone that was produced. So you want to also take something that helps overcome a little bit of that somatostatin so that what extra growth hormone was produced actually gets released.

[00:27:37.300] – Dr.Spar
So that's another category, these first growth hormone peptides and the main ones called Ipamorelin. And so you couple that with like the CJC1295 so that the CJC1295 coaxes the body, again it's a signaling molecule, make a little more growth hormone when it's appropriate to make growth hormone. And then the Ipamorelin says yeah you somatostatin trying to stop the release that chillout, let's release some of this and it together works really well and helping make sure you produce a little more and you release it at the appropriate time.

[00:28:12.630] – Allan
Yeah, and so once you start getting to stacks and things like that, we're trying to fine tune a human genome. We're trying to get some improvement, some optimization out of our aging as we go. But there are side effects. As you mentioned, the one for libido caused some skin darkening. There are some things you have to consider.

[00:28:41.060] – Dr.Spar

[00:28:41.820] – Allan
This isn't a do it yourself at home chemistry experiment.

[00:28:45.180] – Dr.Spar
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, a lot of them, they all have their own because these are really elegant molecules. And so they all have very specific effects, like I said, different from bigger molecules or bigger proteins. They all have an effect on kind of one pathway. They all have different side effects. And so it's really important to talk to your practitioner about this specific peptide that we're talking about. What are the potential side effects?

[00:29:07.830] – Dr.Spar
So like some of the growth hormone ones, you can get a little water retention. You can even get a little like numbness or tingling in your arms. And usually if you decrease the dose that goes away. But we used to see that in higher doses, people were using like almost like a carpal tunnel syndrome. For most people, they help with sleep, but for some people, it causes them sleeplessness because it gets some kind of revved up.

[00:29:31.380] – Dr.Spar
So that just we usually say, well, use it a couple hours earlier and that can help with that. The ones that also for growth hormone can raise your blood sugar a little bit. So that's something to watch for, not to the point of creating diabetes. But if you already have high blood sugar, it's something to watch for. And then, like I said, the ones for libido, the Bremelanotide can cause a little nausea and a lot of people. But it's a very short acting and it's not to the point of vomiting. It's just like a flushing kind of wave. But it can also cause some swelling as well.

[00:30:00.180] – Dr.Spar
So, yeah, they each have their own set of side effects. The big one is, like I said, high blood pressure with bremelanotide to watch for and then the darkening with that. But in general, they're really well tolerated. They're very safe. They're not causing side effects you don't aren't aware of because they're so small and elegant and targeted that they're not causing liver damage and kidney damage that can happen if you start using even some SARMs that aren't so safe, that are synthetic or some growth hormone itself or some of these other bigger, more wide-ranging effect type molecules.

[00:30:34.830] – Allan
Dr. Spar, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:30:42.360] – Dr.Spar
Well, so have a really hard time narrowing it down to three. So I might add. But I'll tell you the first one and I did a TEDx talk about this, it sounds really, really woo woo. But it's really the most important is the first tactic to being fit is why do you want to be fit? You know, the first tactic to being healthy is why do you want your health for? Because as soon as there's a donut available, when you had said, I'm not going to eat donuts, unless you're clear why you committed to not having donuts and being more healthy, you're going to eat that donut.

[00:31:14.610] – Dr.Spar
You know, you need to really be clear on. I want to be healthier for my kids to be a role model. I want to be a better partner and feel more sexy. For me to feel more sexy, I need to have a little bit better physique or I want to feel stronger so I can beat people on the basketball court, whatever it is.

[00:31:32.040] – Dr.Spar
Why is it that you want to be fit and healthy? You need to literally sit down and think about it? It doesn't take that long, but studies show people who have a clear sense of why they're doing so, they are much more likely to do it. So that's number one.

[00:31:44.550] – Dr.Spar
The second I would say we hear a lot about diet and exercise and those are important. So I'm not going to include those. Since we all know that, I'd say stress and sleep are the other two and I worked with NBA basketball players is like an integrative medicine consultant. And those are the two biggest issues for them. And these are obviously very high-level fit guys. And they would find what would undermine their fitness was if they weren't managing stress. We talked a lot about apps that you can download, like Headspace or Calm are the ones how manage stress or journaling or doing some kind of meditation or prayer or even something that helps you every day, even if it's five or ten minutes. Tell your body I'm not in fight or flight mode, because if you're trying to be fair, fight or flight motos, your body.

[00:32:26.880] – Dr.Spar
Oh, no, no blood to the muscles. We need to we need to be supporting responding and we're going to store up sugar as fat because we're in crisis. So we're not going to be making sure that we're lean. We're making sure that we're just able to respond and not manage our immune system and our digestion. So managing stress is key. And then sleep is a huge issue for guys, especially where they think, oh, yeah, I can get away with five, six hours a night.

[00:32:52.320] – Dr.Spar
And really about five percent of the population can deal with less than seven hours a night on average. Ninety-five percent really need seven to nine hours to not tell the body we need to be in crisis mode and we need to store more fat. And you're just not going to be as healthy and you're going to have early cognitive changes. So. I would say identify why you want to be healthier, fit, manage your stress and make sure you're getting good quality sleep.

[00:33:17.930] – Allan
Perfect. Love those. Thank you.

[00:33:20.270] – Allan
Now you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast/vault and Dr. Spar or one of his fellow doctors there will have a free consult to talk to you about peptides and some of the other opportunities. Do you want to kind of go a little bit into what the call is about and how they work?

[00:33:38.390] – Dr.Spar
Sure. Yeah, absolutely. You know, we created Vault Health because we felt there needs to be mental health specialists that are more available. Women have gynecologists, which is great and very needed, but guys haven't had like somebody who gets guys. So a lot of guys don't have anywhere to go when they want to perform better. I want to be more fit. I don't want to just be not broken. They go to the regular doctor and they get an annual physical to make sure they're not broken.

[00:34:02.390] – Dr.Spar
But usually that doctor isn't really looking further to how can I perform better? How can I really make sure that I am not feeling my age as much as I do? And that's what we're all about. So we are a national network of men's health specialists that really get guys who are trying to achieve goals that better. We break down performance into physical performance, sexual performance, and cognitive performance because those are the three areas we really see guys wanting help with.

[00:34:28.310] – Dr.Spar
And then we find out what is it that you want help with? Let's look and see. Do we need to do any bloodwork to look further or have you already had bloodwork done and then you don't need it? And then is it hormone therapy like testosterone or peptide therapy? Like a lot of the ones we've talked about, we have other ones we didn't even mention that help with brain health or are there other things to help with energy, to help with sexual function, libido?

[00:34:48.380] – Dr.Spar
So we really offer a suite of solutions that are personalized to what that guy really wants. But it all starts with that telehealth visit with a men's health specialist.

[00:34:57.770] – Allan
All right. You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/vault if you want to learn more about Vault Health and if you want to get to the show notes for this episode, they're at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/458.

[00:35:10.850] – Allan
Dr. Spar, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:35:15.470] – Dr.Spar
Thank you, Allan. It's great. I really appreciate it.

Post Show/Recap

[00:35:23.190] – Allan
Rachel, welcome back.

[00:35:24.480] – Rachel
Yeah, how are you doing, Allan?

[00:35:26.490] – Allan
Good, good. I'm really glad I had that opportunity to have that conversation with Dr. Spar, because, I've always said on here I don't like the term biohacking because most of the biomarkers that you'll hear out there and I'm not going to name names, but the ones that are on that cutting edge, a lot of them are trying this stuff on their own before they really know what it is.

[00:35:50.640] – Allan
And we can look back at bodybuilder's and say, OK, you know, they're bodybuilders in the 60s, 70s and 80s and 90s that we're doing all these steroids. And some of them are just fine. One of them became governor of California and had that great acting career. And, you know, they're fine and did well into their 70s. Others weren't so fine. Some of them had heart attacks. Some of them had roid rage issues.

[00:36:13.800] – Allan
There's a whole variety of issues. And until enough of this stuff happens, until it's gone on and enough people have been engaged using these things, we really don't know how someone's going to be effected. That's how clinical trials work, is that they start out with a few people and then they add a few more people and then see that it's working. And then they put a whole bunch of people through. And when I say a whole bunch, we're talking tens of thousands.

[00:36:38.520] – Allan
And then from that they start gathering information. Is this safe? Will this kill you? And then that's where you get that whole legal mumbo jumbo at the end of an ad for the purple pill or whatever is because this is X number of people had this problem. X number of people committed suicide or had thoughts of suicide. X number of people had that problem. So how you're going to be affected by potential chemical? I think that you're putting your body in this case that happens to be an amino acid.

[00:37:08.550] – Allan
So it sounds benign, but steroids seemed kind of benign when they first started using them. And sometimes they're just not. And especially when you start getting into things like growth hormone, because there are things we don't mind growing. We don't mean growing that muscle and bone and those types of things. But there's things we don't want growing like cancer. And I'm not saying that peptides cause cancer or that peptides could promote cancer. I'm just saying that when you go to these places online and you go to order it and you receive it, I'm going to tell you right now they'll tell you it's not for human consumption, it's for testing purposes.

[00:37:49.080] – Allan
And for the most part, it should be animal testing. I think we're past the animal testing stage at this point with peptides, because I was hearing about peptides five, six years ago. So there's a lot more known about them now than there was then. But you still want to be working with a medical professional. So rather you're working with Dr. Spar at Vault Health or you find someone else that you want to work with on these. It's important for you to work with the doctor, make sure you're getting these things from a reputable compounding pharmacy and play it safe.

[00:38:20.040] – Allan
You know, we all want to get better. But I can tell you, there is no magic pill. These things can help, but there is no magic pill.

[00:38:28.440] – Rachel
Isn't that the truth? Yeah. Peptide sound really intriguing. It sounds like another interesting supplement that's worth trying. And as he had mentioned about some already existing that are tailored for improving immune function. That sounds wonderful, but I have to agree that with any supplementation, it's always best to have the supervision of a doctor. And it's not even the known side effects. There's also unknown side effects and you just don't know how you as an individual patient are going to react.

[00:38:59.550] – Rachel
So that's why it's best to have a doctor keeping an eye on you as you try something new. But, yeah, be interesting to see how this plays out. Maybe in another couple of years as they get better with the science and use of it.

[00:39:12.570] – Allan
Yeah, and that's what's happening right now. You've got doctors in a clinical setting or you've got doctors like with Vault Health that get on the phone with you. They'll do blood tests where they need to do blood tests. They'll listen to what your health history is and other things that you're going through. And then they'll be able to prescribe something that is appropriate to you. You'll then receive it knowing you can trust what you're getting. You can try it.

[00:39:38.190] – Allan
But like with everything, you know, somebody will try a medicine and it doesn't work. And so the doctor will say, well, let's change the prescription and try it this way. This is going to be no different than that. You're just basically trying a peptide rather than a medicine. But that's not to say there's not some negative effects to using peptides.

[00:39:58.290] – Rachel
Oh, for sure. You know, as as we do get older, these little things crop up and it's you know, you just need to make sure you're not trading one set of problems for another set of problems with the different supplementation peptides or anything else. And again, I still refer to the experts who might know you a little better as a patient and what you can tolerate and in the can they can just keep an eye on. You as you try these things.

[00:40:23.970] – Allan
Absolutely. So, Rachel, we are rolling up on the end of the year for Thanksgiving. Actually, I think as we're recording this, I mean, as this is going on, I think we've already had Thanksgiving in Canada. So I apologize, Canada, that we're a little bit late on the gun with your Thanksgiving, but you can save these recipes and use them next year. OK, I have one of my favorite recipes that I want to share.

[00:40:53.490] – Allan
It's a cranberry sauce, but I'm going to let you go ahead and go first, Rachel.

[00:40:57.480] – Rachel
Well, I like to have biscuits with my Thanksgiving dinner, which is strange for a Keto person, but I have a new recipe that we just tried recently. Mike bought an airfryer, so we're new to the whole air fryer implements and Keto Connect has an air fryer biscuit recipe that is based with almond flour and cheddar cheese and sour cream. And it was really easy to put together and really easy to use in an airfryer. But if you don't have an airfryer, I've got another recipe that is based with mostly cheese and a little bit of almond flour.

[00:41:39.690] – Rachel
It includes cheddar cheese, mozzarella, parmesan and sour cream. And with a little bit of almond flour in that one, I baked in some muffin tins and they came out great. Even my family, who are not keto, really enjoy these biscuits as well. So I'll send you these recipes so that you can post them in your show notes.

[00:42:00.450] – Allan
Awesome. Thank you. All right. So on cranberry sauce, to me, Thanksgiving isn't Thanksgiving without a turkey and without cranberry sauce, I can do without the stuffing. I can even do without the mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash as we did last week or even without the biscuits. But I want the cranberry sauce and I want the turkey. They just hand in glove. I can't help but combination.

[00:42:26.040] – Allan
And so here's my basic thing, OK, cranberry sauce has everybody can have it kind of a different feel for how they want their cranberry sauce. You can buy the cranberry sauce that's mostly berries and very little gelatin, and you can buy some that are just about practically just gelatin. OK, so you're going to want to play with this a little bit to get it to the texture that you want. So I'm going to talk in my terms of the texture I like, which is more of the whole berries, more berries. OK, you basically want to buy a bag of the cranberries, they sell a 12 ounce bag.

[00:42:59.010] – Allan
It's pretty easy. Just rinse them off, put them in, get a saucepan going off of a water about a cup of water, and then you're going to want to put about put a packet of gelatin in there. So if you like a little bit of gelatin, you can make it a little gelatin. And so up to a packet, OK, with no more than that, get the water boiling and then drop the berries in there. Now, the berries will go anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes at ten minutes is about the time they start to pop. And that's what you want. You want the berries popped. For me, by the time they get to fifteen, it's mush. So now we're just doing the jelly kind. So I'm going to be erring on the side of ten minutes. It's in there boiling and I'm stirring. And then, you know, there you go. Once I get it just about toward a point. So the cranberries are just popping for me. For you. If you want it more gelatin, you may put you may let it go a little bit longer.

[00:43:56.130] – Allan
But when you got about maybe just I would say a minute left, you drop the chia seeds in there, OK? And that's about a quarter of a cup of seeds now at the Chia Seeds do is they just give it kind of a little bit of a different texture, OK, and then when I start doing is I take it off the heat and I start stirring in confectioner's Swerve. OK, so this is an artificial sweetener. Realize, you know, sometimes you want something, you're not going to want the cranberry sauce without the sweet to back it up.

[00:44:26.040] – Allan
It's not just telling you. Right. So you start putting in this Swerve. Now I try to stay closer to like half a cup, but you can go up to as much as three quarters of a cup with the confectioner's Swerve. OK, so you just stir that in and I'll stir in a little bit and then I'll taste it and then I'm OK. This is good for me and now I need to get a little sweeter because everybody else will want to eat it. And then you start on in there. Now, by the time you do all this, the gelatin is going to start to be mixed in.

[00:44:55.470] – Dr.Spar
You know, the gelatins in there, the water is in there. Your cranberries are all set. You've got the chia seeds in there. There's one other option that I'll add. And it really depends on what else we have with dinner. But some people like walnuts, crushed walnuts in there. And so you if you want, you can add walnuts to get the additional texture that you want, put it in a glass bowl and set it in the refrigerator.

[00:45:22.010] – Allan
For about an hour and then it should set and there you go, you've got cranberry sauce and depending again, if you add that the nuts in there, you could have as much as eight servings. But without the nuts, it's probably going to work out to around six.

[00:45:36.500] – Rachel
That sounds wonderful. I have to give that a try for sure.

[00:45:39.170] – Allan
Yeah, it's something and it's one of those things, like with most recipes, I do a little bit of this, a little bit of that, and then you just fill it out. So I don't really have exact measurements for a lot of these things and I apologize for that. I'm not really a recipe writer. I'm a sit down at the stove and just play and then but, you know, having done some of these things over and over and over again, I have a general good idea about how much of stuff to put in it.

[00:46:03.860] – Allan
But just play with it if you like it, a little bit more gelatin to put more gelatin in it and let the berries go longer. If you want a little bit more berry and maybe a little less gelatin and don't cook the berries as long but the chia seeds going in there and then just enough sweetener. And then of course, if you love walnuts like I do, then you put the walnuts in there, a good, healthy, fat kind of round this whole thing out.

[00:46:31.070] – Rachel

[00:46:31.820] – Allan
All right. So anything else we need to go over, Rachel, before we call it a day?

[00:46:37.430] – Rachel
No, I'm good for today.

[00:46:39.410] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I'll see you next week.

[00:46:41.930] – Rachel
Yep, I know.


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Another episode you may enjoy


How to use keto for optimal wellness and longevity – Lori Shemek

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In her book The Ketogenic Key: Unlock the Secrets to Lose Weight, Slow Aging, Stop Inflammation, and Prevent Disease, Lori Shemek shows us how to use the ketogenic diet for optimal wellness. Most of the health issues we deal with today are caused by poor nutrition choices. With all of the health and fitness information available, it can get really confusing. Lori helps us understand how to make keto an everyday lifestyle that gives us better health.

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Reel Paper. Reel paper sells toilet paper made from 100% bamboo, which grows faster, requires less water, creates more oxygen, a.k.a. less greenhouse gases, and doesn't require replanting after harvesting. Yes, sustainable toilet paper is available for you now, conveniently shipped for free to your home. We must begin treating the earth better and you can do it by going to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/tp and get 25% off with the discount code. 40plus.

[00:02:55.110] – Allan
Rachel, how are you doing?

[00:02:57.160] – Rachael
Great, how are you, Allan?

[00:02:58.430] – Allan
I'm doing really good. How's your week been?

[00:03:01.710] – Rachael
Good. Had a good week, got in a couple of good runs. One was in total rain, but it was awesome. Yeah.

[00:03:09.360] – Allan
Good. Good. Yeah. I actually on Monday put in 13 miles walking. So it was a little over three and a half hours of walking.

[00:03:21.470] – Rachael

[00:03:21.750] – Allan
I loved it. Almost got hit by a truck. A friend of mine was coming around the corner. You know, I think he was going a little too fast and I was wiping the sweat off my forehead because I was somewhere around mile 11 and I was just a little tired. I wasn't quite paying attention and I had my headphones on and just about, smack. But, you know, other than the initial cortisol hit that I got, that gave me a little bit more energy to finish that about walk. It was a really good walk.

[00:03:49.800] – Rachel
Good, Glad you're OK.

[00:03:51.840] – Allan
All right. So let's go ahead introduce today's guest. Our guest today is a doctor in psychology with a certification as a nutritional consultant and a life coach. She's written several books, including the book we're going to talk about today, the Ketogenic Key. And she's been featured on TV, on the Doctors, on various radio shows, speaking and helping clients, companies, and others optimize their health, reversed inflammation, and create weight loss success. With no further ado. Here's Dr. Lori Shemek.


[00:04:22.230] – Allan
Dr. Lori, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:25.080] – Dr. Shemek
Hey, Allan, thank you so much for having me. You know, it's an honor.

[00:04:29.160] – Allan
Well, I'm really excited to talk to you because it's actually been a while since we we talked. I was on your podcast, I think it was about three, three years ago. Maybe. I don't know.

[00:04:41.290] – Dr. Shemek
Wow, a lot has changed in three years, hasn't it?

[00:04:43.770] – Allan
It absolutely has. A whole different world.

[00:04:46.830] – Allan
Now, your book is called The Ketogenic Key, Unlock the Secrets to Lose Weight, Slow Aging, Stop Inflammation, and Prevent Disease.

[00:04:56.730] – Dr. Shemek

[00:04:57.420] – Allan
That's a pretty big key.

[00:04:59.380] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, it is. And, you know, it's it's actually ketosis, which promotes all of those wonderful benefits. And so, like you and I were discussing earlier, I should have named the book The Ketosis Key, because it is the driving factor in all of these wonderful things like weight loss, you know, slower aging, longevity, inflammation, reduction, et cetera, et cetera. So, yeah, it's it's definitely the key ketosis. So it's not just the ketogenic diet either. It's the ketogenic diet. It's intermittent fasting, it's exogenous ketones or supplementation and exercise. And the great thing is you can do them separately or together. And if you do even two of them together, it's very powerful.

[00:05:48.420] – Allan
Yeah, I guess I'd sit there and say I do what I call seasonal ketosis. And so I'll spend a year in ketosis, which I am right now, and then I'll spend a good part of the year out of ketosis because I like tailgating and drinking beer and eating crap food and just watch a football game and then, you know, the first Thanksgiving and Christmas come around and my birthday's in February and so that's my feasting season.

[00:06:16.650] – Dr. Shemek
Clean up month.

[00:06:17.200] – Allan
Just let it go.

[00:06:18.020] – Dr. Shemek

[00:06:18.250] – Allan
Just let it go. And then after after my birthday in February, then I'll say, OK, now I'm going to hit by my fasting season. So my famine season like ancestors would have had when it was colder weather and there wasn't access to any vegetation to eat. And so now they're having to eat more fatty foods to get the sustenance and they're going into ketosis. In many cases they're fasting because you can't keep meat without a refrigerator and other means so they had to eat what they kill pretty quickly.

[00:06:54.440] – Allan
But they'd wake up in the morning some mornings and there would not be any food there. So they'd get up and they go, you know, do their hunts and they find their food and then they have maybe a pretty nice lunch, then a really good dinner. And so they're in a natural, you know, intermittent fasting mode. And I found every time I get into ketosis, I just naturally fall into intermittent fasting it's just a natural thing.

[00:07:19.770] – Dr. Shemek
Right. And that's what's so beneficial about all of these is that, you know, you do enter a state of ketosis and it's even more powerful if you do intermittent fasting, in fact. So if you can tag on intermittent fasting to any of the other options that we list in the book, then you're even, it's even more powerful. So it's all out there, all powerful in and of themselves, which is a really wonderful way to look at your health.

[00:07:50.460] – Dr. Shemek
But when you combine, like I was saying earlier, just even two of them, you're doing incredible, power stuff.

[00:07:59.850] – Allan
I'm doing three of your four right now, ‘m eating really low carb. And so that's putting me into nutritional ketosis. And I measured it the other day. I'm also doing exercise. So I do these long haul walks almost every morning that I can. I'll walk for two, three hours and then, you know, that puts me a little deeper into ketosis and I'll do that fasted. So, you know, waking up in the morning.

[00:08:24.760] – Dr. Shemek
Oh, perfect.

[00:08:25.430] – Allan
My last dinner was at seven o'clock, six thirty seven o'clock. We tend to eat a little early and then, you know, so it's then I got at least two, two and a half hours before I go to bed. So I go to bed then.

[00:08:37.320] – Dr. Shemek
Thats even better.

[00:08:38.370] – Allan
I wake up in the morning. I wait until, you know, about eight o'clock and that's when it's a little warmer than I think most people want to walk, but I don't care. I'll Honey badger that and do a good long walk. And so by the time I get…

[00:08:52.740] – Dr. Shemek
Well that's a good…The heat is a good hormetic stressor as well. So another powerful factor.

[00:09:01.900] – Allan
Well, there was definitely some heat today, but so so, you know, here I am. I guess I'm sitting here at 12:30 as we're recording this. And I haven't eaten a thing today. I had some I had some coffee in the morning, but nothing in it. Just black coffee and did my long walk. And I'm going to do this and do a couple other things. And I'll probably be about two o'clock and I'll go ahead and have my first meal of the day.

[00:09:25.540] – Allan
So I'm putting all three of them together, which really works well for me. I had a kind of a setback and I'm going to I talked about this in an episode a couple of weeks ago about, you know, I think everybody talks about the covid 15. And I was a victim of it, too, you know, just being locked in our house because it was we were not allowed to go out at all. And so being locked in the house, I just really tapped my motivation and I was down. So I wasn't moving. I wasn't eating well. And, you know, I was taking in a little bit more alcohol than I should have and so I put on…

[00:10:01.510] – Dr. Shemek
You're not alone.

[00:10:02.530] – Allan
Yeah, I know.

[00:10:03.490] – Dr. Shemek
It's rampant right now. Yeah. And it's better in the States. It's better. You know, I think the world at large is getting a little bit better with covid, but yeah, it's, it's, it's rougher in some areas. But nonetheless many people have paid the price in one way or another with this horrible virus. So. Yeah, and it's and that's the, well the irony of the thing is that in order to get through it in a healthful way, we want to be you know, we want our immune to be stronger.

[00:10:39.070] – Dr. Shemek
And we do have that innate immunity. But with the, I guess, emotional eating and the lack of exercise, it puts us down a notch in terms of our immune strength. So, yeah, it's it's a tough road.

[00:10:53.320] – Allan
Yeah. So enter into the picture nutritional ketosis. And I'm happy to say that I started so really eating low carb in May, May 1st and since May 1st, I have lost all of that and more. So now I'm into my…

[00:11:09.940] – Dr. Shemek

[00:11:10.600] – Allan
Because I kind of pushed off. I didn't do my famine season when I had planned to because of everything that was going on with, you know, issues and, you know, all that and then getting locked in. I was like, so that just didn't happen the way it would have normally happened for me when I got around to February. So I stepped up and said, OK, here I am in May, I need to start now. And I started and I've been generally in and out of ketosis for the last couple of months. And then this this last Monday or so I said, OK, that's it, I'm going deep. And that's when I started, you know, putting together those three.

[00:11:45.940] – Allan
But one of the things I wanted to get into, because I know the benefit of nutritional ketosis, because I can I can drop twenty pounds in three months really easy when I'm in ketosis. So the weight loss is that's a no brainer. That's going to happen for all of us. If we if we have the fat to lose, we will lose it. But I tried exogenous ketones when they first started coming out. They were nasty.

[00:12:15.360] – Dr. Shemek
Yes, I know. Right. Oh, I've heard some names you don't want to hear.

[00:12:20.930] – Allan
Oh yeah, I was like…

[00:12:20.960] – Dr. Shemek
It's like, oh thank God I've never had to try it and the delicious ones. Right.

[00:12:27.940] – Allan
OK, yeah well so I tried one, I tried them when I first, started coming out and I was like, oh my God. And I said, well I need to do this. I want to try. It's an experiment. You know, I'm on the podcast and I want to be able to talk about them. And, you know, I was thinking, OK, that really, the concern I had was if you go into if you start doing a ketogenic diet and your body's not used to using ketones, then you're peeing them out. And that's why we're able to measure them with the urine stick.

[00:12:57.500] – Allan
So my concern was if I just throw exogenous ketones on my body as a sugar burner, aren't I going to do the same thing? So I was really concerned about whether I was, I had spent,because they were expensive also.

[00:13:10.620] – Dr. Shemek

[00:13:11.610] – Allan
So I spent a lot of money on something that was really nasty. And I didn't, you know, other than saying maybe it would help me transition to keto or if I were doing a long distance endurance sport, then exogenous ketones would seem to make sense. But in the book, you put forward a case that it's even better than that, that there's a lot of use cases for them. Can you can you talk about that?

