Tag Archives for " aging "

May 2, 2023

How to age gracefully with Gillian Lockitch

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

After dealing with a health setback, Gillian Lockitch made some changes to reclaim the joy of her life, dance. On Episode 588 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how she did it and about her book, Growing Older, Living Younger.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:42.690] – Allan

Hey, Ras. How are you?

[00:02:44.370] – Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:46.580] – Allan

I'm good. I've been kind of busy and I know I've kind of come on this show every week. I'm busy, I'm busy.

[00:02:54.400] – Rachel

You are always busy.

[00:02:56.710] – Allan

But it's like, you know, there's just there's all these different things that I want to do for my business, for myself and whatever. And so I did get the level two Master Health Coach with precision nutrition. But another thing that I've been doing on this side when I had time is I've been getting on other podcasts. So I'm being interviewed on other podcasts, and I was recently on one called Fit MIT turo. Now MIT in German means with. So fit with turo is the English translation of fit mit turo.

[00:03:32.070] – Rachel


[00:03:32.900] – Allan

And so I just share a bunch of tips, and I do focus my tips on things that are beneficial to people over 40. I think he just turned 40, but if you go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/turo, that's T-U-R-O that'll take you to his episode. I was on episode 89 that just went live a week or so ago. And so you can listen to that there as I hear about the other ones, Erin, because I did over been, like twelve to 13 interviews over the last three months, but for one reason or another, a lot of them haven't been published. So, as I hear about one being published, I'll try to let you guys know.

[00:04:10.590] – Rachel


[00:04:11.420] – Allan

And I'll probably start posting this stuff on Facebook, too. So if you're part of our Facebook group, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/group. You can join our Facebook group, and I'll be posting links and things there as well.

[00:04:23.960] – Rachel

Great. That's awesome. Sounds fun.

[00:04:27.050] – Allan

So, how are things up there?

[00:04:28.710] – Rachel

Good. I think I told you last week it was spring. Now we're back to winter again. I know we had some snow over the weekend, but we just had a lovely weekend. Anyway, we did a lot of outside chores before the snow started, but it's nice to have kind of spring and to be able to spend some time outside. Now I got a break from it.

[00:04:52.030] – Allan

Well, you know, Lucy is going to pull that football away, right?

[00:04:55.170] – Rachel

As you exactly. Yeah, that's exactly what happens up here in Michigan. So hopefully spring will come back pretty soon. But just staying busy, doing things around the house, getting the yard ready. Yeah, it's fun stuff.

[00:05:07.920] – Allan

All right. You ready to have a conversation with Gill?

[00:05:10.700] – Rachel



[00:06:07.990] – Allan

Gill, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:10.960] – Gillian

Thank you. I'm delighted to be here.

[00:06:13.940] – Allan

Now, your book, Growing Older, Living Younger: the Science of Aging Gracefully and the Art of Retiring Comfortably. I love that title because it kind of blends some things that kind of been a theme here, and a lot of books that have come out recently and books that have been around for a while is think all of us look at getting older with some trepidation. There's this aging curve that we're going to fall down and then we're going to end up at the bottom of this thing. And in many cases we're not doing it gracefully, we're not doing it gracefully. And then we're looking at retirement. And what we see is most people who are in retirement age are not living well. Their health span is gone and their lifespan is long. And so they're going through all these health issues. And many of us now, particularly in our forty s and fifty s, are kind of in that middle zone of our parents at that point where we're seeing these things with our parents, or in some cases unfortunately, have seen these things with our parents because they passed and we're still busy raising kids.

[00:07:25.710] – Allan

So we're in this sandwich generation and I think there's some blessings in this because we get to look back, look forward, literally. Our parents are our look into the future if we live the way they live. And so I want to talk about that. And I think that's one of the cool things about this book is your story and then your experience as a doctor and a scientist and how you've pulled this all together to kind of give us the tools to really look at that in a good way.

[00:07:55.620] – Gillian

The premise behind the book is that we do not need to age as our parents and grandparents did because we have tools and mechanisms and strategies. Now that we're aware of that, we can change things. And again, the premise is that instead of going on a steady downhill to old age, we actually keep healthy, active, vibrant right until the end. And then just go clunk. That's my philosophy.

[00:08:27.500] – Allan

Just go clunk. Now to start out this book, if we're going to understand the science, then we have to understand the human body. And to me the science of the human body is probably the most complex science of any of the sciences out there. We keep learning new things. I know when I was in school, all the way up until college, we were learning about genetics. And it was the simple certain genes are going to make your eye color blue, some of they're going to make them brown. And if you have four kids and this parents, then you're going to have three with brown eyes and one with blue eyes. And that's kind of how genetics work. And then we got into Epigenetics and when I first started learning about that, these are like the dip switches on our old computers. I had an Epson, which is a clone of an IBM. It had all these little dip switches in the back. So if you wanted the computer to function a certain way, you had to move the dip switch. So it was either on or off. So we were taught genes were either on or off.

[00:09:30.140] – Allan

Recently though, we've learned that genes are more like a dimmer switch and there's tens of thousands of permutations of each gene, which means there's billions and billions and billions untold billions, maybe trillions of options, if you will, of how our operating system, our genetic genome, is actually going to function. And so you start getting it, it's like, wow, this is so complex. How is someone going to learn what this is? And I've read a few books, a lot of them lose me. But you had this analogy of a corporate factory that I think gives us kind of this gives us enough of a picture of this to really kind of understand how much control we have. So can you talk about your corporate factory analogy of epigenetics?

[00:10:22.070] – Gillian

Well, I thought that the absolute key to understanding our bodies and our metabolism is the realization that we are in fact a factory that operates 24 hours a day, nonstop basically from the time of conception until the time that we die. And so I think about it as if you think about a factory. First of all, it's a business, right? So there is a CEO who is responsible for setting the vision, setting the goals, setting the direction. And I think of our mind as that and I'll go back to that in a bit. Underneath the CEO is somebody who is responsible for actually keeping the factory operating. And I call that the COO. Chief Operating Officer. And it's really fascinating that everything, all our metabolism, all our activities are really controlled by our COO, which is a master clock that is located in the hypothalamus of our brain. And that master clock directs all our circadian rhythms and sends messages to minor little clocks in every single organ that basically regulates how our metabolism works. So the next component, the chief operating officer is responsible for workshops. So I sort of think about the individual organ systems, for example, our heart or tissues, muscles, that sort of thing, as an independent little sub factory or workshop within the overall business.

[00:12:18.750] – Gillian

And in each of those factory workshops there are a number of units where all the business of the factory happens. And those are our cells. Within our cells we have tools that build things, break them down, detoxify. And those all require building blocks and nutrients. They require energy to perform. They require messages and signals to tell them how much they need to make when they need to stop making things. And then finally they need to figure out exactly how much to make. So if you sort of think about the factory, your body is a factory that's working 24 hours a day, nonstop. Every single cell is active. Then you realize that there's a lot of things that your body needs to function efficiently. So you need to be able to generate the energy for all of those cells, you need to supply them with the building blocks, whether it's amino acids to make proteins or micronutrients to make the reactions work well. So that's basically how I sort of conceive the metabolism and the functioning of the body.

[00:13:54.010] – Allan

The reason I like that is because it gives you a picture of how complex this is. Because if one part of the factory keeps making stuff when the other parts of the factory don't need it, you've got a dysfunction there. And when we get dysfunction in the body, it tells us in one area we start feeling bad, our energy levels are low, we start dealing with different problems, chronic diseases, things like that. And so by us doing the right things for ourselves, we're helping with that signaling. Like, an example would be if we don't sleep well, then we don't close down certain factories for them to be cleaned up, like our brain. And so if we don't sleep well, then we don't have time in the brain, which is a pretty important part of this factory, to do the cleaning that's necessary. The cleaning crew can't come in, and if it can't come in, eventually the brain doesn't function as well. The brain is not functioning as well, then it's not doing its job as the CEO and COO of this factory, and therefore the whole factory doesn't function well.

[00:15:04.980] – Gillian

Exactly. Yeah. So it goes even a little bit further. And sleep, obviously, is one of the absolutely critical things, because we know that that whole master clock is essentially controlled by light and dark that sets the circadian rhythms. So if you're not responding to that signal that you need to sleep again, it disrupts the entire system. And this is why people who have sleeping disorders, or why jet lag, for example, affects the way people can perform and basically feel during the day.

[00:15:49.470] – Allan

I'd like to get into your story a little bit because I think it shines a light on how we can kind of approach this. Some of us are younger than you, some of us might be a little older than you, but you found yourself overweight near that Obese line, and you made some pretty hard decisions at that point in your life. I think, similar to my story, I made a decision, but it took me eight years before I really clicked in and actually got it. I think in your story, you said it took ten. So can you tell us a little bit about your story? Because I think it's important for us to see that a lot of us are finding ourselves in our middle age, and we're all in the same place, and there's a way out.

[00:16:38.910] – Gillian

Well, I think it's important to realize that I actually was very conscious of being fit and healthy. I exercised, I ate well, and I didn't realize prior to this catastrophic event that my weight was still creeping up bit by bit by bit. So when I got married, I weighed about 112 lbs. I was in my 20s, and by the time this sort of catastrophic event had occurred, I'd weighed a lot more than that. But what happened was that I experienced a period of extreme sciatic pain as a result of spinal stenosis, which is when your vertebrae, the area through which the nerves run close down through extra bone buildup and compress the nerves. And I had this experience of this catastrophic sciatic episode where literally for four months, I was unable to really do much walking. I was a couch potato and depressed and couldn't do all the things that brought me joy in life. And that was when I really had a major increase in my weight. So I found myself basically 40 lbs over what my ideal weight was and really wasn't sort of I was too depressed, quite honestly, to think about the impact that it was having on my health.

[00:18:14.660] – Gillian

And then I ended up having an emergency spinal surgery. And it was only when I was recovering from that with a determination that I wanted to be able to go on a ballroom dance cruise ten months later, that I really started realizing that I was on a downward trajectory from a health point of view, and that I had to do something about it. And that was the genesis of what is now my roadmap to aging youthfully and keeping well and getting rid of all the what we call age associated disorders. They're not really age associated, they are unhealthy living associated disorders. So that's basically my story of how this all came about.

[00:19:08.510] – Allan

Okay, now, one of the things I think that I read that you was kind of driving you was your parents history of heart disease. Can you talk a little bit about that and what that meant to you?

[00:19:21.090] – Gillian

Right, well, both my parents died of coronary artery disease and then heart attacks. And the experience, particularly of my mother's death was amazingly impactful for me because she literally had a heart attack, died in front of me, and I was unable to resuscitate her. So I had been aware of our family history of heart disease and attending a preventative health program. I've got a lot to say about that because mainly what they were trying to do was get me onto a statin. And also the nutritional advice that I was given at that time I thought was really poor. So basically one of the things that I realized I had to attack as I was creating my roadmap to age well was to figure out what were the things that were putting me at risk for heart disease. And so for me, the primary thing is nutritional obesity, inactivity. And so those were the kind of things that I focused on to create a heart healthy me.

[00:20:43.530] – Allan

Well, you weren't 29 years old when this happened. This was later in your life because a lot of people say, oh, well, of course she lost £40 because she was 20 something years old. And that's when it's easy to lose this weight. You're a wee bit older than that, right?

[00:20:59.860] – Gillian

I was a lot older than that. It was well past I'd been retired from medicine for, gosh, I can't even remember how many years. Probably about ten years at the time. So I was certainly not the I was I was in the age category where it it's almost inevitable if you don't watch it, that you will massively gain weight.

[00:21:24.730] – Allan

Right. The reason I wanted to bring that up is I've had a lot of people say, well, it's impossible to lose weight. It's impossible for a woman after the age of 50 to lose weight. And proof positive, no, it's not. You just have to do the right things for yourself.

[00:21:39.970] – Gillian

Well, I described very clearly how, when I was recovering from the surgery, and I realized I had to lose weight. And I started initially, I had followed all the wrong nutritional information, which professionally and intellectually I knew was wrong, but the recommendations were so pervasive. Eat three meals a day and keep your blood sugar level. My first step was to realize that essentially what I had to do was cut out carbs. And I went on I would call a low carb diet almost keto, but not keto. And immediately the effects that I saw from that was my mood was improved. I didn't have that hangry sort of anger, hunger sensation. Around about 10:00 in the morning, I sort of describe how I was working at one stage when I was trying to lose weight, and I had these amazing muffins that I made, which were brand muffins packed with delicious dried fruits, apricots and everything, and that was my breakfast. So I would head off to before work, I would head off to the exercise class, come back and my breakfast would be this muffin, some yogurt. And by 10:00, I was so hungry again that I sort of make the comment that anybody who sort of dared walk into my office was in danger of being cannibalized because I was so hungry.

[00:23:21.610] – Gillian

And that was the rebound from high carb. Insulin goes up and boom, you crash a little later. But as soon as I started on the low carb diet, basically cutting out potatoes, pizza, rice, anything like that, I found that the first thing that happened was brain fog completely disappeared. I lost all of that hunger and that anger. I just wasn't hungry. And my energy level increased and the weight just started coming off. And then ultimately, I had to go completely keto. And that was when I lost the remaining, I guess, 10 lbs that I wanted to lose in a very short time. And quite honestly, I've adhered to a ketogenic diet, I don't want to call it a diet ketogenic lifestyle ever since, basically eating whole foods, a lot of protein, no carbs other than those that come from certain vegetables and the occasional berries and healthy fats. So I eat all the foods that I love and feel great.

[00:24:37.690] – Allan

Great. Now, your mother had a bout with skin cancer and we really haven't I really haven't talked about skin cancer, but for those of us that were sun lovers when we were younger because it made our young bodies look at least we thought makes our young bodies look nicer, having a nice tan. Many of us are starting to see some of the ramifications of that, be it the age spots, but then of course, every once in a while these things that come up and we have to go see a dermatologist. Your mother had one of those episodes and so as a result you made some changes to the way you care for your skin. Could you tell us about that?

[00:25:20.580] – Gillian

Yes, well, my mom was sort of blonde, blue eyed, and we all grew up in South Africa and I spent a lot of time on the beach slathered with oil, really getting tanned and as you say, brown and feeling it was really cool and sexy. And then we had moved to Canada by the time this episode happened with my mum and she basically said to me jill, there's a funny little sore on my leg and I'm not sure what it is and I didn't know what it is, I'm not a dermatologist. But I thought this is not you're.

[00:26:02.800] – Allan

The doctor in the family, come look at it.

[00:26:05.190] – Gillian

Right. I was an intellectual doctor, all about biochemistry and metabolism. Anyway, it turned out that she had a melanoma and fortunately we got it early, it was removed. But again, my concern because of all these sort of early exposure to sunlight, obviously I am at risk and I've tried to tell my kids to be careful. And there is a dermatologist here who came up with a really interesting slogan and it's on your birthday, check out your birthday suit. To remind people, particularly people who are what we call Fitzpatrick groups, sort of one and two, the blonde, blue, wide, red haired groups of people. But I want to make one interesting point about that. So we haven't really discussed the fact that there is an epigenetic supplement which resets something like 1200 genes throughout your body. And when this particular supplement was introduced, one of the studies that was carried out was a study of 40 people who were in this Fitzpatrick group, one and two, and basically they were looking to see if it could in any way protect against sun damage. And so they basically, on an unexposed part of the body, did three sort of focal areas where they put really small doses, focal doses of UV light in increasing doses and in the one where there was the highest dose, did a little skin biopsy and looked to see count the number of damaged cells.

[00:28:09.170] – Gillian

And then for eight weeks, these 40 people took this one particular supplement that has things like the carotenoids, which like lutein that actually protect against blue light. And at the end of the eight weeks, they repeated the experiment and they found that there was a diminution of the area that looked burnt, the reddish area. But the key thing that was a total surprise and really significant was the fact that in the first biopsy compared to the second biopsy, the number of dead cells were double. So after eight weeks of this particular protection through these carotenoid supplements, the number of dead cells or damaged cells was almost half. So that was really interesting because it was showing that something that one was taking internally had a protective effect on the cells. And I found that really fascinating. So I've been very meticulous about keeping up that particular supplement and touchwood. So far, I'm well older than the age at which my mom's Melanoma was discovered, and so far my skin looks great. So Prevention obviously don't get these huge sunburns. There's recommendations about sun screens. You've got to be really careful because some of them have some toxic ingredients.

[00:29:51.780] – Gillian

They have to be really selective about what you use. And I also think we need sun exposure for vitamin D. I'm not a dermatologist. I'm not practicing medicine. I don't treat or prescribe or anything. I have retired. But I think that that's something preventative things that people should consider.

[00:30:17.910] – Allan

Okay, now I want to spring back a little bit. You were talking about your back surgery, and for a lot of folks, we're going to have an injury. I think your injury you kind of traced back to probably when you were way younger, and then this was just something that progressed from that. That's what I sort of read into the book. I'm not absolutely certain that was the history there, but you always had some aches and pains in your back, but then you had basically a medical emergency, and that's when you had your surgery. Can you talk a little bit about that? And then what's more important, I think, here is to actually talk about your approach towards recovery, because you did a lot of things that I think are very different from the way a lot of people would approach recovery.

[00:31:05.420] – Gillian

Right. I think the first thing is, although I kind of attributed the spinal stenosis to the early back injury that I had when I fell off a horse, I think, in reality, so many people, as a result of osteoarthritis, which is one of the things that sort of happens in the spine, as in all other joints, many people end up with spinal stenosis and severe sciatica. In fact, in the last couple of years, one of my clients and one of my family members has needed to have the exact same surgery for spinal stenosis. So it's far more common whether or not you've fallen off a horse at 17. So for me, I think the key to recovery was mindset because I was bounded and determined that I would not have to give up my ballroom dancing, which was my hobby and passion and my fitness activity. And so I had this surgery in February and to my absolute amazement, it was like a seven hour surgery. I've got metal rods all the way down the right side of my spine still in place. And no, they don't set off anything at airports. But the interesting thing about that was the next morning when I woke up after the seven hour surgery, a physiotherapist came in and said to me, how's the pain?

[00:32:54.200] – Gillian

Do you have any pain? And I thought that was absolutely hilarious because it was the first time in forever that I had absolutely no back pain because I was so doped up on all the intravenous painkillers and things. Anyway, so she says to me, you're going to get out of bed and walk? And I'm thinking, wow, I've just had major spinal surgery. But she got me out of bed and we took the first sort of tentative walks around the ward. So that seemed to me something really important. You don't have to go and sit around and lie around waiting to heal. The most important healing thing is going to be activity. And so when I was discharged after two days from the hospital, having expected to be in there for at least a week to recover, I was really fortunate in that one of my sons had come to be with me for the recovery period. And he said to me, mom, you want to get back on the dance floor? We are going to work at it. And so we started a program of I would go down in the elevator. We have a lovely SeaWalk around the False creek where I live.

[00:34:13.650] – Gillian

And we started off doing 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the afternoon and then increasing it gradually so that by the time he left, I was walking very tentatively and very terrified. But walking for I think it was about 20 minutes either way. And then gradually I increased that. I also was very fortunate in that the physiotherapist had recommended a particular type of rehabilitation walking pole, which was actually invented by a local occupational therapist and she's now built this up into a significant program for aiding in rehabilitation. So with the walking poles, I was able to safely and comfortably go out walking by myself. And gradually, basically, my mindset said, I want to be back dancing. And I think it was by 16 weeks I saw the spinal surgeon and he was amazed at the progress and sort of said, yes, everything is in place, kind of go away, I don't need to see you again. So I think the essence of that was I was at a point in a journey I knew where. I wanted to go, I knew where I was. And so it was really the mindset and the determination of how I could get from point A to point B safely.

[00:35:52.530] – Gillian

One of the other aspects to that is I worked out with a trainer. And for me, the most valuable aspect of that was not that he was saying one more, one more, one more kind of thing, but that he helped me understand that I didn't have to be afraid that what I was doing was going to re injure myself. So again, mindset, having a coach is absolutely critical.

[00:36:24.090] – Allan

What I took away from that was that you put a team together and you had your mission, your passion, you knew where you were going and you got a team together. So you had your physio, you had your trainer, you had your doctor, and you were listening to them and doing the right things for yourself to get yourself where you are. And as a result, you're dancing again.

[00:36:46.290] – Gillian

Right. And I had a dance teacher.

[00:36:49.350] – Allan

And you had a dance teacher. Exactly. Cool.

[00:36:53.010] – Allan

Gill, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:37:01.930] – Gillian

Well, basically, I sort of encompass all of that in what I call, similarly to you, my roadmap for aging youthfully. And the components for me are sort of mind, body, and for one of the better words, spirit. So from the mind perspective, you need to know where you are and where you want to go. And so initially I get people to really understand what their risks are. What is their genetic blueprint that they've inherited, what among those things are foundational that they can actually change? I mean, none of us can predict being knocked over by a car or developing a particular cancer, but there are a lot of things that we can change through lifestyle. The second important component is body. And you've already mentioned the three things that people need to really consider. Sleep is absolutely essential. Eating well is absolutely essential. And the last thing is keeping mentally and physically active all of the time. The third component is what I call spirit is the recognition that you are actually part of many larger things. So you can make your contribution by being of service to others. You can challenge yourself, you can become part of a community.

[00:38:43.750] – Gillian

So those are sort of the three ways in which I phrase the way in which one can live youthfully and age well. The one thing that with my particular group of people, don't really have a chance to talk about because usually by the time they come to me, they're my age kind of thing. But I realize that most of the problems that present in later life we know have their genesis much earlier, as you say, 40 plus. So one of the things is I didn't really take notice of the fact that how I was basically accumulating body fat bit by bit by bit so that you're not suddenly one day obese, but you're sort of getting there. So really paying attention to nutrition early, early on. The second thing is, we know that osteoporosis, osteopenia and muscle problems, sarcopenia all start early. And had I thought about it, I felt healthy and I was active, I was exercising. I never ever for a minute thought about making sure that my calcium and phosphate are adequate when I was in my 40s and preventing osteoporosis. So those are the kinds of things that I think we all know prevent cancer, don't smoke, don't drink, kind of thing.