[00:13:35.860] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah. You know, and that's the thing when you use supplemental ketones, it really does put you into a state of ketosis within 30 minutes. That's the advantage. The problem is, is it doesn't stick around as long as if you were to be, say, on a ketogenic diet. Right. And so this is really one of the wonderful things about ketones in terms of a beta-hydroxybutyrate BHB, as it's referred to often. This ketone is powerful and that it can really mitigate all sorts of inflammatory conditions and other areas in terms of optimizing your health.

[00:14:14.230] – Dr. Shemek
So what we want to do is we want to up level our, you know, our physical fitness, our ability to to utilize these ketones. And when you become metabolically flexible and even if you're not, you're still utilizing them. Right. Your body really loves ketones. And it's just that it's just not equipped at that moment to say when you're, you first embark on a ketogenic diet to use them. And so, you know, the reason that people are feeling so good and wonderful and athletes do so well on it is because you're up leveling, you're boosting your mitochondrial health, your cellular health.

[00:14:59.680] – Dr. Shemek
There's more ATP going on. There's less glucose machinations, if you will, within the cell, which produces a whole lot of oxidation ROS. And that means it's similar to like a a car, an electric car which burns clean versus gasoline powered car, which burns dirty exhaust. Right. That's what happens when you burn glucose. But when you burn ketones for fuel, you have a better form of energy, a more therapeutic, if you will, form of energy that really optimizes every part of your health, including brain health.

[00:15:39.770] – Allan
So, yeah, so I guess as I look at exogenous ketones, I still go back to I think, you know, they're good, if you're when you're first trying to get in to ketosis, they're probably a pretty good thing to help you through the keto flu a little bit.

[00:15:53.190] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, it will.

[00:15:54.470] – Allan
Making sure you're getting your electrolytes and plenty of water.

[00:15:58.790] – Dr. Shemek
Your potassium, right. Magnesium.

[00:16:01.310] – Allan
So I have the I have the the supplements and all that to try to make sure that particular as I go into this, losing my water, I'm going to be cool. I also, like I said, if you're an endurance athlete, there's some I think there's a lot of benefit to having them because at some level.

[00:16:17.010] – Dr. Shemek
Oh, yeah Allan.

[00:16:17.610] – Allan
And as a long distance thing.

[00:16:19.730] – Dr. Shemek
But you have to be careful because you know and now if it's if it's a for example, it's a high energy sport, one that, you know, say high intensity interval training or something. You have to be careful in terms of, you know, hitting that wall, if you will. But if it's an endurance sport, you're really good to go. Part of the reason is the steady state of energy that we have when we're using the supplemental ketones.

[00:16:47.690] – Dr. Shemek
We don't have that spike in blood sugar. So it keeps our glucose stable. And I'm not sure if you're aware that the Tour de France, the team there was one team that used exogenous ketones and they did, it was an incredible win using these ketones. And so that was in 2018. And then in 2019, a large number of these teams were using them. So there's still the competitive factor. But nonetheless, that first 28 go round, that team won simply with the exogenous ketones.

[00:17:26.510] – Allan
And that's what I'm saying, you know, when I when I was when I was training heavy, I was trying to get ready for a Spartan. I had hired a coach. And, you know, I go in there and the cool thing was, you know, of course he's a fitness geek and I'm a fitness geek and I'm going to be working out and he's training me and is like, you don't really need, he says you don't really need a trainer, and I'm I like absolutely need a trainer.

[00:17:46.040] – Allan
And he says, well, you know you know more about this stuff than I do. And I said, well, so. Give me a program. Let's talk about the programming. Let's talk about what's going on. And so, you know, he's trying to…

[00:17:55.690] – Dr. Shemek
Let me tweak it for you.

[00:17:57.320] – Allan
Well, I did very little tweaking. I actually did his program. It was built it was built a little bit more towards the being a 20 year old than I would normally have done. But it was still cool. And but we were talking about me being in ketosis and he was like, well, why are you doing that? You need the carbs to be able to get through the workout. I'm like, I can get through the workout just fine. I said, you know, I'm going to probably, and I did, when I, if I do a heavy deadlift session because I'm not relying on APT for energy, I huff and puff, I get exhausted because it's, you know, that exertion that I go through and a good set of ten on the deadlift is going to take me past thirty seconds.

[00:18:36.590] – Allan
And so that is a struggle. Even exogenous ketones would not push me past that struggle.

[00:18:42.710] – Dr. Shemek

[00:18:43.060] – Allan
With the weight lifting, the way I was doing it, very heavy and I because it was very heavy, very slow. So you know, I understood that being in ketosis kind of put me at a disadvantage for that. But I could still push through every set. And I got really, really strong anyway because I also didn't have to deal with inflammation or any other things that were going on.

[00:19:02.870] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, and that's exactly true. You know, it's it really is. The bottom line is that Ketones really offer the average athlete, right, a lot of benefit. And like, you know, you just mentioned the inflammation, which we can get into in a little while if you want. It just but it gives you these these exogenous ketones, give you more energy, it mental clarity, focus, and we make our own. If you're on the ketogenic diet, we have endogenous ketones, meaning they come from within. Right. And so when you combine the two, it's really amazing what the amount of energy you have.

[00:19:42.630] – Dr. Shemek
But I would venture to say that even though even if you were taking ketones with your power lifting, it helps you in some way because they really do help create more ATP within the mitochondria.

[00:19:55.010] – Allan
Yeah, you know, and I would say if it was helping me with anything, it was the fact that my my total workout time was an hour and while it might had been in sprints. You know, dead lift and go, dead lift and go, you know, and then I'm breathing heavy. When I got into the lighter lifts later, I still had the energy and those were less like that. And so, yeah, I absolutely agree that it helped.

[00:20:17.780] – Allan
But I actually think probably the best benefit and we'll get like I said, I do want to get into it is inflammation. Because every time we talk about a chronic disease, heart disease, cancer, you know, diabetes, you just, you know, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, you just keep going on and on and. They take you back to the beginning, in the beginning is chronic inflammation, and you called it silent inflammation and I actually like that because it's scarier.

[00:20:52.880] – Dr. Shemek
It is, isn't it? Yeah. Yeah.

[00:20:54.620] – Allan
What what causes silent inflammation and how does the ketogenic diet help us address it?

[00:21:01.160] – Dr. Shemek
So we have, I'll just start off by talking about the two different types of inflammation. And the first type is called acute inflammation. And it's not so cute because it hurts. It's uncomfortable. It's that sprang, black and blue swollen ankle. It's that cut on the finger. It's that terrible sunburn or awful head cold. Right? So that is acute inflammation. We need it in order to heal. Without it, we're sitting ducks. Really. So let's take that cut on the finger.

[00:21:31.910] – Dr. Shemek
When you cut your finger, an enormous amount of inflammatory molecules are released. And soldiers, if you will, rush to the site to repair the wound. They repair the wound, the wound heals, the soldiers go away, the inflammation goes away and all is well. So that's acute inflammation. And, yes, we need it, even though it seems unreasonable because it doesn't feel good. But but we need it.

[00:21:56.970] – Dr. Shemek
So then the next type of inflammation is silent or chronic inflammation. And the name silent really suggests danger, doesn't it, because we don't know it's there until the symptoms start to occur. And so 75 percent of all Americans are walking around with silent inflammation and don't even know it. It is really such a sad situation, really, but it is the core underlying cause of most illness, disease, faster aging and weight gain. And you can look at silent inflammation is like having a sore on the inside of your body that never heals unless you intervene.

[00:22:38.540] – Dr. Shemek
And unlike acute inflammation, which emits just a trickle of inflammatory molecules, silent inflammation emits just acute inflammation emits an enormous amount. Silent inflammation emits just a trickle. Okay. And so you would think, well, this is better, right? And it isn't because it goes on 24/7 every single day, unbeknownst to you, where acute inflammation goes away. Once you're healed, it's gone. But sometimes the immune system goes, it becomes haywire. And this is what causes this over abundance, this overstimulation of the inflammatory pathways. And why it's called chronic inflammation is because it never goes away.

[00:23:31.830] – Allan
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[00:24:06.750] – Allan
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[00:24:33.330] – Allan
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[00:24:56.390] – Allan
Now, whenever you bring up the ketogenic diet around someone that really hasn't heard about it or they've heard about it, but they've heard it's deadly, it's going to kill you, you shouldn't be doing that because that's the worst way to eat, because it doesn't buy into the fat is bad mantra. But the reality of it is that when we eat a ketogenic diet, it actually can help improve the ratios and the things that we should be most concerned about when we're talking about fat and cholesterol. Can you get into that?

[00:25:31.250] – Dr. Shemek
Yes. And I'd also like to address the inflammation factor that at the ketogenic diet reduces inflammation in the body. It actually reverses inflammation. And that's because we are we are signaling NFR2, that is the master regulator of antioxidants signalling within the body. Right? And the ketogenic diet prevents the NLRP3 inflammasome from doing its dirty work within the cell. So it's just a very, very important way to eat. And a lot of people have misunderstood its benefits.

[00:26:16.250] – Dr. Shemek
They hear the word ketosis and they think it's keto-acidosis, which is a very harmful effect that happens to people who have diabetes and go into a state of ketoacidosis. So it's much different. But yes. So the the fat and the cholesterol, all of that has really been misunderstood. In fact, the ketogenic diet improves HDL and triglycerides. And this, you know, this is due, the improved HDL is due to a reduction in triglycerides that are created within the liver, which is a really good thing.

[00:26:59.930] – Dr. Shemek
You want a low triglyceride level for heart health. Right? Triglycerides really, really alert you to inflammation in your body. And if it's high, then you know that you need to do something different. And so they're an indication of your heart health as well. And there's the HDL triglyceride ratio that you can do to if it's one or under, you're good to go. If it's higher than than one, you need to do some work.

[00:27:34.850] – Dr. Shemek
But there's also an increase in LDL, which happens to some people on the ketogenic diet. And it's but generally it's not the LPa form which is or can be the most harmful. So it's the big fluffy cholesterol that's roaming around versus the little ones, the little dense lipoproteins. So that that is part of the the reason that the ketogenic diet is so great for your heart health. And, you know, there's also the misunderstanding about people think the ketogenic diet is a high protein diet when in fact it's a moderate protein diet. And, you know, they're afraid of of eating eggs. They're afraid of saturated fat. And it's really sad because we've, you know, really, you found out that there was a researcher's, his name was Ancel Keys, and he did a seven country study and cherry picked the data.

[00:28:36.770] – Dr. Shemek
Right. So blamed everything on saturated fat versus what really is causing the heart conditions. Heart disease with people we now know is the overconsumption of carbohydrates, especially refined sugar. And you know me, Allan, I really recommend people stop eating sugar. Eliminate it from your diet. And so it's the sugar, the process, simple carbohydrates, but it is not the saturated fat. In fact, there was a study I don't know if you recall, it was called a pure study.

[00:29:12.770] – Dr. Shemek
It was published in The Lancet in 2017 and it studied over 135,000 people across 18 different countries. And it turned out that those who ate the least saturated fat had the highest amount of heart disease and mortality. And those who ate the most saturated fat, of course, then had the lowest rates of stroke and heart disease.

[00:29:37.370] – Dr. Shemek
So right there, you know, you see it's a large study and you see the the correlation or the the amount of health with saturated fat. And so eggs were demonized and still are demonized, saturated fat is still demonized, but I think they're starting to come into their own. People are starting to understand and even reputable high ranking health experts in cardiology are saying, yep, you know, saturated fat is necessary for heart health, in fact. And and we do know that every time you take a bite of an inflammatory food, sugar, refined flours, etc, processed junk foods, crackers, cakes, cookies that you are eating, creating inflammation.

[00:30:30.720] – Dr. Shemek
And that's unfortunately sad because what's happening is up from a cellular level, you are harming the mitochondria within the cell. The more mitochondria you have, the healthier they are, the healthier you are in every way. And so you see people who are older and frail. They have very little mitochondria going on, OK, they're not really healthy mitochondria. And so if you're tired all the time, that's a sign that maybe you need to start boosting your mitochondrial health, your cellular health.

[00:31:08.130] – Allan
Yeah, unfortunately, the signal of fatigue is go eat some more sugar.

[00:31:14.950] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, exactly.

[00:31:15.160] – Allan
So they actually get the opposite message out of that. Oh, if I, if I have some sugar I'll feel better, you know, and they yeah. They get the dopamine and they feel good but it's not really helping. And you know, I'm, I'm a perfect example of you know, when I check my cholesterol and triglycerides is when I'm in ketosis my HDL triglyceride ratio is off the charts. Good, even though my total cholesterol is high. So I'm one of those responders that, yes, my LDL goes up, but it only goes up about 30 points.

But my triglycerides can can I can get them down to 50. But if I'm you know, when I'm in my low feasting mode and I'm drinking beer and eating what I want to eat, they'll usually pop up to 150, maybe even 200 if I'm not careful. And I can actually get my HDL higher than my triglycerides when I'm eating a strict ketogenic diet. So it really can help you improve your lipid profile if you're if your doctor doesn't lose their mind about what the total number and the the LDL number is, because that that seems to be their focus more so than than triglycerides and the HDL.

[00:32:33.190] – Dr. Shemek
Yeah, it's true and you know, and a lot of people panic when, you know, I have family members calling me up and saying, Lori, my LDL is really high, it's 250 and they want to put me on statins. And, you know, it's that's it's really important for the patient to look at the numbers, the breakdown of the type of cholesterol. And that has been a big myth as well. So we're learning so much about heart health and what what produces a healthy heart. And so if you take anything away from this show, it should be that, you know that saturated fat is not going to hurt you. Now, if you are in, if you're 10% of the population who has a genetic condition that doesn't clear cholesterol from the body and cannot, then that's another issue.

[00:33:29.590] – Dr. Shemek
But that's 10 percent. So it's really important to make sure you're not you will you will know when you get your blood test if you are or not, it will be sky high. I mean, it won't be your typical high number. But again, if you take anything away from this show, make sure that you stop eating sugar, eliminate added sugars from your diet and refined junk foods that we spoke about earlier, because that is the key to optimal health in many cases.

[00:34:00.860] – Allan
One of the areas that, and I'm going to admit I'm confused when it comes to ketosis, because there's two there's two concepts, OK, so on one hand, a lot of people are looking at ketosis as a potential protocol to help with cancer treatment. They're not saying it can cure cancer or perhaps even prevent cancer, but particularly the cancers that rely on glucose. If you're keeping your overall blood sugar, you know, in control and you're doing ketosis, that will slow the growth of the cancer.

[00:34:37.130] – Allan
And then I go on the other side of the conversation and I say, OK, an individual that's trying to perform long distance athletic performance. Is this still going to be burning glucose and glycogen, so like where I went on a trip, you know, went on a run or a walk and I'm you know, I'm a 1000 calories in now, the human body can carry about 2000 calories.

[00:35:02.360] – Allan
But for my body to keep going, maybe even further, which people do you know they go hundreds of miles, it's crazy, but they do. And that but their body and they do it while they're in ketosis. So there's something happening there where our body is taking what it gets out of fat and it's turning it into blood sugar. And ketones, because we still kind of need both, your blood sugar is not going to zero is staying fairly stable, so we are producing some glycogen from somewhere, some glucose from somewhere, because at some point it burns out, it would burn out the muscles.

[00:35:40.230] – Allan
And so Ketones are producing the APT, but I guess I'm losing it as is if our if our body can produce with, say, zero carb, our body could still produce and keep our blood sugar stable. So when we're breaking down fat, we create the glysol, I guess its a black hole and we produce the ketone. So I guess I'm trying I'm having a hard time balancing those two things out to say that, yes, you're going to have enough sugar in your blood and in your muscles and in your liver for the athletic performance. But then it's also going to slow the growth of cancer because you're going to have less sugar. You understand what I'm saying?

[00:36:22.680] – Dr. Shemek
I do. I understand exactly what you're saying. And so what happens a lot of times is that the body is able we always have some glucose in storage in the liver. We always have it, you know, for those emergency situations and also to, the body can break down muscle for glucose as needed if it wants it. Right? So that's that. And then in terms of the the you know, the cancer and the sugar, you know, one theory is that cancer feeds on the sugar that you eat and a high fat diet, like the ketogenic diet starves as tumors.

[00:37:01.720] – Dr. Shemek
OK, and but one thing is for sure that you are with ketones in the mix, you are definitely balancing you're creating cellular homeostasis. Right? You're balancing your blood sugar. The insulin is low. And but yet you still have the the ability to make glucose within the body and it stores, glycogen within the liver and can be can be used for any type of situation necessary. Does that help?

[00:37:34.380] – Allan
Yeah, it does. I guess the question is it sounds bad whenever you say burn muscle for energy. I always thought that the ketogenic diet was muscle sparing. Well, so this, it has the ability to do it, whether no matter, you know, whether you're on a ketogenic diet or not, so it's called Gluconeogenesis and the body is able to utilize glucose by breaking down muscle, if that makes sense.

[00:38:04.600] – Allan
Yeah. OK.

[00:38:05.380] – Dr. Shemek
So, yeah no matter what.

[00:38:06.850] – Allan
If I chose to do these long distance things, I'm going to probably sacrifice some muscle along the way.

[00:38:16.180] – Dr. Shemek
Gluconeogenesis occurs.

[00:38:17.260] – Allan
And when I get past that point where, you know, I've used up my liver and muscle glycogen and my brain's going to still want a steady supply of blood sugar, at some level, it's not going to let you.

[00:38:31.390] – Dr. Shemek
And if you're fat adapted your metabolic metabolically flexible, then you can do either, OK. You can use your body can utilize glycogen, it can utilize fat for fuel, your own fat stores for fuel, dietary fat. So that's what, you know, we didn't mention. But that's what ketosis is, is your body takes dietary fat and your own fat stores breaks them down in the liver and it produces ketones. And one main ketone that I mentioned early on is called beta hydroxybutyrate BHB that produces all the magic, if you will, of the ketogenic diet. So, yeah.

[00:39:17.050] – Allan
Those are those are the ketones you're going to measure in your blood. So they're the ones that we used.

[00:39:22.330] – Dr. Shemek

[00:39:22.390] – Allan
We're breathing out, you know, in our breath, you can you can measure those out of the breath and then of course. And I forget the other one, but there's urine strips that pick up that that third one, I'm forgetting, I'm drawing a blank on the name of the third. But, you know, so that's how we're measuring those. And yeah, the one what's in the blood is what gets you. So.

[00:39:42.030] – Dr. Shemek
That's right. The BHB is the most important one. Yeah.

[00:39:47.560] – Dr. Shemek
Now, you talked about intermittent fasting, and as I said earlier, I, you know, just I just fall into these things. I did paleo and because I was eating relatively low carb, I didn't realize that I fell into ketosis the first time and realized what was happening. It was wonderful because in Paleo I lost 25 pounds and then in keto, I lost another 35.

[00:40:09.290] – Dr. Shemek

[00:40:10.020] – Allan
So it was, you know, so boom. Yeah, it's just awesome. Over 11 months, you know, I knew something was going on. My breath was stinking and I was losing a lot of weight. And I was like, this is interesting. So I found out what ketosis was. That's how I actually discovered ketosis. And then, you know, I just naturally started getting into intermittent fasting because I wake up in the morning and I forget to eat because my body was using my body fat to keep me going.

[00:40:37.450] – Dr. Shemek
And you were satiated.

[00:40:39.310] – Allan
Oh, completely. Completely. And I tell the story, I, I got up one morning and I went out to my property to do some work. I had this, had some acreage in Florida and I had some ponds on it. So I went out there to clear and do some work and I worked out there pretty, pretty hard clearing the land work with, you know, what a sling blade is to cut down weeds and grass and such. I was using the sling blade and going for a few hours.

[00:41:02.250] – Dr. Shemek

[00:41:02.680] – Allan
I said, OK, I'm going to go ahead. I did have a tractor out there to mow it down after I beat it down. And so then I get on the tractor and I cut a few things down. Then I take the tractor back up on my trailer and I still came to haul this thing home to my actual house. And I say I'm going to haul this out of here and my truck got stuck in my front yard of my property.

[00:41:23.000] – Allan
And I was like, this is ridiculous. I can't get out. So I had to call AAA. Well, AAA shows up and they the truck breaks while they're trying to pull me out. And so it was four hours later when they got the part, got everything fixed and got me out of the mud. So there's like I'm rolling on about six o'clock and I'm realizing I haven't eaten in 24 hours.

[00:41:44.680] – Dr. Shemek
Oh my goodness.

[00:41:45.760] – Allan
I didn't even think about it. You know, while he was out at his truck, I went fishing and I just sat there.

[00:41:51.070] – Dr. Shemek
Isn't that amazing? That's a really great example.

[00:41:52.790] – Allan
Yeah, I didn't catch anything but.

[00:41:53.530] – Dr. Shemek
A lot of people mean a lot of people are afraid not to eat. And that's that's it's really a it's a headset, it's a mindset, if you will. Because, you know, we've all not eaten. Intermittent fasting is simply not eating for a period of time. However long you want that time to be is is just fine. But the problem is most Americans are eating 24/7. We eat breakfast. We have snacks sometimes all the time.

[00:42:24.190] – Dr. Shemek
We have lunch, snacks, dinner, snacks, dessert until we go to bed. Right. That's not the way the human body was designed to evolve. The human body was designed on intermittent fasting, actually. So during those periods of time when you're not eating is when all the magic happens because this gives the body time to do the things, the cellular clean up, if you will, that it normally can't do while it's processing your food. It's the digestive process takes up a lot of energy, most of the energy outside of brain function in the body.

[00:43:01.480] – Dr. Shemek
And so when we don't eat this, this allows ourselves to go into cleanup mode. And it's called autophagy, and that's cellular housekeeping, essentially. It breaks down things, it's autophagy really mean self-heating, meaning that it can, you know, get rid of dying cells, it can remodel cellular parts. It can just really improve mitochondrial health, which we talked about before. And for those of you that don't know what mitochondria are or don't remember, they're little tiny organelles in the cells of our body that are crucial and vital not only to keep us alive, but to keep us healthy as well.

[00:43:45.670] – Dr. Shemek
So as we age these little organelles, these mitochondria, they begin to falter. They begin to lose their robustness, their health, and we lose a number of them. This just happens naturally as we age, right? Unless we intervene and do something about it. Well, intermittent fasting does this. The healthier you are, the better mitochondrial health you have. An intermittent fasting does is the ketogenic diet does this. Exogenous ketones, supplemental ketones do this. And exercise does this very effectively as well.

[00:44:21.900] – Dr. Shemek
So those are the four options you have and that I talk about in my book, the Ketogenic Key to get into ketosis, and that's what you want. So intermittent fasting is an easy way because if you don't like the ketogenic diet and you don't like to go very low carb, which, by the way, is 50 grams or less, 25 grams or less for even deeper ketosis, you don't have to. You can do intermittent fasting and then eat your your carbs later. OK, so that's what is so wonderful about intermittent fasting. Why I'm such a big fan of it.

[00:44:57.160] – Allan
Yeah. Now one of the things I did have a question about is because I was interviewing someone else and he mentioned fasting and autophagy and we got into it and his his opinion, I guess I haven't really seen any science on it is that intermittent fasting wasn't long enough to actually create autophagy that you had to really kind of be fasting two or more days before you'd really start to see those benefits. But so does intermittent fasting really get us that far?

[00:45:30.910] – Dr. Shemek
Intermittent fasting does. And so you're you are, you go into some autophagy while you sleep for eight hours. There's some. You do if you if you desire to fast for you know, you extend your breakfast, say by two hours, you're still you're going to incorporate more of it. But the sweet spot is really about 16 to 18 hours is when autophagy kicks in. But he's talking about deep autophagy. When you get into deep autophagy, this literally resets your metabolism.

[00:46:04.990] – Dr. Shemek
It resets your cellular health. So if you fast for 24 hours or longer, then you're really doing a great benefit for your body. But I don't recommend doing it more, you know, 48 hours or more, very often, once a month, maybe at the most, because you don't want to stress your body too much. It is a hormedic stressor, as it's referred to. And so you, you know, having a daily 12 hour, 16 hour fast is just fine. And then once in a while, doing the longer fasting.

[00:46:42.970] – Allan
Yeah. You know, I'm a big fan of intermittent fasting, but I always, always tell people if you're wanting to do something more extended, you need to you need to be talking to a doctor, particularly if you're on meds.

[00:46:53.680] – Dr. Shemek
Agree completely!

[00:46:53.720] – Allan
And if you're going to try the ketogenic diet and you're on metformin to control your blood sugar. You're on insulin. You know, this is going to help with your metabolic syndrome and your insulin resistance. But at the same time, you have to let your doctor know this is going on because this is going to change your blood sugar.

[00:47:13.950] – Dr. Shemek

[00:47:14.860] – Allan
Your medications are going to they're going to have to change and you have to be able to adjust to that. So when you're going to do something like this, the health benefits are huge. And when you're cutting inflammation down, when you're getting your blood sugar under control, you know, a lot of my clients, I'll get them down to start to start lowering their sugars. Let's just cut the sugar down. Nothing crazy. Just a little bit here, a little bit there.

[00:47:38.160] – Allan
And they're you know, they're watching their their overall blood sugar go down. They're like, oh, I need to call my doctor and get my metformin dose changed. And then, sure enough, they get on the doctor's like, what are you doing? I just changing what I'm eating, keep doing it, you know, because it's working.

[00:47:53.740] – Dr. Shemek
And that's part of intermittent fasting as you are, you're creating ketones. And it really is a superior fuel compared to glucose. And once you start using this fuel and your body becomes used to eating and using glucose and using your own fat or creating ketones, you will markedly you will feel the difference big time. So many people were relying on the toxic Western diet, which again is is highly processed with refined food, which is really an inflammatory diet. The keto diet focuses on eating very few grams of carbohydrates and eating more healthy fat. Right? And some protein.

[00:48:40.470] – Dr. Shemek
And intermittent fasting, which keeps, by the way, keeps insulin low and glucose low. But intermittent fasting flattens insulin and flattens glucose. And again, when there are no digestive processes essentially going on that the cells have to worry about, then the cellular inflammation begins to heal. It begins, the tissues begin to heal. You, you know, you have there's something called cell danger response that happens to people. If this inflammation becomes overwhelming to the body and the brain senses it. The mitochondria senses it, the cells around the in the body sense it.

[00:49:25.950] – Dr. Shemek
So when the brain gets the message that you've turned off this type of inflammation, the cell danger response or CDR, then things heal within the body. So it's really a wonderful tool to actually heal yourself.

[00:49:44.340] – Allan
Dr. Lori, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:49:54.150] – Dr. Shemek
Just three. OK.

[00:49:58.550] – Allan
Just give them something until they get the book, OK?

[00:50:00.860] – Dr. Shemek
OK. So I think it's crucial to keep inflammation low, as we've been talking about throughout. And we do this by being very proactive and mindful of every single choice we have the opportunity to make. Right. And I underscore the word opportunity. So I would say living in antiinflammatory lifestyle, whether it's with the ketogenic diet or a Mediterranean type diet, will boost your health span and your life span, which in and of itself generates a really a better quality of life for you.

[00:50:36.680] – Dr. Shemek
And so I think that is, you know, when you are living without excess inflammation, we want a little bit because we want to be protected. Right. We want ourselves to be on guard. But we we don't want it to be an excess, which, as I mentioned earlier, 75 percent of our population is walking around with. And so it affects your mindset, your mental well-being, your fitness, your ability to move and and function freely and easily, and your health span, your immune system is all up regulated.

[00:51:10.010] – Dr. Shemek
So it's a really I think it's really important. So you want to remove excess carb intake, you want to use nutrients as well for to target specific situations, such as increasing mitochondrial density, like the supplement P2Q with your doctor's approval and you want to keep inflammation low. So exercise is another is another option, which is one of the most underutilized ways to increase mitochondrial health and uses as an antidepressant even. My two cents.

[00:51:49.410] – Allan
Thank you, Dr. Lori.

[00:51:50.730] – Dr. Shemek
You're very welcome.

[00:51:50.820] – Allan
If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, the Ketogenic Key, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:51:58.830] – Dr. Shemek
I would love for your listeners to go to Amazon. On Amazon, you'll find all my books there, including this last one called the Ketogenic Key, and I think you'll find it a wonderful tool to help optimize your health and life as well.

[00:52:15.890] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/453, and I'll be sure to have the links to the books there. Dr. Lori, thank you for being a part of 40+ fitness.

[00:52:25.900] – Dr. Shemek
Thank you so much. Really. It's been fun.

[00:52:32.110] – Allan
All right, Rachel, now you're one of the neat people that does endurance running and you do keto, that used to not be a thing. We used to carb up the night before, you know, how much pasta can you shove in your mouth. You get up in the morning and you make sure you're still eating carbs and you carry carbs with you in these little packets. Or when it first came out it was these bars that were really hard to chew when your mouth was dry.

[00:53:02.950] – Rachael
So true.

[00:53:03.910] – Allan
But you're able to do endurance work and not have to worry so much with fuel.

[00:53:11.590] – Rachael
That's true. I've been keto for about two years now, a little over two years now, and it's helped my endurance quite a bit. I can tell you I could probably run 15 miles, fasted, well just on a cup of coffee. I drink coffee every morning no matter what, but I think the longest I've gone without needing any fuel has been 15 miles. But I don't do that on a regular basis. On a long run day I will eat something before I go out. But that's been one of the huge benefits of keto is not relying on a constant sugar load throughout a long day.

[00:53:51.930] – Allan
Yeah. And, you know, we talked about exogenous ketones and other things that you can use. So there are some strategies that you can put into it. But and I think I've said this before, if you're if you're going to try a strategy for a race, do it on your long runs practices, practice.

[00:54:08.550] – Rachael
That's right. Absolutely.

[00:54:09.930] – Allan
Make sure your body is going to react the way you want to. Yeah, I'm good to go for a good long time with without fuel. That fasted walk I did on Monday. I mean, the 13 mile walk on Monday. I did it completely fasted.

[00:54:23.800] – Rachael

[00:54:25.270] – Allan
You know, when I came home, I took a nap because I was, you know, roughly I was going from about eight o'clock in the morning until close to noon by the time I stopped sweating and got a shower. And then I just went ahead and took a little nap about an hour or so, got a good sleep cycle in, and then, boom, I'm bouncing up, ready to eat and feeling like I earned it.

[00:54:47.140] – Rachael
Fantastic. Isn't that incredible?

[00:54:49.720] – Allan

[00:54:49.900] – Rachael
That is something.

[00:54:51.250] – Allan
And so, you know, I had I had kind of fallen off of the the wagon, I guess, as you will. I Normally do, a seasonal ketosis. And I'm just going to have an episode on that coming up in a couple of weeks. A few weeks, a couple of weeks, I guess. And, you know, I will normally go into a famine mode for this time of year around February. So I would have started around February. But with the pandemic and the stress and everything that was going on around that time, you know, like closing my gym and hoping I'd get to reopen it, just not knowing a lot of things, I didn't I kept feasting and put on the covid 15, you know.

[00:55:29.410] – Allan
So now we're going into the period of time when I would normally go into a feasting season, but I'm not ready to do that right now. I have lost all the weight and some. I'm back down to my fighting weight, what I normally run at during my my famine season. But I want to I want to push it a little bit further. And so I'm actually not going to to do what I normally do. I'm actually going to try to go through this next period and stay in ketosis.

[00:55:57.070] – Allan
And it'll be a challenge and probably a podcast episode about how to travel in keto, because I'm going to be traveling back to the States. It looks like they're going to be opening things up here to let us travel home and back, but they keep changing the rules so we won't really know till we get on the plane what we're supposed to do and hope that we did it right. But, yeah, I mean, I try to do the holiday season in the United States traveling around and try to make sure I stay in ketosis that time.

[00:56:26.050] – Allan
So food choices will be a tough selection, you know, just because there's a lot of foods that come out in the fall that we just really, really tend to enjoy and want. And many times they don't really fit our eating style.

[00:56:42.150] – Rachael
That's right. And it's hard to eat out unless you know the menu really well. It would be a good experiment. And looking forward to hearing what you experience with that.

[00:56:51.640] – Allan
Well, like everything it comes down to being prepared, you know, plan, plan, plan and plan some more. Have strategies. You know, if there's a food that you just love and it's the fall food and, you know, you're just going to want some of it, you have a strategy for it. So, you know, I'm going to make sure I carry some food with me. You know, when I go into a restaurant, there'll be a certain way that I'll order.

[00:57:16.680] – Allan
Sticking to the protein and, you know, vegetables that aren't coated in sugar, you know, and then and then with my mom, you know, it's like we do a meal. It's like I'll just go ahead and do some of the cooking. So I'll make a keto cranberry sauce because I love cranberry sauce and I'll do the chicken. I mean, the turkey and make sure it's a little bit more fatty cut the way I cook it. So it's going to be a little bit more fat added to it, which will make it juicy and delicious. And then you were saying, you know, we're getting into, I guess, the pumpkin spice season. I'm not I'm not that kind of person. I'm a black drinker. I just trained myself that way as when I was getting off of the diet sodas. But you found a recipe that you're pretty eager to give a shot.

[00:58:06.060] – Rachael
Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of the pumpkin spice, but I do love cinnamon and nutmeg. And this fall season, when the weather gets crisp, I actually do like to add a dash of cinnamon to my coffee, but I will be making some keto snickerdoodle muffins later on this afternoon. I found this recipe from Kirbie's Cravings and I've tried it several times and even my non-keto family members enjoy it as well. So it's a really nice fall treat.

[00:58:35.280] – Allan
Well, good. Well, we'll have a link in the show notes so you can find that. Just scan to the back of the show notes section and we will be sure to make sure that a link to that recipe is there.

[00:58:46.290] – Rachael
Absolutely. Yep.

[00:58:47.650] – Allan
Cool. All right. So Dr. Lori is a really cool person. I've known her for a while. I was actually on her podcast years ago. And, you know, so glad to see her out and writing this book because it was I think it was an awesome book. And I really enjoyed the conversation with her because I think, you know. We don't equate keto with much in the athletic field, we think of it in terms of, oh, I want to lose weight or oh, I've got diabetes and therefore I need to cut my sugar and then keto gets the bad rap, you know? And it's partially I think it's partially deserved because the initial people that were pushing keto kept talking about bacon.

[00:59:31.450] – Rachael

[00:59:32.400] – Allan
You know, and I'm like, it's not the bacon diet. Stop the bacon. You know, it's not the bacon. Bacon's fine, it's a condiment. It's something you have with your eggs. Eggs is the main entree. And then the bacon just happens to be something you have on the side. Don't fill your plate up with bacon and then have a couple, a little bit of egg. It's that's not the way this is supposed to work. That's wrong. But, you know, I think people are upset with, you know, they don't know because they've been told for decades to stay away from the saturated fat that it's going to kill you. But the science is coming out now is un-refutable. It's the sugar that's killing it.

[01:00:09.700] – Rachael
Yes. And that was part of your discussion with Lori that I really enjoyed, was that it's not the bacon and egg diet, but that's getting into ketosis involves a little bit of diet and exercise, some intermittent fasting and the Exogenous ketones. So it's not just the bacon diet and there's a lot more to it and it has a lot of benefits.

[01:00:36.130] – Allan
Yeah. And I'd say if you're looking at it as a protocol. So first we're talking about diabetes or we're talking about Alzheimer's or epilepsy and those types of things then I do think there's a good place for the endogenous ketones. But just like I'll say with supplements, just like I'll say with medications, same thing with this. That's not food. You know, it's not what your body needs. We don't have a ketone deficiency because our body is going to make the ketones and eventually our body is going to learn how to use the ketones.

[01:01:09.760] – Allan
So if you're giving it more ketones than you use and you need, you're just going to pee them out. So, yes, you can spend thirty dollars to get the high end ketone little drinks that you can get on Amazon. They're little over thirty dollars for a two or three ounce bottle. You can get the ones that clear the salts that aren't quite as high octane and you can pay seven or eight bucks for about a two or three ounce thing of that, and they make them delicious.

[01:01:37.510] – Allan
So that tastes great. Now, they were horrible, horrible in the beginning, but they taste better now. You don't have a deficiency now if you're in an extreme endurance athlete. So you're looking at saying, OK, I need to make sure that I have fuel for this marathon or this ultra. And you're concerned that, you know, yeah, your body's not going to be able to burn enough body fat because maybe you just don't feel like you have that much body fat to burn. Then there's a place for them and you can factor that in.

[01:02:06.950] – Allan
But just recognize that you're investing in your performance and you need to know that they're working for you and then you're not just wasting your money. So I know there's people who are huge fans of them. It was interesting that Dr. Lori was a fan because she's not selling them, you know.

[01:02:26.910] – Rachael

[01:02:27.260] – Allan
The fans, most of the big touting fans are the ones that are actually making them and they'll tell you how wonderful they are. But that's that's anything. Any supplement, anything. But the guy making it loves it.

[01:02:40.000] – Rachael
Yeah. For you. But there's a time and a place and as an endurance athlete myself, you know, if I have a rest day, my nutritional needs are going to be far different from when I'm on my long run day. So if I'm running 20 or 30 miles, I need way more nutrition and fuel as well as hydration that I would maybe on a rest day or just a day at the gym or something. So, yeah, there's a time and a place for all these different things.

[01:03:08.910] – Allan
Yeah. And I again, I look at exogenous ketones and I can't help but kind of lump them in with the term biohacking, you know, how do we hack this, how do we had that. And the human body was not meant to be hacked. It was it was meant to be treated well, nurtured and babied and given what it actually needs on a regular basis. When you're doing that, you've made up 95 percent of you being optimal.

[01:03:34.790] – Allan
And then these other little things you can do, you know, be at Infra-Red, be it taking glutathione or exigence ketones or any of those things. They're a little incremental steps past that now. Yes. If you're trying to take a minute off your marathon time. Yeah. Something like that might help, but you've got to be doing that other 95 percent first.

[01:03:56.420] – Rachael
For sure, yeah, we got to put the work in, get the muscles ready. Yeah, there's a lot to it than just what you're going to eat or drink that day.

[01:04:03.550] – Allan
Yeah it's not like I'm just going to go and take some endogenous ketones and run a marathon, you know. It's just not going to happen. I can definitely walk a half right now, but I could probably jog or run a half if I put my mind to it. But

[01:04:17.680] – Rachael
I'm sure.

[01:04:18.620] – Allan
But you know, I'm not going to just sit there and start taking a supplement or taking something like this and becoming a super athlete.

[01:04:25.590] – Rachael

[01:04:26.120] – Allan
But, you know, just the cool thing about keto and it's just something to pay attention to is the science is coming out and there's more and more of it that you can use ketosis as a protocol to cut down the inflammation. And I think that's the core of it. What is getting us sick is the food and the things we're doing to our body. It's creating inflammation.

[01:04:49.350] – Rachael

[01:04:50.810] – Allan
The more we can heal our body by getting the proper rest, stress management, diet, exercise, the more we can get ourselves in balance in pretty much those four areas. And then relationships and family and everything else just, you know, get all of that balanced out and working for you and you're going to make up that 95 percent.

[01:05:09.920] – Allan
And then at that point, you can make some decisions if you want to do the tweaking and and twisting of knobs and just, you know, play mad scientist with your body. And then that's when it makes sense.

[01:05:20.480] – Rachael
Yeah, absolutely. I was resistant to try the ketogenic diet initially, but about three years ago I had a pretty bad ankle injury and I had a tendonosis. I had this inflamed tendon, and I was researching everything I could do to get my ankle back in the shape and the more I read about the ketogenic diet and reducing that inflammation, I thought, well, what's the what's the harm? I give it a try and see how it goes. And two years later, I'm still doing it and feeling better.

[01:05:56.600] – Allan
Yeah. And you know, the core reason I do seasonal ketosis is the reason a lot of people don't do ketosis at all. Those of them say, oh, it's unsustainable. You know, I like beer. You know, and if I have a beer or two beers, I'm going to fall out of ketosis. And if I'm doing that, you know, a few times a week as I'm, you know, going to football games and watching football, because, you know, of course, there's a football game on Sunday, there's a football game on Monday, there's a football game on Thursday, then there's another one on Friday, then there's one on Saturday.

[01:06:29.510] – Allan
And let's start the week all over again. I'm going to have a few beers during the season. Well, I guess I'm not this season, but normally I would. And then we roll right on into Thanksgiving or, you know, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the parties in between New Year's Eve. And then my birthday is right around the same week as the Super Bowl. So we just roll and, you know, roll into that part of the year.

[01:06:54.770] Allan
That's just too much for me to sit there and constantly tell myself, no, no, it's it just feels restricted. And that's the reason a lot of people fail at diets as diets are restrictive. But if you have a program like ketosis and you know how you're going to manage it and when you're in it and you're not completely tied in the fact that you're ketones, have to measure one measure, one point five every time you do it, then it becomes a really good, easy, sustainable way to eat and you get this huge amount of freedom.

[01:07:25.290] Allan
Because like you said, you go on a long training run, you don't have to carry three pack packets of Guu with you.

That's right. You can just go do the run, you know, have a little bit before and just go do the run. And when you get done, all you have to really worry about on the run was hydration.

Mm hmm. Yeah, absolutely.

They don't have to do all this extra stuff, you know, stop at a fast-food restaurant along the way just to get it right.

[01:07:51.270] Rachel
It does give me a lot of freedom, but it's also for me, it's still an easy way of eating. And and you mentioned Thanksgiving. It's it's my favorite eating day of the year. I love everything having to do with Thanksgiving. And my parents and my husband, they're always they're fantastic cooks. But we have had Thanksgiving the last two years and it's been just as delicious as as any other Thanksgiving meal I've ever had. So, I mean, it's totally possible to still eat the foods you love, just making them a little bit more healthier than normal.

[01:08:27.390] Allan
Cool. Well, I'm going to I'm going to challenge you. OK, we're coming up. You know, this is we're going into this this fall season and we're coming up on the Thanksgiving season soon. So why don't we do an episode where we where we're at the end of an episode where we do keto recipes, we drop a couple Thanksgiving keto recipes on folks so they'll have some things they can fall back on.

[01:08:50.740] Rachel
Absolutely. That would. Great.

[01:08:52.740] Allan
So that's my challenge. Get your favorite Keto recipe together for Thanksgiving or one or two of them. And then once we get into October, November, we'll start sharing some of those recipes.

[01:09:53.820] Rachel
Sounds great. I'm on it.

[01:09:06.300] Allan
Well, let's just say goodbye and we'll talk next week.


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Another episode you may enjoy


Why you should treat aging like a competitive sport – Sharkie Zartman

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This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Reel Paper. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/tp and use the discount code 40plus to get 25% off.

Sharkie Zartman is a former volleyball athlete and champion competitor, UCLA, where her jersey was retired. She was a member of the USA Women's National Volleyball Team, USA all-American, and also competed in the Women's Professional Volleyball Association for five years and is a member of the California Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame. As a coach, she led El Camino College to nine conference championships and two state titles. With her husband Pat she helped the South Bay Spoilers Club team win three national youth titles. She holds degrees in kinesiology and instructional technology. She teaches health and fitness at the community college level and hosts Sharkie's pep talk on Healthy Life radio, where she motivates people to take charge of their health and wellness.


[00:02:53.190] – Allan
Hey Ras how you doing.

[00:02:55.170] – Ras
Great. How are you today Allan.

[00:02:56.790] – Allan
I'm doing pretty good. Feeling really good. You know life has it, things are really, really good and things are opening up here in Panama so it looks like my wife and I are going to get an opportunity to come back to the states for a little while, visit family. We've been storing all of our crap what crap we have left. You know, you say you sold everything, but we didn't sell everything. We ended up with a whole garage full of stuff that's in our daughter's garage feeling kind of bad that it's been there for as long as it's been there because we moved it all in there over a year ago. And so she's like, you know, she's really cool about it, actually cooler than I would be.

[00:03:38.690] – Allan
But it's like I've got to get there and get that. Plus some of the equipment, some of the stuff that's in there. I went for the gym. Now, the gym is not going to open any time soon. Panama looks at gyms and things. We're just like disco tecs and, you know, that kind of thing. So, yeah, they haven't opened the schools. They're not going to open the discotheques and they're not going to let us open the gym. So we take advantage of the time that the gyms closed to go ahead and take a trip to the United States, get that equipment, get it in there. So when people do come back. It's going to be a pretty cool place.

[00:04:07.750] – Ras
Awesome, that sounds great.

[00:04:10.200] – Allan
So let's go ahead introduce today's guest.

[00:04:13.250] – Ras
All right.

[00:05:03.320] – Allan
Sharkie, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:05:06.110] – Sharkie
Thank you, Allan. Happy to be here.

[00:05:08.220] – Allan
You know, as someone who kind of grew up being an athlete, I just have to say I love the title of your book, When at Aging How to Stay Fit Free and Love Your Retirement. I just like that whole concept of winning this thing is just really, really uplifting.

[00:05:24.000] – Sharkie
Well, thank you. We all want to win. Right. So it's an empowered approach to life and aging.

[00:05:31.890] – Allan
And I think it's just one of those things where not many people approach this from the perspective of as a manageable thing like you're managing a game or you're managing a sport. And there are strategies and there are rules and there are things you can do and you have to play the game right or you age faster than you should.

[00:05:52.270] – Sharkie
Right, exactly. And that's what I'm trying to get out there because I see a lot of people that hit a certain age. I think 50 is probably the age where most people kind of go, oh, my gosh, what's going on? This is crummy. What can I do? And so, yeah, this is meant to help.

[00:06:12.810] – Allan
Good, good. And I think it will because some of the things you share in here, I think are just classic. There are things that we all should be doing. Rather we're fifteen or eighty-five, you know, because we want to live a long, healthy life here. And it's not about longevity, it's about having a quality of life, which is part of what winning is about. We've got to do the right things.

[00:06:36.240] – Sharkie
Exactly. It takes work.

[00:06:39.870] – Allan
Everything worth while does. So in the book, you share what you call some rules of aging, because we're approaching this like a game. And if we want to win, we need to know the rules. Can you go through some of the rules of aging so anyone getting ready to age knows how to play the game?

[00:06:58.910] – Sharkie
Sure. Well, I came up with these, so you probably won't find them any place else. But as I was going through studying the process and comparing it to sports, I thought, well, as an athlete, you need to know the rules of the game. So here are the ones I came up with. And the first thing is every living thing ages. And so it's not something that we can avoid, but we can control it. So that's the good news.

[00:07:27.420] – Sharkie
But we're all going to go through some kind of process with aging. It's not, and you know, the only alternative is actually leaving the planet. So it's something we're all going to do. And if we're lucky. Right. And also, I want to make sure that people know that you can live a healthy, fulfilling life at any age, but it does take work. We can't just do nothing. Like we were younger, don't remember getting away with stuff like partying all night or and feeling great the next day.

[00:08:00.180] – Sharkie
But that's not going to happen as we get older. So we have to realize that it does take work if we want to have a positive, vibrant life as we get older. And here's one that I want people to know. We are responsible for how we handle the aging process. Our doctors can only do so much. And I think a lot of times we just sort of, oh, I don't feel good, my doctor will take care of me.

[00:08:28.770] – Sharkie
Well, that's not the way it is and winning at aging. We have to be responsible for our lifestyle and how we feel as we get older. Because the doctor is just going to bring us back from disease. Right. That's what they do. So but another thing that I think is really cool is the rate of aging is actually related to our lifestyle, our attitude, and genetics. And the cool thing is that we can control two out of those three things.

[00:09:00.360] – Sharkie
Obviously, we can't control genetics, but we can control our lifestyle and our attitudes. And so that's what we need to focus on. And then the physiological and psychological conditions are really more important than our chronological age. So in other words, don't you know people that are 80, that are vibrant and healthy and other people have all sorts of physical and mental problems. So it's not really the age. So it's again, a lot of these things are controllable.

[00:09:34.440] – Sharkie
We don't get older at the same rate and have the same conditions. It's an individualized process. And when it comes to aging, it doesn't matter who you are, it matters what you do. And also we have to respect aging. I call aging in the book a bitch. So respect study and understand the beast or she will take away your quality of life. And again, how we age is up to us. We need to get in the driver's seat. We need to get behind the wheel. We need to stop being a passenger and a back seat driver. So that's the rules of aging and understanding those things. That's how we're going to win.

[00:10:20.100] – Allan
Awesome. Awesome. Now, in the book, when you talk about getting healthy, I guess, or dealing with our aging, you used an acronym and I'm like one of these. I go crazy for acronyms. I love them, but your acronym is RAP. Can you tell us about what the pieces are of RAP and why each is important?

[00:10:40.850] – Sharkie
Right. I call it the power of rap. And it's really getting your mind on board because most people focus on their bodies. But if your mind isn't on board, you're not going to get the results that you want. So the mind and body have to be working together. And the three characteristics as an athlete that I think all top athletes share are: Resiliency. That's R. Accountability and Purpose. So did you want me to go through those three and explain them to you?

[00:11:13.880] – Allan
Yes, please.

[00:11:15.590] – Sharkie
OK, so Resiliency, agings a challenge. And so we have to, if we're going to take this path, which most of us are going to do. We have to toughen up. And as an athlete, when, if you played a sport, you didn't probably moan and groan or quit when you lost a game or something happened. You stepped up, you went back to practice and you did it again and you tried again. And so that's what we have to have resiliency. If we get knocked down, we need to brush it off, get back up, and keep going.

[00:11:53.920] – Sharkie
So winning and aging is tough. It's not for wimps, that's for sure. So we have to quit complaining and just say, OK, this is the way it is and I can do this and I'm going to control what I can control. So the Rocky movies are a great example of how many times did that guy get knocked down and get back up.

[00:12:18.710] – Sharkie
So and the second one is accountability. And I think we have a serious problem with accountability in our society today. It's like nobody wants to take responsibility for their choices.

[00:12:31.030] – Allan

[00:12:31.790] – Sharkie
So, but as we get older, we have to start doing that. We have to take a look at what got us where we are today, and we have to accept the responsibility for that. So we really have to say, hey, you know, I made these choices because of that. Maybe that's why I'm dealing with this and I can change those choices. Too often people blame other people or blame the conditions. And as an athlete, you probably know, that that never got you better at your sport. So that's the accountability factor.

[00:13:10.880] – Sharkie
And I use a fun story in the book about this guy at this conference I went to with all these trainers and they were trying to say the coolest things that are out there in terms of supplements and gimmicks. And this guy came up when it goes, I don't know everything about it goes, but I have something that works just tell your client to stand in front of the mirror with no clothes on and say, I am responsible for this and I am the only person that can fix it. That was a powerful message.

[00:13:40.490] – Allan
There you go.

[00:13:43.040] – Sharkie
And the last one is purpose. And I know that that means a lot of things to a lot of different people. But basically, it's knowing what you want and start being excited about getting it. I think too often early in our lives, we're trying to make ends meet. We're taking care of our family. We're concerned about our careers. But a lot of times after 50, now's the time for us to kind of go, hey, what do I really want?

[00:14:13.940] – Sharkie
We've never really asked ourselves that question before. And once we find out and it's different for everybody and that can be more than one purpose, it gets you excited about life. It gets you excited about getting up in the morning and getting going. And a lot of times when people retire and they lose some self-worth because they're not doing this what they've done for so many years. And but they still have their gifts. They still have their energy. And so they just need to find a way to channel that. And so those are the three things that I think are really, really important. The three characteristics that you need to win at aging.

[00:14:56.120] – Allan
Yeah, I completely agree because things are going to happen. You had a knee replacement, I think you said, that was that required rehab, required some really hard work to work through that you easily could have just quit and said, OK, well, now I'm just going to sit here and start doing something like reading because I can't get back in the gym. I can't go do my exercises. I can't do the things I was doing. But you did the rehab, so now you can.

[00:15:26.530] – Sharkie
Right, and I got to tell you, anybody that's considering a knee replacement, it's not an easy surgery to recover from. I was six hours on this machine every day that took my leg through different ranges of motion. And I had to do that to get back to one 120 degrees in flexion and extension. And it was hard and it was painful. But I went, there's no way I'm going to have gone through that surgery and not come out better. So, yeah, I got to do it.

[00:16:02.740] – Allan
I tore a rotator cuff and, you know, went through and I had the surgery on a Thursday and I was in rehab on Monday. And I was like, I'm not playing around with this. I'm going to get this shoulder back as quickly as I possibly can.

[00:16:17.590] – Sharkie
Good for you.

[00:16:18.580] – Allan
And then and then the other two, I think we can look at the Blue Zones and some of the other books that are out there, and they kind of make it clear if we don't have a purpose, we don't have a fire. And if we don't have a fire, then that's not really the life we want to live anyway.

[00:16:34.240] – Sharkie

[00:16:34.860] – Allan
And then after that, it's like, OK, so here you are and you have this self-awareness. What are you going to do about it? And, you know, we don't have necessarily, unless you hire someone, you don't have a coach out on the field telling you, OK, run this play, do that play, do this thing. You've got to figure some of that out for yourself.

[00:16:52.660] – Allan
But the reality is that information's there. It's not rocket science, even though the body's a really complex organism, we know the things we're supposed to be doing, eating whole food, moving, meditating, sleeping. You know, we all know those things. So I think it's really important for folks to really wrap their head around all three of these in your RAP, because it is each and every one of them is important. You can't get there without all three of them.