[00:40:35.450] – Gillian

I would say don't skydive. But there are preventative things that should become part of our life that we really never talk about until it's kind of too late. That's why I love your whole concept of 40 plus, because that's when it all starts.

[00:40:59.810] – Allan

Yeah, well, I'm going to argue with you there and say it's never too late. Start today. It's never too late. Start today. I don't care if you're in your 40s your 50s your 60s your 70s your 80s your 90s, if you got another breath in you, you can eat the right food, you can move the right way, you can start doing things to improve your health, improve your fitness, and be happier.

[00:41:25.930] – Gillian

But I think the key to all of that is mindset. You have to know what you want and it has to be important enough to you for you to make changes. So most of the when I talk to people about what is their current fear, what is their long term fear, most of them say they want to be able to be mentally and physically active and independent toward the end of life so that they don't have their family and friends worrying about them. They don't have to go into a home. And so it's a decision that, that is important to you, that will make you do things like look at your nutrition, make sure you have adequate sleep, and that you keep active. Because one of the complaints that I get from a lot of people is I can't fast, I would be hungry all the time, I can't give up my sugar. Which tells me that they haven't made the decision to achieve what they say they want to. So I believe it all starts up here with your CEO.

[00:42:46.190] – Allan

I agree. Jill, if someone wanted to learn more about you, learn more about the book Growing Older, Living Younger, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:42:56.570] – Gillian

Well, to get the book, which is a paperback book at gillianlockitch.com, so just gillianlockitch.com, that is for me to be able to send books directly to people who are anywhere in North America. So the USA or Canada, anybody else at this stage would have to get the digital Kindle edition, which is online.

[00:43:32.690] – Allan

All right, you can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/588 and I'll be sure to have the links there.

[00:43:40.340] – Gillian

If anybody would like more information from me, I'll just give you my email. It's askdrgill@gmail.com, askdrgill@gmail.com and I will answer you, it may not be immediately because I get a lot of emails, but that's where you can contact me and find out what information there is about my programs, et cetera.

[00:44:09.070] – Allan

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

[00:44:13.330] – Gillian

I'm honored actually, Allan, that you invited me and it's been delightful talking to you. Thank you.

Post Show/Recap

[00:44:30.230] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:44:30.950] – Rachel

hey Allan, that was a really neat discussion. There's so many things I want to ask you about, but you started talking about how genes are like dimmer switches, but I don't think you went fully into the concept of why a gene is like a dimmer switch that you can raise or lower or whatever.

[00:44:50.060] – Allan

Well, if you remember we had Dr. Hood on and he was the one, he's one of the guys, he developed the equipment that they used to sequence the human genome. And prior to all that, there was a strong belief that once we knew the human genome, we would defeat disease entirely because we would know which genes are causing which diseases and as a result we would figure out who was going to get sick long before they ever got sick. Well, it's a lot more complex than that. And so what it is, is they came up with they realized, okay, it's how the genes are expressed. And so initially they thought they were like on off switches. And so if you're really old school and you owned a computer back in the 80s, they used to have dip switches, which are these little on and off switches. And so, depending on how you wanted to run your computer, like if you were going to be doing video games or something that was high in certain video stuff on your screen, high resolution stuff, you had to do the dip switches a certain way, and then it would work better for that.

[00:45:57.090] – Allan

And then you could change it up if you were going to use it for something else. So basically these dip switches helped you kind of manage the computer. Now that's all automated, it does it itself, but the reality of it is that's not how epigenetics works either. It's not an on or off thing, it's a dimmer switch. So it's not zeros and ones like binary. It can be anywhere along that spectrum just based on exposures, based on all kinds of things that are going on in the world. So if you're doing the right things, the five core things, you're exercising, you're eating well, you're sleeping well, you're managing stress, and you're basically being social and enjoying your life, having purpose and people and all those things. If you're doing those five things, you're communicating to your body through epigenetics that you're okay. And then your body functions the way it's supposed to. So to kind of give you an idea. Okay, so someone who smokes all the time yeah, they're putting stuff in their lungs and they're messing up their epithelial cells throughout their blood vessels and everything, but they increase their chances of cancer, particularly lung cancer, esophageal cancer, heart attack and stroke.

[00:47:17.770] – Allan

And it's because they're basically that epigenetics. They have the genes that can allow them to get those cancers. And then they're feeding it. They're basically dimming that switch and saying, no, I don't want you to do your job, buddy. Because if you're over 50, you have cancer cells in your body. You just do. Our cells, particularly as we get a little older, they're going to mutate, they're going to have some problems. So a mutated cell is a cancerous cell. Now, 99.99% of the time your body sees that and you have an immune response and it kills that cell before it can become something worse. But if we're not living right, if we're not doing the right lifestyle things, then we're turning off our ability to heal, our ability to fight that. And that's how this stuff happens, is literally, if you're smoking, if you're doing these other things, you're literally communicating to your body, don't worry about that cancer. We got other things to worry about. Your body doesn't. If you're not eating enough food. So someone who's trying to lose weight and is on this extreme 1200, 1000 calorie or less diet, you're basically telling your body, turn off nonessential functions, which your body assumes the immune system is a nonessential function because it's not something that we used to have to have turned on all the time.

[00:48:45.980] – Allan

You get a little cut. You want your immune system to work. You eat something you're not supposed to eat, your immune system starts to work. But in today's age, when we're eating non food stuff, when we're smoking, when we're doing drinking, when we're not exercising, when we're not getting sun, when we're not doing the things that are necessary, our body shuts off functions and it just doesn't work. And so a lot of the things that she's talking about in here, they were from South Africa, I think, initially. So when you're from the southern hemisphere and you have white skin predominantly, that sun exposure is pretty intense. Apparently the ozone layer is thinner there. And so it just kind of creates an environment where extreme sunburns can happen. And so she was always in the sun wanting to get the tan, wanting to look a certain way when she was younger, which is, again, why she would have such a big concern. Her mother got skin cancer and she wants to do the things that are necessary to make sure her body is able to protect itself. So that's eating certain things. She is taking a certain supplement that the preliminary science on.

[00:50:00.290] – Allan

It says that this would help from an epigenetic perspective. And she wears sunscreen and she doesn't get let herself get burned anymore. So there's things that you can do to reduce risk, particularly if you know when you're at risk. And so we had Dr. Hood on and they strongly believe that within a short amount of time here, we're going to have kind of a huge blueprint at a single person level to be able to catch these things early. And early detection is a key to not letting it get to a really bad disease state. Now he's not talking about you go in for your annual look at your skin birthday suit event and you see something unusual, so you go see a dermatologist. He's talking about catching it before that even happens. Because if we know that you're someone who's predisposed for skin cancer and your history was you got burned several times, extremely badly when you were younger, we just know that you have a higher likelihood. So they can be scanning you for the very first indications of that cell, a mutated cell that has the potential to become skin cancer and can begin doing things then.

[00:51:21.180] – Allan

So it's not like they have to cut a chunk out of you to solve this problem. They can literally do it before it's even that.

[00:51:28.730] – Rachel

Yeah, there's a lot of good science being done right now in terms of melanomas. Even just on the news this week they talked about a custom vaccine where they do a biopsy of these cells and make it into an mRNA vaccine just like what we had recently. And that combined with another immunotherapy product has shown to reduce reoccurrence by, I think in the 40s 40% or so and catastrophic reoccurrences at that. So there's a lot of good science. That's an important one. Skin cancer is something that's really easy to be screened for and pay attention to.

[00:52:09.500] – Allan

Yeah. If you have an unusual mole and it's changing sizes or it's multiple different colors, then that's worth having a conversation with your doctor. That's one of the advantages that all this stuff is going to have is just recognizing that that data and how you manage yourself are all going to be a part of this whole formula. And that's really where she comes off. Is she's like one of the living examples of someone who got to retirement age and realized that her life is probably not over yet. There's things she wants to do. She wants to go dance. And that requires a lot of stamina and strength and capacity and mobility and balance. And so she wanted to do that. And she doesn't just do it like going to the rec center in her town. She goes and gets on a cruise somewhere around the world and then they dance. They dance at night, I guess, when the boat is going where it's supposed to go. So instead of sitting in a casino or whatever else people do on cruises besides she's dancing. And so that was one of her things, and she and her husband had a bucket list, but unfortunately, he passed before she did, before even her retirement.

[00:53:30.440] – Allan

And so all the things that they had planned to do together, she still wants to do. She's going to still do those things. And that's really what this book is about, is someone claiming control of themselves, claiming control of their lives. Using what we know today with science and everything and doing it, she's able to do all the things she wants to do. And I would dare say there's quite a few people out there her age that would never be able to do that because they're just not doing the work. They're not doing the thing, they're not eating the right way, they're not moving the right way, and therefore their retirement is not nearly as nice as what she's able to experience.

[00:54:13.550] – Rachel

Well, I'm glad that she figured out that she had goals, and in order to reach those goals, she needed to make some changes. And it sounds like she'll have a wonderful retirement.

[00:54:23.510] – Allan

Looks like it. Although she already has enough, because it's the same with me. I probably technically could have just retired, get a little bitty place and just retire, but that's not my nature to do that at the 50s. So I'm still working. Tammy's still working. And the same thing here with Gill is she ended up still working, still doing things. She's got her own podcast, which I'm going to be a guest on.

[00:54:50.000] – Rachel


[00:54:50.330] – Allan

I interviewed on her podcast. I don't know when that's going to air, but again, it's one of those things. And so it's just yeah, she's just doing this stuff and keeping herself busy. And basically any money she makes from her new career, which is basically her third career, is going into her buying these cruises.

[00:55:12.770] – Rachel

That's awesome. I find the people that I've known recently to retire, speaking of my parents and some of their friends, they don't sit still. Who can sit still? When you think of retirement, you don't think of just sitting in the lounge chair watching TV all day long. At least my parents and my friends of our family, they don't they stay busy. They got things they need to do, and it's pretty exciting.

[00:55:37.870] – Allan

It is. But you're making that decision today.

[00:55:40.460] – Rachel


[00:55:41.950] – Allan

You're making that decision today. We're going to have Tomas Hine on soon.

[00:55:47.980] – Rachel


[00:55:48.860] – Allan

Or no, he was already on last week, I think. Yeah, last week. Basically, he's a financial planner, but he looks at his clients and says, if you follow what you're doing right now and you're obese in your 50s or overweight in your 50s then you're going to carry that till retirement, you're probably not going to have a long retirement. So having seven figures in your bank account on the retirement date, that's all admirable, but you may not get to spend any of it because he's had clients that passed even before they retired. They work work. They're 60 years old, they have a heart attack, and they're done. And so we're making those decisions every day, and it's our epigenetics in our bodies that's actually making that happen. That's the communication to our genes of how to express themselves. And so the more you do that's good for yourself, the better off your genes are going to be at taking care of you.

[00:56:51.250] – Rachel

Right. And the more you'll enjoy your retirement.

[00:56:55.190] – Allan

There you go. All right, well, Ras, I will talk to you next week.

[00:57:00.570] – Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[00:57:02.010] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb– Leigh Tanner
– Eric More– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


April 11, 2023

Get functionally fit to live a life you love

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Everybody wants to be healthy and fit, but what does that really look like and how do we get there? On episode 585 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we discuss how to get functionally fit so you can live the life you love.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:42.440] – Coach Allan

Hey, Ras. How are things?

[00:02:45.420] – Coach Rachel

Good, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:48.220] – Coach Allan

Busy, as always, but enjoying it. Bringing on some clients for my new program, and I'm actually doing a little bit of in person stuff. One of the reasons I wanted to do the retreat was I kind of missed having someone in the gym lifting and doing the thing, so I went ahead and brought on some local clients, working with them. They're all over 40, so I'm not breaking any rules, so I'm kind of doing that. And then our daughter Summer is getting married in really just a few short weeks. So also planning a trip back to the United States for a few weeks, see family do the wedding thing. Second and final, daughter married off. All kids married off. Done. Scratch that.

[00:03:39.180] – Coach Rachel

Nice. That's fantastic.

[00:03:43.250] – Coach Allan

And enjoy some time with Tammy while we're up there traveling.

[00:03:48.150] – Coach Rachel

That sounds wonderful.

[00:03:49.760] – Coach Allan

How are things up north? Way up north

[00:03:52.870] – Coach Rachel

Good. Yeah, way up north. I'm the exact opposite of you. I am doing my best to relax and rest this week. I'm kind of in taper. I've got a big race this weekend, so I'm doing my best to get a few miles in, but not too hard, and to do all my recovery and rest tricks and tips that I tell all my athletes. So I'll be ready and ready to go this weekend.

[00:04:18.420] – Coach Allan

So for folks that really haven't done a whole lot of training for running but are interested, can you explain what taper is?

[00:04:27.340] – Coach Rachel

Yeah. So the taper would be the few weeks between your last big week of training and the run, your actual race, and it depends on how much time you need to taper, depending on the run. So if you're doing maybe a five K or something a week, taper would be plenty of time. You kind of taper down the amount of running and the intensity, and you rest. You focus on fueling, you focus on nutrition, you focus on getting your head right, strong and confident and ready to go. And I'm actually tapering for an Ultramarathon, so I've been tapering for a couple of weeks now, but my big race is this weekend, so same thing. I'm still running, but fewer miles and less intensity, and I'm pounding in all the best nutrition and hydration I can so that my body is ready for this weekend, for the miles.

[00:05:21.900] – Coach Allan

How far is this ultra?

[00:05:24.860] – Coach Rachel

This one is about 34 miles, so a little over 50K.

[00:05:29.630] – Coach Allan

Cool. I know you got this.

[00:05:32.290] – Coach Rachel

Looking forward to it.

[00:05:33.280] – Coach Allan

We'll talk about it.

[00:05:33.950] – Coach Rachel

Oh, I know it'll be fun. Yeah. I'll let you know how it goes.

[00:05:38.590] – Coach Allan

All right, great. Are you ready to talk about functional fitness?

[00:05:44.260] – Coach Rachel


Episode – Get functionally fit to live the life you love.

What I'm going to do on this episode is I'm kind of kind of wrap up a whole lot of different topics around fitness and mindset that I've discussed over the years. I just haven't really ever done it in a full wraparound thing, and so we're going to be bouncing to a lot of different things. But if some of this resonates with you, I definitely want you to check out the quiz that I'm going to talk about at the end, because that'll kind of help start you on this journey or get you further down the line on it anyway. So now a lot of times the reason that I'm talking to a potential client or a new client is that they really struggle to stay motivated when it comes to fitness. In some cases, they hate exercise at all. They don't like working out. And even some say, I just don't want to get sweaty. I don't like being sweaty, or I don't like the gym, or I don't like. There's a lot of things that they're using as these barriers that are keeping them from being fit.

And some of that's real and some of that is imaginary. But we're going to talk about these in a way that you can explore this thought, this process, and find a way to stay motivated to work out and get fit. So one of the core attributes for the way I approached training, it's the way I fixed myself, was commitment. Getting away from the levels of decision and resolution and willpower and all of that and really just drilling down into commitment. Now, commitment has two parts. There's the why. Why do you want to do this? Why do you want to be more fit? And the why kind of usually has about two aspects to it. Sometimes it's a little bit more, there might be something exciting in your future that you want to be ready for. But in general, the why relates to people. Almost always relates to people. We don't do this typically for ourselves, although sometimes we do, but there's usually other people involved, the people we care about. We want to be fit so we can be there for them and so that they don't have to take care of us. The second aspect of that is what we want to be able to do.

And that gets a little bit overlapped into the vision. But sometimes just having that big goal is reason enough. I wanted to do a tough mudder and I wanted to do it with my daughter. I wanted to be fit and be able to participate in her life. And so that was my why. That was a very compelling why for me. And so it pushed me to do more. Now, before I got started on the journey, though, I had to understand my vision. What does that mean? What does it mean for me to be fit? And so initially there were some capabilities that I needed to have. I needed to be stronger, I needed to weigh a little less, I needed to have more grip strength. So there were these capability, things that I wanted to have related to that race. My capabilities that I need now are actually much the same. I'm the guy who lifts things at Lula's. I have to be there when I'm working out with my clients in person. I also have to be able to move the equipment around and I need to be able to be strong enough to protect them if they were to drop a weight or make a mistake.

So there are certain capabilities that I need to have in my life also. Your vision can be driven around lifestyle. We've talked a lot about things that our parents used to do or grandparents used to do that they no longer do, and their lifestyle changed. My grandfather loved to play tennis, and then at the age of 80, he couldn't play tennis anymore. And that changed his lifestyle significantly. Not being able to take care of himself changed his lifestyle significantly. So thinking about the capabilities and the lifestyle that you want to have kind of starts to give you a clear picture of what your vision is. And then the final bit is about values. And this is where we tie the vision to the why. The values are who you are. They're how you want to be seen in the world. So you don't want to be seen as someone who's dependent. You don't want to be seen as someone who's not capable. You don't want to be seen as someone who's weak. And so those values of you wanting to be a contributor, wanting to be a part of things, wanting to be independent, those values that you hold dear are the wraparound.

That's how we form this commitment, because it ties the vision to the why. Okay, so now when you think about that vision and you think about what you need to be able to do, the lifestyle you want, the values you have, now, this is not so much about working out. Working out doesn't sound fun. It sounds like a job. It sounds like another thing to do. Exercise. That word sometimes even sounds worse. Sometimes exercise just sounds like we're doing something for no apparent reason at all, like running on a treadmill, going nowhere. I'd like you to introduce the term training. When you're doing something that's improving your fitness, you're training. You're training to be the person that has the capabilities that you want to have. You're training to be the person that has the lifestyle you want to have. So you see how now it changes the complexion of exercise, working out, movement in general, because now it's done on purpose. You have a purpose. And so for us to meet that purpose, for us to accomplish this vision, we need to start training in a way that builds just that. So no longer are we just going into the gym for half an hour and piddling on that and doing a bit of this.

We literally go in with a mission. We go in working on what we call functional fitness. And functional fitness is where we're able to build a fit for Task body. It's where we're able to get ourselves in the condition we need to be to do the things we want to do. And that could be something special. Like, I did a tough mudder. I've talked to people who want to do Mitchell pushu and other hikes and other things, races and whatnot. And so you're training for those things, and you're also training to have what you need to succeed in all of your life, to have the lifestyle and the capabilities that you want. So let's break that down. What does that look like when you start training for your vision, when you start training to be functional fit for task? Well, first it's important for you to consider this from three different optics, okay? There's a short, a middle and a long. Now, initially, we need to be playing this from the long term perspective, okay? What am I going to be like when I'm in my 80s? What am I going to be like when I'm in my 90s?

What am I going to be like when I'm over 100? And so we don't want to do short term things that break us too far away from our long term goals. So I know some people want to have six pack ABS. It sounds cool and all, but a lot of times when you see the actors or you see the bodybuilders with the six pack ABS, they're doing unhealthy things. They're doing things that are actually messing with them in the short run to have those ABS, to do that movie or win that show. So when you're thinking about this from a long term perspective, first priority, it changes things a little bit. Now you're doing things to maintain health. Now you're doing things to maintain this over time. We're not damaging joints. We're not doing things that are silly for the sake of a short term thing. And then you can start looking at the short term things. So you may want to run a five K. You might want to lose a little bit of weight, whatever it is. Those short term things, being able to pick up a tennis racket again, being able to play volleyball again, those short term things are the quick wins.

They're built in such a way that you should use them to know you're moving forward and help build confidence. So the Couch to Five K program tends to be a really good approach for someone that wants to build stamina so they can keep up with their grandkids. And they use that as a training mechanism to start building that stamina. The Couch to five K. You can go in and start a basic strength program initially for the short term of putting on some muscle so you look a little better for the summer coming up really quick here. But you're looking at your long term and you're going to be able to do more. And so as you watch the weights go up, as you get stronger, there's some confidence building there. You know you can get stronger. You see yourself getting stronger. So your long term drives the whole thing. The short term are these little stepping stones that are going to show you how you're moving forward. So they're basically mile markers. And I'll talk about goals in a minute. But this is a way that you build a program that works for you because you get the short term wins building towards the long term.

And then there's sort of this midterm. And this is where when I said I want to be a participant in my daughter's life and not a spectator, that's where this comes in. So the midterm things are where you look at life tasks. When you look at bucket list items, you look at things that you want to be able to do ten years, 15 years, 20 years. You're looking at the midterm of your life and saying, if I'm going to be on this planet for another 50 years, I don't need to be training the whole time just to be stronger, stronger, stronger. I need to have some things that I'm going to enjoy. I want to be able to enjoy my retirement. I want to be able to enjoy grandchildren. I want to be able to enjoy a lot of things in my life. So I'll have these midterm goals that are basically where I expect to be on the aging curve at any given point. Because we have control over our aging curve, we're still going to age, but we can do it quickly and peter out, or we can slow that down, stay strong, keep our stamina, and be able to do things for the rest of our life.

There's zero reason my grandfather should not have been able to play tennis in his eighty s, I mean, golf in his 80s. There's zero reason if he had started training in his thirty s and forty s and fifty s, he would have been able to play golf. But he played golf, and that's all he did, and then he lost golf. So training would have helped keep him in the game much, much longer. Okay? When we look at the long term, we're looking at healthy aging. We're looking at maintaining our health and our independence. We're looking at being able to do the things that are necessary. So I make the joke I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105, but that's on purpose. That's my long term. I vision the long term. And I've heard I'm kind of weird for doing this, but vision the long term and build your programming to think in terms of the long term first, then the short term, and then we break out the midterm and say, how does that look? And we manage that, and we have training programs, and we take those steps, and there's always the short term.

We keep looking at building towards the midterm and then the long term, but we got to keep that all in mind so we're not sacrificing one for the sake of the other. Now, a few weeks back, I guess maybe a couple of months back, I talked about smart goals, where we add the extra A, making it smart goals. Now, if you've worked in business, in a corporate environment, I know you know what smart goals are, and they're typically listed out as specific measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound. Okay? I added action based, because if an outcome is your true goal, which it's a vision is an outcome, if your outcome is the goal, it's really hard to measure, it's really hard to achieve, it's really hard to make it time bound because the outcome isn't 100% in your control. You could have an outcome goal of wanting a PR on your next half marathon or your next five K, but if you twist an ankle that's out, it's not going to happen. So smart goals are about actions. Smart goals are things about actions, things you can control. So the way I want you to think about it is to have what I want, what do I need to do to get there?

So if I want to get a PR on a five K, well, I need to work on my running, not just running the five K, maybe running a little further than a five K in some of my training runs, maybe running a lot faster on some of my training runs or running hills. So the actions are certain training mechanisms that I want to do in a given week and the weeks leading up to that five K. So if the five K is eight weeks from now, I might have a training program that says, okay, week one, I'm running two to 3 miles a day, five days a week. And then I say, okay, the next two weeks, maybe I go ahead and take one of those days and I bump it up to a three mile, I mean to a five mile run, and I take one of those days and I turn it into a speed on the Hills speed and Hills Day. So now I'm building more endurance so that the five K, which is 3.1 mile, is actually easier for me because I can run further and I can go faster because I've worked on my speed.

And so my smart goal would be, here's my training program. I'm going to do this training program for the next eight weeks. It'll include these runs these days and here's why I know I can do it. Now, this is relevant to my short term goal of being able to get a PR on my five K. So it works. And I'm running these five KS just as a measure of building stamina so I can keep up with my grandkids when I take them to the zoo this summer. So you can kind of see how you can break all this down and build these smart goals. And then each of those workouts, you click them off. It's like, I did my five miler, I did my Speed hills day, I did my runs for the week. And so each of these is that little step. The training you're doing is the step, it's the next thing. And so that becomes more motivating because you're seeing it happen. Some people even like Tony Horton was on the show a while back, and he pulls out a paper map and just basically says, let's start checking off workouts. So if five runs happens to also correlate with your five days of the week for the weekdays.

Then literally, you should see an X or check mark on every one of those days during the calendar. And maybe you have a couple where you see, if I miss it, I'm going to do it, make it up on Saturday or Sunday. You can do that too. But you see the check marks, you see them happening, you're getting a streak going. You're getting it going, and you're seeing the results. And so that's where this all kind of comes together. Now, all that said, this sounds practical and easy when I say it right. And you've probably gone down this line a few times of setting goals and starting the workouts, and then something happens along the way that derails you, okay? And that something is us. It's our own mindset. And so that's where the rubber hits the road on. A lot of this is going through that self awareness practice. So we know what our tendencies are. We know what's going to go on. I wake up in the morning and I'm supposed to do my run, and it's raining, and then I don't do my run. What happens? Well, maybe I miss the next run too, or I eat like crap that day because I messed up.

I didn't do my run. I should have got on the treadmill and done my run, or I should have run in the rain or whatever, but I didn't. And so a lot of times we get in our own way now in doing that self awareness work. And this is really work you'll do for the rest of your life. We don't really ever solve ourselves. We just learn more and learn more, and that makes us better at being ourselves. And so as you go through your self awareness work, and you keep going through your self awareness work, it's worth going back and kind of relooking at it and reanalyzing it. So as I've worked with clients over the years, I basically come up to about five different mindsets as people approach fitness. And each of these mindsets, if they're not worked toward and understood, tend to get in the way. So they can block you from being more fit. But many of them are also superpowers. If you know them, you can lean in. You can lean in and figure out how that mindset can make you stronger, how that mindset can make you faster, how that mindset can help you build stamina so you can go longer.

So all the fitness things that you want, once you know your fitness mindset, it makes it a lot easier to stay on course and get where you want to go. And so if you want to learn about this and you want to learn what your primary blocker is, you can go to 40 plusfitness. COMFIT. This is a free quiz. It won't cost you anything. It takes about 60 seconds. So quite literally, if you started right now doing the quiz online at 40 plusfitness. COMFIT, you'll finish that quiz before we finish this episode, okay? And now this will tell you what your primary blocker is and then you'll know what you need to do to get past it and use it to move forward. I don't run all my clients through this, but I have a good conversation with them at the very beginning of our sessions, and we talk about what they are and how they work. And nine times out of ten, I could just call out their primary mindset at the beginning because the words they use and how they approach it and what they've done in the past, it becomes apparent to me.

So this quiz is going to help you a lot, figure out what your fitness blockers are so you can go to 40 plusfitness. COMFIT. So let's take a step back and kind of recap what we've talked about today, okay? You need to be a certain person. You need to be a certain person today, tomorrow, and maybe 50 years from now. And to be that person, you need to train. And so when you train for a purpose, a function of who you're going to be, that's functional fitness. So you should look at your training, not exercise or workouts or sweat sessions or whatever they are. You doing something to train yourself to be something else. Like we went to high school, to graduate high school, to be adults and live in the society and know how to speak and write and read and everything else, right? This is training. It's the same thing, okay? Now when you're looking at your training, you want to focus on all of your needs across your entire lifespan, your aging, span. Start looking at the long term so you have a good picture, mental picture of where you're going overall.

Then you can start working on the short ones that are going to give you kind of that quick hit, confidence boost, easy win, quick win. So that's the thing you can do that's going to happen this month. So not this huge long term thing, but what can I do this month? What's important to me this month that I know is also kind of moving me in the right direction for my long term goals. And then you can start peppering in the medium one. So maybe you are retiring at 65 and you want to go do Mitsubishu. And so you want to be fit from a stamina and strength perspective to be able to do that at 65. So your medium term goal is to make sure that you build and maintain stamina and strength and balance and that you're ready for when that day comes. So you see how you can take your long term. You can mix in in short term wins and then build out your medium term to make this all fit together into a long term program that serves you your whole life. Now, the way we get these short term ones done and that just builds the blocks going forward is the mile markers to keep us moving forward are the smart goals.

So we're specific measurable attainable or achievable and action based relevant. So they tie back to who you want to be long term, medium term and short term. And they're timely. So again, most goals need to be a month or maybe a quarter, but usually a month. And when you're doing the month to month, it allows you to adjust. As your life changes, you can adjust them. So timeliness needs to be in your face, it needs to be now. And so if you're writing your goals for your short terms that are driving towards your medium and long terms, you've got everything set out in front of you. And the only thing left to do beyond that is to look for those blockers and do some self awareness work so that you know what could get in your way and what could prevent you from reaching those goals and therefore hitting your short, medium and long term visions for who you need to be. So I hope this was helpful for you. If it was, go ahead and email me or message me on Facebook and let's have a conversation. I'd be interested to know what your long term vision looks like and how you want to build a program for yourself that's going to take you there.

So message me on Facebook or you can email me. Coach at 40plusfitness.com.

Post Show/Recap

[00:29:22.010] – Coach Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:29:33.900] – Coach Rachel

Hey Alan. I always love talking about functional fitness and being fit for task. And the other thing I like to talk about, especially something I've been reflecting on lately myself, is having this level of fitness later in life. We spend a lot of time planning our careers, our families. We plan, we know we're going to retire, we put money away in the account for that, but we don't spend quite as much attention to detail or planning on planning a healthy retirement. Like, I want to travel, mike and I want to be busy when we do get the chance to retire. And we want to be healthy enough to hike mountains and do all sorts of fun stuff in our retirement. So we kind of need to start planning now so that we're active and healthy and good to go today. So that a decade or two decades from now, we still have maintained a level of fitness so that we can be as active as we want later in life.

[00:30:32.420] – Coach Allan

So, yeah, way I kind of equate that is, is your fitness paycheck to paycheck or is your fitness are you investing in a 401? So there's going to be something there later, right?

[00:30:43.620] – Coach Rachel

Sure, yeah, that's a great way to look at it.

[00:30:47.140] – Coach Allan

And your fitness should never be paycheck to paycheck because that just means that. You're going to age and you're going to dwindle and you're going to lose. You're going to lose in this thing because you've got to put something in the tank and you got to be consistent about it. You got to be doing it now and a little bit, a little bit, a little bit. It's not like you got to kill yourself. And it's not like you have to train for a 34 miles ultra, but just a little bit. And thinking, what do I need? What am I going to need? What kind of stamina will I need to keep up with my grandkids? What kind of things will I need to be able to be there for my family, be there for my wife when she needs me? And so it's making a small investment now that, you know, will pay off and being consistent about making that every single time, the same way you do your 401, it just becomes automatic. You just do it and you don't think about it anymore. You just do it. And there are times where you step it up a little because you can, and it makes sense.

[00:31:42.970] – Coach Allan

And there's times you back it up a little bit because you just can't. But you're always putting something in and you're always on it and not looking at this like, well, I'll do that tomorrow. It's paycheck to paycheck kind of fitness.

[00:31:57.340] – Coach Rachel

Yeah, well, you also mentioned the word exercise. And who likes to exercise? Nobody likes that word. It's a terrible word. Well, you know, we do, but we're not really exercising, like you said. We're training. We're doing something that we love. And I love to run. You love to lift, heavy things other people might like. Tennis or pickleball is a really growing sport right now, and there's all sorts of things that are out there. And when you're doing something you love, pickleball is not exercise. Hiking the Appalachian Trail is not exercise. You're training to do these things, and it just gives it a whole different connotation. And I'm sure that there's something out there that somebody would love to do, maybe not running like I do, but there's got to be something out there.

[00:32:46.830] – Coach Allan

Yeah. And if you find that there's just something holding you back and you're just really not wanting to do this, then I would definitely look at that quiz I talked about, the 40 plusfitness COMFIT. So 40 plusfitness COMFIT, it'll take you 60 seconds, and you'll learn something about what might be keeping you from making that investment perfect.

[00:33:09.640] – Coach Rachel

That sounds like a great thing to do.

[00:33:11.670] – Coach Allan

All right, well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[00:33:15.780] – Coach Rachel

Great. Take care, Allan.

[00:33:17.400] – Coach Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb– Leigh Tanner
– Eric More– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


March 7, 2023

How to live longer and better with Dr. Rand McClain

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

In his book, Cheating Death, Dr. Rand McClain tells us how to live longer and better.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:36.260] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:02:39.600] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:41.520] – Allan

I'm doing all right. Sort of all right. We have a dog. We have two dogs. You guys probably heard me talk about Buster and Angel before. But Angel took a spill this morning. She's having issues with her hips, and as a result, she loses her balance. And if she gets on uneven pavement, she loses it a little bit. So she ended up falling into a ditch, and it's really slowed down her ability to… She really can't stand up hardly with her back leg. So I pulled out this wheelchair I bought her. She hasn't been in it yet, but I got her all hooked up in it, and she took to it pretty well as far as she knows. She can walk, she'll learn some other things. She's got to be mindful of where the wheels are because she got herself stuck and frustrated with that. But so, yeah, it's a trying day because I feel bad now that I have to put her in the wheelchair for her to be able to be mobile and get out. And it's just going to mean probably something we're going to have to make a decision on in the next few months rather than maybe the next couple of years about her quality of life and where she is.

[00:03:40.530] – Allan

And so that's a tough one. But I've got the wheelchair for her now, and I'm going to start teaching her how to get out and move around and use that and hopefully start going to the bathroom while she's standing up because she won't normally do that. So there's a little bit of that. But I got the wheelchair together. It was actually a puzzle. Oh, wow. It was an interesting little puzzle. Well, one, Tammy had started putting it together and had gotten it halfway put together wrong, but partially together. And so then I had to go in there and try to disassemble and reassemble and figure out how it works and stuff. I think I've got it sized now a little bit better and fit in on her. So I'll probably be trying to get her out again, maybe this evening and just walk around a little in it just to get comfortable now and feel like she's still out there walking and being with us dogs.

[00:04:29.640] – Rachel

Oh, my goodness. I'm glad you had that kit handy and glad you had the forethought to get that.

[00:04:36.140] – Allan

Yeah. Well, she had fallen the other day a couple of weeks ago. And so I was like, okay, she keeps falling like this. And then every time she falls, it hurts her. And then she loses a little bit more of it. And so I knew I needed to have it on hand because I didn't want to have to wait for it to come in after she's doing it. But she's 75 pound dog. So I have to be able to pick up the 75 pound dog and set her in there and then set her out because it's not just a walk in thing or sit down on thing. The dog has to be placed into it. I got to pick her up and do all these things, but I'm able to. And that's part of what we're going to be talking about today is being able to do those things. But how are things up there?

[00:05:15.580] – Rachel

Good. We had a break in our bitter cold winter to collect some sap from our maple trees, and we did our first maple syrup boil over the weekend. So we had about 65 ish gallons of sap, and we produced about one ish, one and a half ish gallons of syrup. So it was a long weekend of love, but it was a lot of fun and we had decent weather. So that's what's helpful. But now we got the cold again. It's going to get bitter cold. So we'll probably do another maple syrup and sap collection in another week or two and maybe do another boil. So it's been fun and tasty.

[00:05:58.960] – Allan

Yeah. Bless you. Not this guy. I'll buy my maple syrup from somebody.

[00:06:09.700] – Rachel

Yeah, it's a labor of love. I'll tell you that. It took probably, I would say, 36ish hours of boiling time, maybe a little more to get it done. It's a lot of time.

[00:06:20.840] – Allan

And that's not something you just set and forget. You got to be in it, don't you?

[00:06:24.200] – Rachel

Yeah, we got to keep feeding the fire. It's outside. It's a lot of wood burning. It's a big process. You got to keep an eye on it because the worst part would be not keep an eye on it and have it burn. Nothing like going through all the time and hassle and then having your maple syrup burn. So got to keep an eye on it.

[00:06:42.910] – Allan

All right. Well, are you ready to have a conversation with Dr. McClain?

[00:06:47.220] – Rachel


[00:06:47.640] – Allan

All right.


[00:07:35.240] – Allan

Dr. McClain, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:38.720] – Dr. McClain

Thank you. Thanks for having me on board.

[00:07:40.860] – Allan

Now, your book is called Cheating Death: The New Science of Living Longer and Better. And I actually love that. I love how you approach the book, your first view into this topic of we're going to end someday. And we want to do it on our own terms, really. I mean, we all want to live forever, somewhat. But then we also don't because like this was the queen song, who wants to live forever. I forget that. Maybe that's not the title of it. But it was the first time I thought about, well, no, I don't want to live the last 20 years of my life, invalid, dependent, not able to take care of myself and just miserable. And so in the book, you share so many ways that we can make sure that our health span is a better portion of our lifespan. And I really appreciate that about this book.

[00:08:30.060] – Dr. McClain

Well, thank you. Yeah, the idea, and I didn't coin the term, behind health span is the combination of both longevity and good health. And they used to call it squirming the curve, they being the so called antiaging group. The idea that you continue, okay, you might not be hitting your personal best like you did when you were 20, but you're close in your 70s. And I mean that sincerely. I mean, if you look at some of the statistics at this point in time, meaning with the data we've collected, say as of 15 years ago, the difference between your personal best at 20 and your personal best at 70 isn't that big until it's truly after 70, then it hockey sticks the difference. But I think my point is that's old data. I think now we might find that occurs at age 85. But the point is that we want to continue at least being close to what we've always been, if possible. And then one day we just don't wake up. That's the ideal that you're going great until the end comes. And as far as the book, cheating death, believe it or not, the name came up as a suggestion from a group that was helping me put the book together.

[00:09:35.210] – Dr. McClain

And I vetoed it immediately. I was like, come on, that's so kitschy. I can't. But then they convinced me, hey, at least we'll get somebody's attention and you want them to read the book. And I think you find in the book, I say, hey, we're obviously not going to beat it. As you say, we're all going to come to that end. But certainly to improve our time while on the planet, to make it the best we can be is an achievable goal and a worthy one. I've never met anybody, and I used to be a CPA before as a doctor. So I can say, presumably I'm honest conservative, never met anybody who came into my office or otherwise and said, Hey, if you can give me another 20 on the back end, it doesn't matter. I'll sacrifice my health for it. No, it's the other way around.

[00:10:17.060] – Allan

And there's two ways to look at it. You got the younger crowd that wants to go out like the rebel, blazing and going. And then, of course, we get past 40, we start saying, Okay, well, I'm not doing the blazing and going out really quick, but I also don't want to have a long, slow fizzle. I want to do something about this. And so many of us were not in the shape we want to be in. And so we're actually looking at, Okay, how do we actually now not only just live out, but how do we improve our health, improve the quality of our life, and then go forward with that. And a lot of the things we're going to talk about today are going to get into those things, things we can do today to start improving our health and our health span. I literally wish I could just sit down and talk to you for hours because the book was so deep. There was so much in there. It's just a great opportunity. If you want to improve your health overall, it does that, too. And again, the health span. We're going to dive into some of the things we just, on this show, haven't talked about before.

[00:11:11.470] – Allan

One of them is called NAD Plus, which I always screw up the scientific names because I didn't go to medical school and I didn't learn the language. So it's nicotinamide, adidine, and dinucleotide. Did I do okay?

[00:11:27.360] – Dr. McClain

That's the reason why we abbreviated it, right? Just NAD or NADH.

[00:11:32.520] – Allan

So what exactly is that? Why is that important? And if we need to, how do we improve our levels?

[00:11:40.660] – Dr. McClain

So it's simply a mechanism by which we can transfer energy, specifically electrons. When we convert food into usable energy, the transfer that we call redox, reaction, reduction and oxidation. I'll avoid going into the weeds like we talked about it. But roughly, for people who remember their high school physiology, what my generation used to call the Krebs cycle is part of that. I think they call it now the Citric acid cycle. But again, the bottom line is it's converting food into usable energy. This is part of the process. Nad is used in the cell, in the cytosol, as well as people may remember it more as part of the mitochondrial transfer of energy, this electron. When NADH is converted to NAD, that transfer occurs. Anyway, enough of the details. But the effect is to do a lot of different things besides transfer energy. One of the most popularized items on the list of things that NAD does is to activate the sirtu in genes, specifically one of them, there are several. But the idea being that when you activate s rt2 in genes, you initiate this process of autophagy. And autophagy is not in the sense that you might be talking to your clients about repairing muscle tissue, but really this is repairing cellular function from everything from making sure the DNA or the recipe, the recipe is plural for all the processes is intact.

[00:13:09.380] – Dr. McClain

You don't have spaghetti sauce. I use the example of the cell being like a kitchen. You're producing these proteins and things that help the cell, the body in general, from a cell therapist's perspective, do what it's supposed to do, including messaging between cells. If the recipe's got tomato sauce spilled on it or whatever, and the dishes aren't clean, well, eventually the process of producing the right food just goes awry. So you need the time to clean up the kitchen, clean up the recipe book itself. Again, in this analogy, fix in the DNA, which can get disrupted, mutated. And again, there's garbage that's produced. Again, going back to your high school chemistry, the lysozomes are what most people recognize as the garbage cans of the cell. But there's some misfolded proteins that have to be addressed, etc. Again, avoid the weeds, but this process of autophagy puts everything back in order so that we operate properly. And another analogy would be if we don't do that, the cell looking at the cell, each individual cell like a car, if we haven't fine tuned the car, not only does the car itself not operate, but it's poisoning all the surrounding cells.

[00:14:12.020] – Dr. McClain

The exhaust isn't what it's supposed to be, and it can poison the surrounding cells. So sorry for some of the bad analogies, but for those who aren't interested in the really detailed aspects, that gets the general idea across, I hope.

[00:14:23.710] – Allan

No, this is basically getting rid of the clunker cells and replacing them with new cells. And so autophagy is basically just getting rid of the almost dead cells that are not functioning the way they need to. So when we give our body what it needs, and we're going to talk a little bit more about sleep in a minute because that's another one. But when we start giving our body what it needs, then it's able to get rid of those clunkers and build new, better cells. And as a result, our health improves.

[00:14:50.960] – Dr. McClain

Yeah. And the process is twofold in the sense that initially we'll try and repair it, clean up the kitchen or fine tuned car, whichever analogy you want to use. And if that's not possible, possible. The term used is the senescent cells, the ones that have gotten too old to function properly, they're too broken, then yeah, they can actually be destroyed as part of this autophagy. And that's a good thing. And we can recycle a lot of the materials from that cell to make new and better cells. Now, you asked me, what is our best way to generate NAD? And you'll love this, I hope. One of the best ways is exercise. I say one of the best, it is the best. Why? Because we're again using food for usable energy. Well, what are you doing in your exercise? You're using some energy and you create a lot of NAD, more so than you would if you were to take supplements. Hands down, I just want to make the point, exercise is your best source of creating NAD. Now, there are other ways of doing it. If you're not an exercise buff, fasting, which is a big issue these days, I don't want to call it a fad because it's been around forever.

[00:15:55.980] – Dr. McClain

But a lot of attention fairly recently has been given to fasting. That's another great way. There isn't any to further the kitchen analogy, there isn't any food to be made to be prepped. Somebody says, Okay, well, we might as well clean up the mess while we're not working here. And so that initiates it topic. And of course, yeah, to address some of the other ways, you can take oral forms of NAD, you can take intravenous forms of NAD. But there's a lot of controversy still about how much of that is used. Particularly with oral forms, you're going to absorb a lot of it. It's going to, I don't want to say stopped, but it's going to hit the liver first and maybe not go much further. Now with IV NAD, you're pretty much overwhelming the system. And I would argue that it's going to get well beyond the liver, and that might be a more effective approach, depending upon what you're using it for. Yeah.