[00:17:20.980] – Allan
Yes. Yes.

[00:17:23.230] – Allan
Now, you brought another concept into this thing and again, goes back to your sports and athletic days, the concept of playing offense and defense, because I think most of us are thinking and just thinking in terms of, well, we're going to play this game and play defense. I'm going to try to avoid getting older. I'm going to try to avoid hurting myself. I'm going to, you know, try to avoid some of the things that maybe I did in my 20s and 30s. You know, we're thinking of it from a defensive perspective, but you say we have to do both. If we're going to win this game.

[00:17:54.090] – Sharkie
We really do offense, obviously scoring. So if you're in a team sport, you want to score. And defense is preventing the other team from scoring. And actually, when when you're in sports, I think a lot of times people focus more on offense. Right. So like a coach that wants to run and gun and just in basketball and get down and shoot within eight seconds. And, you know, basically, if if you're successful, you're going to win, right. Because you get more opportunities at shooting.

[00:18:28.900] – Sharkie
But a lot of times sports, they actually don't work enough on defense. And defense, if two teams are similar defense is preventing the other team from scoring. Right. So you need them both. You need them both. And so you need to be proactive in terms of offense. You need to go after a healthy lifestyle. It's on you. It's your responsibility. You need to do this. The doctor is not going to make you do it.

[00:19:03.910] – Sharkie
So but defense, I think, is what I'm looking at defense in terms of what aging is, prevention. And, you know, taking a look at something like COVID, which hopefully will go away soon. You know, we all hear the prevention. Wash your hands, social distancing, masks, don't go to large gatherings, eventually have a vaccine. So COVID doesn't win. And so I think that we need to have both. And there's a lot of overlap between the two. But we can't just focus on one. We can't just focus on defense. We can't just focus on offense.

[00:19:48.170] – Allan
Yeah. And I completely agree with you. There is one thing I'd like to say is, you know, with COVID and again, I agree with you, I hope this is something we get rid of and don't have to deal with again, for a long, long time. But I hate the term social distancing because to me, it's a horrible, horrible choice of words.

[00:20:11.310] – Sharkie
It is!

[00:20:12.270] – Allan
We want physical distancing.

[00:20:14.070] – Sharkie

[00:20:15.150] – Allan
So we need social you know, that's part of purpose. That's part of why I'm doing what I'm doing, you know, so I don't want to socially distance myself from the people that I care about. I want to be, you know, not necessarily physically around them, because that's you know, that's part of the issue. I have to be smart about it. But I think the core of this is that defense isn't all that sexy. You know, it's just washing your hands, doesn't seem like, you know, a big, sexy thing to do, whereas, you know, get on the bike and go for a ride and you know, and you're enjoying the outdoors and you get at the same time, feeling the wind on your face.

[00:20:51.750] – Allan
And, you know, you break a record because you went faster this time than you've gone in a long, long time. So you have a new PR and that's exciting. That's fun. That scoring is fun. Sometimes it's just, you know, brush your teeth, wash your hair. You know.

[00:21:07.200] – Sharkie
I know, prevention is not fun.

[00:21:11.430] – Allan
Yeah. Yeah.

[00:21:14.830] – Sharkie
Offense is fun.

[00:21:14.870] – Allan
But you still have you still have to do both.

[00:21:17.490] – Sharkie

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[00:22:46.740] – Allan
Now, in the book, you went through the components of fitness, and I always like to, if I see someone who's written about this, I really, I like to come back to this, because I think it's, you know, will typically if we start working on fitness, there will be something that we're going to be really, really good at. Like you might be really good at cardio and you can ride your bike forever and you can go, go, go, go, go. But you lack upper body strength or you don't have much mobility or balance. Can you go through the components of fitness and why each one, what we should be doing for each one of those, particularly as we start getting older.

[00:23:22.080] – Sharkie
Right. Right. Well, first of all, we need to know that they are all important and so you can't just be healthy and when at aging, just doing one thing. And so the one that gets the most attention usually is cardiorespiratory endurance because it's systematic, which means that affects all the systems of the body. And the definition of that just scientific is the ability of the heart and lungs to transport oxygen and nutrients to the cells and eliminate waste products so the cells can do their jobs.

[00:23:56.490] – Sharkie
And so that's basically what it is. And as most of us know, that's prolonged, sustained large muscle movements. Like riding your bike, like walking, jogging. And so usually the timeline on this is to do so at least for 30 minutes a day. And yet it used to be that that was the main guideline. But now we know that we can cut it into chunks. It doesn't have to be non-stop for 30 minutes. And so we can cut it into chunks and still get the benefits from it.

[00:24:33.780] – Sharkie
And there are so many things that we can do with cardiorespiratory endurance. And I think especially now people need to get creative, because a lot of the things that they've done in the past, they can't do anymore because of everything shutting down. So, yeah, and getting outside is a great way to get your cardiorespiratory endurance. Writing an exercise bike indoors is very different than riding it outdoors, right?

[00:25:05.160] – Allan

[00:25:06.670] – Sharkie
Yes. And so that's the one that gets the most attention, but one that I think is especially important, especially as we age, is the muscle fitness, which is muscle strength and muscle endurance because as we age, we lose muscle mass if we don't work on keeping it. And as you know, a lot of people, as they get older in their 80s, a lot of times they lose their mobility and nobody wants to lose that. And so we have to keep our muscles strong and active. And there are two components. Again, muscle strength, muscle endurance, we can work on them together or we can work them separately. Most people work them together, and that's just lifting weights or doing resistance training. And the reps would be somewhere between 8 and 12 reps.

[00:26:02.400] – Sharkie
And you can do a whole muscle resistance training workout in 20 minutes and so it doesn't take that much time. And you can do it at home with weight machines, you can get strap's I have a TRX machine at home that really works. So there's a lot of different ways to do that. Resistance training. It's not just on the machines that you have at the gym. And so those two are very important. But flexibility is too, that range of motion present at a joint. I mean, we want to be able to move our bodies so we can get up off the floor. Right.

[00:26:44.470] – Sharkie
And that involves stretching, making sure that we do work the joints through their full range of motion each and every day. And one of the best ways that I like to do it is through yoga. There are so many different yoga practices out there. Some of them are physical. Some bring in other components like meditation. But combining flexibility with your other workouts for cardiorespiratory endurance and muscle strength is very doable. So there's a lot of hybrid workouts out there that do all three.

[00:27:19.770] – Sharkie
And the last one I would like to talk about his body composition because and that's the proportion of body fat to the fat-free mass. And people need to understand body composition is, because otherwise a lot of times people start a resistance training program and then they stand on the scale and they go, oh my God, I've gained weight, especially for women. And a lot of times that's muscle mass. That's. Good. So getting a body composition test is really, really important to know what that mass is.

[00:27:54.990] – Sharkie
Obviously muscle. We want muscle and if we have too much body fat, we'd like to get rid of that. But what happens as we get older, especially when we get to be over 40 with losing that muscle mass, ok, and a lot of times we don't notice it happening. We start to put on body fat, ok, and we're doing the same things. It's kind of like we haven't changed our lifestyle, but we start gaining weight. And I think especially this happens to women and so. So we need to be aware of body composition. So those are the components, muscle strength, muscle endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, flexibility, and body composition. We need them all to win it aging. Yes.

[00:28:39.770] – Allan
Yes, I agree. That's why I wanted you to go over them because I do think it's really, really important. And the cool thing about all of them is that you mentioned yoga for flexibility and mobility. You mentioned different ways that we can get cardiovascular fitness. You mentioned different ways that we can do resistance training. And even with body composition, we can try different things. So it should never be stale. It should never get old. It should be something where you're excited to do it. You know, and particularly, I think when people want to continue sports into their 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s, that's an excellent opportunity because it clearly demonstrates that you're keeping yourself fit and capable.

[00:29:30.690] – Sharkie
Yeah, sports are great because they combine all of these components. I mean, you're you have to work on muscle strength, you have to have the endurance in order to go the distance, you have to have the flexibility. So, yeah, you're right. So sports are a great alternative. And people who play sports a lot of times don't realize they're working out because they're having so much fun. Right.

[00:29:56.610] – Allan
Until you're sore the next day and you're like, hey, I did something.

[00:30:03.000] – Sharkie
I earned that soreness.

[00:30:05.030] – Allan

[00:30:05.550] – Sharkie
No, we won.

[00:30:08.670] – Allan
Or we scored!

[00:30:09.300] – Sharkie
We scored

[00:30:10.020] – Allan
Yeah, the offense scored. Now we got to play some defense and get ourselves recovered and ready to go again. But, you know, in the book you talked about meditation and meditation used to be one of those things we would say woo-woo. And occasionally you would do it with yoga, you know, with a little less of a spiritual backing to it. But I think now if you didn't know meditation, I mean, they've been in a rock, if they don't know. But meditation has become a little bit more mainstream. But you mentioned three breakdowns. And I just kind of want to go through them because it's three types of meditation. So just like we talked about with fitness, there are different modalities of how you can do and accomplish that task. And it's no different with meditation. Can you talk about the three sections or approaches to meditation and what he does?

[00:31:03.450] – Sharkie
Sure, sure. The first one, I think, is the most common. It's called exclusive meditation. The reason that works a lot of times because your brain has something to focus on. Your brain likes to have something to do. Otherwise it's going to just, you're going to have the monkey mind. Right. You've got it all different times. And I think probably the one that I like the most and I've taught my yoga students is a primordial sound, exclusive meditation, where they focus on saying to themselves, SO, s o on the inhale. HUM h u m on the exhale.

[00:31:47.850] – Sharkie
And it's real easy. But for some people, it's hard because the mind likes to wander. And I tell my students, just go back when your mind starts to wander, just go back. So on the inhale hum on the exhale. Because what that's doing is it's giving your whole rest of your body a chance to relax, because if the mind is always running amok, it's yourselves are listening to your mind. So if finally, your mind has something to do that's just repetitive with just one thought, one thing, then your whole rest of your body gets to relax.

[00:32:26.340] – Sharkie
And it's an easy exercise, meditative exercise to do. And a lot of my students just really enjoy it. So they feel so much better afterward and you don't have to do it for very long. I learned this at the Show Presenter, Depok Chopra. And when I first went into that meditation room, I couldn't sit still for five minutes. After learning this technique, I could be there for 30 minutes and it felt like two minutes.

[00:32:56.180] – Sharkie
And so it's it's very powerful and it's very easy. The Inclusive one is a little harder. And so this one, you're kind of letting in the thoughts and but you sit quietly and you just let your brain do the thoughts. But the key here is to not attach any judgment or any emotion to the thoughts. So it's like you're watching them from a distance. It's like you're sitting there watching logs go down a stream one at a time. And I've done this also in my class.

[00:33:29.620] – Sharkie
Some of my students really like it because what ends up happening, you're watching yourself think and the thoughts start to slow down and eventually sometimes the thoughts stop. And you're just there totally relaxed in a meditative state. Isn't that cool? So that takes, that's a little harder than the exclusive. The mindfulness we can do every day doing anything. We don't have to sit down or lie down to do mindfulness. It's just being totally aware in the present moment.

[00:34:06.520] – Sharkie
And sometimes I'll use a mindfulness technique in terms of just doing a body awareness exercise with my students. I'll have them start at the top of their body and just send their awareness up to their forehead, or to their mouth. They become very aware of the present moment as to what's going on there. But we can do this at like when we're washing the dishes instead of thinking about everything else going on in the past or future. We're just washing the dishes and just be right in that present moment.

[00:34:42.580] – Sharkie
So the mindfulness, I think, is really cool because we can do that anywhere, any time. And it's very, very relaxing and soothing. Most of us spend our time either in the past thinking about what we did and obsessing over what we did wrong or we're worried about the future. So mindfulness is a technique on how to stay in the present moment.

[00:35:06.910] – Allan
Yeah, and guys washing the dishes counts as washing your hands so use that as some mindfulness time.

[00:35:14.560] – Sharkie
That good. That's good.

[00:35:20.620] – Allan
And I've done all three of these. And you're right, the inclusive one is kind of the hardest one because invariably I would think of something that I needed to do and I was really afraid to let that thought go. And it took me a while to say, OK, it's going to come back around. I'll remember it. I know I will. But yeah, you get something that is big and you're like, oh, I got to get that done. And yeah, now I'm sitting here not doing it. And so it's a little harder to balance. All of these are easier, particularly.

[00:35:49.990] – Allan
I mean, other than the mindfulness, I think all of the other ones are much easier if you have some guidance. So, you know, you might get some apps or go on YouTube and get some videos, you know, to listen to. But when they're guided, it makes it just a little bit easier to get into it. And you start out five minutes and you get comfortable with that. You stretch it out to a little bit longer. And yeah, before you know what you're capable of doing a lot more than you would have thought.

[00:36:15.810] – Sharkie
Right. Have you ever done a guided meditation where they actually the audio takes you to a place and describes the place and you're actually using your mind to be there? Have you ever done that?

[00:36:27.890] – Allan
Yeah. I've done one of those. I was I subscribed to the Headspace app and it had all kinds of stuff in there. And it was, part of that was the stress relief app so I spent a lot of time with that. But yeah, they had the others. I've gone on YouTube as well and listened to a few where they're like, OK, you're going to leave your body and try to imagine yourself floating above you. You see yourself there?

[00:36:51.680] – Sharkie

[00:36:52.450] – Allan
You go up to this place where you don't feel any pain, you don't feel any regret, you don't feel anywhere.

[00:36:57.980] – Sharkie
Right, that's right. Yeah. Very cool.

[00:37:01.690] – Allan
Right. So Sharkie, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay?

[00:37:11.380] – Sharkie
Well, OK, I'm going to take a holistic approach to this, if you don't mind. So, yeah, I'm a health professor and I teach holistic health. So I think we need to and I'm going to talk about three that basically is most of that. But, the fourth one, if we have time, some people will find it harder. The first one people will identify with that, because that is talking about your body, that your body in terms of what you can do to make your body healthier. And that's the wellness.

[00:37:45.550] – Sharkie
So one area that I think a lot of us, the nutrition and all of us want to know what's the best way to eat, and there is an idea called bio-individuality, which actually means we're all different. There's not one diet that is for all of us. So we need to spend some time figuring out the kinds of foods that feel good in our bodies and help us live our lives. And because there are some foods out there that are deemed healthy, but they're not healthy for some people. Some people have food allergies. Right.

[00:38:26.030] – Sharkie
So it takes time and motivation to really explore foods in terms of what we enjoy, what feels good inside of our bodies. And one thing I would say to everyone is to try to stay away from processed foods. You mentioned that eating whole foods because of all the toxins, the toxins put us at risk for autoimmune disease and everything else. And so if we can just stay away from those kinds of foods and add more whole foods, more fruits, and vegetables, fresh, more whole grains, more protein that is clean, we would notice a difference. And so that's the physical part.

[00:39:14.240] – Sharkie
The next one is, I think, even more important, and that's the mental-emotional components of wellness. And like I said, the mind and body are connected. So you can't just work on the body and not have the mind on board. And I think one thing that all of us can do as we age is start having a more positive mindset. You know, the paradigm for aging is it's an eventual period of decline. And that's pretty depressing. I like to say it's a challenge, it's an opportunity and it's a privilege. And so just doing that kind of changes the feeling of what aging is about. And so we need to look for the good instead of always what's wrong. It's hard to do in this day and age, but we can do it if we focus on what's good today.

[00:40:05.830] – Sharkie
We can have a journal. We can basically do this. We can look for the good and focus more on what can I do not what can't I do. What can I do that I want to do? And then I just had a person on my show, his name is Ted Larkins. He wrote the Get to Principle. He goes instead of saying, you have to do this, I get to do this. And so this is all mind-shifting towards positivity, which I think we need to do. We need to stop complaining about everything.

[00:40:40.810] – Sharkie
And the last one is social, social wellness. We need to put together our own change. We probably have a lot of people out there that draw our energy away that are negative. All they do is complain we need to get people in our lives that are positive and have the same goals as us. When I was doing a lecture once this woman raised her hand and because I told I identified those people as social vampires and she goes, What if you're married to one? And I said, well, you need to crowd him out with other people in your lives that are positive. And so and we get to choose our own team. So it's not like we're back in the days where we had tryouts and stuff to be on teams. We get to choose our own teams now, and that includes our doctors and our health providers. And so, yeah, so we need to get our team together.

[00:41:37.310] – Sharkie
And the last component is spirituality. And I tell my students, I give them one phrase, and have them think about it. Imagine that you are spiritual being having a physical experience. And when I tell them that some of them just kind of go, oh, I mean, isn't that a cool thing to think about?

[00:41:59.770] – Allan

[00:42:00.730] – Sharkie
Yeah. And so so those are the approaches, the three strategies that I use with that last one thrown in for fun.

[00:42:08.980] – Allan
Thank you, Sharkie. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book, When it Aging, How to Stay Fit, Free, and Love Your Retirement, where would you like for me to send them.

[00:42:20.500] – Sharkie
My website. It's my name SharkieZartman.com. And they can also go to Amazon and the book is up and there'll be some reviews up there and some information. And also my other books can, are up on. Amazon and Barnes Noble and but basically my website has pretty much mostly what I do and my background.

[00:42:53.330] – Allan
Cool. Well, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/452 and I'll be sure to have links there in the show notes. Sharkie, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:43:04.880] – Sharkie
Well, thank you for having me, Allan. It was fun.

[00:43:07.370] – Allan
Well Ras, that was a pretty cool episode, don't you think?

[00:43:15.170] – Ras
Oh, it was. Lots of good information here.

[00:43:18.380] – Allan
Yeah, she was just a spitball of fire. I really enjoyed the conversation with her. And, you know, while we were recording her, I think her husband was in the background, Pat. And it was funny because in the book he and I don't even know that I got into this in the interview so much as I did afterward. Sometimes I have better conversations afterward sometimes than I do during the actual episode. But her husband, Pat, you know, one of the things she said about him was that he wants to live until at least 200. And so I wanted her to know that I'm in Pat's corner there. I hope Pat makes it and leads the way for the rest of us to live longer, healthier lives. So it was a really cool conversation.

[00:43:53.150] – Allan
And I promise, guys, we're past that point of talking about aging. I've had three or four episodes in a row. So we will move on and will talk about some other things next week and I'll let you know what's going on. But so what were some key things that you took away from this episode Ras?

[00:44:07.760] – Ras
Well, she's got the point right on the head here is that we all want to win at aging, don't we? We want to have a really good quality of life as we get older. And sometimes that's hard to get to unless you put in the effort.

[00:44:23.700] – Allan
Yeah, I think so many times people look at the aging curve and they just think, OK, that's my path. That's what I'm going to follow. You know, my grandfather lived till he was in his 60s. My father died in his 60s. So, that's my path. They both had diabetes. Therefore, that's my path. My whole family has obesity problems and the issues that come along with that, that's my path.

[00:44:45.870] – Allan
But the reality of it is if you approach your life with the mindset that it's not your path, you decide your path, then you can change that trajectory. It doesn't have to follow the standard path where you're living the standard life expectancy of, you know, your family or your history. You can rewrite that second part. You can go on a different path and live longer, live better. And I like that she looks at it as a competition, as winning something, because if you go in with a losing mindset, then that's where you are. You know, it's the Ford quote, if you think you can. You're right. If you think you can't, you're also right. You lead a lot of what goes on with your life, with your mindset.

[00:45:34.140] – Ras
Absolutely. I like how she mentions you can't change your genetics, but you can change your attitude and you can change your lifestyle. It's so true.

[00:45:45.480] – Allan
Yeah, and so many things that we're facing today, you know, obesity, some cancers, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's, a lot of these things we're learning are lifestyle diseases. We, unfortunately, we're doing it to ourselves and we've got to fix that.

[00:46:04.960] – Ras
That's so true. She mentions about being proactive with the offense, about taking the lead and leading a healthy lifestyle, making the changes to lose weight, gets healthier, get stronger, and do what you can. I mean, you just don't have to sit there and age. You can do what you can to enjoy it and improve the quality of your living as you age.

[00:46:26.590] – Allan
Yeah, I liked that she had that offensive approach along with the defense. You don't win a game without having both. But, you know, most people don't think about the offensive part of this. And one thing that I like when I'm working with clients, and they'll invariably want to use the scale as a measurement of success. And so I'll be working with them and then they'll step on the scale. And they've gained a pound. And it's like a tragedy, you know, they want to they just basically want to quit and if you look at it from the perspective of a football player. And I don't know how much you know about football, but in general, you have four downs to get 10 yards. So you have four plays to get the ten yards that you want to get.

[00:47:10.650] – Allan
And if a team goes out there on their first down and maybe they lose three yards, you know, they ran the wrong, they ran to the left and the guys on the left on their side wanted it more than our guys did. And we lost you know, we lost three yards on that play. We don't punt the ball. We don't stop. We don't quit the game and say, well, I'm just going to stop doing this. What we do is we know we have three more downs. We learn from that play. We say, hey, let's not run that play again, you know, maybe later in the game we'll open things up. But let's not run that play right now because it's not going to work. It's not working for us the way we want it to. We've got to get positive yards.

[00:47:49.070] – Allan
So now we're looking at throwing the ball or we're looking to run to the right, or we're going to do some kind of misdirection to take care of those aggressive players over there. But we do something different because we know we have more downs in us. We know we have more opportunities. So I agree with that. We can win this. We have to think of it as a total game. You know, aging is not a thing that happens to you today and something that's happening every day. So you're in the game every day whether you want to or not. You just have to choose if you're going to continue to lose those three yards, every single play, or if you're going to make some positive yardage here and there where the game lets you. And that being offensive-minded gives you that opportunity to take advantage of things.

[00:48:31.940] – Ras
That's absolutely right. And in the world of running, we, when you're out there running miles, things happen. It always does. You feel a hot spot and a blister comes on. So you stop and tend to it. You're feeling hungry. You stop and have something to eat. The whole point is, is that you're listening to what your body is telling you and you do something about it. Again, you just don't have to wait around and see what happens next. You take control and if you encounter a problem, you learn what it takes to fix it and get after it.

[00:49:03.900] – Allan
Absolutely. All right, so anything special going on for you coming up?

[00:49:12.030] – Ras
No, just running miles. It's a cut back week for me, so I'm just taking the miles a little light this week. But next week I'll be ramping back up again and I'll have some double-digit days

[00:49:23.100] – Allan
Double digits, love it.

[00:49:24.870] – Ras
My favorite!

[00:49:26.900] – Allan
A lot of me time, a lot of me time.

[00:49:29.100] – Ras
You bet ya!

[00:49:29.440] – Allan
Getting those miles, good for you.

[00:49:30.420] – Ras
For sure. Thanks.

[00:49:32.250] – Allan
Now me, the cool thing is things are slightly opening up here in Panama, so it looks like I'm going to get a chance to come back to the States for about a month to see some family take care of a few things that I left undone in Pensacola. So we're looking at taking a trip there in October. So about a month from now, I'll be in Pensacola, where we're flying into Miami, and I'll spend a few days there.

[00:49:58.980] – Allan
Then we're going to drive up to Pensacola and we'll spend about a week there. Then we're going to drive up to Indiana, near Chicago and spend about a week there and then to Asheboro, North Carolina, which if you look at North, can I just point your finger right in the very middle of it? That's where Aspro is. I'll go there for about a week and then we'll come back down and we think we think we might have to get one of those little speed tests, you know, just to know that we're not infected before we get on the plane.

[00:50:25.680] – Allan
Right now, they're charging about two hundred fifty dollars for those COVID tests. So we have about right now the way the rules are. We have to have that within 40, 48 hours of getting on an airplane. So we'll go down into the Miami area, get that test, wait out the results. I think it's supposed to be immediate now, but we'll see. See, we have to get one that we get an answer for relatively quickly.

[00:50:48.420] – Allan
And I think they're like 250 bucks. Maybe the price will come down before then. We'll have yeah, well, we'll have the test. But yeah, we're driving all this other than we are going to fly into Miami. So we've got a couple of flights and then we'll be in Miami and then we're going to drive. So my wife and I will get a lot of car time, a lot podcast's audience.

[00:51:07.480] – Allan
That sounds awesome. Well, it is awesome. You start looking well. OK, that's a four and a half-hour drive. That's a six and a half-hour drive, but an eight-hour drive. That's twelve, which.

[00:51:16.920] – Allan
So lots of time in the car sitting. But if you're anywhere in between all those things, just reach out to me: allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com, I'd love to hook up. We can get a coffee or have a cocktail, depending on what time of day or night it is and how much further I've got to drive. But you know, so you do reach out and you know, again, I'm around. So I do want to meet you if you're there.

[00:51:40.740] – Allan
So so do that. That sounds great. All right. Well, Rachel, you have a great week.

[00:51:47.200] – Ras
Thanks. You too.


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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


How to approach getting older as pro-aging – Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Reel Paper. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/tp and use the discount code 40plus to get 25% off. Thank you for supporting the show by checking out this wonderful company.

Let's Say Hello

On this episode, we're introducing a co-host for the 40+ Fitness Podcast. 

Rachel Everett is joining the wellness industry as a newly minted NASM Certified Personal Trainer. So, you'll find a preamble at the beginning of each episode and a wrap up at the end. With 450 episodes done, I felt this would be a great way to freshen things up.

Please join us on the 40+ Fitness Facebook Group at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group to welcome her to the podcast.

[00:02:53.360] – Allan
Rachel, how are you doing.

[00:02:56.130] – Rachel
Great! How are you Allan.

[00:02:57.160] – Allan
Doing really good. I'm excited to have you on as a new co-host to the show. So everybody say welcome to Rachel.

[00:03:04.670] – Rachel
Well, Hi and thank you so much. It's an honor. I've been your biggest fan for quite a while, so it's a real treat for me. Thanks for inviting me on.

[00:03:12.740] – Allan
Yeah, Rachel and I have been friends for a good long time. We met through my wife and one of the cool facts about Rachel and her husband Mike is that their birthdays are exactly one day apart. So they're celebrating for a full 48 hours every year. It's pretty cool to be at one of those celebrations, especially when you're there at midnight with them. When it crosses over.

[00:03:36.110] – Allan
I forget you're you're actually one day your birthday is the one day before.

[00:03:41.180] – Rachel
I'm the after.

[00:03:43.190] – Allan
Oh, okay. Oh yeah.

[00:03:44.410] – Rachel
Mike is the old man.

[00:03:45.350] – Allan
Okay, yeah, Mike is the old man, although he's lost a lot of weight and he looks years younger. Well cutting off the beard health too.

[00:03:54.250] – Rachel
Yes it did. Yeah.

[00:03:58.160] – Allan
Well, go ahead.