[00:16:45.560] – Allan

So let's dive into sleep because I think everybody knows sleep is generally important for us to feel good. But there's a lot more going on when we're asleep than just resting. Can you talk about why sleep is important for health span?

[00:17:02.300] – Dr. McClain

Sleep is probably, I would argue, second most important to health span of all. And yet I'm sure you would agree, and probably most listeners would say, yeah, I pretty much take that for granted. A lot of us go through life, particularly in our 20s and 30s as we're making our way, so to speak. And of course, in my generation, back in the 70s and 80s, people that were doing that actually boasted about what little sleep they got. Do you remember those days? You're maybe not old enough.

[00:17:35.260] – Allan

No, I actually am because I was also a CPA. And I can tell you, when I was in college and studying for the exam and doing my thing, it was like, okay, I need to study, I don't need to sleep. And I even played… To tell you how crazy I was on this passing CPA exam, I literally had cassette and I would have the cassette playing by my bed when I went to bed. And if I woke up in the middle of the night and the cassette had finished, I'd turn it over. Yeah, it's like four hours of sleep was plenty. I was working, I was going to school, I was getting things done. I was still exercising. I was still doing a lot of things to try to keep that mid 20s body alive and moving. But yeah, you're right. Sleep was not a priority. And the whole concept was I'll sleep when I die mindset. And that actually is closer to the truth than we actually want to admit at this point in our life.

[00:18:25.780] – Dr. McClain

Well, and you could get away with it back then. And not to get off of the topic of sleep, but you hit on the one that I think is, and I'm not alone, the most important would be, we'll call it exercise because that's how you're referred to it. I call that the great equalizer. But movement, which encompasses exercise or however you want to look at it, I'd say is even more important. Of course, this ties into some of the things we were talking about earlier, and I think we'll get to today live here. But yeah, with sleep, there are so many things that occur when you sleep that are actually, even for those of us in the business, so to speak, mind blowing. One of my favorite books is Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker. He's a PhD out of the UK. We stole him. He's over at Berkeley now. If you want to read something that will be mind blowing, in the case of, say, and I call it the great equalizer, someone who's getting less than the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep and five nights in a row, this is just a fun fact taken from the book, but I think it applies to a lot of maybe your clients, it's possible to reduce your insulin sensitivity, your ability to use as little as possible insulin to get sugar out of your blood and put it where it's supposed to be in the muscles, preferably or anything that needs energy to operate properly.

[00:19:43.080] – Dr. McClain

You can reduce insulin sensitivity by 50 %. That's the difference between fantastic health and being possibly even a big BLOB. When insulin sensitivity goes awry, arguably, this metabolic dysfunction is the lunchpin for top five causes of morbidity, diseases, and death in the United States and other industrialized countries. So that's just one thing out of, I would say, hundreds at a minimum that occurred during sleep. Prevention of that, I guess I would say. But interestingly, again, not to harp on this point, but exercise helps reverse that. And then you get into a conundrum of, like, maybe you were, well, look, it's working. I'm getting four hours a night and I'm getting my exercise in still. And look, my laboratory assays look great. I feel great. But then arguably, what happens is you reach this point in, we'll call it midlife, and you find out the hard way that to use a song quote again, better to burn out than fade away. No, that doesn't work. But we can reverse it. But you're digging into your reserves, essentially your adrenal glands. And they've been picking up the slack. And then I referred to it as when Kong, as in King Kong, jumped on my back one point in my midlife and said, This ain't happening anymore.

[00:20:58.780] – Dr. McClain

You're going to start paying the piper. And that's something if we can avoid, we don't run into it. But certainly understandable at the earlier age that you keep getting away with it, just like any kid would do. You figure, Well, I can. I'll keep doing it. But sleep, there are so many important things that occur during sleep to keep us in the game and keep us healthy. And I just pointed it out and it was long winded about it, I realized, just one aspect of hundreds that occur while we're sleeping, without it, I would argue 100 %, unless you're one with a very rare gene mutation. There's a couple of them actually that allows you to get away with five. And by the way, again, stop me if I'm getting too far into the weeds. All stages of sleep are important, but the most restorative sleep for the body anyway, the organs, whatever, is the deep sleep, the non rim, where you're really operating in slow brain waves, for example, is so important. Without that, you're not going to optimize your health and you will not get the most out of healthspan, hands down.

[00:21:59.240] – Allan

Well, like we were talking about NAD, this is the big clean up. This is when your brain cleans up. This is when your body says, Okay, we're shut down for the week. In the sense of the shop, the restaurant, it's like, We can do a deep clean. We can pull all this stuff out. We can do all of this extra work and make this place pristine again. So when we reopen, we're that much better off. But if you don't have that full time because you're opening back up tomorrow, you're getting your four or five hours of sleep, then you didn't give your staff time to do the deep clean. And over time, the restaurant starts looking dingy and it's not operating as well.

[00:22:34.600] – Dr. McClain

And speaking of that, and not to necessarily tie it into the food aspect of a restaurant, but we'll go with it anyway. But the GI, for example, I find this with my patients and personally, if you start shorting yourself in sleep. And I don't have any scientific proof, but having worked as a doctor of Chinese medicine for a while, I can say the Chinese several thousand years ago recognized that there's actually a timing that goes on. And so the first part of the night, you might be working on cleaning up the work and we'll use the kitchen example, you're cleaning up the area of the dishes, the cooking, and then you move to the cutting block area. If you skip that last part of sleep, you're missing that part of the kitchen, so to speak. And again, I don't have any scientific proof behind this part. I just go with what I've seen in patients and what I've read and studied through Chinese medicine. Those that suffer from constipation and other digestive upset, it's that last part I find in the whether it's 7 to 9 hours, whether it's an hour or two, the last part if you're shaving that off, that the GI doesn't get swept out, cleaned up.

[00:23:38.860] – Dr. McClain

And that's one of the first signs I find is IBS, we call it, and the typical symptoms are just your GI system is in a state of wreck. You've got gas and sometimes pain and what we call borborygmus, tenesmus, whether it's constipation or diarrhea, or alterating, incomplete evacuation, etc. I find that's one of the first things to start going on you if you don't get your full amount of sleep. But also, again, when it comes to certainly motivating patients who want to have great body composition, stay fit, it's not just a cleaning up situation. A lot of athletes don't realize this, and I'm sure you can attest to that in what you do, you write the prescription for muscle improvement, whether it's gaining muscle, gaining strength, improving body composition, coordination, whatever it is you want to talk about during the workout. And then, of course, eating properly during the day is part of writing the prescription. But you fill that prescription at night. And now we're talking about athletic sense of repair, not the cleanup part, but actually repairing the muscle, we say, building it back up, better for the next workout. And if you skip that, it's not going to happen.

[00:24:46.630] – Dr. McClain

I can't tell you how many times I've seen in practice where somebody will come in, an athlete with his gallon jug of water, he's got over his shoulder his meals for the day. He's got that part nailed. But he's working, where I come from, we say working like a Jamaican, three jobs, working hard and getting four hours of sleep. And by the way, one of those jobs is like a UPS worker. So he's consistently staying active. It's not like he's resting. And when you're wondering why you're not getting anywhere. And I have to have that conversation like we're having now. Hey, you got to get your sleep, otherwise you're wasting your time.

[00:25:22.040] – Allan

So yeah, in that vein, because again, you're right. As a trainer, I see it all the time. And it's a constant conversation I have with my clients. We can look at how you're recovering, and that's going to give us clues to how you're doing overall with all of it. And so the three key pieces, and I guess I could call them four, but two of them line. The first is we got to have the stimulus, and that's the work we do either in the gym or at home or whatever we're training. When we're doing our training, we have the stimulus. And then the nutrition is now we're providing the fuel. So we're refueling the glycogen tanks and we're providing protein for muscle synthesis. And then we get to the recovery part. And like you said, if it's someone who's go, go, go, go, go, they're not hitting a recovery level. And then if they're not sleeping, they're definitely not going to recover. And so they find their workout starts to suffer. They're not putting on muscle. They're probably even putting on fat because the whole go, go, go, go, go is now firing up their adrenals more often than it should.

[00:26:21.200] – Allan

So the workouts are actually now a stress on top of a stress on top of a stress. And so, again, that's why I get to the sleep and the recovery being as important as the stimulus, the work. And when you can align the work, the nutrition, and now, again, the recovery and sleep, particularly the sleep, you set yourself up for that opportunity to take that spiral that may have been going down and turn it up.

[00:26:46.160] – Dr. McClain

Well, since you teed me up with a little bit of additional information there about the adrenals, let me just add to that. Yeah, in reference to chronic cortisol release, one of the signs you'll see with clients and patients is they will lose subdermal fat, subcutaneous fat in the extremities, and yet start to collect it around the abdominal area. And you go, Wait a minute, how could I be losing fat on my arms and my legs, but it just won't go away in my abs? That's because the cortisol that should not be released, you don't need the extra release of energy that cortisol stimulates. It's for fight or flight. And so it's saying, Here's the energy, got to run. Well, we're not running anywhere. And so all you're doing is redistributing the fat. And it's very simple. I mean, if you look at patients that have Cushing's disorder, where they've got an overabundance of cortisol being produced because of a pathology, that's a telltale sign. The fat is being deposited centrally on the back of the neck, but certainly around the midsection. And yet they have nothing on the extremities. And this is what is being self induced by the stress that's incurred by not getting enough rest.

[00:27:57.950] – Dr. McClain

And of course, you wake up in fight or flight mode because you're not what you were the day before because you haven't given yourself the chance to rest and you worked out hard so you put yourself down in that hole even more. And it's a downward spiral from there. So you can imagine. And they're easy to spot, right? You can see them when they come to you. I don't know why.

[00:28:16.960] – Allan

It was me. I'm working, I'm a corporate job, I'm doing well. I'm like, but I still have this pudge. And I'm like, well, I know why I have this pudge. Not because I wasn't sleeping, because I was actually going to sleep early and I was sleeping without an alarm for a number of years. But I was like, I just have this really stressful job. And my cortisol level from the time I get in my truck to drive to work until I get out of my truck the next night. And even then, it didn't end because I had my cell phone with me. My cortisol level was off the charts all the time. And I even had it tested a few times. And yeah, the doctor was like, Your stress is pretty high. Was it? The C reactive protein is high. And I'm like, Yeah. So I quit the corporate life. I know everybody can't do that, but I can tell you that sleep was a game changer for me. Was I optimal? No, but it was tremendously different than before I really got my sleep dialed in.

[00:29:11.650] – Dr. McClain

One way to look at that is, imagine if you hadn't been getting sufficient quantity of sleep. And of course, that brings up the point that there's a difference between quantity and quality, too. Again, not to put too far off field, but you might be getting what appears to be eight hours of sleep during the night. But if you've got sleep apnea, for example, which is far more prevalent than the HMO anyway will recognize, okay? And I'll leave it at that. But it's under diagnosed. Then the quality isn't there, especially if it's severe sleep apnea we're dealing with, you're almost better off not getting eight hours sitting there doing basically your cardio while you're sleeping. And no, it's not the same as getting it during the day. So no, if you're listening and you think, well, I'll just cut out cardio during the day and getting it at night. No, it's not the same thing. Not even close. clothes, but you are stressing your body in certain similar ways and you're making it even worse. So you got to be careful when, for example, you're looking at your oura ring or anything that measures your sleep or you're thinking or just looking at the clock and say, oh, wow, that's great.

[00:30:14.690] – Dr. McClain

I got eight hours. That's half the battle. The other half is, is it quality sleep? Am I waking up thinking about work the next day? Am I lightly sleeping rather than getting my deep sleep and my proper amount of rem sleep? Am I getting up six times a night to urinate because something else might go on. Anyway, my point being quality and quantity are important.

[00:30:34.310] – Allan

Now, let's dive into exercise and health span a little bit. In the book, you got into aerobic versus anaerobic, and you talked a little bit about flexibility. Why are those important? Where should we be spending our time if health span is really the direction we want to go?

[00:30:52.140] – Dr. McClain

Well, the word movement is included in the very definition of life. So you could argue just from that standpoint, we got to realize up front it's important. But what we're finding now is that there are two types of movement, and we could use all kinds of semantics here. There's exercise, what we would consider formal exercise plans, like what probably you put a lot of or all of your people through, versus just, let's say gardening or going for a walk. And to put it in terms of aerobic and anaerobic might be helpful or maybe in terms of the heart anyway, zones. Zone 1 through zone 5 is probably the most popular breakdown of the various zones, which really reflects more intensity, but also whether we're using oxygen as part of the process of getting energy from food that's usable or not. We often define the two very separately. But in practice, really, it's not digital, it's analog. So you're never like aerobic only and anaerobic only. There's different degrees of which you are one or the other. And it's not necessarily linear either. And that's why we talk about these tipping points and threshold, aerobic or anaerobic thresholds where all of a sudden it gets worse pretty quickly.

[00:32:06.660] – Dr. McClain

If you're, for example, going from aerobic to anaerobic, you hit that point at which you could stay just under that. You could probably do it a lot longer than if you go just a little bit, really, like to use a bicycleing term, you go a few more Watts above what you could normally hold and stay aerobic and all of a sudden, bingo, the lactic acid builds up fairly quickly and you go anaerobic. But anyway, exercise, as I said earlier, is the great equalizer. So many things occur while we're exercising. And then you can extrapolate from there a few, as it were, the most recent research shows that there is a definite correlation between muscle strength as well as muscle mass. I believe that when you parse it out a little bit more precisely, there's more to muscle strength than there is to muscle mass. But of course, they come relatively hand in hand to a certain degree. And then also VO2 max. And the reason I bring this up is because these are considered more or less opposite ends of the spectrum where you're building muscle mass by doing the high intensity stuff, which tended to be anaerobic, and you're building V02 max up by doing the aerobically demanding exercise.

[00:33:19.100] – Dr. McClain

And one more differentiation I want to throw out there, too, is there's a difference between exercise for, let's say, body position goals or running a marathon or something like that. And what we sometimes refer to exercise, and the reason I'm rambling on like this is because we are talking about semantics. I'm just trying to give more definition to the distinctions. Again, I go back to that zone two or under type of exercise, whether you call it gardening or doing some carpentry at home or something like that, which is a different speed, affects the mind as it were differently, obviously, one versus the other. And then lastly, you can overdo it with this, like everything else in life. The concept of Hormesis, if you will, comes into play. I'll never forget, I won't name a name, and forgive me if it's too easy to guess, but I remember meeting someone when I was much younger who was a very accomplished athlete, one of the first to run the Ironman and to be very successful and held many records. And I remember looking at him and going, Oh, my goodness, he's 36, I believe it was. He looks like he's 63.

[00:34:24.200] – Dr. McClain

And I don't mean that in any way, pejoratively, but I just remember thinking, Wow, that's not what I expected because this guy is so accomplished, you would expect, like we all expect, exercise is fantastic for you and you're doing all the right things, presumably, to be able to be that good at it. But no, you can overdo it. And literally, too much oxidation can weather you. And there's a limit as to how much you can do. And there's that sweet spot, I guess, I want to say, that you're looking for.

[00:34:54.220] – Allan

And so Hormesis, if you're not familiar with that, is basically a term we're applying a stress to our body. So the workout itself is a stress. And as we do that workout, that stress, we'll call it a positive stress or use stress, as they say, it's a positive stress on the body. And basically something that is the term, if it doesn't kill you, it makes you stronger. That's true for some things, but not everything. But the principle is, if we do something that stresses ourselves a little bit, our body has the opportunity through hormones to get stronger. And so we do weight lifting where we're lifting weights that are just right at the threshold of what we can lift, our muscle works. The communication of the body is, hey, we need this muscle to be a little bit stronger next time so that we build more muscle. Again, if we're getting the stimulus, the nutrition and the sleep, that's how this whole model works. And to go into your aerobic and anaerobic understanding, it's more like this. If you can move around and have a conversation like Dr. McClain and I are having right now, we're sitting still, so we're in a lower threshold, probably closer to zero than one.

[00:35:59.800] – Allan

But we're having this conversation and we can have a great conversation in long sentences and just keep going. But if we were getting close to the threshold where we started moving anaerobic, we wouldn't be able to have a conversation. We would start to get to the point where it was difficult to talk because we're not able to bring in enough oxygen, so our body has to switch over to not using oxygen for energy. So if we were both going for a good, fast run and he wants to beat me and I want to beat him and we're running hard, we're not going to be able to have a conversation. We're going to be focused on running. So if you start feeling like you're getting winded when you're doing something, you're approaching your anaerobic threshold.

[00:36:34.780] – Dr. McClain

And maybe one corollary to the idea of hormesis is the poisons in the dose, right? 

[00:36:40.780] – Allan

So let's dive in because I think a lot of people will say, I want to lose some body fat. My doctor keeps telling me to exercise more and eat less. And so I want to lose some of this body fat because my doctor keeps telling me I'm fat, or that I'm overweight, or that I just need to lose a little bit. And I step on the scale every time I go to visit this guy. So yeah, it's going to happen again if I don't do something. So I want to lose some body fat. What is the better way to do this? Aerobic or anaerobic? Because most of us are going to hit the cardio machines and be cardio bunnies to try to lose this weight because it's burning calories, right?

[00:37:17.600] – Dr. McClain

Right. And of course, people will say that in that zone 2 or below exercise where it's aerobic, we find that you are burning fat for fuel, preferentially over muscle glycogen. By definition of, certainly when we go anaerobic, right? You, Hart, done earlier, we're going for muscle glycogen, and this is where the great debate starts. And I would argue, though, it finishes back to high school physiology, right? Aerobically, and I ask the question to people all the time, and you already know the answer, so it's not fair to ask you the question. But you ask people, if you're trying to lose fat, or let's keep it more broad, if you're just simply trying to get rid of energy, do you want to be inefficient or efficient with your calories? And people almost invariably say, Oh, I want to be efficient. And no, it's the reverse. You want to go broke. So you want to pay high prices for your goods and services. You don't want to be efficient. You want to be inefficient. What's the most inefficient way to burn calories? The anaerobic method that your body uses is by far the most inefficient. As we have studied it still today, if you're into the anaerobic cycle, you are getting two to four units of energy, ATP per calorie.

[00:38:37.570] – Dr. McClain

We don't need to go into the weeds of two to four and what's happening, but it has to do with the fact that it's not a pure system and there's different things happening in the cell. But anyway, aerobically, you're getting 36 to 38 ATP units of energy per calorie. Well, obviously, aerobics is way more efficient. You're getting a lot of energy for each calorie. So yeah, you see a lot of guys in the gym and girls, obviously, when I say guys, I'm a Southerner, so I mean guys and girls by just saying guys doing their cardio, the LSD I call it long, slow distance, which yes, while you're on the treadmill in that zone two or below, yes, it's true, you are burning more fat. But over a 24 hours period, you're definitely burning through calories more, which is part of the equation, literally and figuratively, by putting on muscle mass in your workout, you're also literally burning calories more so at sleep or at rest than you would be otherwise. So I use the old parable about the… Or it's not even a parable, but what did they say? If you want to help out a man, you can catch fish for them each day, or you can teach him how to fish.

[00:39:48.300] – Dr. McClain

By developing increased muscle mass, which is what is, I would say, synonymous with your metabolism in many ways. It's the reason why we have to eat so much food. I joke with patients all the time, you don't hear people saying, Oh, geez, Jane Doe, you really blew it last night. We went to the library and we studied Einstein for a couple hours and burned 2,000 calories. No, it's always, Oh, you missed it. We did this activity where we were moving our muscles and we burnt a lot of calories. That said, just as a note of a no, they've done research, believe it or not, I like this research where they showed if you were to sit in the library all day and study hard, you might burn an extra 300 calories doing that. But you're working at it. How about if you put on, let's just make up numbers here, 10 pounds of muscle, then you're burning, if you're the average person, another, let's say, 78 % of calories. Again, not just when you're sleeping at night, which sounds great, but when you're active, it costs more now to do the same things you were doing before because you're carrying that extra muscle to do it.

[00:40:56.850] – Dr. McClain

That's why we don't see marathoners at 250 pounds solid muscle. Line backers are not running the marathons.

[00:41:04.870] – Allan

They're not professional anyway. Yeah.

[00:41:10.060] – Dr. McClain

Exactly, not professional. I know I've danced around different ways of looking at it, but is that fairly clear at this point or is it still mud?

[00:41:19.880] – Allan

Yeah, no, it is because the basis is this. A lot of people will talk about how as we get older, our metabolism goes down, which is not untrue, but it's basically typically true because we've lost muscle mass. So you can look back at the amount of muscle mass you had when you were 30 and you could get away with a lot of stuff. And now you're not 30, you're in your 40s or 50s and you're like, I can't eat what I was eating before. And you also know your activity level isn't as high. So even if you try to bump up your activity level, you still don't have the muscle mass you had back then. So even a little bit of extra muscle mass is that compounding effect of a penny. Would you rather me give you $10,000 right now, or a penny and double it every day for 30 days? And you start doing the math and realize, oh, I want the penny. So you put that little penny in the bank and that compound interest over time of burning just a little extra calories every day. And each time you're able to put an extra penny in that bank, that compound interest is just going to get bigger.

[00:42:20.330] – Allan

So it is harder being over 40 to put on a little bit more muscle mass. But it's doable if, again, as we went back, the stimulus of the training, the nutrition, and then the sleep. There's a math here of how you can make yourself healthier and increase your metabolism effectively or rebuild your metabolism because we didn't really lose anything other than muscle mass and activity level. And so it's not a matter of running yourself out of your body fat. Very few people can do that without increasing their appetite. But the reality of it is, yeah, you need the anaerobic, you need the strength. I actually saw a study that compared grip strength to longevity. The stronger your grip strength, the longer you lift, which you lived, which was effectively just basically saying that if you have grip strength, that's because you're lifting things. No one's just sitting there training their grip to do it. But maybe some are now that they saw that study. But it's a proxy of strength. And so if you're building strength and you're adding a little bit of muscle mass, you're setting yourself up to be healthier.

[00:43:19.950] – Dr. McClain

Agreed. Yeah. And the company of interest is directly 100 % analogous, but it's pretty doggone close in the sense, again, that it's not linear. You're just putting on X amount of muscle mass, which requires X amount of commensurant calories to maintain. Remember, you're going through what we refer to in medicine as the activities daily living, which includes to and from the grocery store as well as planned exercise. And so that is leveraged considerably. Maybe you could even say logarithmicly, maybe that might be a little extreme, but certainly that compounding effect is there because of that. Again, the example being that when you used to burn, let's say you go in the treadmill for an hour and you do your LSD and you burn 500 calories. Well, now that you're 10 pounds heavier, you do that exact same workout for an hour, but now you're burning 650 calories. That's a compounding effect. Agreed?

[00:44:16.180] – Allan

Yeah, it is. And the point being is what I found is if you're doing the right things for your body, you have more energy. As a result, you're moving more just in daily life. So that they call non exercise, thermogenic, neat activity. It's basically just the other stuff you're doing during the day. So you won't have a problem. You won't want to feel like you need to park at the closest parking space to where you're walking. You just park and then you walk. And so you just feel like that's not a problem for you. You get up and get down a lot more often, you're moving more. You're basically the things that aren't exercised, you're basically the things that aren't exercise. You're just doing more of them and as a result, burning more calories.

[00:44:55.260] – Dr. McClain

Well, this is just an example of how it's not as easy as we learned back in high school physiology, the basic equation, calories in versus calories out. And we could probably have, we could speak about this for hours, but just to throw that out there that there are so many other factors involved in the so called basics and you're touching on one of them. The other one I like to mention, too, is with weight lifting, typically or anything high intensity, I shouldn't just limit it to weight lifting, but the hit, we call it. There's a concept called the afterburn. A lot of people refer to it as where not only are you not producing as much cortisol, which we've agreed is on a chronic basis is bad for you. But as you would say when you're doing endurance work, particularly anything zone 3 to zone 5, but you can only stay in zone 5 for so long. So I don't want to make that sound like it might be an endurance work, but you can bounce in and out of zone 5 and do endurance work. I'm just trying to be technically correct. But the last material I thought, what was going to say about that?

[00:45:55.690] – Allan

Well, the cortisol drops after that intense workout.

[00:45:57.880] – Dr. McClain

I was talking about the after burn, though. And that's been proven in that, particularly when you perform your exercise in the morning. You were talking about the thermogenesis that occurs, right? That's part and parcel of your hit during the day as opposed to doing your hour or two on the road on your bicycle, very different. And again, another reason for doing stuff, not exclusively, but definitely including it. And we're going back to that age old thing about, oh, if my doctor wants me to lose some fat, I better do my cardio. No, that's part of it. Don't forget about the other part and the reasons behind it. I'm just adding there are a lot of reasons that aren't necessarily public and pushed, but there's a lot of nuance to it that we don't always talk about.

[00:46:41.110] – Allan

Right. And because I love where I live and I have this walk that I like to take, and the beaches just get prettier and prettier as I walk. So I'll go for long walks. It's just because I enjoy doing it and I want to be able to keep doing it. So yeah, having that long, slow cardio and having that stamina and capacity to do that, that's important to me. Being strong and able to lift the things I need to be able to lift, that's important to me. Being able to get down on the floor and get back up, that's important to me. And so let's talk just a little bit about flexibility before we move on.

[00:47:11.860] – Dr. McClain

Sure. And just to leave that last section behind with one added note, we've been focusing on the body composition aspect and the strength relating to longevity, health span, etc. But the other factor, and I got to give credit, I think I want to say it was Dr. Gupton. He's pretty famous, right?

[00:47:28.860] – Allan


[00:47:29.220] – Dr. McClain

In his most recent book, he makes a good point about, what about mental health, too? It's more than just physical health. We want the mental health. And there are plenty of studies to support that long walk you were just referring to, being good for mental health, not just what we refer to as the mind, but the brain, the physiologic mechanism that we attached to the mind, good brain health, whether it's the production of BD&F or just reducing inflammation in the brain altogether, those walks are essential. He actually, I think, believes, or he states that it's a nonnegotiable part of his day. There's more to it than just calorie burning, these zone two or below efforts in the long walks you were talking about. Anyway, in terms of flexibility, that is one that I've been asked before, and I tell myself often enough, if I had to do it all over again, if I could go back and talk to my 21 year old self or even my 12 year old self would be even better. Rand, focus on flexibility. Do not let that one go. A lot of us are guilty of this, particularly those maybe a little bit more type A and intense and maybe even hypomanic like myself, where I always thought I literally would say it to some of my coaches, are you kidding me?

[00:48:45.200] – Dr. McClain

We've got 15 minutes left of practice. Let's do some more X, whatever the sport was, heavy duty, high intensity stuff. I don't want to waste time stretching. Come on, man. And fortunately, to some degree, when you're younger, the fascia doesn't get as inflamed and scarred up. It's like so many things, time passes and the barnacles, no matter how much the ship is either in port or moving around, it's going to get barnacles, right? And who knew? That's how I look back and I go, gee whiz, if only I had known better. But to your point, there's another doctor who I love listening to, Peter Atia. I don't know if you've ever heard of him, but he has something I think he calls centenarian Olympics, where he's got these different exercises that are linked to longevity or health span that if you can do them great, you should do better than if you can't. And a lot of it has to do with functional movement. And without the flexibility, you are going to be dysfunctional to different degrees. You could be the best Kung fu artist. Really strong legs, hips, and you can throw your leg out at the bag or the person or whatever.

[00:49:53.840] – Dr. McClain

But if you can only raise it as far as the knee, well, you're limited to how well you can throw that kick. So maybe that's a terrible example, but my point, flexibility is absolutely essential. And there's more and more study coming out. I read a study recently about the importance of fascia, which you will be keeping supple and flexible with your exercises of flexibility. And this fascia is very important. Without it, we'd just be this sack of muscle hanging on bone. This fascia keeps everything in place and allows, for example, that covering, allows the lymph system to work more efficiently and the lymph is activated when we do any movement or get a massage if we're lucky enough. So flexibility is one of those things that gets overlooked. Often, I don't want to say it's ever too late, but it's not the sexy thing that we look for when we think of somebody who's doing his Olympic lifts and throwing 200 kilos overhead in a snatch, you go, Well, that was all about power, not flexibility. Well, that's actually a great example, a sport where it looks like it's all about strength, but no, man, is it about flexibility?

[00:50:59.510] – Dr. McClain

Because it's about moving your body properly and efficiently to get the most out of your muscles. Hope I'm not getting too esoteric here, but you really just want to get the most out of it, where flexibility is so important, and yet we don't think of it that way until we really get into the nitty gritty.

[00:51:13.650] – Allan

Right. So you're sitting on the toilet and you drop the toilet paper and it rolls out a few feet from your foot. Can you reach down and grab it? Or are you standing up and trying to bend over to pick up that toilet paper? This is a real life thing.

[00:51:29.120] – Dr. McClain

I love. It. love it. Yeah.

[00:51:30.560] – Allan

So again, it's just one of those things of how well do you move? Because we're going to always need to move. And so mobility and flexibility are allowing you to move through the full range of motion the way your body was intended to move. And unfortunately, I had an office job for decades. And so tight hips, tight calves, those types of things, I need a mobility practice. One of my mobility practices, which is going to come off as weird, but I have two dogs. And so I'll get up in the morning, I'll start my coffee and then I'll go sit down on the floor. It's a tile floor and I don't have to have a plan to get up. So I don't ask that question. I do. I get up, but I can just sit down there and sitting on a tile floor is not the most comfortable thing in the world. So I shift around a good bit. But I'm shifting through and stretching while I'm petting my dogs. They love it because they're getting direct attention at their level. I love it because I'm just able to start my day with a very relaxing, wonderful moment with my dogs.

[00:52:26.700] – Allan

Plus I'm stretching. I'm on the floor just moving around. If you've ever tried to just sit still on a tile floor, it's actually not that comfortable. So you just naturally squirm around. You naturally move. And so I'll do that regularly. Almost every day, I'm sitting down having that time with my dogs while I'm waiting for the coffee, and that's a part of my stretching. So it's not like I took an extra 15 minutes out of my day to go do stretching. This is five minutes while I'm waiting for coffee to brew that I'm just sitting down on the floor, moving around, getting just good movement in my legs. I've been asleep, so just not too fast, not too aggressive, just moving around and letting my legs and my whole hips and everything just get moving. And so it is a function of your life. And the more you can be more mobile, be more flexible, I think that's a big part of all of this.

[00:53:15.160] – Dr. McClain

Would add to that, too, and I can't take credit for it. An ice skater that I met many, many years ago told me about this, and it's actually to a different end. She was talking about how she developed her glute muscles. She and her mom, who's also a skater, would get up during every commercial break when they were watching TV. Let's not get into whether TV watching or not has value. But anyway, the advertisements, I would argue, have zero value. Well, they made use of it. This was back in the day, 40 years ago, when television spots were even longer, I think. At any rate, like you say, instead of sitting there because you do want to watch the football game, let's say, television is worthwhile, I would argue in that example. But get up and stretch and make that time useful and sitting there like a bump on a log. So just another example where you can throw it in there and then it's not wasted by any stretch of the imagination.

[00:54:01.620] – Allan

Absolutely. Let's take just a couple of minutes and talk about stem cell therapy and particularly these muse cells, because I wasn't familiar with those before I read your book. And I think this therapy actually has a huge amount of promise, particularly for people who have injuries or illnesses and they're trying to repair their body. Can you talk a little bit about those?

[00:54:22.880] – Dr. McClain

Sure. New cells are a relatively new discovery. The first person to discover it was a female doctor in Japan, Dr. Dazawa. The story is an interesting one, but in short, it was really by accident that she discovered them. There are people that suggest that no, these are not a different type of cell, that mus cells or really stem cells. I argue it's a matter of semantics, no matter how you slice it. You can say, well, is it tadpola frog? Is it a Caterpillar or a Butterfly? You follow my drift there. Who cares? We know that when stem cells that have been collected are stressed, then we find these mus cells. We believe, most of us, I would argue, believe that mus cells are a separate entity. They're much fewer of them, but they're found surrounding most organs, and they're activated in extreme cases. And again, that's why when these collections, where you're doing, for example, collection of the perivascular fat, you find them because they're present. And if you collect the stem cells, they come with the stem cells. And then in the case of, for example, the American hero at UCLA, Gorgio, I mentioned him in my book, too, he found it by accident as well.

[00:55:39.780] – Dr. McClain

The centrifuge broke at UCLA. He was using it. He said, I'll deal with it tomorrow. Went home, came back the next day and found these new cells were present. But mus cells are different from stem cells in the sense that while they're both regenerative, stem cells, first of all, as far as we know, still to this day, they will not cross the blood brain barrier, which is important if you want to treat the brain, obviously. They don't cross, so they're not viable, although the exosome contents can, presumably a lot of the contents can. But we want to be able to not have to… If we want to, for example, treat Parkinson's, for example, we want to get to the substantial nitro, where that's the area of the brain that's going to control dopamine release. If we wanted to regenerate those cells, the only way we could do it, presumably to date, would be to drill a hole and get there the hard way, so to speak, rather than just infusing it. Well, new cells differently than stem cells can cross the blood brain barrier. And while with stem cell use, there's a very small chance of cancer growth occurring.

[00:56:42.060] – Dr. McClain

Now, if you have extent cancer, and there's an argument both ways that, well, stem cells could activate the immune system to further get rid of the cancer, or the stem cells could actually contribute to the cancer itself. They're both referred to as generally undifferentiated cells. So there's an argument back and forth. But we do know, for example, we tried to treat neurological injuries, spinal cord injuries with stem cells directly. And last time I checked, we were still rowful in their effect, certainly based upon the ratio of how many we have versus what they can do. So the potency seems to be better, but they seem to be more efficient. They seem to be Mother Nature's last effort. And so it's our best effort. And while we really haven't advanced the medicine here, it's simply because I would argue, most of the research, and you can look it up online, at least when I did in writing the book, was written in Japanese. There were probably about 100 articles when I started looking into this. Robert Harding, kudos for… He was the one that told me about this. And then I'd say of those 100 articles, probably 90 % or 90 or more were which doesn't do us much good.

[00:58:25.460] – Dr. McClain

And if you go online today, you won't find much of the way to use cells. But I think they are the future. They're fairly easily obtained. And in the same way stem cells can be used, they don't have to be a toll of it in other words. You don't have to have your own because they essentially don't have, I will call them fingerprints. And therefore, the enterogens, where your body would look at it as something different and attack it, perhaps. Mus cells have no potential there. So we could use Mus cells from one individual for anybody else. And that's a pretty big advantage, too. Yeah.

[00:58:57.210] – Allan

And so I think this is just as you start thinking about upcoming things. This is just a part of science that really, I guess, what they call it the better life through science. This is maybe one of the big opportunities that's setting in front of us. It's hard because there's some ethical considerations, but they are doing some work on it. So it's something to be aware of and know that it's going to probably be coming. There are, as you said, clinical trials that are going on throughout the United States and around the world. So if you're dealing with something, you can do a little bit of research on it, try to find, you call it clinical trials.org or something like that, that was a website people can look up and say, Okay, where are they doing clinical trials for the thing I'm dealing with with regards to stem cells or mus cells, and see if you can get into one of those, if that's something you want to pursue.

[00:59:44.550] – Dr. McClain

Well, and just because you bring up the word ethical, I'm sure you're referring to a very different subset of ethics than what most people think of when they think of stem cells. Initially, we were talking about embryonic stem cells and the collection of said cells from fetuses. That is not the case. This is a sore spot for me and many in this field because there's been a lot lost in translation since then. From whatever groups you want to point to, there was a backlash initially because of the ethics behind harvesting these from aborted fetuses and whatnot. But what we're talking about now, certainly when we refer to stem cells or mus cells for that matter, this is not from another being's aborted life or anything close to that. These are cells that can be obtained, I mentioned earlier, for example, from the fat of a living adult human. The mesotheliis that are sitting there in the parabasculate or the fat. So a very, very different animal. And I just want to make sure that's clear to our audience. I think you're referring to the other ethics of maybe it's affordability to some versus others. And so they get the chance to not have to get a shoulder replacement, or they fix their liver disease or whatever.

[01:00:59.860] – Dr. McClain

I mean, there's all kinds of other ethics to come into play here, but it's not about taking one life for another anymore.

[01:01:04.890] – Allan

Right. But I'm just saying as you go through this process, just recognize you need to go through that and understand what's happening here so that you can make the right decision and understand that, yes, then you're going to get some blowback potentially.

[01:01:17.920] – Allan

So Dr. McClain, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest, and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[01:01:27.120] – Dr. McClain

Well, I would imagine it'd be fairly anti climactic at this point when I tell you what my three most important ones are, what I would argue are the obvious. They're not sexy, but they are the basics, and you can't change that. At least we don't have something Star Trek, and at this point that could do that. It's the basics. It's getting the proper nutrition, getting the proper amount of exercise, and getting the proper amount of sleep. It doesn't get any better than that. Beyond that, we are fine tuning. Without the basics, we are not fine tuning, or I would argue, you're fine tuning 70 to 72% rather than 98 to 100%. If you're not getting the proper amount of sleep, forget about being optimized. Ditto for nutrition and ditto for exercise. And fortunately, we talked about all three of those, so we're not leaving anybody hanging. And I do mean to use the term appropriate amount. And that amount, by the way, not to start up a new conversation, but it's different for everybody. If anybody tells you, for example, there's one way to eat, there's only a certain nutritional program that you should be on, you know this, run away.

[01:02:38.840] – Dr. McClain

I mean, come on. Everybody's different starting from the way they chose their parents to the way they lived their life, their age, where they live in the United States, etc. That's where a lot of work is involved. You can start with any one of these diets. And if I had to pick one, not to be contradictory, but I think there are some good starts for most people. But that would be the Mediterranean diet. But to further my point, I use the example, most people, if you gave them amphetamine speed, they would be up. If you gave them a big enough dose, they might be up for a couple of nights in a row, rearranging the garage and then doing that again. But there are some people with ADHD, for example, that are normally high strong. You give them enough of amphetamine, and they actually fall asleep. So my point being to apply that to diet, there are still good ways to start it out. But I would argue that the furthest thing from a Mediterranean diet might be a Ketogenic diet. And yet there are people that are eating only fat, the Ketogenic diet, or mainly fat, and they're staying in Ketosis, where they are way better off than if they were doing a Mediterranean diet.

[01:03:45.880] – Dr. McClain

And of course, one thing I didn't mention is, aside from the way you chose your parents, where you live, how old you are, what are your goals? Some people want to run 5 and 10Ks every weekend. Some people want to be very strong. Some people just want to be able to get in the garden every day. So just one other aspect of deciding what's the best is for you. Now, sleep, it's a little bit more concrete, cut and dry, as we said earlier. Matthew Walker points this out, but it's not his opinion. He's called the research, 7 to 9 hours, unless you're one of these very rare individuals, is where your sweet spot is. It might be 7.5 for you. It might be 8.5 for me. And that might change depending upon the season and how much we train, etc. But that's our window. That one's pretty easy. And of course, we emphasize quality early in the discussion. And then exercise, we got into this in detail, too. Not only is it about your goals, but it's not just about physical goals, it's about mental goals. But that's one that is very different, I would argue, also, much like diet, depending upon your age, where you are in life, etc.

[01:04:53.900] – Dr. McClain

Again, the fun part of all this is, well, I would say it is simple, but it's complicated. You're not going to get bored trying to figure this out. But also, once you do, because it took you a year to do it, well, you're a year older and you might have to change it just because you've been on the planet longer. So I would look at it as fun as you can make it as one additional side note to all this. We have things like the Oura ring I'm wearing here, my iWatch, or whatever they call it. We have a lot of tools that can collect data. There's a lot of apps that can help you with nutrition, for example. And while that is not an exact science, it's not precise enough to be accurate. Arguably, the calibrometer only gives you close to what we're looking for data. But it helps make it more fun for a lot of us. I would argue you and I as CPAs would love my fitness pad because it gets in the nitty gritty of every little thing that passes your mouth and you can have a plan. And while it may not be as accurate as we'd like, it's precise enough to head us in the right direction.

[01:05:59.340] – Dr. McClain

And I would argue that's what makes it that much easier because it is that much more fun and viable that way.

[01:06:06.420] – Allan

Yes. Dr. McClain, if someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book, Cheating Death, where would you like for me to send them?

[01:06:14.420] – Dr. McClain

Well, Cheating Death is available, they call it pre sales, I guess, on Amazon right now. The book is officially released March 7th.

[01:06:22.040] – Allan

Yeah, that's today.

[01:06:24.770] – Dr. McClain

Please, and I would appreciate anyone's feedback, good or bad, about the book. Anyone who's ever written a book will tell you the same thing. It was a lot of work. A lot of what I put in the book was chopped out. They call it killing your babies, what an horrible term. But it was also what I would say, I don't want to say dumbed down because that's not fair, but I had a lot of intricate processes that I illuminated in the book and had fun doing. And they said, Nope, nobody wants to… Or I would say nobody. Most people don't want to hear that rant. And then I got excluded and I spent a lot of time with it. But I hope it's informative for both the so called late person as well as the professional. We'll see the feedback like I said.

[01:07:05.930] – Allan

It is. Absolutely.

[01:07:08.720] – Dr. McClain

Psr, Papa Sierra Romeo Med. Com is our website, and hopefully that's got some good info on there. And then, of course, I've come into the 21st century and I have an Instagram account and a LinkedIn and a Facebook that we try and provide updates on and make fun too, little tips that might be helpful.

[01:07:27.800] – Allan

Great. Well, Dr. McClain, thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[01:07:32.780] – Dr. McClain

Thank you. It was a pleasure joining you and talking with you. Thanks.

Post Show/Recap

[01:07:46.540] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[01:07:48.200] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. There's a lot of really interesting information in your conversation with Dr. McClain. Cheating Death is a great title for a book, but it really does get me thinking, how old do you think you will live to, plan to, or would want to live to? What age do you expect to live to?

[01:08:08.480] – Allan

Well, most of us that are already in our 50s, like you and I are, in all probability, we're going to live till we're 100 unless something silly happens, which it does. This stuff happens. But the vast majority of people have the capacity to live well past 100. Everything I've ever read about the human body says that it is built to endure at least 120 years before it should really be wearing out. And obviously, if you do repetitive motions or did certain things that were foolish when you were younger, you might have injuries and things that would cause that to be a little different. But the science and what they're doing is getting better and better. Stem cells, mus cells.

[01:08:50.670] – Allan

Hip replacements, knee replacements, shoulder replacements, they can basically rebuild you and make you stronger and do all those things. But we're all making these decisions today, how you're going to be at 105, how you're going to maybe be at 120. You're making the decision today.

[01:09:09.930] – Rachel

Yeah. Well, that's a great point. I have longevity. I've mentioned in the past, I've got a couple of great grandparents who had lived to 103, 104. So I've had role models. I've had people in my life who I've seen surpass the age of 100, and they lived on their own in their own home until they were in their 90s. Again, this is a living example in my life. Now that I've hit 50, I'll be 52 this year, I'm looking, so what do I need to do in the next 50 years to position myself to live a high quality of life? I want to be able to walk and move and do things like my great grandparents did. So what do I need to do to get to that point?