[00:03:59.590] – Rachel
Oh, he's been working real hard this year. He's been putting in a ton of miles, his running has been epic. And he's and it's led to a ton of weight loss. He's been doing real great.

[00:04:10.160] – Allan
So how's your week been?

[00:04:12.660] – Rachel
Good. Little nutty. The kids are back to college, so I've got one in college and staying at college and my other one is home doing the online classes. So it's just it's been kind of crazy, although they do their own thing, they're getting set up for what you know, in class and online learning. It's just been kind of nutty with all the covid procedures that the school has in place. But they're doing great.

[00:04:38.270] – Allan
Well, good. Well, I've been focused on my miles. You know, I talked about in an earlier episode that I'm doing my famine season. And I started actually June 1st. I think in the episode I may have said May 1st, but I've actually lost twenty-five pounds as we record this since that start June 1st. And it's basically, you know, using ketosis, intermittent fasting and just enjoying good long walks, getting sunshine, looking at the beach, and listening to some audiobooks and podcasts.

[00:05:10.490] – Allan
So, you know, I think I've done twenty-seven miles this week.

[00:05:15.490] – Rachel

[00:05:15.860] – Allan
You know, and unfortunately, I RunKeeper fell out on me apparently when I stopped to take a picture or selfie, it decides, oh, he stopped and I just paused this here. And if I don't remember to reset and start it. So you get down the road and you're like, I don't hear my little lady telling me how I'm doing.

[00:05:31.160] – Rachel
That's right.

[00:05:31.610] – Allan
And then I realized I just walked two miles without her telling me anything. So now that's not going to show up. So my winning my championship or my fastest ten-mile walk or whatever is just not going to be on that app. So that's the frustration. So now I started a spreadsheet, so I'll keep up with myself, dammit.

[00:05:50.700] – Rachel
Yeah, technology, it's so awesome, but it can also be just as frustrating.

[00:05:54.710] – Allan
It can be. So let me introduce our guest today.


Our guest today is one of the most famous and successful cosmetic dermatologists in the world. Often called the beauty guru by his celebrity and international patients, renowned for his minimally invasive techniques and holistic approach to cosmetic rejuvenation and age management. He is regularly featured as a skin and aging expert in local and international media. As a board-certified dermatologist, he has lectured around the world and has authored several articles on both consumer and professional literature. He is a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.

With no further ado, here's Dr Paul Jarrod Frank.


[00:06:38.530] – Allan
Dr. Frank, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:41.190] – Dr. Frank
Hey, how are you?

[00:06:42.810] – Allan
So I got your book and I was really glad to have an opportunity to read it, because as I get into my mid 50s, aging has become this this thing that I pay a lot more attention to these days. The book is called The Pro Aging Playbook: Embracing a Lifestyle of Beauty and Wellness Inside and Out. And I have to say that your approach to this is really refreshing because sometimes, you think, okay, this guy makes his living by making people look and feel younger.

That's what this book is going to really be about, is just let's sell some more plastic surgery. But it was absolutely not. And I was really, really glad to see that.

[00:07:26.050] – Dr. Frank
Well, I mean, listen, I've been doing this 20 years now, and I find the greatest way to predict the greatest cosmetic result has to do before you even do the procedure. It's just in the talk and gaining a feel of someone's perspective and feeling about aging and all the other things they do. So to me, what I've learned most in 20 years is not how to use the syringes and the lasers and all the things, but the most impactful thing is to learn how people think about aging and how I could help them think about it and then give them all the wonderful options we have now. It's not a bad thing aging, is it?

[00:08:01.030] – Allan
Well, no, but if you do it right.

[00:08:03.890] – Dr. Frank
If you do it right. I mean, listen, we weren't meant to live probably past the average age of 30 up until the last 50 to 100 years. So I think if we start with the idea that aging is a blessing, I think that's a good way to find ways to become the best version of yourself.

[00:08:25.030] – Allan
And this is you pulling out your psychology degree and using it, because it really does help here. And one of the things that I think is as I've gotten older, I've become much more aware of the words that we use and how that impacts our feelings, our lives, our emotions, our successes and failures. You prefer to use the term pro aging versus anti aging.

[00:08:48.640] – Dr. Frank
Yeah, and you know, anti aging, that's a word that immediately has a negative connotation. And it was created as a marketing tool. Right, this is started back decades, generations ago with selling creams and lotions and potions and things that are anti as if aging is a bad thing. And I think starting out from that that type of perspective is that type of negative thinking that we were just talking about. I think pro aging makes people feel more positive. It makes it look like less of a chore and more of something that you can embrace.

[00:09:27.130] – Dr. Frank
And hopefully I could teach people how to live a lifestyle, a pro aging lifestyle to bring all those things together. And we're lucky now. We live in a world where we have so many options, not just to keep us alive, but to make us look and feel good.

[00:09:39.760] – Allan
And so go a little deeper into when you say pro-aging, exactly what that means.

[00:09:45.640] – Dr. Frank
Well, I think it's a culmination of a lot of different things. Again, people think of the word anti aging. They think of like creams and procedures and all these things. But when I think of pro aging, I'm thinking of a lifestyle that involves a lot of forms of grooming. And to me, grooming can be exercise, the way you choose your meals, the way you choose your friends and the people who are positive and negative in your world, and how you choose lasers to get rid of sun damage if you choose lasers or other surgical procedures or things like that.

[00:10:18.070] – Dr. Frank
Pro aging is really a combination of grooming techniques. And I think one of the things I'm noticing more since when I started in the late 90s, is that because of technology and the access across socioeconomic groups and because of the technology, there's less and less. but basically these things are becoming so much more acceptable. When I was a kid, rich, only rich people had gym memberships, let alone had facial plastic surgery. And now the younger generation looks at joining a gym, having a nutritionist, having a life coach, getting a little Botox.

[00:10:53.090] – Dr. Frank
These are all forms of grooming. They're accepted. And to me, this is all part of the kind of pro aging lifestyle that I think people are now embracing and breaking those anti aging stigmas that they used to have. The ladies at lunch do procedures or vain people do these type of things.

[00:11:13.520] – Allan
Now, you use this title for for the bad things we do to ourselves that involve aging maybe faster or at least looking older than we are. When you use it, I immediately in my head had this concept of this Legion of doom, you know, these these these evil-doers, these these terrible the anti-heroes, you know, the villains. And you called it the extrinsic evildoer of aging, evildoers of aging, and I was like I say, when I when I read that, I was just thinking, you know, these are the bad guys. These are the guys, the villains that we have in our lives. Can you talk about who these extrinsic evildoers of aging are?

[00:11:53.400] – Dr. Frank
Well, listen, smoking, drinking, excessive sun exposure, all these type of things, not moving, not eating right. Fatty foods. These are like the evil do's of aging. We all know that these things are bad for us. But I try and relate to my personal story. I'm 50. I'm in my 50 years old. I wasn't an angel. I was young once. I used to lay in the sun and drink more and do all these different types of things and you change your ways if you want to feel good as you age. Otherwise, if you act like a 20 year old at 50, you're not going to come out too well.

[00:12:27.750] – Dr. Frank
I always say if I want to look and feel my best, I act like an old person. When I want when I try and act too much like a young person, I don't feel or look that good. But these evil doers of aging, let's say drinking and smoking, for example, we know they're bad from us. And I want to teach people how to moderate them. I give my personal story. I think a life of total restriction is a very boring life, not eating good foods, not not having a martini every once in a while.

[00:12:56.400] – Dr. Frank
But I do believe that you could feel good and look good by finding a healthy balance. And as we get older, obviously those limitations may be coming a little restrictive. What society tells you is that there's always a pill, a cream, a shot, a coach or something that's going to be an antidote to all those things. And the fact of the matter is, the best way to treat yourself is just to learn how to moderate those evildoers. To not bake yourself in the sun doesn't mean you have to hide from the sun.

[00:13:24.000] – Dr. Frank
So I think this balance, instead of selling people what they have to buy teaching people how to moderate and minimize these things and teaching them about the science and how it makes aging, I think works in teaching people how to live a better lifestyle.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Fastic. Before we had refrigeration, processing and bulk transportation, we just didn't have access to food like we do today. Because we're opportunistic eaters, most of us consistently eat more than we should. And our bodies don't know how to signal to us that we've had enough. I practice intermittent fasting regularly, and it's a strategy many of my clients use to get control of food and as a happy side effect, lose weight.

Fastic is an app you can download on an Apple or Android smartphone. It's a pretty snazzy app with a lot of tools to help you do intermittent fasting right. It not only lets you track your fasting, but water consumption, steps and a lot of other things.

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[00:15:08.280] – Allan
One of the things that you got into and I thought was was really interesting was, you know, we we want to rule and I think people like simple stuff. And I can give them one rule out of this. No smoking. Just just don't do it.

[00:15:22.160] – Dr. Frank
There is no moderation in that.

[00:15:23.610] – Allan
There's no moderation in that one. But when we start talking about sun exposure, I'm like, a little bit of sun exposure is good for almost all of us and for other people. Even a little more is even OK. How does someone decide for themselves the right way that, OK, this is this is my line. This is where this makes sense for me and this doesn't.

[00:15:47.910] – Dr. Frank
Well I get it. And I try and talk to a lot of dermatologists, but they are just like no sun, wear sun protective clothing. I can't do that. Dermatology is one of the few fields in medicine where we really have to judge people by the color of their skin and certainly anyone with a family history of skin cancer. I'm going to be more restrictive about. But people who tan easier, what we call type three skin, type six skin are like African American, Type four or five is like Hispanic, you know, type one and two skin are the fairest of people, like the blonde haired, blue eyed type.

[00:16:18.450] – Dr. Frank
And those are the people that have to be more restrictive. But by the way, those people don't ever tan well, and they never look good that way. You know, the darker skin types, the J-Los, you know, they kind of tan well. So, again, sitting people down and giving them a realistic. And by the way, anyone with sunscreen used appropriately can enjoy the outside. There's no reason why they have to hide. I feel that way about martinis and beers, too, by the way. You know what I mean, not all people have the same tolerance level of alcohol.

[00:16:47.250] – Dr. Frank
And by the way, smoking is bad as it is. The studies show people like, oh, I've been smoking my whole life. There's no point to quitting now. By the way, as a person who's been smoking a pack a day for most of their life, if they quit smoking in ten years, the risk of cancer goes down to almost that of a non smoker. So, you know, there's hope that's a positive thing for people to make changes in their lives. And that's kind of what I want to help people do.

[00:17:10.860] – Allan
Yeah, absolutely. Now, you said something in the book that made my heart sing as a personal trainer. He said, the number one thing you can do for pro aging, longevity and beauty is to get moving.

[00:17:24.490] – Dr. Frank
No question.

[00:17:25.380] – Allan
OK, and I love that, obviously. So can you give us some tips so that we can put some more movement into our life?

[00:17:33.030] – Dr. Frank
And my examples for myself and I like to work out four to six times a week. But you know what? It's not that forty five minutes a day that makes all the difference. It's taking the stairs instead of the elevator when you have the opportunity. It's like taking that walk instead of jumping into Uber, which by the way, functions as meditation, which functions as exercise, which functions on catching up on phone calls with friends and communication to your environment. It's just it's choosing sometimes the path that involves movement. And, you know, in a world where everyone is looking for a convenience, quick time, I think the best time you could spend is just moving your body.

[00:18:11.280] – Allan
So in the book, you did share some fairly specific tips as far as you know, as we're going through how we can make this, I guess, a little bit more regular.

[00:18:21.210] – Dr. Frank

[00:18:21.390] – Allan
And I think a couple of them that you shared that I really like and you you actually got into this a good bit in the book is about negative self talk.

[00:18:30.710] – Dr. Frank
Oh, yeah. I mean, listen, when we're younger, we look to make as many friends as we're getting older. We're looking to make as many professional social connections as we build our life and career. We all start off very naive and potentially influenced by people. And that's why our mothers, they want us hanging out with the good friends, not the bad friends. And we have to realize I have two children. I'm constantly trying to screen who they spend time with. Do I know their parents? Do I know the kids? Do I think it's a good kid. We have to look at ourselves in the mirror.

[00:18:59.820] – Dr. Frank
Every day is our lives and we have to learn how to filter people. The content. And that's not just on our social media feed, it's on the people we spend our time with trying to spend our time around positive people because negative thinking breeds negative thinking, so do negative people. And I find myself I started doing transcendental meditation seven years ago with my wife and really taught me how to filter things in my own mind and try and surround myself with things that are going to be, they're going to promote positive things in my life. I think that's the most important tool that we that we can constantly think of.

[00:19:35.490] – Allan
Yeah. With, you know, one of the things you brought up when you were talking about movement was you were being very clear that it doesn't have to be a gym. But, you know, in a lot of cases, I kind of compare and contrast that against what you just said is surrounding yourself around other people that are positive and into it. You know, if you can find a group class of pilates or something like that that you enjoy doing, by all means, do it.

[00:20:00.030] – Allan
And as we're recording this, obviously a lot of gyms are not open. A lot of classes aren't happening. But they will reopen, they will come back and as they do, finding that thing that works for you, be it surfing, be it running, be it lifting, be it going and doing a pilates class, I think that's all very, very important.

[00:20:20.030] – Dr. Frank
There's something out there for everybody. And that's kind of what I tried to say. You know, I try and tell people it's great getting word of mouth like, oh, I just tried this new workout app or I tried soul cycle. I did this. It's nice to get word of mouth to kind of get you to try new things. But people need to realize there's no one thing that works for everybody. And your expectation, sure. We like the communal aspect because it pushes us. I Was always a big soul cycle person, it just works for me. And it's nice to be pushed by your environment, but you have to realize you have to find your own way. And this is all about balance. And this is true in every aspect.

[00:20:58.010] – Allan
And I think just just to go deeper into that, one of the things you said in the book is you really didn't consider yourself an athlete as a child, but as soon as you strapped roller skates because you're parents took you to roller skate rinks, boom, there you were every weekend.

[00:21:14.530] – Dr. Frank
And, you know, and again, that's probably one of the reasons why I like Soul Cycle too, because it involves dancing in a form of exercise. My club days aren't so strong these days. You know, being on the dance floor until two o'clock in the morning is not that much of an option for me. But being around music, being inspired by other people, sweating around other people and feeling that that endorphin rush, that's what we all want.

[00:21:38.030] – Dr. Frank
That's pro aging. What's great about you want to find things that you can age with. Swimming, tennis, walking up and down stairs, taking walks, cycling, you know, not everybody could box until their 70. Some people can. And I think I have yet to find a laser or device that works for aging like exercise does.

[00:22:01.610] – Allan
And that's important. That's important here. So you're 50 and obviously someone that is in this profession. So looking your best, age in your best, that's kind of a part of who you are now. It's ingrained in you 20 years in the career. What is your pro aging regimen was what does your day look like?

[00:22:23.090] – Dr. Frank
Well, my day starts with meditation. Got to reset. You know, I'm a person. I do sleep eight hours a night. And it's mostly because if I get less than six, I'm not fun to be around. Like, you know, I'm not I'm not one of those people who can get by in four hours of sleep like some people claim. I like to sleep well. I meditate. I usually spend a little time with the family because it's the only time I get when my head is clear, is really the morning. And then after that, I exercise every day because again, after a busy day, it's I'm not going to get to do that at night.

[00:22:56.380] – Dr. Frank
And then I hit the pavement and I'm kind of on stage all day. I could see anywhere from 20 to 40 people go through my office every day and I obviously got to be on point for a lot of different people and a lot of different personalities. I try and have as much fun as possible, that's kind of my rule as I've done this 20 years. Is to keep it fun, keep it light. And and usually at the end of the day, I don't got that much left into me if I do have a work dinner or something like that or I go home to the family. But the meditation, the exercise are the prerequisite in terms of food. Again, I don't tell everyone to follow my technique, but I'm kind of not by choice a daytime faster I graze.

[00:23:40.730] – Dr. Frank
I have a little things I maybe have like an avocado or I have some nuts or I take a bite, my sister runs my entire professional life so I could I can dip into her salad or take a few bites of a sandwich if I want to, without offending her. And then I really I have my meal, whatever I want at night. And on the weekends, I love to cook and I love to eat and I like to indulge. And that's really it. And before you know it you're turning 50.

[00:24:07.670] – Allan
Yeah. And then 60 and 70 and then on.

[00:24:11.270] – Dr. Frank
And that's it. I try and you know, my life I fortunately have a very successful career with a lot of challenges and a lot of rapid growth. So I'm constantly trying to remind myself about the people and the things, like keep it positive, keep it simple. Because the world wants to complicate things, wants to sell you more, wants to do more. And a lot of things seem exciting, like growing your business. Right. It's an exciting thing.

[00:24:34.310] – Dr. Frank
But guess what? You constantly have to keep it in check. Is it going to give me more pleasure or is it going to give me more headaches? You know, and it's not easy. You know, I'm not always great at it. Catching covid and having 13 days of 103 fever and having problems breathing and having to be on home oxygen, that kind of put things a little bit more in perspective for me to check myself before I wreck myself. So I was very nervous about the pro aging playbook coming out about of course I started writing this way before covid.

[00:25:04.220] – Dr. Frank
I was nervous about, oh my God, I'm doing a wellness book. But I actually reread it from beginning to end right before the book came out with a covid mind, and I'm excited that it came out now because a lot of it is just about the psychology of life.

[00:25:19.810] – Allan
Well beyond that, I mean, one of the things that we're finding with regards to covid and the risk is just how well you've managed your fitness, your health, your, all of it. And if you're suffering from some health issues, obviously you're not you're not pro aging at this point. You're in decline. And this is a wake up call to all of us that taking care of our health is really the only thing that's in our control. We can't control what goes on at work. We can't control what's going on in the street. We can't control a killer virus that ravages the country. What we can do is control ourselves.

[00:25:59.890] – Dr. Frank
And a lot of people said to me they were so shocked because of my social media. I kind of became this poster person for Covid. Cosmetic dermatologist has become the poster person for information for Covid. They said, I don't understand, you're so young and healthy. I said, well, I'm glad everyone thinks 50 is young that's a great start. But I said, well, I don't think of it like that. Like, oh, my God, I can't believe I got it. I do such things to take care of me.

[00:26:24.220] – Dr. Frank
Maybe if I didn't take such good care of myself, I would have needed hospitalization or intubation or been one of those young people that died, you know what I mean? So I look at it the other way, like, thank God I was in good shape. So again, we've got to keep taking care of yourself. And along the way we might as well look good.

[00:26:42.090] – Allan
Yeah, absolutely. I don't know if you know who Tony Horton is, the guy who did P90X.

[00:26:47.030] – Dr. Frank
Yeah, of course.

[00:26:48.010] – Allan
I had him on the show and he went through shingles at the age of like sixty, sixty one. And it would have for what it does to a lot of people, you know, him being generally fit and healthy. He's weathered it really well. But, you know, it really does kind of speak to me. Again, we don't know what's going to happen and if we're not taking care of our health, then we're setting ourselves up for something worse.

[00:27:15.550] – Dr. Frank
Listen, you can invest money in the stock market, invest money in your own business. You can invest your time and energy and money in a lot of things. But there's one thing that is a guaranteed return on investment, and that is yourself. And that is whether you're exercising, eating right, doing something that makes you feel good about yourself. When you look in the mirror, everyone has a good hair day. I don't care how,

[00:27:39.370] – Allan
You haven't seen a picture of me.

[00:27:41.350] – Dr. Frank
But I do want to make fun of himself over another one. You don't have to be, you know, just having a little sense of vanity doesn't mean you're narcissistic. And I think any investment in yourself, in yourself, not for other people in yourself, is is is a 100% return on that investment.

[00:28:00.040] – Allan
Yeah. Just just for the record, I shaved my head when I started receding. Rather than do anything about it, i just went with it. Yeah. It's the best decision I could have made. It really is.

[00:28:11.980] – Dr. Frank
Thats good man. Is that that's keeping it simple stupid. That's the rule of kiss right there.

[00:28:16.180] – Allan
Yeah. Yeah. Dr. Frank, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well.

[00:28:25.870] – Dr. Frank
Well. And we talked about we talked about a couple of these. we talked about movement, moving your body for me, also meditation, and then investing in family and friends. Those are the three starts. All the other stuff comes once you have those three things in check.

[00:28:51.480] – Allan
Absolutely so, Dr. Frank, thank you for being on the show. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book, The Pro Aging Playbook, where would you like for me to send them.

[00:29:02.090] – Dr. Frank
Well, you could send them to my website at pfrankmd.com or they could check me out social media, Instagram, and Tic-Toc and Facebook, which is at Dr. Paul Jerod Frank.

[00:29:12.840] – Allan
OK, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/451, and I'll be sure to have a link there. Dr. Frank, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:29:23.240] – Dr. Frank
Thank you so much for having me. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:29:29.770] – Allan
All right, I hope you enjoyed that episode as much as I did. Dr. Frank was a really cool conversation, and I know we've been talking about aging a lot, but, you know, with me being approaching my mid 50s, it's a topic I think about a lot. So maybe I've seen too many books about aging. We'll go off on to some different topics in a bit, although I think our next week's episode is also going to be about aging, but it's kind of a different approach.

[00:29:55.780] – Allan
So we'll talk about that later. So, Rachel, Ras, why don't you take just a few minutes to introduce yourself, let folks know who you are and why you're here.

[00:30:05.740] – Rachel
All right. Well, hi, Allen. Nice to talk to you again. My name is Rachel, and most of my friends call me Ras. That's a childhood nickname that I've had. And once you get to know me, it just seems fitting. But most people call me Ras and I'm forty nine, which is why I've always been a big fan of your podcast lately. I'm over 40 and I like to be fit. And I've recently finished my NASM certification. I just got my certificate to be a personal trainer, so I'm pretty excited about that.

[00:30:38.770] – Rachel
Like I said, I'm forty nine. My husband Mike and I have been married for 25 years and we just celebrated our anniversary this last summer, which is great. And we both have we have two kids that are in college just starting off this next semester. One's at home and online learning and the others moved to campus. And so we're just hoping they stay safe in this covid era.

[00:31:02.470] – Allan
Now, one of the reasons I thought that Rachel would be a great guest for the show is she is a huge advocate of running. In fact, anywhere Rachel goes, if there's not already a run club, there will be one.

[00:31:15.730] – Rachel
Yes, yes, yes. Running has been a huge part of my life. I've been running consistently for over twenty years, actually. And it's served a different purpose at different times in my life. But everywhere I have traveled and we have traveled quite a bit, we've been in contact with different run clubs in different areas. And it's really a great way to meet friends especially when you move as often as we have. And I have some amazing friends that we've met down in Florida, including you and Tammy, your wonderful wife.

[00:31:49.000] – Rachel
And it's it's always a great way to get to know the city as well while also staying healthy and fit. So, yeah, I've got a pretty big running background. I've run too many 5 and 10 Ks to count. I'm up to over thirty closing in on forty half marathons. I've done Four fulls, 2 Ultra's and this year I was supposed to be running another Ultra as well as my first 50 miler. But covid shut those races down pretty early. So this year it's just about running miles and enjoying the time outdoors.

[00:32:27.370] – Allan
Yeah, I've been trying to put on some more mileage just but I'm not running right now. No one's chasing me and so I enjoy the walk. Plus, you know, for me it's not a function of time. I set my own schedule pretty much here. So if I want to get out, walk for three, three and a half hours, I'll go do it. And we have some beautiful beaches here. So kind of the cool thing is the further I walk, the more the better beaches I see.

[00:32:53.140] – Allan
So it's like I start out the public beach is not all the all that pretty with the seaweed and everything in the water. It's just not all that pretty. Once I get to two miles, I start seeing prettier beaches and I get the four miles, I start seeing awesome beaches. And so by the sixth and seventh mile, it's just breathtaking, the Bluff Beach and things that are here for me to see. So it really kind of pushes me when you're walking in one direction that far and, you know, OK, well, I've got to walk back.

[00:33:19.510] – Allan
So it's nothing for me to put on ten miles on a day just to get out and do a long walk. Three hours, nothing major, just listening to podcasts or audio books or things like that. And then when the batteries die on my headphones. I just now I get to listen to the surf.

[00:33:36.510] – Rachel
It sounds wonderful.

[00:33:38.340] – Allan
Yeah. So you did go for the NASM certified personal trainer. And I can tell folks, having done it myself, actually took that test twice, not because I failed it, but because I messed up on my recertification. I had to take it again. It's not a joke. It's not this is easy, go study for a week or weekend, and then go take a test. It's like a college-level course with a comprehensive final. So congratulations on that.

[00:34:07.420] – Rachel
Thank you so much. Yeah, it was a little bit more intense than I thought it would be. And even even after twenty years of running and believe me, I do a ton of reading and researching on all things fitness related. I still learned so much from this class. It was it was really in-depth. And I can't wait to put what I've learned to good use.

[00:34:31.610] – Allan
So, as you can see, Ras is the runner is also female and I am neither of those. So, you know, I think we're going to have a good rounded conversation as we go forward. So I invite you to come back, catch Ras and me as we discuss the different things that we're getting into with the podcast with life. So if you have questions, you know, feel free to send them to us. You can send them to Allan@40plusfitnesspodcast.com and Ras and I will take a round of responding to some of those in this final section of each podcast.

[00:35:05.240] – Allan
So Ras, thank you for being here today. Thank you for being a part of the podcast. I'm really excited for the direction we're going and just really excited to be working with you.

[00:35:14.420] – Rachel
Thanks, Allan. Thanks for inviting me. I'm looking forward to this new opportunity. I really appreciate it.


The following listeners have sponsored this show by pledging on our Patreon Page:

– Anne Lynch– John Somsky– Melissa Ball
– Barbara Costello– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander
– Bill Gioftsidis– Leigh Tanner
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Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


August 31, 2020

How to improve your wellness and age later – Dr. Nir Barzilai

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Dr. Nir Barzilai has always been fascinated by the aging process. Most of us know if we don't treat our body well, we will likely succumb to one or more chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or neurodegenerative disease. 

Dr. Barzilai has been studying the genes of SuperAgers, the people who have no just a longer life span, but a healthy lifespan. We're beginning to identify the longevity genes and crack the code on human aging. 

We get into the science during this discussion, but Dr. Barzilai also shares some practical tips so you can Age Later.


[00:04:17.010] – Allan
Dr. Barzilai, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:04:20.060] – Dr. Barzilai
Nice being with you.

[00:04:21.740] – Allan
Now your book, Age Later: Healthspan, Life Span and the New Science of Longevity is obviously a topic that I think more and more as I age it just kind of one of those things that just sticks out like, you know, I see people living to their 90s to one hundred. And plus, I was watching a show on Netflix the other day called Old Guard, and they were effectively immortal until for some reason they weren't. But you're talking about people in this book that are almost immortal.