[01:09:53.260] – Allan

Well, the independence part is going to come from your training, from your resting and that type of thing. So resistance training, maintaining grip strength, working on balance, because strength is a big part of that as well. Just the basic stamina, a little bit of speed, those basic things. So that the joke goes, I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105. And a lot of people don't think that far ahead. They're thinking health today. They're thinking fitness today. It's like, okay, I want to lose a gene size or a dress size, or I want to be able to run a little bit faster in my 5K tomorrow. And that's great. But also be thinking about what does this do for your overall fitness later?

[01:10:39.960] – Allan

And that should also be something that's in there. And it doesn't have to be what you're completely focused on now, but just realizing that your overall programming and things you're doing for yourself today are going to impact who you are 10, 15, 20, 60 years from now. And so you're making those decisions every day.

[01:11:04.380] – Rachel

Yeah. Well, you and I talk a lot about making fitness a part of our lifestyle, taking the time to go on the walks, runs, hit the gym, and do all these things. And even you and Dr. McClain talked about doing hit activities and other cardio things, but also gardening and being outside and being active. And over the weekend feeding a fire for my maple syrup oil. I was on my feet all weekend long, so was Mike. I don't know, I like movement so much. It's very easy for me to incorporate that into my daily activity and how important that is. But that's not the only thing. You guys also talked about having good nutrition and sleep. You spent quite a bit of time talking about the importance of sleep.

[01:11:45.780] – Allan

Yeah, it's come up a few times when I've talked to different people, Joey and then also Dave, we talked about that, sleep is a big part of how they also see maintaining your health and fitness. And if you're not getting adequate recovery, the work doesn't really matter is the premise. And in fact, if you're not getting the recovery, I'd go as far as to say the work could actually be detrimental because you're adding the stress on top of a stressed system. And so that's why it's so important is balancing the hormones, getting your body primed to do all the things you needed to do, cleaning the brain, cleaning your muscles, getting everything ready for you to be awesome the next day. It's important. And if we're not doing that, then we're setting ourselves up for problems. And some statistics that have come out of podcasts not too long ago. In 30 years, people who are 85 years old, half of them are going to have Alzheimer's.

[01:12:50.770] – Rachel

Gosh, that's a huge %.

[01:12:52.560] – Allan

And so if you're over 50, I'm 57, is if you start looking at it and think, Okay, well, that's not that long from now. Basically 30 years and I'll be 87, there's a 50% chance that I'd have Alzheimer's, and that's going to be my nutrition. That's going to be me making sure that I'm managing my brain health through sleep predominantly. And if you're not doing that, then you're basically just saying, I want to age faster than I have to. And by doing that, then you start to fall behind on the aging curve, and it controls how fast you descend. And you could spend a long, long time in a bad place and just not die. And so to me, the book title is great because it gets your attention, cheating death. But I would go even further and say, the way you cheat death is you stay healthy, you stay fit. And so I would say embrace life, not sickness, because you could spend a long time sick and unhealthy and not doing the things you enjoy and not able to wipe your own butt. And those things I know in my heart of hearts that the first time I have to ask somebody to open a jar of pickles,

[01:14:22.260] – Allan

I'm doing something different because I'm like, that won't happen again. I'm going to be able to open my own pickles. I'm going to be able to wipe my own butt. And like your grandparents did, I want to be completely and wholly independent and not just at 97. If I'm still alive at 107, then I want to do that. If I'm 117, whatever the number, wherever it is, you don't know, you guess you can have some say in it. But in a general sense, it happens when it happens. And if you live a good, healthy life today, you're setting yourself up to be having a good, healthy life then. There's an interplay there. The faster you go down the curve now, the further down the curve you'll be then, and the worse that's going to be. Or the better you are to yourself today, the better you're going to be then, and the better your life is going to be then. And so it's just a function of making choices and you don't have to be perfect. That's what's so cool about all this is when saying you have to live this perfect life and do all these things just all the time.

[01:15:25.040] – Allan

But the more consistent you are and the better you treat yourself, it's no different than a car or any other piece of equipment or anything. If you rat it out, you rat it out. It starts making noises that you didn't want it to make and starts creaking when you don't want it to creak. And then warning lights come on all over the place when you don't want them to come on. But you take good care of your car, it will last you for a long, long time. You just got to take care of it and do the maintenance, get the stuff done, put good fuel in it, change the oil when it needs it. And just pay attention to what it's doing. It's no different with our bodies. It's really almost the same thing. If you take care of yourself, you're going to live longer and better.

[01:16:12.060] – Rachel

That's perfect right there. Just taking care of yourself. And you can expect a higher quality of life. Don't we all just want to have a better quality of life as we age?

[01:16:21.600] – Allan

I would hope so, but I don't know. I don't know. I see it every day and I'm like, for the love of God, why are people still doing that?

[01:16:36.060] – Rachel

I have a lot of great role models in my life. Mike's dad, my father in law, he ran a half marathon in his year of turning 70. He was 70 and he ran a half marathon. I love that. I love running, but I would love the opportunity to be able to run a half marathon when I'm 70 or 80. I don't know, about 90. Maybe I'll hang up my.

[01:16:57.680] – Allan

And then not just kill over. But that's what I'm saying.

[01:17:02.840] – Allan

The breadth of what you see is you can sit there and look at two 70 year olds, and one of them is vibrant and alive and doing things they love and taking on new challenges. And the other is not. It's a challenge to get out of bed. It's a challenge to change your clothes. It's a challenge to go to the bathroom. And as a result, you don't leave your house and you don't live a life. And so it was great when we were teenagers to skip out on school and sit home all day and watch the price is right. But when you're 70 and that's all you get to do, price is right and jeopardy, and that's your day, the two shows you're looking forward to and that's all you get.

[01:17:51.690] – Allan

Yeah. It's not.

[01:17:53.820] – Rachel

not what I want either. And it's good. We all need to think about where we want to be at age 70 or 80 or 90 or 100. Where do we expect to be and take the action to get to that point?

[01:18:06.180] – Allan

I'm just to the mindset, act like you're still going to be alive, and then what would you do? What would you want that person, who you are then to think about now and say, Okay, well, I'm so glad I turned things around. I'm so glad that I did all those extra little things to get stronger and stay stronger. And I'm so glad that I got sunshine and I reduced stress and I slept as good as I could and all those different things, and they all add up. And so it's not that you have to sit there and be perfect today, but all those little investments, all those little things pay off. They're like putting money in the 401k every paycheck, every day, just a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit more. And all that little trickle, trickle, trickle just puts you in so much better place 10, 15, 20, 50 years from now.

[01:19:02.630] – Rachel


[01:19:03.560] – Allan

All right. Well, Rachel, I will talk to you next week.

[01:19:06.840] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[01:19:08.100] – Allan

You too.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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

– Anne Lynch– Ken McQuade– Melissa Ball
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Tim Alexander
– Eliza Lamb– Leigh Tanner
– Eric More– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


May 3, 2022

How to turn back the clock on your true age with Dr. Morgan Levine

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

We all have friends, family, or classmates that just seem to be aging much slower than we are. In her book, True Age, Dr. Morgan Levine explores what we can do to slow our body's aging process to look and feel younger than our chronological age.


Let's Say Hello

[00:07:58.530] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:07:59.650] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:08:01.520] – Allan

I'm doing all right. How are things with you?

[00:08:03.960] – Rachel

Good. Well, we have spring again for now. And you might hear my voice. It's a little raspy. My allergies are the bane of me. As much as I love spring, it does not love me back. So I'm a little bit struggling right now. The beautiful flowers.

[00:08:19.660] – Allan

Well, yeah, you can't have the flowers without the pollen. And depending on where you are in the country, pollen, it can be a bit of a bear.

[00:08:28.800] – Rachel

It is a little bit, but I'll make it through. I'm just happy to have spring today.

[00:08:33.110] – Allan

Good. Yeah. We kind of have spring every day. Lucky.

[00:08:36.150] – Rachel

Lucky you.

[00:08:37.890] – Allan


[00:08:39.570] – Rachel

That's right.

[00:08:44.590] – Allan

We are just now finishing up our busy season on the island. So I think we were full all the way through Easter weekend, which is when high season is supposed to end. And so as we're recording this, we just finished up our Easter weekend. We now have people checking out and then not people checking in. So it will be kind of interesting as we kind of end up with just one or two rooms booked versus having four to six rooms booked kind of what that new pace of life is going to be like.

[00:09:22.300] – Allan

so I've been trying to take on some additional challenges here. I'm actually sitting for right now, another certification, the precision nutrition. So this one is a pretty big one. This one is going to take a lot of effort, but I'm in it. I'd say right now probably about a third of the way through, maybe a quarter through, but it's just getting started on it. So it's pretty intense.

[00:09:48.210] – Rachel

Awesome. That sounds exciting.

[00:09:50.250] – Allan

Yes. Well, I always like to have a challenge, so I'm ready for the tough Mudder, and I might have a little bit of extra time as we go into these next few months. And then Tammy's planning a trip with one of her friends to travel. I'm like, okay, so that's two weeks that she's not going to be here, so I need to have a hobby.

[00:10:12.530] – Rachel

Oh, my goodness.

[00:10:14.040] – Allan

I'll get another certification.

[00:10:16.070] – Rachel

That's awesome. How exciting.

[00:10:18.050] – Allan

Yeah. All right. Well, are we ready to talk about aging?

[00:10:22.810] – Rachel



[00:11:05.850] – Allan

Dr. Levine, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:11:09.510] – Dr. Levine

Thank you for having me.

[00:11:11.220] – Allan

So today we're going to talk about your book, True Age: Cutting-Edge Research to Help Turn Back the Clock. And I think from the perspective of a lot of the books that I've read on aging, obviously, yours being the most recent, there's a lot of good science coming out lately, and you Chronicle a lot of it, and you go way back. We're not just talking about we've started talking about these things. Now you take the research back and you say, what did we know 50 years ago? And how does that reflect what we're doing today? In some cases, there are gaps. We learned a little something like the blood flow between young rat and older rat. And then people just stopped. And now they're kind of saying, well, wait a minute, it wasn't there sort of something there that maybe we want to dig a little bit further. And I think the way you said it is some people are not going the Dracula vampire route. They're going more, okay, let's figure out why this is happening. So maybe we can do something about it. That's cool. And there's a lot of that in the book.

[00:12:15.660] – Allan

But I also like the fact that you took the time to give us some practical things that those of us in our 40s, 50s and 60s can start doing today to reverse our bio age.

[00:12:28.530] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. I think it's critical to not just talk about all the exciting science that really, even though some of it might have been started a century ago or even more, is actually because of where technology is today, we're actually able to understand what is driving this and how to actually implement it, but to give people actual practical things they can do in their everyday life rather than just waiting for new breakthroughs and discoveries, because I know even personally, I don't want to sit around and just hope that something comes out in the next ten or 20 years. I want to know what I can do today. And actually, most of our control that we have over our aging process are just behavioral things that we can actually do. And we don't have to wait for science to catch up there.

[00:13:15.850] – Allan

Right. And that's the good thing, because if you have a base that's a little lower when that stuff does come out, more than likely you're going to see better benefits from it in the long run anyway. No one wants to get to 80 and frail and then say, oh, yeah, now I'm going to reduce five years off of my lifespan, whereas if they felt like they were in their 60s, going back to 55 would feel pretty cool.

[00:13:41.190] – Dr. Levine

Yeah, it's probably easier to prevent than reverse would be my guess.

[00:13:46.410] – Allan

I completely agree. As a personal trainer, I don't think you'd expect anything different from me.

[00:13:51.580] – Dr. Levine


[00:13:52.150] – Allan

Now, one concept you got into the book, and I agree with you at some front that we talk about aging as a disease. And I agree, if we want to get researchers and people looking at it, then it's really good to get it classified as disease because then there's a backing to it. Okay, well, we can solve the problem, then there's money and there's. Ok, now there's medical people are not just going to treat something because that's what you want. I'd love to have a third arm, but I'm not going to find a doctor that's willing to do the research to figure out how to make that happen. But I also think of aging as sort of, if you will, just something that's natural and happens to everybody. So for me to think of aging as a disease, I'd have to think, well, is puberty as a disease? No. Can you talk a little bit about why aging can be considered a disease and what we want to take away from that?

[00:14:56.370] – Dr. Levine

So technically, there are a lot of people in the field who want to classify aging as a disease. I'm actually not one of them. As you kind of mentioned, there are benefits for doing this because the FDA, if they're going to approve anything to go after aging, they need some kind of primary outcome, they call it. So people want to say, oh, aging is a disease, because then they can say, oh, we can treat and tackle it. But I actually agree with you that aging in and of itself is not a disease, because usually when we define a disease, it's a state. So a transition to some state. We know diseases are part of our continuous process, but we usually have to have some criteria for where we say this is a disease state versus non disease state. And like you said, there is no clear way to do that with aging. You can't just say 65 is when you entered some disease state or you can't take the number and classify that as disease. And if you want to treat it, what does it mean to treat aging? So how much do you have to reverse it or prevent it to say you've actually treated or prevented some disease?

[00:16:09.930] – Dr. Levine

And very much like you said, aging doesn't start later in life. It starts, some people believe, before we're even born. So are we already transitioning this disease state? So I like to think of aging not as a disease, but as the kind of basis for most of the diseases that people suffer from today.

[00:16:30.870] – Allan

And I think this is where we can come up to this general split in thought. Okay, we all have a birthday. We all know our birthday. We tend to celebrate it a lot when we're really young. We tend to want to skip some of them once we hit what is it for women age 29 or sometimes it's 39, but there's a full gap stop there. And then they want to reverse it and say, well, maybe I'm going to be 38 next year, but that's our chronological age. Now, there's a concept called biological age, but I think we all know that. We went to high school with all of our friends. My friends posted on Facebook. We're about to start planning our 40 year class reunion.

[00:17:13.410] – Dr. Levine

Oh, wow.

[00:17:14.280] – Allan

Yeah. Everybody's posting like, oh, my God, don't tell me it's 40 now. I feel old, but we've watched classmates pass. We're in our mid 50s at this point. We've watched classmates pass. We see some of our classmates that look just like they did in high school, practically. And so there's this huge divide over how old we maybe really are inside. And there's an emotional component to it. If you act young, you feel young, and maybe you look young, but there's something else going on there. Can you talk about that?

[00:17:55.650] – Dr. Levine

Yes. So as you brought up, once you reach a certain age, your birthday is not something that people tend to celebrate. I mean, you still go through the motions, but you're not necessarily excited about advancing that kind of year. And the reason for that is because your increase in age is actually accompanied by biological changes, most of which you can't see, but eventually they manifest and you see them in terms of wrinkles or loss of mobility or loss of stamina or even these diseases of aging that we're talking about. But it's not the chronological time itself that's the problem. It's this kind of biological change of the whole organ system that ends up being the problem. And the interesting thing that you brought up that scientists have been studying is that the rate at which these changes occur or accumulate are not the same for everyone. So even though people might have been alive for, let's say, 50 years, chronologically some people will have gone through more of these changes and others less. And so that's kind of how my lab and others have actually tried to quantify biological aging. So do you have kind of the degree of change that's representative of someone who is the same chronological age as you are or hopefully someone who is younger than you rather than older than you?

[00:19:23.820] – Allan

Yeah, I think we've all seen those pictures of the 85 year old woman sitting in the wheelchair, just stuck, probably unable to even stand on her own. And then you see the 85 year old bodybuilder or the 100 yard dash winter who's breaking world records at that age. And it's drastic. It's really drastic. And so what you guys are trying to do with your studies and trying to come up with a biological age, a true age is, okay, how old is your essence, your body? How old are you really? And what are you capable of doing? Now, you talked in the book about kind of three models. I called them three models. I have to put things in my head a certain way because there's a lot of information. And you had a quiz, which is kind of that low length, easy one. Just sit down and do the quiz. And that's going to give you some baseline data, at least an idea, and you can look at what those questions were and ask yourself, okay, why am I answering a one or a half or three quarters on this one? The score I get.

[00:20:30.590] – Allan

You also have kind of a blood measures test, a phenotypic age that you can measure, and then you go in the book really deep into DNA methylation, which is really kind of how all this happens. Can you talk about each one of those? I guess I'm going to call a testing methodology, if you will, just to simplify it. But you can go a little deeper into what these are and what they're telling us.

[00:20:54.630] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. Even Besides the ones I cover in the book, there are tons of ways in which scientists are trying to quantify this kind of biological aging process. And the idea is that the changes are starting at kind of what we would call the lowest level biological organization. So this molecular level. So we and others have developed ones that capture those changes. So this is kind of the DNA methylation or epigenetic measures that you mentioned. And basically what that is, is we can look across your genome. Usually we do this from cells in your blood or saliva, and we look at hundreds of thousands to millions of sites and just say, what are the proportion of cells that have this chemical tag there, which is DNA methylation? And just based on the pattern of those chemical Tags, we can approximate something like a biological age using kind of the AI and machine learning. So it basically just says yourselves have this pattern of change that's representative of someone of a given age. And the reason that epigenetics is so exciting is it doesn't change your DNA sequence like the ACG and T. But I like to think of it as like the operating system of the cell.

[00:22:13.210] – Dr. Levine

It gives your cells their state. So it differentiates different cell types that all have the exact same DNA. But what makes a neuron different from a skin cell is the epigenome. But it also differentiates old cells from young cells. So this is kind of how we can do it. So once the molecular changes reach a certain point, you can start seeing this at a higher level in terms of changes in your physiology. So that's where you get the steenotypic age measure, which you can basically calculate from a standard panel you would get at your annual physical. So CDC blood cell counts, and also kind of a metabolic panel that looks like kidney, liver, all these different organ system functioning. But then the most basic one, once your aging is reached almost like the highest level is you see this functionally, this is what we perceive as aging both in ourselves and in others. You can see it physically. You can feel it in your body. So there are other ways, just very simple, almost doing a self assessment to kind of say, has my level of aging reached this point, given this quiz? And then you kind of look across the whole quiz where you kind of stand.

[00:23:33.040] – Allan

Yeah. And I think the advantage of all this, I've always said to my clients, yes, you can go get a blood panel and talk to your doctor. Yeah, you can do. And now you've made it easier that we can do a saliva test or a blood test if you want to go that far and find out. Okay, how's your methylation going as far as really getting down to the detail where we're talking about maybe down to a 10th of a year kind of concept versus this quiz is saying, yeah, you're a little younger than you are chronologically. The quiz will give you some basics to get started in the book, which I like. So if you just answer a few of those questions, you've got some low hanging fruit, if you will, to get started. And these actions, though, I think what's really important is many people look for something to say. Well, is what I'm doing working. And I know in your field, science, that's everything measurement is everything. Now, a lot of us love to do the easy measurements. So there's some easy ones, some really easy quizzes, one so you can get the Cosmo magazine and answer our quiz.

[00:24:38.700] – Allan

And it'll tell you whatever you are. They're on Facebook, too. The quizzes are fun quizzes will tell you a lot. But if you get a little deep, more detailed with the way that you're doing this, then you're going to have better data and make better decisions. Now, one of the data points that a lot of people love to use for measuring their health is weight. And in a minute, we're going to get into talking about nutrition and exercise. And a lot of people, the only reason they think about nutrition and exercise is because of what the scale says. But now you're telling them there's this much more important scale that you have potentially easily in front of you that is a better measure of health. Weight is important. I'm not going to poo poo it at all. It is important. There are some risk factors associated with. But why is this type of measurement something that someone should consider over just saying I'm going to step on the scale every day.

[00:25:45.670] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. And I'd also talked about this a little bit in my book, actually, when we measure our weight or calculate our BMI, which is based on kind of a weight height ratio, this is actually not a great predictor of health. Yes, we know obesity tends to be associated with increased risk of disease, but BMI itself can be due to a number of different things. Muscle mass is also heavy, so people can have the same BMI and have very different body composition. And actually in older ages, we find that a higher BMI is slightly protective than a lower BMI. So it's a very complicated relationship. But the whole point is that the reason we usually associate higher weight with risk of disease is because it tends to basically drive a lot of these changes that are actually age related changes. So it accelerates them. So rather than just assuming, oh, my BMI is probably too high, it's probably driving these it's better to actually just try to directly measure the consequences of this, which is on the pathway to disease versus just inferring something about your weight. And I also think this will get people less kind of weight obsessed because you see heavier people are actually quite healthy and thinner people who are actually unhealthy.

[00:27:06.770] – Dr. Levine

So it's better just to get a direct measure of what's going on. As much as you can approximate it.

[00:27:12.810] – Allan

One of the metaphors you had in the book, which I really enjoyed, was you talked about the Hill. And so as we're younger, we have this, for lack of a better word, inertia keeping us younger. As we go up the Hill, there's this inertia that keeps us in a condition so we're more resilient, we're stronger, we're faster, we're prettier, we're everything. And the older we get, the more we were. But then we top that Hill at some point, we can call it midlife or we can call it 35 when sarcopenia and ostopenia start to become a thing. And then we're going down a Hill. And now that inertia is not helping us. In fact, it's pushing us. And particularly if we're over 40 or over 50, we're going down that Hill pretty quick unless we do a few things to stop it or at least slow it down, maybe we can't stop it. We'd love to stop it for at least a little while. Enjoy this year more. One of the key ones I don't think you could have this conversation without it is to talking about nutrition. What we eat has a profound effect on our health and the scale in many cases.

[00:28:32.830] – Allan

So if we're looking at measuring this from either a health perspective or weight perspective, we have to talk about nutrition. And you went very deep in the book and talking about some of the nutritional strategies that we can have to have the best bio age possible. Can you talk about a few of those?