[00:04:52.910] – Allan
I mean, they're living 40 percent longer than the average. And that's that's incredible. And if we're going to live that long, obviously, we also want to have the health span to go along with that. So a lot of good stuff. I want to pull out of your book, and I really appreciate the opportunity to review it with you.

[00:05:09.080] – Dr. Barzilai

[00:05:10.260] – Allan
OK, so you got interested in aging. You're talking about meeting up with your father. You're walking with your father.

[00:05:18.200] – Dr. Barzilai

[00:05:19.980] – Allan
Grandfather. And he got really he got really tired walking up a hill and that kind of got you at an early age thinking about aging. And in your study, as you got older, you know, you're actually studying this topic. You identified a term you call super agers. Can you can you define super agers and some of the traits that you found in people that live for a really long time?

[00:05:41.390] – Dr. Barzilai
Well, let me just go back and say that in the field of aging, we call it Gero science. We made really great strides because we kind of ignored the fact that it's really very complicated when you look at the components. But it's less complicated when you look at models that seems to age longer, to age slower, I mean. And to have an increased health span. And there are models like that in nature. And once they were discovered, once you could do it, imitate some of the findings in genetic ways, it became much, much more achievable.

[00:06:27.680] – Dr. Barzilai
And we understand now that aging is flexible and we can target it. And the reason I went to the centenarians at the same time where those genetic component have been discovered and very exciting models, was because I thought, you know, let's go to humans who live 100 years old because they lived, as you say, they lived 40 percent longer than their cohort. You know, now people are living longer anyhow, but we're not living to age of 100 and ask, what are the reasons for their slow aging, and that's why we got them. And in order to be in my study, basically you have to be healthy at age 95. Now, if you're one hundred and twelve and in coma, you still make it because it's the genetics that we were after. OK, and we wanted to find the genetics component of exceptional longevity, but being healthy and living independently at 95 showed that no matter what, they've exceeded their health span by a lot compared to other people. And that that's our definition of the super agers.

[00:07:49.530] – Allan
OK, now you found a few traits that are fairly common amongst the super agers dealing with cholesterol, growth hormone. And I'll be honest with you, the last part of that, you got a little over my head in the science.

[00:08:06.810] – Dr. Barzilai

[00:08:07.350] – Allan
But can you talk about those traits, what they are and what they mean?

[00:08:11.400] – Dr. Barzilai
Yeah. So, for example, when we started looking at the centenarians and doing just kind of routine tests, initially routine tests, one thing that was really remarkable is that they had a high level of the good cholesterol of HDL cholesterol. It actually ran in the family. It's kind of complicated because the good cholesterol goes down when you look at this certain individual longitudinally, OK, you take the same person. The HDL every year, every eight years will go by five fold by five points.

[00:08:46.890] – Dr. Barzilai
So basically 100 years old, their HDL should be like 20. But it wasn't it was normal. When you, when you look at those data cross-sectional, when you look at population, it doesn't change with age. It's forty five for men. Fifty five for women. So how can you explain that in individual it goes down and as it's the same. Well if this is a longevity factor, if this protects you against dying, then the people where it goes low, they die and the people with high level maintain the high level up.

[00:09:22.410] – Dr. Barzilai
And this is kind of what we've discovered in our centenarians. So they did have high level of HDL, which made us ask, well, what is the genetics of that? What are the changes in genes that they have and others do not have that explain this high level of HDL in their families. And we found a couple of them that proved to be not only interesting, but they're, it was kind of realizing the promise because in each case, a drug was created for them. One by Merck and one by another pharmaceutical called Ionis. So it really was a proof of concept that was really interesting and important.

[00:10:12.420] – Allan
OK, and now the second trait you talked about was human growth factor.

[00:10:17.530] – Dr. Barzilai

[00:10:18.310] – Allan
Particularly the IGF one.

[00:10:20.410] – Dr. Barzilai
So, again, one of the first thing that was discovered in nature, in genetics is that the animal models that the animal dwarfs in many models, they live long. Even the nematode, when you take out the nematode warm, when you take out the growth gene, they live much longer than the little dogs live longer, the ponies live longer. And when you mutate many of those growth genes, you get an extension of health span and lifespan.

[00:10:59.320] – Dr. Barzilai
And I actually thought that that's probably not going to be the case in humans. But, you know, when you write a grant, you come up with hypotheses. You don't care if it's true or not. And my belief had nothing to do here. I was convincing that I should get the money to do it then. And we found out that it is very important. In fact, more than 60 percent of our subjects have mutations or changes in the growth hormone pathway, the growth hormone pathway.

[00:11:31.930] – Dr. Barzilai
There's more than one gene. There's about growth hormone, but there's another gene that's very important. That's called IGF1. And that's what growth hormone does when it binds to the liver, it increased growth IGF1 and then IGF1 has this receptor and growth hormone as receptors, there's a whole pathway. And this pathway is impaired in our centenarians. And so we think that actually look, it's to explain simply the theory here is that at a certain point you have to change your energy from growth to defense.

[00:12:13.900] – Dr. Barzilai
OK, now you're playing defense. You have to stop this growing and you stop you have to start like pointing the energy to do something else, like stop the genetic breakdown, stop the breakdown, basically. And so people who are already tuned like that are aging just just later.

[00:12:39.340] – Allan
OK, so the big anti aging movement has people taking testosterone and in some cases they're also taking growth hormone, but in fact, that might actually be shortening their lives.

[00:12:53.950] – Allan
Right. And I would add estrogen for women in this case. Look, we were rushing and by the way, I was there at this camp initially, when I came to aging, there was no aging, not much of aging. There are several people who had apostasies, but there is no really big signs of aging. And I thought, well, I should be an endocrinologist because one thing is clear, all those hormones are going down, which means let's just replace them. And that's how we'll do aging.

[00:13:35.780] – Dr. Barzilai
And it turns out that it's almost the opposite, because, look, when you have the breakdown of aging and you're seeing lots of things, some of them can cause aging. There's no doubt some of them maybe don't play any role, at least in our lifespan. But some of them may be protective. After all, when you start to have this break down, just like you have an infection, you have inflammatory response. When you have a breakdown of aging, you have a response. By the way, some of this is inflammation too.

[00:14:12.860] – Dr. Barzilai
So it's it's not as simple as to say, oh, it's high, we lower that or it's low and will increase it. It's not like that. And I think the best, and all the examples that you gave are really good. But, you know, the estrogen was such a controversy. I mean, some people say why the Women's Health Initiative even went to estrogen. We knew it's going to be good.

And now that it's bad, people are saying, well, maybe, you know, maybe no, it's not what it is. Maybe there's other explanation. And they basically focusing on the fact that if you give estrogen between 50 and 60, maybe at that point you get some benefits. But still, the women who are older than 60 didn't do well in estrogen. So it's going to it's going to get to them, OK? And it's kind of the same with testosterone.

[00:15:09.360] – Dr. Barzilai
And I mean, no matter how we looked at testosterone, the risks outweigh the benefits. And growth hormone is a really open area because there is a lot of business in growth hormone and lots of elderly people are getting growth hormone.

[00:15:29.930] – Dr. Barzilai
And in the meanwhile, I'm discovering by totally unbiased way that probably this is not a good idea to give growth hormone OK, because it's the opposite. If you have low growth hormone, you're much more protected. You can live healthier and longer.

[00:15:47.180] – Dr. Barzilai
I would say just one thing to be aware of, this effect of growth hormone is huge in females and not as much in males, both in animals and humans. In other words, growth hormone injections might not be as risky for men as they are for women, but we are not sure of how risky it is. What is the magnitude of this effect? So there's a little openness here, but be careful.

[00:16:22.240] – Allan
Yes, and then when you get into the mitochondria, I think you did lose me a little bit there only because it got pretty, pretty detailed. But can you kind of go into, you know, the mitochondria does a little bit more than just provide energy in the cell. And the things you're finding is that that's part of what's causing the aging or the slower aging.

[00:16:44.080] – Dr. Barzilai
Right, so yet so let me let me describe the evolution of that, OK? Once upon a time, many hundreds of million years ago, there was the initial cell. And the cell had a real problem, the cell had a lack of energy could do only glycolysis. There's not that many calories from glycolysis. And the cell was also exposed to oxygen, which is very toxic. So there was the cell, but next by the mitochondria was walking. And the mitochondria is really a bacteria that can do two things, can harness the oxygen and also make energy out of that.

[00:17:38.180] – Dr. Barzilai
So that's how the cell got the mitochondria. OK, so these mitochondria is a collaboration of bacteria and and the cell to make it better. And it was felt that in this marriage the cell really was calling the shots because a lot of the messages came from the nuclear genome, OK, for the from the nucleus of the cell. Right. And what we kind of discovered is a new biology that really showed that this mitochondria has hundreds of its own messages.

[00:18:20.480] – Dr. Barzilai
And so there's a crosstalk not only between the nucleus and the mitochondria, but those peptides that are being manufactured by the mitochondria are exiting and they're influencing other effects across the body. And they are known as mitochondrial derived peptides. So, yeah, you know, about the mitochondria and the powerhouse and the fact that mitochondria declines with aging and that is associated with lots of diseases. And we really need to make sure our mitochondria is OK.

[00:18:54.890] – Dr. Barzilai
But there's another aspect of the mitochondria, which is the messages they have. And I have a company that I founded with my co-founder, Hossy Cohen, who is the dean of USC School of Gerontology. It's CohBar where we are actually making therapy out of those peptides that are basically offering resiliency against many of the diseases of aging.

[00:19:25.940] – Allan
OK, so so these are traits that we would have. You know, if we're looking at our own aging, there's seven what they call, I guess, Hallmark's. You didn't identify these, but you mentioned them in the book. So kind of like the areas where your field looks, a couple of them that I was really I was obviously familiar with and you've gotten into already is the epigenetics, but also inflammation and a few others. Can you kind of go through those and why looking at all seven of those is important.

[00:19:57.380] – Dr. Barzilai
By the way, I have eight there, but, you know, we had seven initially, the Europeans had nine, then Brexit happened, you know. You know, those those hallmarks we we initially thought to call them the pillars of aging. And then we said, you know what, we still are gathering data. It's going to change. And if you all of a sudden take a pillar, the whole building would collapse. So let's not call them pillar, let's call them Hallmark. But in fact, I'm using much more another term, which is knob's, because what makes a hallmark hallmark is the fact that there's a good research that shows that if you intervene then you change health span and lifespan.

[00:20:47.930] – Dr. Barzilai
OK, that's really the evidence. Another thing interesting, those hallmarks are interconnected in the sense that you can target one of the knobs and it's going to influence the others. So I'll give you an example. One of those hallmarks is called Purtill Stars. What is Protostar? We are manufacturing and with aging, we're manufacturing in increase amounts of proteins that are just wrong. They're not folding right, they're not accumulating. They're doing traffic jams and they're causing lots of problems.

[00:21:33.120] – Dr. Barzilai
Now, there is a way to deal with it. There are several ways to deal with it. But one is called autophagy. Autophagy is the garbage disposal of the cells. OK, there is the ability to garbage disposal that is decrease with aging. But by the way, it's a green energy garbage disposal because it gets those proteins or whatever garbage takes them to little components that are, that can be recirculated for energy again. And autophagy, by the way, is eating yourself, but it's not really eating yourself, it's cleaning yourself and making available better, better body.

[00:22:11.430] – Dr. Barzilai
So when you turn on autophagy, which you can do genetically or by drug, you get the effect on the mitochondria. You get the effect on the metabolism and you get the effect on immunity. OK, and other things. Another thing, two of the hallmarks are decline in immunology, in immune function and also inflammation or as we call it, inflam-aging. Those are the really two things that are relevant now to COVID. And let me make a point out of here, COVID.

[00:22:51.840] – Dr. Barzilai
So I'm telling you how we went from Hope to promise. Right. And we're going to realize the promise. And then COVID landed on us. And it's it must be an opportunity to but COVID landed on us and really showed ages. It showed that if you're 80 years old, you're two hundred times more likely to die if you're 20 years old. OK, it's really the major risk for dying.

[00:23:16.800] – Dr. Barzilai
And by the way, multi morbidity, lots of diseases for me they're just how old. But you are biologically, you know, at age 65, half of the people in Europe have less than two diseases and the other half have more than two diseases. So they're they're not super agers. They're aging really quicker. Aging is the major risk factor for COVID. And this is because of something that happened to those Hallmark's the immunity declines so the virus is more likely to attack you.

[00:23:50.550] – Dr. Barzilai
And second, what the people die from within few days of the infection, they get a very big inflammatory response uncontrol that is destructive, that is destroying the lung, and that is really causing the death. Those are two of the hallmarks of aging that can be targeted. Actually, both of them can be targeted. And we're trying to find a way for the public to know that, know what to do about it. But this is just, I think, important insights on the hallmark. If you want something more specific, you can ask.

This episode of the 40+ Fitness podcast is sponsored by Fastic before we had refrigeration, processing, and bulk transportation, we just didn't have access to food like we do today because we're opportunistic eaters. Most of us consistently eat more than we should and our bodies don't know how to signal to us that we've had enough. I practice intermittent fasting regularly, and it's a strategy many of my clients use to get control of food and as a happy side effect, lose weight.

Fastic is an app you can download on an Apple or Android smartphone. It's a pretty snazzy app with a lot of tools to help you do intermittent fasting right. It not only lets you track your fasting, but water consumption steps and a lot of other things. You can also connect with a fasting buddy to help keep you even more accountable. If you have an iPhone, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ifastic. For Android, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic.

If you're interested in learning more about intermittent fasting or just need some help getting started. Go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/ifastic for an iPhone or for an Android go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic.

[00:25:58.080] – Allan
That was wonderful because, you know, I think that really when I when I saw that picture, because you had a graphic in the book, you could see that interrelation, you know, and you did an excellent job there with Covid as an example of, you know, you've got two things. You've got the immune response and then you've got the inflammation in the body and how they're interrelated. So now that's really good.

[00:26:19.380] – Allan
You got into one topic that I thought I thought was a little interesting. You know, being in the health space, I have a lot of friends that are in the health space. And I have one friend that was on metformin while he was he was diabetic. He reversed his diabetes and he got off of metformin. But he decided for personal reasons, longevity reasons, to start taking metformin again. Now, he exercised he rides his bike. He does a lot of different things. So he was already exercising, which was a benefit. But then when he started talking about metformin, I was like, OK, well, until I saw it in your book. So can you kind of talk about the benefits we get from something like metformin or exercise?

[00:27:00.810] – Dr. Barzilai
Sure, really interesting topic. And in fact, let me say, I have many interest in metformin, but it's all because of overwhelming interest. We're trying to do a study that will demonstrate to the FDA that aging can be targeted and then variety of age related diseases, not only one, but few can be delayed substantially. OK, that aging is a preventable condition from age related disease perspective. To thread this needle, we had to find a drug that does it, a drug that is available, a drug that doesn't have pharmaceutical about it because we were just scientists and a drug that really will serve as a tool to pave the road.

[00:28:00.780] – Dr. Barzilai
Because because the point is, if the FDA doesn't have indication to target aging, then health care providers don't have to pay for it. If health care providers are not paying for that, the pharmaceuticals are not going to jump in because they need a business plan. I realize that. So we needed to break that. And that's the Gero-science effort and American Federation of Aging Research. And the NIH now are all partners in the study.

[00:28:29.850] – Dr. Barzilai
That's called TAM, targeting aging with metformin in order to show that aging can be targeted. OK, so that's the big picture. OK, of course you have to understand that because of that I'm not selling metformin to anyone. OK, that's not the purpose. But I need to do the study in order to show that. But why why metformin? Well, first of all, if you give metformin to almost all animals. Most recently a fish, one of the fish that is in the lab now investigated. It's called killing fish, killing fish, all other animals. You give them metformin, they live healthier and longer.

[00:29:11.000] – Dr. Barzilai
OK, but in in people, because and by the way, metformin, just from historical perspective, it's a drug that initially in the forties of last century. OK, so 80 years ago was used to prevent flu and malaria. In other words, somebody discovered the fact that it has some strong effects. While doing that, people also demonstrated that people who got metformin and in high glucose level, their glucose level normalized. And in fact, then it all became about diabetes. And it's the first drug of choice to treat Type two diabetes, which is the major form of diabetes.

[00:30:02.160] – Dr. Barzilai
So metformin is out there for more than 60 years. So everything you want to do, you know about metformin, we know about metformin, OK? It's been around there currently almost two hundred million people around the world that are on metformin. So it's generic. There's no pharmaceutical beyond it. It's cheap. It's safe.

[00:30:26.230] – Dr. Barzilai
Perfect tool for us. What is the evidence from humans, Will? If you take non diabetic and give them metformin, you'll prevent diabetes in them. OK, a big clinical study, it's called the DPP. Another big clinical studies were to look at the effects of metformin versus other drugs on prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, metformin prevented cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

[00:30:57.820] – Dr. Barzilai
There's many association studies, hundreds of association studies, all showing that people in metformin have less cancers, all all kinds of cancers. There's both clinical studies and association studies that there is less cognitive impairment and less Alzheimer's in people with metformin. And maybe the most fascinating to me is a huge study that was done in the UK, where in the UK you can go into the pharmacies and get data, you know, not the name of the person, but other medical information on those on those subjects.

[00:31:43.070] – Dr. Barzilai
So they took like 170,000 people and took this 78,000 that are on metformin data control with age match people, you know, in the treated by the same doctors getting subscriptions from from the same pharmacies. And basically they showed that compared to non diabetic people with diabetes and metformin had much less mortality, 17 percent less mortality over five years of follow up. Now, the people with more mortality had no diabetes and the people on metformin had diabetes, they had they were more obese and more sick to start with, and yet they live longer.

[00:32:36.000] – Dr. Barzilai
So take everything I told you about metformin and you see that it's a real drug that has real effect on many diseases in a composite of diseases. And that's why we use it as a tool to get permission from the FDA to target aging with it.

[00:32:58.840] – Allan
OK, now we can get we can get a similar effect with exercise, but in the book you kind of talked about using both of them together.

[00:33:06.260] – Dr. Barzilai
So, you know, so one of our challenges is we have all those hallmarks. Let's say we have a drug for all the hallmarks. Can we use all the combination together?Will it be additive? And the answer is it's specific. So we collaborated with a group that done the following study. They took elderly and they exercise them. A half of them were exercise with metformin and half of them without. And they actually that was an NIH grant. And they predicted that metformin will be editive to the effect of exercise. But to their surprise and by the way, there are other groups that showed the same.

[00:33:58.750] – Dr. Barzilai
All the people that exercised did better, but the muscle of the ones that exercised was bigger than the muscle of those that exercised and were on metformin. So it looked like metformin was actually inhibiting the growth of the muscle. OK, we were interested in that because in one of the supplements that you don't read, they also show something fascinating that although the muscle was a smaller, the strength was the same between two groups.

[00:34:37.820] – Dr. Barzilai
OK, so for me it means per gram of muscle. The one on metformin is better. OK, why is that? And what we did with this group we got, they did biopsies before and after treatment of the people. And we looked at the transcript of those biopsies and we showed exactly the mechanism by which muscle growth with exercise and why and how it wasn't growing as much with mitochondria, it was totally fitting. But metformin increased 516 other transcripts that are more of the aging protected transcripts.

[00:35:23.080] – Dr. Barzilai
OK, so they affected autophagy, as I said before, some other things they decrease and or some other things. And so at the end, you can choose if you want to exercise because you want big muscle, don't take metformin. But what the metformin did is it didn't affect the force but affected the aging of the muscles. So at the end it had the similar functional effect but you can choose what you want to do.

[00:35:58.890] – Allan
Yeah. And that kind of falls in line if you think about it. When we first started this conversation and we were we were talking about the growth factor in the hormones and people will often take those hormones because they want to get a little bit more muscular even as they age. And then here we are saying, you know, if you can build the quality strength of muscle without building that extra size, metformin will help you do that. And I guess the final one is…

[00:36:26.270] – Dr. Barzilai
Can I just say something about that. Look, a lot of what growth hormone is doing and for which you say it is quite expensive. Right. So how people, why people are buying it. Because they see something. What they see growth hormone melts fat under the skin. OK, that's why people seeing that something is happening when it melts fat around your muscle, your muscles look bulgier, OK? There's very few studies that shows any effect on strength. OK, maybe there's a little bit, but it's not much at all.

[00:37:08.370] – Allan
Yeah, that's going to come with the testosterone where you're recovering a little faster, therefore you're working out more often and that's typically where, you know, bodybuilders, they use either testosterone or steroid. That's where they see the size come from is they're just able to train harder and longer and more often. And that's what they get.

[00:37:26.820] – Dr. Barzilai
But, you know, what you said is very important. So I want I want to use this opportunity. We're talking about 70 years old. We're not talking about bodybuilders below 40. OK, so what I'm telling you is true for aging, OK? I'm not saying it's untrue for the others, but I'm not saying it's true either. OK, so let's say let's just build a Chinese wall.

[00:37:56.810] – Allan
Yeah. And I think that's where I was going with this is to say, you know, a lot of the things that we would be doing to build muscle and look more aesthetically pleasing are not necessarily going to be good for aging.

[00:38:16.310] – Dr. Barzilai

[00:38:16.950] – Allan
OK, and one that I wanted to get into is I saw this on this show. It's been years ago. And you name them you call them chronies. But they're basically people that significantly under eat. And there's some science behind how under eating can and calorie restriction can allow you to to live longer. We see that. We've seen a lot of that. But you talked about in the book ways that we can use things like intermittent fasting and ketosis to mimic that effect.

[00:38:46.680] – Dr. Barzilai
Right. So I want to say something about this paradigm. When we started caloric restriction, we knew another fact that if you give zero calories they all die in a few days, right, so we know that there are limits. OK. The question is how much how much calories, right?

[00:39:10.520] – Allan

[00:39:10.770] – Dr. Barzilai
And I'm not sure that the chronies took the right amount of calories. I think they took less calories than what they should have. But for me, one of the things that I, that we've done that always has to go back to the science. Yeah, we did those caloric restriction everywhere all the time, and it was always successful. OK, and whenever I test a drug that might affect aging, one of the control groups is the caloric restricted animal. Right. But what we did with the caloric restricted animal is the following. We would come in the morning. They were hungry. We would put all the food in the morning so they would eat all the food in the morning and will fast for twenty three hours more. OK, we really OK, because we said, oh, you know what caloric restriction means, it means that less for breakfast, less for lunch, less for dinner.

[00:40:07.490] – Dr. Barzilai
But that's not what we did to the animal. When we started actually doing the caloric restriction throughout the day, they were thinner, but they didn't live longer, which means something is in these. Fasting is important for the benefits of caloric restriction.

[00:40:26.160] – Allan
Do you think that has something to do with, you know, with cell death and the bodies reusing of materials a bit a bit more efficiently?

[00:40:35.750] – Dr. Barzilai
Well, we are looking we're looking now and it really we're looking at it what happens in this time course of fasting. So we're taking young and old people, men and women, and we're trying to look what happens to the biology of aging. We're going to take their cells and see at which time they become younger. Right. We are going to see in the plasma, when are the ketones starting to go up? When is the insulin going down and all that and and really determine. Because, look, first of all, if all it takes is 12 hours, then more people will be able to do 12 hours.

[00:41:13.820] – Dr. Barzilai
They'll they'll just skip lunch right? The 16, eight hours, which is what I'm doing is just surprisingly easy. All you do is skip breakfast. And you know that in 16 hours you can have whatever you want and you're not limited, although you find out that you eat less, but you're not limited. And I think this is a big advantage. If you gave me a diet for three months, I could fail any day. I could break any day. But I'm not going to break if I have two hours to go. I'm just not going to break. OK, so that's easy. And another thing, you lose weight quite rapidly initially, then it's stabilized, but you lose weight, so good diet.

[00:42:00.230] – Allan
And I think that's kind of the point. You know, when I get into ketosis, which I'm approaching right now, I naturally stop wanting to eat breakfast. I just when I wake up I'm not hungry. That's a very productive period of time for me. So even stopping the eating because it's quiet. You know I get up about four or five o'clock in the morning. And so I have about four hours before any emails are coming in or anything else is going on.

[00:42:25.610] – Allan
And those are the most productive hours of my day. So I don't want to stop and eat. Then I want to wait till the email start coming and then I can eat my breakfast while I'm reading email. But, you know, I think there's a lot to this and I appreciate that you're taking the time to to study how all these different protocols and in some cases now we're going to say medications can target aging because again, we don't want to just get older. We want to we want to have a long health, healthy life, too. So try to get that biological age lower than our chronological age.

[00:43:01.970] – Allan
Doctor, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:43:11.700] – Dr. Barzilai
Well, first of all, I agree with this definition and, you know, with my book, I'm not trying to sell any medication, although I have a lot of comments on many of those and not on medication, on stress, on society on interaction.

[00:43:33.480] – Dr. Barzilai
I mean, boy, the older people are so lonely with this covid-19. They are just so lonely. There's so many things that are part of health span. And it's not only medical, it's emotional, it's everything. What I'm what I'm trying to do is really to say something else. So I'm sorry. I'm not you can ask me specifically, but I'm trying to do something else in my book. I'm trying to say there's a lot of information out there. OK, here, we're going to have information out there.

[00:44:11.250] – Dr. Barzilai
How how do you know what's real, what's marketing, what was proven, what was hope, what is totally fake? OK, it's very difficult. And I'm saying, look. I'm going, I'm basically I'm impressed only when I see a clinical study, a clinical study means we take a population. Half of them are on a drug, half of them are in placebo. They don't know. The doctors don't know. And we have an outcome that we calculated. We know how many people we need and how much time we need. And this is a clinical study. And that's the only way that you can be sure that you're doing the right thing.

[00:44:56.470] – Dr. Barzilai
And unfortunately, there are not that many of them. I brought as an example, vitamin D. Vitamin D is associated with every disaster in the world. OK, but just the same, except women with osteoporosis. Every time you give vitamin D to people in risk, almost nothing happens or very little happens that the effect of vitamin D seems huge and when you give vitamin D, almost nothing happens or very little happens.

[00:45:30.020] – Dr. Barzilai
So there's no compelling reason. By the way, I have low vitamin D level. My doctor wanted me to take the vitamin D and I said show me to me. And he said, well, maybe if you have osteoporosis, said, let's do a scan. I did a scan. I actually have bones that are five sizes thicker than the average. And I'm thinking, you know what, maybe that's why I have low vitamin D level, because we might not know all the direction. Maybe the fact that my bone is like that, it decreases the conversion of vitamin D because it needs protection. So I don't need to be all bone. OK, so so for me, vitamin D is not a is not an issue because the clinical studies have not supported it.

[00:46:24.340] – Dr. Barzilai
There is another part of vitamin D, though, that I would give us an example. If you want to take vitamins, at least vitamin D didn't show to be harmful. So that's also good. So, you know, we can go one by one. And so but then there's another category. There's a category of drugs that have promise, OK, based on lots of data, maybe animals data. But there is no clinical study and maybe there won't be clinical study, you know, there are nutraceuticals. OK, so in that play, in one of the examples, anime and ad supplements and a man. So I don't have anything against taking in a man.

[00:47:13.130] – Dr. Barzilai
I think I don't understand everything. We don't understand everything we need to know about any men, but it probably has strong anti-aging properties. And I don't see really that it's doing harm, although I'm not in absolute way sure of that either. OK, are they good people who have cancer? Maybe it's not good in people with cancer. OK, there are lots of safety issues that we could deal. But the point really that I'm trying to stress is we have to do better than just reading something in the Internet and taking it much better than that. And there's a way to make progress in that.

[00:47:52.510] – Allan
Yes. Well, Doctor, thank you so much. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Age Later, where would you like for me to send them.

[00:48:00.650] – Dr. Barzilai
So Age Later can be bought on Amazon. And if you want to have more information about the book and about health, the American Federation of Aging Research, AFAR.org is where you can find more about the book.

[00:48:21.810] – Allan
You can go to 40PlusFitnesspodcast.Com/449 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Dr. Barzilai, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:48:33.950] – Dr. Barzilai
A pleasure. Good luck to you and and nice mission to have.

[00:48:38.150] – Allan
Thank you.


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Another episode you may enjoy


Thriving into your 90s with David Frost

David Frost is on a mission to make the Boomer generation Kaboomers so they can thrive and strive into their 90s.


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[00:02:32.110] – Allan
David, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:02:35.240] – David
Well, thanks so much, Allan. And golly, here we are the first Friday of a crazy summer.

[00:02:40.780] – Allan
So, golly, that that definitely puts you in the boomer category using that word. So book is called KABoomer: Thriving and Striving into your 90s. And I really like that concept because I think I would say, you know, when we were growing up, you know, 30 was old, 40 was old and, you know, we were all just going to die at 65. So I don't even know why social security exists because we'll just die the day after we are eligible. But living into your 90s is really not really the goal. But it's it's just so possible and so believable now because more and more people, we see them living good lives, doing the right things and living well in and past the 90s.

[00:03:26.560] – David
True. And some of that technology, some of it's lifestyle. And we're blessed to be in the age where average statistical life expectancy is growing. But then, of course, some of us like you and I think that living better is the other side of the coin, where not only do we want more circles around the sun, but we'd like it to be good circles.

[00:03:48.990] – Allan
Yeah. One of the things I like to say is I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105.

[00:03:57.470] – David
Amen! And if you do, some of that might be the blessings of having good genes in your makeup. But a lot of it, I think we can control as well. And certainly thriving and striving and being fit past 40 or 40 plus fitness, excuse me, are things that resonate with me and maybe some others will too.

[00:04:18.710] – Allan
Yes. Yes. Now, you talked about lifestyle, and I want to get into that because this is really what this is all about. It's the things that are in our control. You mentioned that there are some genetic factors of how long we're going to live, but it makes up a percentage. We'll just say a lower percentage and we'll just leave it at that. But as far as lifestyle goes, in the book, you list seven elements of a long and healthy life.Can you. Can you go through those seven elements?

[00:04:46.220] – Allan
Love to. And I'm a simple guy, so I picked the letter “S” it seemed to fit. So the seven elements, Allan, that you did mention are; STRENGTH, which can't wait. And we know that one of the greatest things about resistance is it can help us in so many ways, whether it's insulin sensitivity, metabolism, lean skeletal muscle, all those sorts of things. So strength is one of the ones that we go back to the Greek philosophers that talked about brandishing weights in the centers of their shoulders.

[00:05:19.910] – David
This is not a new idea. That resistance exercise is really good for us. And we also have learned, as you mentioned, we're blessed to have more research than our forebears did that we can continue to. It's hard. We know past 40. It's hard, but we can, as we know that smart people have said that we can continue to build muscle into our 80s. So that kind of is a little bit of a springboard to those blowing out those 90 candles that you mentioned. So that's strength. I believe that the bedrock is STAMINA for staying alive. We're living, breathing organisms and motion is medicine. So stamina. Meaning get moving. Moving to sweat. Almost every day of the week is absolutely critical for our vitality, helps us sleep better, we eat better because our body knows what it should be eating instead of what's available on the shelf.

[00:06:16.580] – David
So I in my model, I call stamina the bedrock for staying alive then that capstone, believe it or not, I wish we folks like you and I that are in the personal training business think that we'd love to claim that we're more responsible for lifestyle than we are. But sleep is the capstone in my model. So that's the third S restorative restful SLEEP. So our brains can do their magic and we can recover. Particularly for those of us that are a little bit older and do take a little longer to recover from our stamina or our strength worked.

[00:06:52.100] – David
So that's our capstone. I'd like to highlight one. That's a take away. It's a thief. STRESS. Stress is good of a great white shark is chasing you or chasing me in the shallows of the ocean. But stress is not good if it becomes chronic. So that's the take away the thief in my physical 401K model. A couple of others. Anti aging sustenance. That's really the currency and my physical 401K. If we eat the colors of the rainbow I described as vitamin P because I can't remember all those vitamins very well.

[00:07:28.990] – David
But I call vitamin P that collection of wonderful, somewhat macro nutrients, but mostly micro nutrients that make our organisms what they are. Then we have some minerals that we can hopefully absorb as well to keep us vital, muscles, brain health. All those sorts of good things.

[00:07:48.620] – David
So the anti aging food is really, to me, the currency of our 401K and two additional ones. The flexible account part of our physical bay is stretching. In the book, one person I respect talked about oiling up the Tin Man. If our joints are not limber, if our connective tissue is not doing what it's supposed to do, we tend to hunker down and not be you know, we lose height as we get older because that happens.

[00:08:23.120] – David
But why not keep them? Why not keep the limbs oiled up so we can both play with the grandkids and enjoy life? And then the last item is our accident insurance, which is STABILITY. Stability is so important. Starting with a great toes. One of the mergers along levity. I wish I could claim credit for this, I can't. And we all can get better at this, just screw one foot into the ground, raise the other foot off the ground. Close your eyes and see if you can, at my age, if I can stay erect and not topple over with my eyes closed. One foot on the ground for 20 seconds. That's a great indicator of longevity. And if we do believe, like I do, that some longevity is what we can control.

[00:09:12.500] – David
That's simple, yet hard thing to do. So strength, stability, stamina, strength, stretching, stress, not because that's a thief, restorative sleep and substance that hit seven. It's a long list, but that's a long list.

[00:09:28.750] – Allan
Yeah. And, you know, the interesting thing about all seven of those is that they are all generally interrelated. If you're not eating well, you may not be sleeping well. If you're stressed, you may not be eating well or sleeping well and your body's not going to want to put on muscle. When you're lifting trying to do your strength work and you just may not have the energy and stamina to do the things you want to do.

[00:09:53.930] – Allan
So everything's interrelated. And we have to take care of really all seven of those elements. We really want to live a long, healthy life. I want to talk about a few of a couple of them I guess, because we really don't have enough time to go into all seven and one of the core ones. And you kind of put this in the front because you consider this one of, if not the most important to at least make sure you're working on on a daily basis and that is stamina. Can you talk a little bit about how you define stamina and then how we can build stamina as a healthy.

[00:10:25.430] – David
Thanks so much, Allan. Stamina to pain my laman or trainers definition is stamina is your ability to be active or to do work or to exercise to a period where you sweat and by sweating your bodies do some amazing things. You know, you hear the phrase. No pain, no gain or tear down to build up. But by challenging our systems, our cardio respiratory system and our muscles, the sweat equates to being at the right level of intensity for stamina and to make good things happen.

[00:11:04.010] – David
And so kind of in a three level model, if we spend most of our time, perhaps up to 80 percent of our time, moving at a pace where we can be conversational. And how about those damn Yankees or what's this crazy pandemic is, as you're moving. That's at the right intensity to help your system build capillaries, to help your cells build more mitochondria, those little powerhouses. And to build capacity. We we should spend most of our time in a low intensity zone where we can be conversant.

[00:11:42.470] – David
Now, to get a little technical and it's in the book, but it's pretty well documented that that equates to about two thirds of your maximum heart rate. So there's equation's in the book to kind of guesstimate where your training zone is for most of your work to build stamina for staying alive. In my case, I'm blessed to have a maximum heart rate of about 180. So when I do most of my work rowing, heavy yard work, playing with the grandkids, if I keep my heart rate below 120 for 30 minutes, I know I'm sweating or the ladies would be glistening, but that is in the right zone to build capacity.

[00:12:23.390] – David
So that's zone one. That's two thirds of max heart rate, measured heart rate. And that's conversational. So important to invest the time in that low intensity zone to build capacity for staying alive. There is a second zone which feels really good. Your heart rate gets higher, perhaps up to 85 percent of your max. 80 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. And if you can maintain, you know, it depends on your your level of fitness entering in as a 40 plus fitness person or as a KA boomer, you can.

[00:12:55.430] – David
It feels really, really good. But you can't sustain it for for as long as you would for the zone I mentioned previously to Staying Alive conversational range. Once in a while, when your doctor gives you the OK again I'm Medicare age. And we strongly encourage everyone over the age of 60 to get a physical aptitude readiness question signed by your medical professional so that you, be a he or she, you are approved to raise your heart rate episodically, raise your blood pressure and move.

[00:13:26.720] – David
And there is that third zone, which I kind of call red zone, or you can call it a sprinting zone where you get up to about 90, 95 percent of your maximum heart rate. You don't do it very long. You don't do it very often. There's a quote in the book, A legendary doctor I believe he is now at university, now he's at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Joyner, he has a haiku that talks about stamina, run a lot of miles, some faster than race pace and rest a lot or words to that effect. And that is so true for staying alive and building endurance. It's it's the bedrock in the models that you describe, the model that I talked about in the seven S's. If we don't have a bedrock foundation of stamina, we're probably not going to blow out those 90 candles very well.

[00:14:14.880] – Allan
Yeah, the way I like to think about it in terms of just I do like to think of it in terms of exertion because it's hard, you know, you can stop and you can check your heart rate, every one in a while if you choose to. But then you've stopped. And so a lot of times what I like to do is say, OK, if generally you're walking with, say, walking with one of your best friends and you guys go out and going to either walk or run, depending on your fitness level at the level you're talking about, you're right at that edge where you can have a full sentence of five or more words and not have a problem talking.

[00:14:46.970] – Allan
Once you get to a point where you're talking in three or four word bursts. Now you're getting into that zone two. And it's OK to be in the zone two, for a while, but you're just not gonna be able to hold that out for too too long. But it's OK to be there for once. Just recognize when you're in there and realize that you're probably not going to be able to keep it up. And that might enjoy your walk or your run earlier than you'd like.

[00:15:07.430] – Allan
So slowing down a little bit. Getting back in the zone one would allow you to keep going. And then that zone three is the point where like you said, maybe its the shark and you're in the sallow water. You grab up the grandchild, you start running. You're not trying to stay in zone one at that point. Get the heck out of the water. So you're probably going in zone to my right perspective, but you can perceive that exertion pretty easily if you pay attention to your body. What I found.

[00:15:36.860] – David
You know, absolutely. My sentiment and my experience as well, Allan, is that feedback loop in listening to your body, perceived exception or perceived exertion, can do it. I think. Well, it's my prediction, and I would ask you if it's your sense as well. You don't have to get overly crazy with appliances like smartwatches, fitness watches or other things that are about our body, if we listen to it, is a wonderful feedback mechanism to help us build that bedrock of stamina.

[00:16:09.310] – Allan
Yeah, some. Somehow we live for tens of thousands of years without an Apple Watch. Go figure.

[00:16:16.240] – David

[00:16:17.230] – Allan
Now, this episode of 40 Plus Firtness podcast is sponsored by Audible, is the leading provider of spoken word entertainment and audio books ranging from bestsellers to celebrity memoirs. News, business, history fiction. And, of course, health and fitness. The audible app is completely free to download and use on Apple or Android devices, have a smartphone and a tablet and like to switch between the two, no worries. The Audible app lets you pick right up where you left off. I find their app to be better and easier to use than any podcast App out there. By the way, they're also producing podcasts. I love Audible because it lets me get out and about and enjoy wonderful audiobooks when I want to go on a long walk, I'll pick up something in my library based on my mood fiction or nonfiction and hit the road. Power user tip. I put it on one point five times speed as I found when the narrator is talking faster, I walk faster. I love having audible as my walking companion. Audible is offering you a free trial at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/audible. That's a u. D. I. B. L. E.

[00:17:35.330] – Allan
You're listening to a podcast. So I know you understand the value of On-Demand audio content. In my opinion, Audible is the best at that. Get your free trial at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/audible.

[00:17:54.120] – Allan
The other one of your seven that I really want to get into today is strength. This is this is one of my favorites and I think it's one of those concepts that it's hard for some people to wrap their head around because there's such a culture in this in this world now of being thin, you know, being, you know, light, not weighing a lot. Having this look and that look typically has them concerned that if they if they do build strength, they're just going to become these big hulking monsters and they don't wanna look like that.

[00:18:30.870] – Allan
So but strength is so important and it's really hard to get people to recognize that they need to do this. Would you go through some facts to help us understand why strength is so important?

[00:18:42.600] – David
Sure. And again, I'm not a strength expert and not a kinesthesiologist, but I am a boomer blessed to have a fair amount of skeletal muscle. Some of it's nature. Some of it's nurture. But studies, and it's very valid. I think most of us that have reached Medicare age know that are what we call we used to call the neck to butt ratio. Now it's a formal name for the waist to hip ratio to change. Statistics are that starting at the age of about 30, you may lose almost a percent of your skeletal muscle per year, with a terrible sounding word symptom called Sarcopenia, loss of flesh or muscle.

[00:19:23.970] – David
And if we don't work to slow that down or rest it, we will become shrunken over and we can joke. Folks my age remember Laughin andArtie Johnson was a character on Laughin who was shrunken over and always playing that kind of the wheezy couch potato. And I don't want to be that. And the way to avoid doing it is to challenge your muscles. Resistance, exercise. And we can talk about the variations that, just like you mentioned, for exertion, with the stamina bedrock, with the foundational strength that people can work on and matter.

[00:20:05.160] – David
I've never seen a study that said no matter what your physical or special condition is, be it cerebral palsy or multiple sclerosis or Type two diabetes. I have never. There may be one or two, but I have never seen a study that said that resistance exercise was counter indicated. It is so good for offsetting the loss of flesh so that we can stay upright. We all kinda know those older people who have to use a walker because they can't stand up straight.

[00:20:38.550] – David
And that's not good. They've let their big muscles and their supporting muscles atrophy, if you will. And that that terrible sounding word. I'm glad it's a terrible sounding word. If more people heard sarcopenia. Maybe they would pick up that 10 pound bag of rice and move some metal and do some things like that.

[00:20:59.670] – Allan
And it goes beyond Sarcopenia because there is a related villain in this story called Osteopenia, which is about the weakening or loss intensity in your bones and strength training actually helps you fight both of those.

[00:21:16.030] – David
It sure does. And of course, we encourage the ladies, half of boomers and those striving to be well past 40, 40 plus fitness. They have to experience the gentle. This gets back to stamina as you shared, the interrelated factors are so true. Ladies have to work on their bone density. They do not want a broken hip or a broken ankle, a broken wrist because their calcium is out of whack because they haven't done resistance training.

[00:21:46.260] – David
So it's so true that we were born to move. We were born to push others around and move stuff and and move to sweat and again, back to the interrelation. Moving heavy stuff as heavy as you can. Doctors directives and you're trained if you have a trainer, it is so important. for those of us my age in the 65 plus age category, we generally recommend if you work all the major muscles, if your body just to do it twice a week, we recover a little bit slower than you folks that are not boomer aged.

[00:22:23.580] – David
So we do advocate religiously doing moving heavy stuff as heavy as you can twice a week. Maybe some can get away with three times a week. I personally do it twice a week and I mix it up. There is four times the types of lifting. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court justice, is a 80 plus. She's a cancer survivor. She lifts weights. There are power lifters who can generate extraordinary. Meaning lifting heavy weights very quickly. And that's that's a powerful thing.

[00:22:57.380] – David
Or you could think the football player, JJ Watt, who is published that he was able to do a box jump of fifty seven inches and that's explosive strength. And then there's endured strength and that farmers. A farmer that has a long day in the fields is probably a pretty fit guy. He or she is a pretty fit guy because they move heavy bales of hay or things like that. So one of the great functional exercises that we advocate for people my age is a farmer's walk.

[00:23:29.200] – David
Grab some heavy things in each hand and walk. Functional exercise for people our age is really, really important. So endured, explosive and I'm drawn a blank on the third on the other flights. It's great.

[00:23:40.430] – Allan
Yeah, I really I'm really keen on on the functional because when we start thinking about, you know, real life, for example, I see your grandchild comes running up to you and the first thing you want to do is grab that grandchild and swing them up into your lap. You want to bring them up to you and lift them. Well, you know, if you don't have the strength to do that, then, you know, that's that's where you are.

[00:24:03.920] – Allan
You're not as close. You're not having that opportunity that to be with your grandchild the way you want to. So something as simple as learning how to do a good deadlift and learning how to do maybe a kettlebell swing or two functional exercises to help you be in strength mode to be able to to do something like that. And then you've mentioned farmers lifts, farmers carriers. Grip strength is so, so important. You mentioned it in the book. But I always tell people, you know, we we're not just doing this to live longer, as you mentioned earlier, we're doing this to live better. And the first time you get a jar of something, you're trying to make dinner and you can't open that jar. You've lost some independence. And that's the first signal, you know, like you talked about the walker, but you know, just not even being able to open a jar and hopefully someone else in the house is there that can open that jar for you. Otherwise. You do without or then you start implementing tools like the Walker.

[00:25:06.820] – Allan
Now you've got this little jar opener thing to help you open jars, but now you don't open jars. So you don't have the strength, open jars, but you're losing your independence. You can either lose it to a tool or you can lose it to a person. But, you know, strength is such an important part of keeping the lifestyle that we want to have.

[00:25:25.240] – David
Boy, how true. And activities of daily life. I mean, we talk about it so often in your profession and my profession. Working with others and helping them live longer and live better. But if and when we can ever travel again, are you going to would you want to be that person that says, would you lift my carry on up into the overhead bin because I can't? Or would you be the one who grabs a couple for other people and tosses them into the overhead bin?

[00:25:49.580] – David
It's, you know, humbly. Being strong is not an apology. There is a phrase that I'm sure many of your listeners have heard. Strong is the new skinny. Boy, I believe it. You know, the days of Twiggy are over. The days of being able to handle the activities of daily life are so important. They are for me, grandkids are getting heavier, you know, and I want to be able to try to stay as young with them as I can for as long as I can.

[00:26:19.990] – Allan
You can ask my wife, one of the reason she keeps me around is I can lift heavy things.

[00:26:24.850] – David
There you go.

[00:26:28.690] – Allan
I'm good at carrying heavy things around. Put this over there. Lift that. Put that over there. Anyway, I'm really good at that. And a few other things, but that's that's the big one. I put my hat on.

[00:26:40.620] – David
By the way, that little mentioning you're the inter related aspect of this wellness that you cited a couple of times, Allan. Humor is a big part of it. You know, the fact that, you know your wife and you figure out how to get things heavy lifted and have a chuckle. Chuckles Good exercise. And it's certainly good medicine. We sort of know that. But do we really laugh as much as we should?

[00:27:05.840] – Allan
Yes. It goes into your others, into one of your S's, and it's the stress, you know. You can't be laughing and be stressed at the same time. At least not a good belly laugh happy. For that moment in time, you found joy and you let that stress go, which is a hugely valuable for well-being. So I agree with you. Yeah. Having having some fun is all part of this. And, you know, I'm looking for that every every moment I can get as we go.

[00:27:35.800] – Allan
That's the cool part of that. But I wanted to talk about, you know, someone someone's considering going into training and they've never trained before or they have trained. But, you know, it's the it's the it was the Jane Fonda videos for a while. And then they went with Ghil'ad when he was on ESPN, and then they picked up with something else. And now most recently, maybe they did a little bit of the body part for less miles videos, but they really haven't gotten into what we would call core resistance training, strength training.

[00:28:11.980] – Allan
So someone's gonna go in and sign up at the gym, be at a big box gym or small gym in their neighborhood. What are some of the things they need to do to be safe when they're lifting?

[00:28:25.460] – David
Yeah. Safety first. But almost no one is not to be psyched out by a big box gym, where there may be younger or fitter, maybe more grunting specimens that are seemingly doing amazing things on isolated lifts. For folks my age, it's for folks of all ages. But as we get older, I advocate it is so important to work multiple muscle groups and do complex exercises. And free standing weights don't have to be heavy. But getting away from the crutches of fixed machines, there is there is a place for those, you know, those open cycle exercises.

[00:29:03.520] – David
But I'm much more an advocate of complex exercises where you use major muscle groups, perhaps a lunge again, if your doctor improves, you safely do lunges and maybe some transverse work with a twisting and an overhead lift. You're working your body in pretty planes. You're working on strength, stability and stretching all in the same routine. It does not take a lot of time and you'll be a better boomer by doing that. So safety first. If you can afford a trainer, I would advocate everybody see if a trainer adds value to your journey for this physical 401K, you may be able to do it on your own. But please don't be psyched out if you're in the presence of others. Do your own thing. Zone out and meet your goals. Have a plan going in for safety. Know the proper routines to lift. There are your certifying body, NASM and my certifying body, NFPT, National Federation of Professional Trainers, outlined the protocols for how to lift safely so that we are able to get our work in and not be injured.

[00:30:16.230] – David
So, yeah, safety first, starting with your doctor's approval to go into the gym in the first place, but then having a protocol, having a plan. Use a trainer or try a trainer if you think that it might add value, at least until you get going on your own and then enjoy the journey. Emotion is medicine. We do have a phrase exercise over drugs, as you mentioned. There are so many interrelated factors that relate.

[00:30:45.320] – David
Resistance training leads to a better diet, bone density, insulin sensitivity, better sleep, you look better in the mirror. You know, we joke that mirrors Lululemon leotards and little kids and drunks don't lie. They will let a boomer know if he or she doesn't look fit. You know? So does the mirror lie? No, it doesn't. So resisting training helps you to be proud of what you see in the mirror. It takes a while.

[00:31:15.860] – David
You safely lift it for a couple of times a week for a period, eight weeks. I almost guarantee you you will see a difference and you will be proud of that difference. So it's a journey. It's got to be a safe one like you asked at the get go there for strength training. But complex exercises done safely done in the right emotions. The protocols of proper lifting. And you'll be KA boomer.

[00:31:42.780] – Allan
Yeah. Know, one of the cores that I want to put out there before we sign off on this topic is, you know, when you're when you're learning a strength exercise, don't immediately think that you're just going to jump in to adding a load, adding weight onto what you're doing. You really need to learn the routine. Learn the exercise well to know the true forms. And so sometimes I get strange looks. I'll be in the gym and all I have is a little PVC pipe.

[00:32:09.940] – Allan
And I'm trying to learn a movement. I'm trying to make sure that I perfected before I put any load at all on myself. And they look at me and say, well, you know, obviously you could lift that. And I'm like, yeah, I could lift that. But I'm not going to lift that until I know that I can get this lift functionally right. And once I get my form right, then I start what I call gentle nudging, which is putting a little bit of resistance on top of that, making sure I keep that form.

[00:32:36.500] – Allan
And then slowly progressing from there. And if you if you push your body too fast, it will break. Particularly when you're over 40 or over 60. Your body will break if you're not taking care of it and getting good form when you're doing these movements. So that's one of the core. And as you mentioned, Dave, I think it's important for us to consider it is a personal trainer good for us. And I'd say for most beginners, absolutely.

[00:33:02.030] – Allan
Having a trainer there to teach you that form that they give you a customized workout is specifically for you. To give you what you want, which you know you need, going through those and learning the form well from a well qualified personal trainer, is gonna go a long way towards helping you avoid these injuries. So do consider that investment? It's an investment that'll keep you in the gym. It will be investment will keep you from hurting.

[00:33:28.190] – Allan
And it'll be an investment that will get you stronger, faster, because you'll learn the movement well and then the movement will actually do what it's supposed to do when you add weight to it.

[00:33:38.230] – David
And maybe a little bit of the social interaction there as well. Studies show and you and I both know that lots of times it helps to have a workout buddy. Whether that buddy is a trainer or a friend of yours, could be a sibling, could be somebody from your family. Sometimes working out together is a great way to inspire and keep moving because everyone has a day when I don't feel like it today. Well, you know, taking that first step is important and making that a safe step as you mentioned. And a trainer, I believe, can also help with that fascinating mind body alignment.

[00:34:18.260] – David
Those that are in the zone lift more effectively, recruit more muscles. It's not always the biggest athlete that does amazing things. It's the one that has that great alignment, communicates, recruits more muscles to do the lifts. And that's what it's about. I mean, at my age, we're not going to build, as you mentioned, back to, you know, Jane Fonda and Skinny and so on. At our age, if you're natural, it is very, very, very hard to build mass.

[00:34:50.570] – David
However, what we're looking for is to offset the loss of mass, that sarcopenia thing and then the loss of bone density also. So this is important stuff. And I hope that, you know, the words that you're putting out and get people's attention and they learn how to move stuff and enjoy it.

[00:35:09.040] – Allan
Yeah, my my trainer, when I was I was living in Louisiana, my trainer's name was also David. And so David made the mistake one time of needing to reschedule me. He said, you know, I've got someone that wants to train during this time for a competition. Would you be willing to move? And I said, OK, well, what do you want to do here? He said five o'clock and he said it before he actually realized what came out of his mouth.

[00:35:42.910] – Allan
and I was already warmed up, ready to go. So I hope that I was one of his favorite clients all the way. If he was telling me to do something I knew was wrong. I didn't mind telling him. So maybe I wasn't. But you're right. Having having a trainer, knowing that trainers, they are knowing you're paying that trainer, you've got that investment, you're you're in it. And then just like you said, having someone there that's going to advise you learning together. In my case, Dave and I were learning together because we're both really into this. And eventually you might be, too. So just recognize that if you're starting out, it's good to have a coach that'll get you that ground faster, help you feel more comfortable and get you more engaged and just having a lot more fun because you become friends with your trainers for sure.

[00:36:25.600] – David
Oh, and any accountability there is. I've had some world class rowers and that's a favorite passion of mine is a sport of rowing or crew. I've had some wonderful rowers say if it's worth doing, it's worth having a coach tell you the little things that you can do better. Not that you're doing things wrong, but the little things that you can do better. There's the safety issue, but there's a performance issue, too. And again, some people may not need it, some people can find YouTube or Doctor Google to find the resources they need to build the plan. But how important as you know, and I know how important it is to have that plan, planning the execution and execute the plan regularly, build those habits so you can look in the mirror and say, wow, who is that guy or gal?