[00:28:51.230] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. So nutrition has actually been studied quite a bit in the aging field. Most of the original work was just looking at kind of calories or amount of consumption. So dating back actually, I think it's more than a century now. Scientists discovered that actually what would be called calorie restriction or dietary restriction can extend the lifespan of in this case, it was a rat. And actually since then, there's been calorie restriction studies and a number of different species mostly showing the same thing that it seems to be associated with improvements in kind of disease prevention. So elongation of what we call health span. So longer time disease free, as well as possibly longer lifespan as well. And calorie restriction isn't a severe malnutrition, so it's basically reduced calories without malnutrition. So in some of the human trials that are going on, it's about a 12% reduction in total calories. Since then, people have actually become more interested in basically fasting because the idea that someone's going to maintain a caloric restriction diet for their entire lifespan is probably unlikely. And so are there ways that are actually easier that we can do easier that mimic the same benefits?

[00:30:18.390] – Dr. Levine

So people have been really interested in different types of fasting, like time restricted eating, where you try and compress the number of hours each day that you're eating. So maybe you only eat between an eight or six hour window. There's also times where you can kind of some people skip a whole day of eating but then eat fairly normally the rest of the time. Or you can do these kind of short bursts of five day. They're not full fast, but very low calorie fast and do them maybe a few times a year. And we don't have what I would say definitive proof that this is slowing aging. But at least I'm looking at some of these biological age measures that you mentioned. There seems to be some indication that they might be. And then, of course, it's not just how much you eat, but what you eat as well. So a lot of research going into kind of plant based diet and whether plant based or things like Mediterranean diet are actually beneficial. And this seems to be supported looking at individuals who live in these very, what are called blue zones where you have very long lived individuals, but also looking at observational data, just people in, for instance, the US population.

[00:31:35.910] – Allan

Yeah. And I think it should go without saying that we know because we see it in practice. The person that looks and feels younger, at 65, they don't eat a lot of crap and they're not overeating. That's the other side of it. And so some calorie restriction. And as you said to kind of put that in context, if you're eating a 2000 calorie diet, that 12.5%. We're talking about 50 calories. We're not talking about really starving yourself. Now you may feel a little hungrier. And guess what? Hunger doesn't kill you. It might actually keep you alive longer and healthier, because we did talk about we are talking about health span, which I think is another aspect I didn't get into a lot. But we could all live long and not be healthy or we can live short and pop just be done. All those are part of our health span and how that aligns with what we're doing. And so I think we all know this if we're eating good whole foods, cause I don't think they had a reason to study this 100 years ago because corn pops and Twinkies and Hohos and Haagendazs didn't exist back then.

[00:32:56.610] – Allan

And now 95% of our grocery store is that stuff. And so I think most people know if they're eating a whole food diet and they're eating a predominantly plant based diet, Mediterranean style diet, you almost naturally eat less, really hard to overeat spinach and quinoa and those types of things. It just is. So you end up then losing some weight, maybe your calories are a little lower, because again, you're not taking in some calorie dense foods that you would otherwise. Now you got into just a little bit. You talk a little bit about ketosis, and the ketosis that you're talking about really comes about from these fasting protocols. So whether you're going to do true calorie restriction, you're going to do your five too fast, you're going to do some time restricted eating, or you're going to go into a full fast mimicking type diet like the prolonged diet with Baku Vanga. In a lot of cases, folks are at least for parts of time getting into ketosis and producing ketones. Can you talk a little bit about why ketones would be beneficial for us?

[00:34:13.930] – Dr. Levine

Sorry. My throat. Yeah. So I think I'll do the pause. Okay. So I don't think we actually know specifically why we think ketosis might be beneficial for us. And this is actually not something I study. But there are definitely colleagues at Yale who study ketosis. But we're actually starting to have kind of some clinical trials in humans potentially looking at ketosis. And there's some indication that this is why fasting might be beneficial, because as you mentioned, it puts your body in these kind of short cycles of ketosis. And there is some evidence that actually you don't want long term ketosis. And actually it is a cyclical kind of going in and out of it because your body actually can adjust and over compensate in the other way. And again, this is all very preliminary. We don't know specifically what I would say to is it's going to probably to some degree depend on what you're eating if you're on a ketogenic diet, because you can actually have a fairly unhealthy ketogenic diet as well, even though you're not getting a ton of carbohydrates and sugar, if you're eating a lot of very kind of animal heavy food sources, very high in certain types of fat, this also might not be beneficial.

[00:35:54.230] – Dr. Levine

And I think it's probably pretty hard for people to stay on a plant based ketogenic diet. So we'll see, I guess, as the science kind of progresses.

[00:36:05.030] – Allan

Yeah, I've talked to people all the way up from Carnivore all the way down to vegan keto. It's doable.

[00:36:12.790] – Allan

But like most things, the more strict and stringent something is like calorie restriction at 25% or saying, okay, I'm not going to eat a certain food group for a long, long period of time. The more restrictions you put typically, the harder it is because those things are just there. Like you're not going to walk around and not have food like our ancestors, where you got to go Hunt and find it or dig it up or climb up a tree or whatever you got to do to do. We don't have to do that now. My refrigerator, quite frankly, is like maybe 10ft away from me right now. So if I wanted something to eat within a minute that things open and I'm eating it. So, yes, these things can be very difficult to maintain. So finding the right way. And again, that comes from measurements. So if you've measured and you have a baseline and then you do a protocol, and then after appropriate period of time, you test again, that's going to give you some of that personalized evidence, some of that information that you could use then to know if a protocol is right for you or not.

[00:37:24.530] – Dr. Levine

Yes. Because again, it comes back to what you're actually going to be able to implement in your life and what you think is worth implementing. There are definitely people who can be on very health what seems like a very healthy but very restrictive diet. But that's not going to work probably for 95% of the population. They just won't be able to maintain it. So I think the important thing is to do what you can but acknowledge to have kind of the accountability for what you're doing. And if you can't go maybe and keep the most ideal diet, but you can do it 90% of the time or you can work in some of these other things and take these small steps. I think that's how people are going to get the most benefit.

[00:38:06.980] – Allan

Yeah. I think the cyclical approach is a very sound way to try something for a while, get some data, and then if it's working like you mentioned, just even with some of the fasting is doing the fast like three times a year or five times a year or every other month or something like that where you have a protocol and say, okay, I'm on a five day fast. I'm still going to have some nutrition that my body needs, but I'm going to do it in a very controlled way. So I know that I'm getting the nutrition my body needs. And then after I come off my fast, I finish that protocol. I can remeasure if I want or I can continue this. And then I now have some data that says, okay, yeah, this way of eating works. One, it has to be sustainable. But then beyond that, yes, I'm actually seeing measurable results in my bio age. And then the other side, you go back to the quiz, look in the mirror when you wake up in the morning, how do you feel? Are you stiff? Are you hurting? Are you aching? Is your arthritis acting up?

[00:39:12.010] – Allan

What are the things going on that your body is telling you, hey, we're not 100% here. Then you know that what you're doing is either working or not.

[00:39:23.450] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. And the other important thing that I don't think I touched on is that different things are going to work to different degrees for each of us. So there isn't one optimal diet that can be optimal for everyone, even in terms of the health benefits. So not just in terms of what we can each kind of maintain. And it's really hard to know what that diet is. So some people probably will do a little bit better on purely plant based where some people might need some kind of animal protein in their diet. And I think it's hard to use kind of genetics to predict what the optimal diet is for a person. And there are companies and scientists trying to do that. But it is just easier if we can actually have valid and reliable measures that give us feedback on how the things we do in our everyday life are affecting us.

[00:40:15.480] – Allan

Yeah, that N equals one experiment where you're the single subject. And I can tell you if you're doing an N equals one experiment, that's a very important sample size to have because you are getting real information of what's working for you at that point in time. Now, there's another area that's really important for aging, and you go into a few several in the book. And yes, we can wait for science to do a few things that's going to probably help us in the long run. They'll come up with some pillar shot or something that's going to be better for us and help us in our health, but it's exercise. And it's interesting to me. I've always said to people, it's like if you can take one more breath, you can do something to improve your health and fitness. But the way you said it in the book I really enjoyed here is this, no matter your age, disease status, or athletic proclivity, nearly everyone can benefit from staying active. And I appreciate you saying that. I really do. Why is exercise so beneficial for us in actually slowing down or improving our true age?

[00:41:27.890] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. So I think we don't truly know on a mechanistic level how exercise is improving health. But from decades and decades of research into exercise, we know that it is. And it seems to be not conditional on who you are. As you mentioned, even when they do these kind of interventions in very frail individuals who are kind of in nursing homes, physical activities seems to have a benefit for them. Of course, there's going to be a limit, right. You have to do it within a safe environment to not push past your abilities. But all of us benefit from exercise, and it's probably because our bodies are these complex dynamic systems. So something that's going to kind of prime that and, you know, make it more resilient is something that's going to be dynamic. And it doesn't necessarily act through one pathway or one kind of mechanism. It's probably honing in on our entire system and really kind of improving our resilience and robustness and our system's ability to function because it's needing to be adaptive to this very mild stressor, which in the long run will actually make it stronger.

[00:42:47.210] – Allan

Yeah. I just imagine our ancestors running sprints and doing push ups just for the sake of doing them. And they weren't they were climbing because they needed to get to the top of that tree either to get away from something or to get to something. They were walking or running long distances because that's how they could hurt and catch the animals that could run out faster than them but eventually would run out of the aerobic capacity and we would catch up to them, and then we would eat meat that night and then again digging for roots. When you don't have a backhoe, it takes some work. So work and exercise were a big part of our upbringing. Now, one of the things you said in the book, and I think this is where a lot of people can kind of put this together is exercise is a stress on the body. And we're kind of led to believe that stress is a bad thing, that there's good stresses and there's bad stresses. And even some of the foods we eat are hermetic, in effect, meaning they stress our body, but we produce good things as a result.

[00:44:02.150] – Allan

But the states that you went through was the homeostasis, which our bodies love balance. So stay balanced. And then we put a stressor in front of it, and then we have allostasis, which is the improvement, and then we have a return to Homeostasis. Can you talk about that process? So if I decide, yes, I'm going to start running, I'm going to put some stress on my body that it won't necessarily like me for doing initially, but it's the right thing to do. Can you talk about that process that way? How that's working?

[00:44:38.870] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. So exercise, as you pointed out, is a perfect example of this concept of homeostasis. So this very mild stressor, which is actually going to kind of prime your system and actually make it more robust in the end. And when we're in a steady state, our bodies are trying to maintain homeostasis, which is a given temperature and all these kind of biochemical ranges that your body tries to maintain. As we encounter stressors in our life, we go through allostasis, which is kind of your body's response to that stressor. So it needs to move out of homeostasis to respond to the stressor. And then the idea is that it should move back. And actually if you do this, you kind of dynamically can have these mild stressors, and then you move back to homeostasis. Our bodies get better at doing that and better at adapting to stressors that might come up in our lives. You can imagine, though, if you have a huge stress or your body might not actually be able to move back very well or you might end up in a slightly different kind of state. So the idea is to have these mild ones that our body can adapt to, and then there's potential that actually they can get a little more stressful over time, but you're better at adapting to them.

[00:46:03.530] – Dr. Levine

The important thing is something we see in exercise, too, is also the recovery. So you have enough time for your body to move back to this homeostatic kind of steady state space. And this is where we see things like chronic stress being a problem because your body never has time to move back to this adaptive states. So we know there's a lot of chronic stress in terms of psychosocial stress that people undergo that just never lets up. And I think this is kind of maladaptive stress. But actually these acute small stressors can actually be very beneficial to our overall functioning.

[00:46:38.640] – Allan

Yeah. And the way I like to look at it is one is these are the gentle nudges. So you're doing a little bit more work than you did before because you can't compress 30 years of not working out into a few workouts. Trust me, that won't work. But then, yeah, your body adapts, it gets stronger and the fact it can keep getting stronger. I think one of the data points you had in there was that they were taking what we basically call frail older people and putting them through a resistance training program. They increased their strength by over I think it was 112%. That's phenomenal. When you start thinking of doubling in probably was a matter of five, six, eight weeks. Most of these programs don't go more than twelve just for a cost perspective, that they were able to double their strength in that little amount of time, doing it in a safe environment. We're not putting them in the gym and saying, okay, we want you doing Olympic lifts here. They put them in a safe environment, they train them. And being trained, they become effectively better people, better athletes. And probably had you measured their bio age, which you weren't part of that experiment, but they probably would have come back a little bit better.

[00:47:57.930] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. And I think for a lot of these conditions that we see that arise with aging. So I think you mentioned before Sarcopenia, which is this muscle wasting, and it's also accompanied by loss of strength, also things like osteoporosis. Some of the best interventions we have are exercise. And I know people who are developing these might feel, well, I'm getting too weak to undergo a stressor like exercise. But actually that's what their body needs to kind of push it back into a stronger state. It needs that kind of you want like the push to come both ways. Right. If nothing's kind of pushing back on it, just continue to deteriorate.

[00:48:38.950] – Allan

Yeah. I like to think of nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress all of those are information. So our body, as you will, is literally just a computer, if you will, and it's collecting information about your environment. And if you're able to just sit on your butt every day and do nothing, in its mind, you're doing nothing but using your brain. You're not moving. You're eating foods that are not beneficial. You're giving your body information. That okay, it's time to shut down. It's time to just sort of just collect some fat. That's great. And then we're shutting down versus the opposite when you start giving it the information, hey, I'm going to need you to start actually lifting a little bit more weight. I'm going to need you to be able to travel a little bit further on your feet or in a wheelchair even. But you're moving more. You communicate to your body that it needs to be better and it reacts appropriately.

[00:49:41.970] – Dr. Levine

Yeah. Our bodies are amazing dynamical systems that will react to our environment and behaviors and all these inputs that we have the ability to kind of use to kind of Hone in on a better kind of overall system.

[00:49:59.730] – Allan

The good news of your book, True Age, is that this is not something we have to wait for somebody else to solve for. This is not even though we can say or they want to classify aging as a disease. It's not a disease that we can't reverse or at least control. It's something that's in our control and our lifestyle choices are a big part of how we age.

[00:50:24.570] – Dr. Levine

Yeah, I think I say this in the book. If someone had a pill that had the same benefits that we get with exercise, this would be one of the biggest breakthroughs, I think, in modern medicine. And the thing is that it already exists. We just have to kind of take the time out and actually do this. And yes, there might be really exciting discoveries down the road we're working on and colleagues, and we're very excited about those. But in the meantime, people don't have to sit around and wait for them. There's very impactful things that they can do right now.

[00:51:00.270] – Allan

And as you said in the book, there's a Goldilocks zone of this exercise. So we're not saying you need to be able to do an ultramarathon to consider yourself doing exercise. It's starting where you are doing a little bit more and then just finding that spot where you're optimizing how you feel and potentially how you look and how your body actually is responding to that stress and now potentially getting stronger and younger and all of that.

[00:51:35.070] – Dr. Levine

Yes, this comes back to this kind of acute stress versus chronic stress. You don't want to go out and just do so much, and then your body can't even really kind of recalibrate from that. But yeah, you do these little acute stressors enough to feel it like it shouldn't be easy per se, but enough to kind of break a swipe, get your heart rate up to a decent high level for a short amount of time, and then we can slowly build from there. But yeah, you don't need to be able to run a marathon. You can go for a 30 minutes walk or whatever kind of works for your lifestyle.

[00:52:08.130] – Allan

Dr. Levine, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:52:19.110] – Dr. Levine

For me, I would have to say one is figure out what works for you. So, you know, if you can't stick to a diet, then that diet is not going to help you. We all kind of overestimate, I think what we will stick to in the future. So I would say find something that actually works for your lifestyle where everyone's busy, but just make sure you're trying to get that little bit of exercise or eat plant based or whole foods most of the time. I'm not saying you can't have cake on your birthday, but figure out what you can actually manage in your life. The other thing I think related to that is just to know your numbers, to actually have some information about how you're doing so that you can make those choices on whether something is worthwhile implementing in your life versus not. And this makes you accountable for your decisions you make. But also, I think, can give positive feedback that what you're doing is actually benefiting you. And then probably the last step. And I guess this may be relates a little bit to number one is you don't have to go from zero to 100.

[00:53:40.090] – Dr. Levine

You can take small steps and then get there. You don't need the perfect diet on January 1st. But you can start by implementing one thing at a time and over time kind of get to a healthier lifestyle. And in doing that, cut yourself a little bit of slack. Right. You need to be accountable and not cut yourself too much slack. But everyone messes up. I eat unhealthfully occasionally and we have to don't be so critical and set on being perfect and let that kind of ruin your progress overall.

[00:54:17.250] – Allan

Great. Dr Levine, if someone wanted to learn more about you or more about your book, True Age, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:54:28.930] – Dr. Levine

My book is coming out, I think, today May 3, so you can buy it on Amazon or other outlets. To learn more about me, my lab has a website. I think it's morganlevinelab.com. I also people feel free to follow me on Twitter or Instagram. I like to post a lot about aging research where we are the new science coming out and also talk a little bit about what I do in my everyday life. So those are probably the main outlets for people who want to learn more.

[00:55:03.440] – Allan

You can go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/536 and I'll be sure to have links there. Dr. Levine, thank you so much for being a part of 40 Plus Fitness.

[00:55:15.070] – Dr. Levine

Thank you so much for having me.

Post Show/Recap

[00:55:26.690] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:55:28.170] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. What an interesting interview about aging. There's a lot to talk about here.

[00:55:33.640] – Allan

Yeah. I think in less than three or four months we've had three different guests now talking about aging and from different perspectives. One guy's in the technology aspect of it as kind of we were this time, companies providing services like how do you get your true age and what are the things we can do to deal with it? But the reality of it is we're not learning anything new. And I hate to say it that way, but you probably have heard common themes. What do I have to do for weight loss? And it's like manage your nutrition manager, movement manager, sleep, manage your stress. What I do is if I want to age slower, same four things.

[00:56:22.290] – Rachel


[00:56:23.750] – Allan

So these foundations of health that we go over week in and week out, there's a right way for you. There's the right size for you. And the sooner you get on it, the better, because we talked about that Hill and how the inertia or the momentum of aging kind of works in your favor for the first half of that Hill where the ball is trying to roll back against you and you've got much more resilience and much more strength and much more everything. And then you hit a point, a tipping point, and then now aging is running away from you. And if you're not doing the right things, it could end really badly and out of your control. Loss of independence, loss of health, loss of fitness. It can go bad, fast. And for some people, we're in our 40s and 50s. I don't know about you, but you get on Facebook and every other day there's this diagnosis, that diagnosis. And you're like, okay, sometimes that's just enough to get them to start fighting that inertia that aging inertia. Sometimes they're already past the top. And now it's just, okay, this is where I'm going.

[00:57:35.770] – Allan

And so we have a lot that we can do in four fundamental areas to manage our health and wellness. And it plays out over and over in all the different themes about how to have better strength, how to have better bone mass, how to feel better, how to have more energy, how to all four basic pillars that if we're working on those on a consistent basis, we're improving our health, we're improving our existence. And as a result, our true age is younger than potentially our chronological age.

[00:58:15.830] – Rachel

That's an interesting concept right there. To think that if you could manage your health in such a way that you might feel younger than other people at your age, we have an interesting, I don't know, concept of what aging feels like. When I was a kid, I thought 50 would be crazy old and I'd be slowing down and not doing the things that I'm doing right now. And here at 50, I'm still running marathons and doing some fun stuff, and I have no intention of stopping. This is how I like to spend my time, and it's giving me a higher quality of life. I mean, it's social, it's entertaining, and I'm doing what I can to maintain my age. And I just really wish people would also find something that they love to do at this age to keep them active.

[00:59:06.090] – Allan

Yeah. And it doesn't have to be running. It doesn't have to be weight lifting. It doesn't have to be super strenuous. I mean, it can be something as simple as pickleball or just something that's slightly active. Get out in the state park and go for a hike, find a group that's doing something that some movement involved and make it a thing. They're out there. And I think that's the point. There's running clubs, there's hiking clubs, there's pickleball, there's all this different stuff that's out there. Or it might be just something as simple as the Zumba class at your community and you don't have to be able to dance. Just go out there and have some fun and move at your pace at your thing and just enjoy yourself because you only get one shot.

[01:00:05.590] – Rachel

Right. I just think that's the best part, though, like Zumba class would be just a hoot. And I've got an aunt and uncle. They do Taichi a beautiful, graceful movement for them and they enjoy it. They have friends at the gym, and it's just such a fun, social atmosphere for them. And they're having a high quality of life. They get out of the house, they do these fun things, and they're healthier for it. You don't have to let aging just happen. You don't have to just get old and sit around and do nothing. How boring would that be?

[01:00:39.690] – Allan

Well, we see it. I mean, that's kind of what's interesting, as you were saying. It's like, okay, there was the great grandma who was right at the end and forgetting things and always sitting in her rocker. And then there was the grandma and yeah, she'd Cook a meal and then she'd sit down, and then there was mom, and then there was us and we're running around like wild animals, and everybody else is sitting and not and they're not playing and they're not doing these things. It wasn't done. It wasn't a regular thing. In fact, at one point, women couldn't even run a marathon. They weren't allowed like, well, okay. And that's probably why, again, if you're not going to let somebody do something, then they're going to want to do it that much more.

[01:01:33.680] – Rachel

That's right.

[01:01:34.490] – Allan

So, yeah, you can't do this exercise thing. Don't listen to us. You can't do yeah, Yes. But it's like it's not a button. It's not easy.