[00:37:13.130] – Allan
You talked about rowing and in the book I was like. I missed my rower. I'm almost I'm almost convinced I just need to go and buy another rower and have it shipped here to Panama. So I'll have one. I'm trying to push off on that.

[00:37:29.160] – David
Well, you know, back to the bedrock part of it. When we are building capacity, it does not matter the type of activity that you do as long as you shared, you can have those sentences hopefully with a buddy you're talking to yourself or talking back to the podcast you're listening to. But if you are, I kind of trearsh things. I have three levels of fitness I talk about for both stamina and strength. And one is decent. One is good enough and one is extra.

[00:38:00.090] – David
There are some people that are very competitive, want to strive for excellence. And by doing that, generally you have a specific exercise. It just so happens that my exercise, my lifelong passion is the sport of rowing. For a lot of reasons, perseverance. Some folks may have read Boys in the Boat. It's a tremendous story about those types of things. Teamwork, perseverance, alchemy, beating Hitler's youth in the 36 Olympics and eight years later, beating Hitler's use on the battlefields of Europe.

[00:38:33.540] – David
But it's it's it's a special thing to me. And why as special is because it's a whole body sport. I mentioned earlier how important was when you can combine things like strength, stability, stamina and stretching and the sport of rowing is does that. And by the way, it's the most intense Olympic sport for kilocalories burn per minute of the event. So I'm a nut about it, but hey, I'll go off line and talk to you about getting that rower in your in your place. Good to have.

[00:39:03.390] – Allan
Yes. Dave, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well.

[00:39:14.950] – David
Three strategies to live up to that so important definition that you just mentioned, that kind of integrative or holistic view of wellness. One, get started. Two say and not but, you know, we've all heard it. You've heard it. I've heard it.

[00:39:32.720] – David
And perhaps I'm guilty of it more than I should be about. Yes but. you know, I'm sorry today I shouldn't work out. So either plan say yes and instead of yes but and then celebrate the journey. Please note that there is no Madison Avenue of fountain of youth that, you know, take a potent potion. Take a pill to build your wellness. It is a journey. It is earned. And I talk about this. Boomers are very interested in their retirement, whether it's fixed or variable income. But those seven S's, Allan, that you brought up earlier, to me that is a physical with a P physical 401K account. The strength, stability, stamina, striking restorative sleep. Don't stress and clean eating. That's a physical 401K. That's an investment. That's one. You have a plan. And that's one where you you have work arounds, the yes ands and the yes buts. So the three that I would suggest from Dave Frost, boomer point of view, have a plan. Say yes. And then know it's a journey, it's an investment. And you'll be far better to live longer and live better.

[00:40:47.810] – Allan
And that's a hard are I to argue with.

[00:40:51.500] – David
No arguments. Simple yet hard.

[00:40:54.350] – Allan
So, David, if someone wanted to get in touch with you, learn more about you, learn more about the book, KABoomer; Thriving and Striving Into Your 90s, where would you like me to send them.

[00:41:05.180] – David
Thanks Allan. The book was released in the merry month of June. Hopefully it will be a merry month of June by the time it ends with this craziness going on around us. But the book is available on Amazon and in paperback and in Kindle or e-book versions right now. The audio book will be available next month. You could always reach out to me. Wellpast40.com. And there's a boomer page on that Web site. But thanks. I'd love people to be as excited about wellness as you are. And hopefully I am. And I would love other people to join the movement. Maybe reducing the systematic health care costs of society for Medicare. And, you know, we can play with the grandkids and get those carry on bags lifted if and when we can ever travel again. So wellpast40.com.

[00:42:00.020] – Allan
You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcasts.com/443 and I'll be sure to have links there. David, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:42:09.200] – David
Well, Allan, thank you for the chance to chat about something that's near and dear to both of us. Those simple yet hard steps to gain stamina 90. That's a term we use and it meaning some may say that's cute. But if you think about stamina, 90, having the stamina to blow out 90 candles, that appeals to me. So thank you so much for the chance to chat.


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Another episode you may enjoy


Aging brilliantly with Dr. Patricia Selassie

Nobody wants to get old, but we have to face facts that we will. On episode 427 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, Dr. Patricia Selassie shows us the art of Aging Brilliantly.


Allan (02:33):
Dr. Selassie, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

Dr. Selassie (02:36):
Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be on your podcast Allan.

Allan (02:40):
Well, I am eager to talk about your book because I loved, loved, loved the title when I saw it on Amazon coming out soon, and I was like, okay, I got to get this. I got to get her on here. The book is called Aging Brilliantly: How to Eat, Move, Rest, and Socialize Your Way to Long Life. And in that book, I think you do a really good job of just kind of taking us through some of the basic fundamental things that we should be doing to keep ourselves healthy and in doing so, aging better.

Dr. Selassie (03:09):
Absolutely. Yeah. It's back to the basics, you know, I think that that's always going to be the foundation.

Allan (03:16):
And the way I kind of get into it when I'm talking to clients is I'm like, let's look for the big rocks. You know? And it's, I think everybody pretty much knows I could eat better, I could move more, I could rest better and I can socialize more. So it's a, it's kind of this natural go-to. Can you kind of go through those four pillars and just kind of talk about what each one means to us and how we should be mindful and focused on each one?

Dr. Selassie (03:41):
Yeah, absolutely. And even though these are just the basics, I just want to say that the basics are heavily backed up. By research, I mean there's been tons of science and clinical studies showing that these four pillars are really important for aging brilliantly. So eating, I mean, you know, right now I think that everybody is really kind of gets excited about the latest trends, you know? And if you've been in the health field for a while, you understand that these ideas change. Like I think maybe 10 years ago or not even that long ago, everybody was like all excited about the paleo diet and eating bacon and now everybody's all excited about the plant-based diet, but if you're around 20 years ago, the plant-based diet is really just the vegan diet, but despite all the trends, no matter if you're like I'm gluten-free or I'm paleo, which is not a trend for some people, but no matter what diet you're on, the most important thing I think is really that you get some of the fundamentals that you see in all diets, which is going to be healthy plants.

Dr. Selassie (04:47):
No matter what type of diet you are on, you want to make sure you're including plants. And good fats are really important and I know that there was a time when everybody was eating fat-free and now we've got to like get with the times because when I fat-free is just not the way to go. There's been the most research done on the Mediterranean diet and I think it's a very adaptable diet for lots of people. Whether you have gluten sensitivities or you don't want to eat animal products or you can't, you know, you don't do well on dairy. There's always food available for people and ways to make it more tailored towards you. And the Mediterranean diet shortly is just pretty much lots of plants. You want to have nuts and seeds and oils, a little bit of fish, a little bit of protein.

Dr. Selassie (05:38):
And that's the basic pillar of, and there's definitely more details in the book. Moving is really important. I think that we all understand now that we live a very sedentary life. Most of us are working at a cubicle. We're not even standing. And studies show that even a little bit of moving, so I think a lot of people get intimidated because they think like, Oh, I've got to start that CrossFit now. You know, or I got to, you know, New Year's is here, so I got to start my exercise regime. But a lot of the studies are showing just even three minutes every hour makes a huge difference in your health and aging well. So moving and moving every chance you get.

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Dr. Selassie (06:19):
Resting is really important. People do not prioritize sleep. In fact, I live here in Brooklyn, New York, and people I think glorify like, Oh, I can get by on four hours or I only need six hours.

But it's really about if you want to age brilliantly, you've really got to prioritize rest and rest is sleeping, is associated with everything. Better body types or healthier body sizes, less stress on the brain, better performance at work and for school, for children. So rest is really important and I don't think it gets focused on as much. And then the last thing is socialization. Whenever you have people that you are loving around you, whether it's like your true flesh plant family or friends, which are like family that you choose. And also purpose, like serving people in the world, making the world a better place, those people tend to age longer. You know, there, there's a reason for them to kind of hang around. And so they do.

Allan (07:23):
Yeah, you based a lot of this off of Buettner's work, The Blue Zones. And so this is a brilliant piece of work. And I, I did have Dr. John Day on the show and he found a small city in a small town village actually in China that was kind of remote and found a lot of these same things. You know, the way they eat, the way they move, the way they rest, the way they socialize was just kind of their natural day to day life, which was a lot more reminiscent of how we were in 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s. And then automobiles and transportation of food and industrialization of our food kind of put us on this path of moving kind of away from that. And I think that's why we're seeing a lot of the issues that we're seeing today is because we're just not really applying these four pillars in our life on a daily basis.

Dr. Selassie (08:19):
No. And just like you mentioned industrialization of food and agriculture, there's also things that we've introduced in our lives that were not there in the 18 hundreds like smartphones and electricity and computers and things like that that are sort of keeping us attached to the desk, you know, so and getting us off our natural rhythms. You know, we can be looking at a smartphone way into the wee hours of the night and then realize later it's, Oh my gosh, it's 2:30 AM. I hear that a lot. So we forget about that. We're human and we have natural, you know, natural basic needs that we need to make sure we're incorporating into our life.

Allan (09:01):
Yes. Now the Mediterranean diet you mentioned, and I think this is really, really important because you know, like you said, there's, a lot of push and most of them, the way I turned them as their elimination diets, when you, when you kind of break down a vegan diet or a carnivore diet or paleo diet or keto. All of these diets are basically focusing on one type of food or deemphasizing the other foods. And saying, okay, you shouldn't eat this and you can eat really crap food and be a vegan. You eat really crap food and be a carnivore. Interestingly enough, you know, if you're not paying attention because you know, it drives me nuts when I'm like, Oh I'm just going to eat bacon for 30 days. And I'm like, okay, you'll lose some weight cause you'll get tired of eating bacon. But beyond that, is that, is that really going to help you age well?

Allan (09:53):
Is that really gonna give you the nutrition that your body needs to be healthy and maybe losing weight is something that's kind of important to you. The doctors told you you need to do that and if this helps you do that, that's great. But you have to go back to something that's generally sustainable. And that's the one thing that kind of comes out in the science over and over again is that the Mediterranean diet is effectively one of those diets that you can stick to. Uh, because people did eat that way and have eaten that way for centuries. Now that the interesting thing about the Mediterranean diet that I think is misinterpreted, this doesn't mean go eat at the olive garden every day. It's slightly different. Now you, you, you briefly touched on, on the Mediterranean diet. Could we dive just a little bit deeper into kind of the background for, you know, these folks are living longer and they're getting a lot of heart, healthy, natural ingredients. Can you kind of talk about that a little bit?

Dr. Selassie (10:50):
Yeah, sure. And I just want to comment on what you're saying that a lot of people you hear about these amazing results that they get on, they get from like, Oh, I went on the this X diet. Like the keto diet is a great example and you're right, it's pretty much eliminating products that might not be so great for us, like things made from flour, which doesn't really have a lot of life in it. And suddenly, they lose a lot of weight, but it is honestly a hard diet to sustain. And the Mediterranean diet is a diet that's very easy for most people to sustain. It's just a matter of making sure you include, it's very inclusive. You've got to include a lot of these foods. So I think that the foundation, like I said, is plants. There's a lot of, you know, all kinds of plants.

Dr. Selassie (11:36):
I mean, you know, you've got your leafy greens, you want your foods from cruciferous family, like the broccoli and the cauliflower and the chards. And you know, other foods like that have been shown in some of these blue zones to really be healthy for us. Tomatoes and eggplants and things like fava beans and all kinds of beans. Lots of these cultures that, that live where they've got people living to a hundred are eating lots of beans and all different kinds. Black beans in Nicaragua and fava beans around the Mediterranean, and even soybeans in Japan. So, that's really important. There's lots of olive oil used in the Mediterranean Diet and I think all of what all is in general have very healthy properties for us. They're very strong antioxidants. They even have even has antimicrobial and antiviral properties, or at least the olive leaves.

Dr. Selassie (12:37):
And the fat is really a sustainable oil. Like it helps us. It's a sustainable oil and it also helps us as humans to sustain our blood sugars. It helps balance out our blood sugars. And it's a really good fat You just want to make sure you don't cook on high heat. You know, there's, are there things like grass-fed butter for example, is considered a good fat. And also from close to around the Mediterranean. Meat, you know, an animal protein is also consumed but not in that, not these big pound quarter-pound burgers. You know, it's more like it's part of the meal that includes many other food. Also even sardines and fish and even eggs, but in smaller amounts. But it is included in the diet. Lots of spices I think are really important. And yeah, I think that you're right, when we think of the Mediterranean diet, we might just think, Oh, this means pizza, you know, around Italy or lots of flour products. But there are, you know, there are, there is so much processing and the American idea of a pasta is a little bit different than how it is in the Mediterranean. They're served much smaller proportions and there's a variety of other foods and variety is really the key.

Allan (13:59):
Yeah. And one of the other things that I will say about most of the countries that are around the Mediterranean area is they, they eat differently than we do. And what I mean by that is a meal is an event. They, they don't go, they don't go to dinner and eat and scarf down a pizza and then go watch Netflix. They meet up, they start socializing and they might have a beer, but they're going to sit down and they're just going to start socializing. And then there'll be kind of a, you know, some olives will be put out. So maybe some cheese, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. They'll sit there and nibble and then, you know, the main course will come out and you know, they'll work through that. But they're spending most of their time talking and showing and listening and getting along and socializing and de-stressing from the day.

Allan (14:47):
And then they might have a glass of wine, maybe two, but usually just a glass. And then they might have a light refreshing fruit or something for dessert and then boom, they're done. I mean that's their meal. But that meal took two hours, maybe two and a half because it's a part of their social environment building. So it's not, you know, the meal is not just to scarf down enough food to feel full. It's, it's intended to be a part of a social structure. So I think when you look at the four pillars, we don't often think of how related each and every one of these are. We have to eat to move, we should socialize while we're eating. And if we're using our time with friends and family in the right way, it reduces stress and just makes us feel more inclusive. So the Mediterranean diet to me is a little bit more than even just a diet. It's a lifestyle.

Dr. Selassie (15:36):
Yeah, I totally agree. Like, you know, putting your fork down in between bites, you're in parasympathetic mode, which is the kind of rest and digest mode you're practicing. That's actually what I call in my private practice, proper food hygiene. You know, you're like, you're resting you're not like answering emails on a computer while you're chewing, you're, you're actually looking at your friends and families in the eye or listening to what they have their day when exactly right. It's part of socialization. It's not these big portions of food that we all get quiet and dive into and talk with our mouth full. It's kind of like a much slower pace and the portions are smaller and there's rest in between.

Allan (16:20):
So yeah. It's an event and I think that's what I really liked about when I'm at the times I've been over in Mediterranean countries with people that are from that area is that they just, they approach everything a little bit differently. It's a little bit like that over here in Panama, but not, not quite to the extent of what I saw in Spain, in Italy. But, um, one of the areas that I really want to get into because it's part of the reason that I am in Panama is just stress. And in the book you did a good job of talking about what stress does to our brain. Could you take a little bit of time to talk about that relationship and what's going on?

Dr. Selassie (16:53):
Yeah. So I just mentioned it. There's, there's two different modes in our body. You can be in sympathetic mode, which is really fight or flight or parasympathetic mode, which is rest and digest. And in this day and age, most of us are in sympathetic mode, sympathetic mode. Our bodies were designed to shuttle between the two. I talk about like how you're most, you're supposed to mostly be in parasympathetic mode where you're like walking around, living your life with your family and then like a predator might jump in your way. And I'm talking about like thousands and thousands of years ago. And your, your design, when you see that predator to either run that's the flight or fight, fight the predator. But these days there's no predator. What there is our bills, an angry boss, a coworker that's hard to deal with, even work projects that have to get completed.

Dr. Selassie (17:50):
Commute's, terrible communities that people have to endure. And so a lot of the times our bodies are in a constant sympathetic mode. And what happens is you constantly stimulate your brain that way, and it sends signals to what's called the amygdala. And your amygdala is important for, it then sends signals to the hypothalamus, which is another part of your brain that basically sends messages all over. And if you're amygdala gets overused or over kind of overstimulated, then it gets bigger and bigger. And this is something that you don't want. You don't want an enlarged amygdala. You want, you know, it's sort of like when you, when you, you use your biceps over and over again, you get a bigger bicep. But that's something you do want with an amygdala you don't because now you're a McDilla is overstimulated and it sends these cascades to your body of all these stress hormones that happen.

Dr. Selassie (18:46):
And so furthermore, the frontal cortex of your brain as it receives some of these stress signals get shrunken. So you have such a thing called age-related cognitive decline. And that's basically, you know, when you start forgetting names of people, even people that are close to you or you can't remember that vocabulary word or you walk into a room and you forget why you walked in there, can't remember where you put your keys. Now this is a sign that your brain is pretty much starting to age, but I think a lot of it is really can be delayed if we were to kind of stop stressing out, take time to take care of ourselves and give our brains a little bit of a break. You know. And then again, all the pillars are intertwined. So like sleep is a really important time for your brain to regenerate. You're not regenerating or restoring when you're at work in your cubicle or washing the dishes, you're really restoring your brain when you're resting.

Allan (19:45):
Yeah, that's during one of the stages of sleep, that's when your body's actually flushing out the brain and cleaning it, which is are the restorative part of sleep. If we're not getting good sleep cycles or enough of them, we're not taking care of our brain. Now you touched on something and I think this is also really, really important because it's, it's so hard for people to do this and I'm just, I'm going to stereotype a little bit, but I don't mean in a bad way. It is. I think women have always been the caretakers of people and as a result, you know, so they're taking care of the children, they're taking care of the home, they're taking care of and they a lot of times it's very, very difficult to take that step back. I know as a personal trainer sometimes I just get so tied up into, you know, my business and taking care of the people I'm working with that sometimes I also don't do this and it's, it's called self care. And in the book you share some restorative self care ideas. Can you, can you kind of go through a few of those, what you think are some good ones for us to consider?

Dr. Selassie (20:43):
Yeah, I totally relate to that. I mean, you know, I'm a woman. I have five children, I have a private practice and a lot of times, and I talk about this in the book, that I get caught up in, Oh, I don't have time to prep a meal. I don't have time to, you know, drink a glass of water right now and be running to the bathroom. I have these children to take care of, I have my patients. I have, but let guess what I mean, if you don't take care of yourself, all of that, you will lose all of that, you know? So you've got to prioritize yourself and it doesn't mean that you have to stop everything and like move to Panama. Though that is really good. I would highly recommend that. But if you can't manage that right now, I mean there's a couple little tips that you can do.

Dr. Selassie (21:29):
Like for example, water is so important. You could savor a big glass of water. That's something that I do first thing in the morning before anybody else gets up is I make sure I drink certain amount of ounces of water and I savor it. And I really think about how this is, you know, hydrating me and giving me life. There's other things that you can do to just squeeze in a little self care, like a bath versus a shower. It might take you maybe 10, 15 minutes more, but it can, you know, your muscles under the hot water, it really, it really, let's go, you know what I mean? And then if you put some magnesium salts in there, you're adding some nutrients that can help relax your muscles. And it's alone time. It's me time. It's like there's nobody that can really bother you.

Dr. Selassie (22:16):
You can lock yourself up in the bathroom. Going out in nature, I think is a huge one. Even, you know, like I live in a city, so I'm either in my office or in the subway or in a car or in a building. But even just going out to a park, you know, a green space. And even just for three minutes, 3 to 10 minutes. It doesn't have to be long. Of course the more time you can spend in nature, the better. But our bodies need that. Our bodies are used to seeing plants and getting energy from live things. So that's also a really quick thing that you could do. Like literally just leave your building for a minute, look at some trees. Taking a nap, that's always my favorite one. Like there's nothing like you could be going, going, going and exhausted and you're really not getting much done.

Dr. Selassie (23:02):
But sometimes then that might be all you need. I talked about savoring a glass of water they can, there could be savoring a glass of herbal tea. I mean there's just, there's just so many things. Reading something inspiring I think is really important. One I really love is connecting with an old friend. I've had some amazing, fantastic conversations with people. Just pick one randomly that I haven't maybe talked to in a couple of years and just say, Hey, what's up? There's something really special about connecting with someone and it doesn't mean that, Oh gosh, I haven't spoken to John for two years, it's going to be an hour on the phone. It might just be, you know, 5/10 minute like I'm thinking about you just sending you some love, some good energy, you know, so connection is another one.

Allan (23:48):
Yeah. Now this can sound like a lot and I think when people are looking to change, they're like, Oh, I got to do all these things. I gotta do all these things and I for one I don't, I don't even have enough time to do the things I'm already doing. My to do list just grows every day and I keep pushing things off and pushing things off. And so this just feels, sometimes it feels like there's, there's more there to do. And I would say probably not, but it's really hard for a lot of people to just bridge that gap. Now in the book you talk about setting an intention. And I like, you know, in every chapter as you go through, you have a self assessment set of questions for someone to just kind of answer a few questions really easy, get a score. And then based on that kind of a general idea of how well they're doing on those things. So by the time they get to this sudden intentions part, they should have a pretty good idea where they're weakest, where they're strongest. And what are some of the questions that they answered that they didn't get the score that they thought they should've gotten. Can you talk about setting an intention and what are the steps? What are some things that people would want to consider as they're thinking about doing these things? Because I think you're right, setting the intention is really the key to getting anything done.

Dr. Selassie (25:03):
Yeah, I mean I, I totally get it. Like my things to do list seems to be getting longer and longer too, every single day. And the thing is though, if you want to age brilliantly, you're going to have to, that might have to be sort of a goal that you're going to attain. Otherwise you're basically receive what I call a certain future, which is just can it be aging? You know what I mean? If you don't take a step here or there, you're just basically going to be aging rapidly instead of aging slowly. So you know, that's the thing as you've got to take some time to sort of assess what's going on. I think the self assessments help you to do that and kind of see what areas of your life that would really make a bigger impact for you. So the smallest shift with the bigger impact is really where you start and after you do all the assessments, you'll kind of, you'll, that will kind of come through.

Dr. Selassie (26:00):
You'll kind of see like, wow, sleep is really a big thing that I've never prioritized. Maybe that's an, and I like to sleep. So maybe that might be an area that I really work on. And you want to kind of even look at yourself like where do you see yourself in five years? Where do you see yourself in 10 years or 20 years? Or like I would say that like if you're in your 50s now, you know, where do you want to see yourself in two decades? Do you want to see yourself active? Do you want to see yourself like doing and enjoying all the things you love? Do you see yourself with grandchildren? Do you see yourself playing tennis or you want to kind of project in the future and what will understand now? What will it take to get there? If you see yourself tennis in two decades, so like let's say you're in your mid fifties now and your mid seventies like what would that really mean?

Dr. Selassie (26:50):
That would really mean like preserving your joints, you know, keeping your joints active, you know, taking care of your physical body. If it's really just like seeing and being around your grandchildren, you know, maybe something like diet is going to be more important. You know, you can talk about that. You can think about your diet, you can set some intentions, you can think about your grandchildren and what you want them to see you doing. And I really believe in writing things down because when we kind of think about our intentions or we imagine that's really important, but when you write it down, it's sort of like you're writing a contract to yourself and it's sort of becoming manifested through words. So I really encourage people to get what I call a super agers journal. I'm a big fan of journaling and started. Sort of set these intentions down and, and write down what it is that you see yourself doing and how you can, you know, what are some baby steps or little tiny 1% shifts that you can take to get towards that?

Allan (27:50):
Yeah, I think a lot of people miss out on just how powerful small movements can be, particularly at first, you know, it's like as you're making a snowball, you start out with just a handful of snow and that handful of snow is easy enough for you to grab. And then as you start rolling that down the Hill, it's going to get bigger and bigger. And so just starting with something small over time can have some really great impact in your life.

Dr. Selassie (28:14):
Yeah, totally. I think that as a mom with five children, I can get really lazy and I can be like, you know, ask my daughters, go in the kitchen and fetch this for your mother or run upstairs and turn the thermostat down. But I started to really realize like I am, it's almost like I'm sitting on a throne and pointing and telling my staff what to do, but that's not going to keep me alive and around to see my grandchildren. So I make the extra effort to go up the stairs and put away the laundry or stand up when I'm seeing patients stand up every hour. These days, we've got so many little gadgets on our watches, on our smartphones that can remind us to do that and standing up. I mean, that can be something that can really impair someone as they get older is just standing up from sitting. So you've got to use your, you've got to use your joints, and even just standing up can make such a huge difference. You're actually pumping, there's no blood supply into your hip joint or your knee joint. And so pumping in the nutrition right directly into the knee joint by movement is really the best way to do that.

Allan (29:19):
Yes, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

Dr. Selassie (29:30):
Well I think that one is definitely being active with your friends and family, especially like you mentioned, the women who sometimes start to really focus you know, where the time they're in their mid fifties they're really focused on their career. They're really focused on their family and they forget about their girlfriends. So I think that really enlarging your circle, social circle is really important and it doesn't have to be a huge social circle, but you want to always kind of be stepping out. So I think that that's one strategy, whether it's like having tea with a new person, maybe it's even somebody that could be a possible business colleague, but maybe you're going to go out and like ask about who they are and what's their family like and kind of include socialization into your life. Just a little bit more. Prioritizing sleep I think is one of my favorite ones and I think if you go to bed before rather than sleep in, you're going to, there's more of a likelihood that you'll get those sleep cycles in. Your, the sleep that you get before midnight is actually really important because I get more of those cycles and we're diurnal human beings.

Dr. Selassie (30:40):
We're not nocturnal like rats. So trying to go to bed early I think is another great strategy. You know, just go, just do it. Just put yourself in bed. A third one is kind of, you know, one that I think is really great is kind of go into your local farmer's market or getting, ordering one of these CSA shares online or are there so many different local agriculture, organic agriculture boxes that you can get and just trying a new vegetable, just like seeing it, kind of discovering it and cooking it. Just seeing what you can make out of it and enjoy it.

Allan (31:17):
Thank you. If someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about your book Aging Brilliantly, where would you like for me to send them?

Dr. Selassie (31:26):
So my website is doctorselassie.com and the doctor is spelled out, so it's simply D O C T O R S E L A S S I E. and you can read all about me. I have a private practice here in Brooklyn, but I do see people via zoom or Skype or on the phone and there's, you'll see my book, but my book is basically on pre-order at Amazon right now. So you can just also find it on Amazon. Dr. Salassie aging brilliantly.

Allan (31:57):
Okay. Well. This is going to be episode 427 so you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/427 and I'll be sure to have a link to Dr. Selassie's page and to the book there.

Dr. Selassie, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

Dr. Selassie (32:13):
I loved being here. Thank you so much Alan. Thanks for the good work that you're doing for all of us over 40


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