[01:01:47.630] – Allan

But you have tools. You have the capacity, if you take a breath to do something, and if we're just going to sit around and wait for them to come up with the easy pill, that one pill thing that you're going to take, that's going to be your exercise for you. You're going to pass before that happens. Science is great, but it's not going to be that great. In fact, what science is more likely to do is to keep you alive in a bad health state. So your health started declining in your 50s and you lived until your Eighties. It was 30 years plus maybe of poor health that you had to endure. And it's within your control to eat better, move better, sleep better, and manage stress better. Every little bit of that that you're able to do is going to help improve your lifespan and your health span.

[01:02:46.770] – Rachel

And the quality. The quality of life. Yes. You don't have to take aging sitting down, get up and get active.

[01:02:53.930] – Allan

Get out there. Yeah. And realize that if you are on the other side of the Hill, you can slow the descent. It's not this fixed aging curve where you have to live the way that you saw your parents live or that you see older siblings or relatives live. You can slow that curve with the right interventions, which are not medical. They're physical. They're what you put in your mouth or what you put in your brain. They're what you physically move around and do. It's all information. And if you're informing your body that you need to be active and manage an active lifestyle with good food and all that your body responds is like, oh, well, we still have to do stuff versus if you're just sitting around and you're not getting the exercise, you're not eating well, you're communicating to your body that it's okay for it to go ahead and start shutting down. That's a bad message.

[01:03:48.060] – Rachel

It is a bad message. Not very fun. Not fun at all.

[01:03:52.140] – Allan

No. So again, I'll probably still keep having guests on and we'll keep talking about aging because it's an important topic. But just recognize that all of my shows are the same show. They are. We're talking about the same four things but your four things are different than my four things and so you just have to find your four things and how you move, how you eat, how you sleep, how you manage stress and doing the best that you can with what you have, where you are. And if you're doing that then you're aging at a slower pace than you would have otherwise and you're going to have a longer, better life.

[01:04:33.750] – Rachel

Yes, that's perfect.

[01:04:36.490] – Allan

All right, well, rach, we'll talk next week.

[01:04:39.050] – Rachel

Sounds great. Take care, Allan.

[01:04:40.670] – Allan

You too. Bye.

[01:04:41.770] – Rachel

Thanks. Bye.


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

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
– Deb Scarlett– Ken McQuade– Margaret Bakalian
– Debbie Ralston– John Dachauer– Melissa Ball
– Eliza Lamb– Judy Murphy– Tim Alexander

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


November 1, 2021

How technology will expand our lifespan and healthspan with Sergey Young

Apple Google Spotify Overcast Youtube

Through science and technology, we've already doubled the human lifespan. Sergey Young believes we can double it again, maybe in our lifetime. We discuss his book, The Science and Technology of Growing Young.



This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving. They won’t take you out of ketosis, if that’s your way of eating.

Your body is an amazing organic machine. The food we eat and drink is information for that machine. This includes adaptagens. These are compounds that balance hormones and help you deal with stress in a healthier way. If you’re feeling tired, these compounds give you a boost of energy. If you’re stressed, they help you return to a natural state of calm. They literally help you adapt to the stress of life. 

This is why I’m a big fan of Organifi Green juice with essential superfoods and a clinical dose of Ashwaganda. It helps reduce stress and support healthy cortisol levels. It mixes well with water or your beverage of choice and it tastes awesome! This has become a part of my morning ritual.

Organifi offers the best tasting, high quality superfood beverages without breaking the bank. Each serving costs less than $3 per day. Easy, convenient, and cost effective.

Go to www.organifi.com/40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off your order. That's O R G A N I F I dot com forward slash 40plus and use code 40plus  for 20% off any item


Last week, I heard someone say Halloween is the start of eating season. Is that what happens to you, too? How would you like to not be beaten by it this year? Introducing the 40+ Fitness Crush the Holidays Challenge. This five-week challenge runs from November 20th through December 24th. Stay motivated with daily videos. Surround yourself with like minded people in a private Facebook group and crush the holidays this year with me, Coach Allan

The cost of this five-week challenge is $25. That's less than the cost for one pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks per week, and cutting just those five drinks will cut out 2000 calories, win-win. Oh yes, win-win. There are weekly prizes, including some of my favorite health and fitness books. Amazon gift cards, 40 plus fitness swag, and one challenger will win an opportunity to do a six-week, 40+ Fitness online training program I'm launching in January absolutely free.

Go to crushtheholidays.com to join the challenge. Don't let the holidays put you further in the hole. Crush the holidays at crushtheholidays.com

Let's Say Hello

[00:03:46.270] – Allan
hey, Raz, how are things?

[00:03:48.430] – Rachel
Good, Allan, how are you today?

[00:03:50.530] – Allan
I'm doing all right. Kind of settling into my life back on the island. Getting things going. Lulu's is open, and I'm happy to say that Tammy got her first online reservation.

[00:04:03.310] – Rachel
How exciting.

[00:04:04.570] – Allan
So, yeah, that's looking at her. I think they're staying later, like in December, sometime around middle of December something like that. But that said everything went through. She sees the reservation. PayPal, we're using that to process right now. She figures out the whole accounting and banking and credit card acceptance, but basically ran it through PayPal. And you can also use a credit card with PayPal because the way they're all set up, but yeah, so looks good. Looks like we're on track and she's got herself a bed and breakfast.

[00:04:38.470] – Rachel
That's awesome. Congratulations. That's so exciting.

[00:04:42.850] – Allan
I'm really excited for her because she's a little nervous about all this and how things are going to happen and opening right as we go into the busy season. So it's not like we've run through with monthly renters. So as far as running the building, I think she's comfortable with that. But it's just going to be making sure that back end stuff of the booking and all that computer stuff is all working and people are finding it. So if you're interested in coming down to Panama Lula's bed and breakfast in Boca del Toro and you can go to lulabb.com.

[00:05:16.390] – Allan
And that's where you'll find her website. You'll see some pictures, see the rooms. You can book the rooms there. And if you have any questions, just email us and message me and I'll let you know what's going down.

[00:05:28.690] – Rachel
Sweet. That sounds great.

[00:05:30.910] – Allan
How are things up there?

[00:05:32.530] – Rachel
Good. It's getting cold. Saw some Frost today. Run faster. I'm in a taper right now. My last big race for the year is in a couple of weeks from now at the end of the month. And Mike and I both are actually running the Cal haven it's going to be about 33 and a half to Mike garments has said 34 miles. So it'll be my last big race of the year. I'm looking forward to it.

[00:05:59.510] – Allan
So Mike's going to do an ultra, huh?

[00:06:01.310] – Rachel
He is. He's going to be official. Officially official.

[00:06:06.350] – Allan
1% of 1% of runners out there.

[00:06:08.210] – Rachel
That's right.

[00:06:09.290] – Allan
Have done something like that. Good. I want to hear how that goes for you.

[00:06:13.130] – Rachel
Absolutely. Sure will.

[00:06:14.630] – Allan
Obviously cold, but you're not going very far south to that one.

[00:06:20.270] – Rachel
I'm pretty happy about that. I'm glad it's not going to be in the dead heat of the summer. So this will be nice, I think.

[00:06:25.370] – Allan
Yeah. Mine was in March in Mississippi, so it wasn't too bad.

[00:06:29.750] – Rachel
Yeah, it could have gone either way, though.

[00:06:31.910] – Allan
Yeah, but it was in a pine forest. Humidity and heat would have been the only problem in a situation like that, because it's not a lot of wind for the most part, but it was what it was, but good. So you got your big race coming up. Good luck with that.

[00:06:50.450] – Rachel
Thank you.

[00:06:51.350] – Allan
All right. So let's have a conversation with Sergey Young.

[00:06:54.770] – Rachel


[00:06:56.810] – Guest Intro
Our guest today is a longevity investor in Visionary with a mission to extend healthy lifespan of at least 1 billion people. To do that, he founded Longevity Vision Fund to accelerate life extension technological breakthroughs and to make longevity affordable and accessible to all. He is on the board of directors of the American Federation of Aging Research and the development sponsor of Age Reversal XPRIZE Global competition designed to cure aging. He has been featured as a top longevity expert and contributor on Fox News, BBC, Sky News, Forbes, and Thrive Global with no further Ado, here is Sergey Young.

[00:07:37.430] – Allan
Sergey, welcome to 40+ Fitness.

[00:07:40.490] – Sergey
Hi, everyone. I'm so excited to be here. I'm 40 plus, right. So I'm 49, and I'm turning my 50 in the next month.

[00:07:51.950] – Allan
Happy birthday. Happy birthday. There you go. And I'm 55. So we keep you in the club even after you turn 50. So you're going to stay in with us okay.

[00:08:02.090] – Sergey
Love it.

[00:08:03.170] – Allan
Now, your book, The Science and Technology of Growing Young, an Insider's guide to the breakthroughs that will dramatically extend our lifespan. And now my favorite part and what you can do about it right now. Because as I was reading through some of this and you even acknowledged that it sounds like science fiction. But if I start thinking back to the science fiction I read when I was a teenager, author C Clarke and others, some of that stuff is actually happening right now. We don't quite have flying cars like the Jetsons, but there's a lot of cool stuff that's happened just in the last ten years.

[00:08:38.990] – Allan
That is really quite striking when you start thinking about where we were and how fast things are moving. And so,

[00:08:48.230] – Allan
As I got into this, I was like, this is pretty exciting. This is pretty exciting. And to know that at 55, I'll probably see a lot of what you talked about in this book come true.

[00:09:01.790] – Sergey
I agree. Yes. We live in an exciting time like we can see in the next 5-10 years from now, we're going to see just a lot of transformational and fundamentally different things offered to us and massively available. And we're going to go today for the example, what is on the horizon and actually two Horizons, like near and far horizon of longevity innovation. But what is more exciting? There's so many things that we can do right now to stay on longevity breach while we wait for all this revolution to happen.

[00:09:37.370] – Sergey
So let's cover this today as well.

[00:09:40.610] – Allan
I think when we use the term longevity, it seems that most people will think, well, that's just living longer, which is not really all that exciting. Like the Queen song, Who Wants To Live Forever? The reality is nobody really wants to live forever if they just keep getting weaker and weaker and sicker and sicker.

[00:09:59.990] – Allan
So in the book you talked about the three dimensions of longevity, and I think all three of them are important if you're really going to have I guess what I would call good longevity the right kind of longevity, not just longer, but better. And you can talk about those three dimensions of longevity..

[00:10:18.890] – Sergey
So we actually use the term like, in addition to life span, which is basically the quantity of your years. We use the term health span, which refers to quality of your years or the years in your life when you have healthy and happy State. So that's important as well. The good news, all of the technologies that we are supporting through longevity Vision fund investments. Right,

[00:10:47.210] – Sergey
And through our proponent work, they work both on health span and life span. It's not like we're just trying to add 5, 10, 20 more painful years to your life. So I think it's important to recognize. When you talk about three dimensions of longevity, I think it's very interesting to observe how the science of longevity and the science of medicine has changed over the last few decades. What we've done so far and this is the first dimension we've been just avoiding early death. That's, like the sole focus of the medicine, the sole focus of everything which we've been offered so far.

[00:11:35.570] – Sergey
And if you look at the figures, we've been pretty successful with that. So in the last 100 years, the average life span in developed world increased from 35 to 40 years 100 years ago to 75 eight years today. So we doubled our lifespan average lifespan on Earth in the last hundred years. Well, this is a good news. Like the bad news, the maximum lifespan, which is today somewhere around 122 years, to be precise, because of this beautiful French woman who died 20 years ago was still the same.

[00:12:16.670] – Sergey
So what we're doing, we're just moving statistical average. A lot of people avoid dying at an early age. And obviously there was a huge impact of infant mortality, which was ridiculously high 100 years ago. That's why this whole notion of medicine was just like making sure you don't die early. And currently, if you look at the 50 plus, like, 90% of deaths are happening because of four diseases, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and neurogenerative disease. So that's, like, 90% of that, this is our killer monster diseases.

[00:13:01.610] – Sergey
And I think we've done a lot in this field. What we haven't done so far is two other dimensions. One is life extension, just literally adding years to our life. That's one. And the third dimension, which is even more revolutionary, is reversing aging. Right now, we already know all 3000 genes in our DNA, which are responsible for aging processes inside our body, and therefore they're responsible for longevity. So if you look at centenarians where we look at genetic research of centenarians, centenarians are people who live 100 years and beyond on this planet, these 3000 longevity genes tend to work better in their bodies.

[00:13:51.570] – Sergey
The idea is if we can influence aging on many levels, including the genetic one and make sure that all these 3000 genes work in a proper way, we can actually become younger.

[00:14:03.570] – Sergey
And that's beautiful.

[00:14:04.470] – Sergey
You can do it on genetic level. You can do it on epigenetic level, right? Like the way these genes manifest itself inside our bodies. But even today, like on the lifestyle level, I've seen some studies where in the course of eight weeks, simple changes in sleep, diet, physical exercise only list three things, eight weeks reverse biological age of people in the study by three years. So they all became, on average, three years younger.

[00:14:40.350] – Allan
That's fantastic. And I like that you put sleep first because as a personal trainer, everybody thinks that's kind of odd. But I actually think sleep is the missing link for a lot of us as far as.

[00:14:54.330] – Sergey
It was the biggest discovery. For me, sleep is like the last thing that we think about when we're trying to redefine our lifestyle. And for me, the big change was actually reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. It was my book of year 2019. Before that, I was just boring hours from my sleep. I can do more sports, I can do more work, I can spend more time on traveling. And literally I was just sleeping like five, five and a half of hours during Monday to Friday.

[00:15:32.010] – Sergey
And after reading this book, my rule is 8 hours in the bath, which is at least 7 hours of sleep. And I use a lot of devices to track my sleep. So like Whoo Apple watch, et cetera. So that's important. I do remember the quote from my discussion with Dr. Jake Cradle from London. He's the founder of one of the longevity clinics in London. So when we met first time, I'm asking, Jack, Jack, what is the number one thing? If you have literally 1 minute, what would you suggest?

[00:16:09.450] – Sergey
And he's like, Sergey, every evening we have an opportunity to visit the best clinic in the world. We go to bed and we sleep. And I thought, what a beautiful way to underline importance of sleep on our coronal health. Like all other aspects of our health.


This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Organifi.

Organifi is a line of organic superfood blends that offers plant based nutrition made with high quality ingredients. Each Organifi blend is science backed to craft the most effective doses with ingredients that are organic, free of fillers and contain less than 3g of sugar per serving.

In our 24/7 always on world, going without sleep seems to carry a badge of honor. But that’s not how your body sees it. Sleep is when all the wonderful things happen inside your body. Hormones reset, and healing and restoration happens. You know how much better you feel after a good night’s sleep.

Getting good quality sleep is a priority for me.

This is why I’m a big fan of Organifi Gold juice with ingredients like Tumeric, Reishi Mushroom, and ginger, it’s designed to support rest,
relaxation, recovery, and repair. It’s a delicious and nutritious warm, golden tea. I use water, but you can also use milk or a milk alternative. This has become a part of my evening wind-down.

Organifi offers the best tasting, high quality superfood beverages without breaking the bank. Each serving costs less than $3 per day. Easy, convenient, and cost effective.

Go to www.organifi.com/40plus and use code 40plus for 20% off your order. That's O R G A N I F I dot com forward slash 40plus and use code 40plus  for 20% off any item.

[00:18:14.990] – Allan
Now, as we talk about longevity, and one of the things I think we look at is we'll see that picture of the 95 year old or 85 year old woman who looks fit and is athletic and she's out doing living like she's 30. And then you see the 85 year old woman that's in a wheelchair and can't really stand on her own and she's lost all of her independence. I think we look at aging as comparing those two people, but they're the same chronological age. So when we're talking about longevity, one of the concepts you brought up in the book by Carlos Lopez Otin was the nine hallmarks of longevity.

[00:18:52.490] – Allan
And I think the reason I'd like to talk about these is because if you're starting to put together a strategy for your health, for your wellness, it's really important for you to understand the underlying tenets of what's going to help you get there and why these things are so important. When we're talking like we're just talking about sleep, what does sleep allow us to do? Balance our hormones, get our energy systems working, our mitochondria resting and doing their thing. And so can we talk, just go through them pretty quickly.

[00:19:22.190] – Allan
But just overview of what they are. The Nine Hallmarks.

[00:19:25.730] – Sergey
So for many centuries and decades, we've been trying to find and develop unified theory of aging, and we fail. Like there is no unified theory of aging. You ask different people in scientific circles and they would give you, like the different answers. So there are still a lot of people are working on that. But we use in terms of scientific framework for our effort to reverse aging and fight age related diseases. The thing which was published I think it was back in 2013 and it's called Nine Hallmarks of Aging.

[00:20:09.750] – Sergey
And I do think it was pretty important work by a number of reasons. So one thing, it shows you that you need to look to basically all of them. There's no silver bullet for human health and performance and fighting age related disease or the aging process into your body. It's not going to be like in 510, 20 years from now. It's not going to be like one silver bullet and one solution to aging. You always need to appreciate the complexity of human biology and looking at the problem of aging or your health and performance through different lenses.

[00:20:45.990] – Sergey
And they all complementary and probably in your workout. You've seen it a lot. People kind of asking you like, what are the one thing that I need to do to change my life and improve the level of my health and physical health and mental health? There's no such a thing like one thing. The first important thing about nine hallmarks of aging is the fact that none of nine of them, and they mutually nonexclusive. Right.

[00:21:14.130] – Sergey
They're complementary if you can use complementary in the context of aging and age related diseases. So second thing, it gives all of us investors, entrepreneurs, scientists, an opportunity to look on a more comprehensive scale and influence different parts of it and appreciate the complexity of this call. And I want to give our audience the flavor of what are the components? What are the dimensions of aging and what levels they happen inside our body? So the first thing is, it's called genomic instability is basically mutations of our DNA, of our genetic code inside our body.

[00:22:01.770] – Sergey
And sometimes they occur when we were born. So we kind of inherited this from our parents.

[00:22:12.730] – Sergey
Sometimes, it happens because of the external, environmental or our lifestyle choices influence as well. But if you ask scientists, many of them would say that our longevity and level of health and actually happiness, like 30% to 40% predetermined by our genetic set up. And we've done a lot of progress in this field, like, 30 years ago, it took 13 years and $3 billion for US to sequence human genome. Right now, it's just a few hundred dollars and few hours. So that's really important. And as always, you've probably seen it in so many cases.

[00:23:00.550] – Sergey
Like, the first step is just literally understand that. So sequencing human genome was, like, important first step to develop gene editing and gene therapy on the later stage. So that's one thing well, second thing is, it is about telomeres. And some of you probably heard about telomeres before. So telomeres in a very simple way, it's almost like protective caps of our chromosomes.

[00:23:31.630] – Sergey
Right. So what they do, they protect chromosomes. But then when cells are going through divisions, right? They basically worn out and it's actually limit, like, a number of times our cell can divide. And with the time what is happening is attrition of telomeres protective cups. And that's why we kind of becoming older. And then finally, we die the third one. And we already touched on this a little bit in the beginning of our conversation. Is it's called epigenetic alterations? But what it really does is remember we discussed genes.

[00:24:23.990] – Sergey
Genes are expressing themselves inside our body through the very complex mechanism. I'll not go into details of that right now, but what is actually happening is you can basically influence the way certain gene or genetic combination express itself in the body. So you don't need to change your genetic setup, right? You just literally can switch on, switch off some of the genes. And with the time, specifically, in the last probably 5-10 years, we've seen a lot of positive developments in the sales. So think about, like, one thing is to change your genetic set up and a genetic code.

[00:25:07.310] – Sergey
And this is really important. This is really expensive, sometimes inefficient difficult and risky. Well, the other thing, if you can have an opportunity or ability to switch on switch off some of your genes.

[00:25:23.450] – Sergey
And that's a different level of complexity. It's still difficult, but it's much easier than just changing your DNA. So that's important as well. What else you've heard about mitochondria in our cells? So mitochondria is almost like a power plant. This is the thing which are responsible for bringing the energy within the cell. So sometimes what is happening? They become dysfunctional because of the disease or particular medical condition. And it's obviously changed the whole work of the cells. And then aging process starts inside your body. What is more interesting, like stem cells exhaustion.

[00:26:20.190] – Sergey
So sometimes the stem cells, which are responsible for immune system and overall, inside our body, we just run out of it. And I don't know if you heard about the organ called thymus. It's right here on our chest until we turn somewhere around 20, thymus are in a good healthy condition. It's actually responsible for high immune level that the younger adults and kids have, starting from age 18 or 20, time starts to shrink. So therefore, your immune system starts to degradate. If I can use this word, and therefore it produces less and less of the stem cells, and therefore it has lower ability to fight external and internal enemies inside your body and inside your mind, actually as well.

[00:27:28.330] – Sergey
And I'm just looking at hallmarks. What I find also interesting is there's a hallmark related to cellular senescence.

[00:27:40.510] – Sergey
So, it's basically when we're losing the ability to take away dead cells outside of our body, they just waste. And the volume of that cells are increasing inside our body. And therefore it negatively influenced a lot of processes inside our well, first healthy body. It's basically this number of hypothesis and number of ideas why we each and I do think it's just very interesting to look at this from a different perspective and understand there are so many things that you need actually to influence in parallel at the same time to fight aging.

[00:28:30.370] – Sergey
And we're looking at the companies and probably all nine of these hallmarks. And it's really interesting how science and technology can help us to fight aging inside our body on many levels. On, like, genetic level, epigenetic level, on cellular level, et cetera. Yeah.

[00:28:50.170] – Allan
And like you said, everybody wants a simple one, simple rule. Give me one thing. Tell me what to do. And we can see it's really not that simple, but it's not outside of our control. And particularly as technology gets better, I think we're going to see better opportunities for us to fine tune, like, all of these knobs just don't be thinking about. Okay. I got one knob that does everything the steering wheel. Now you're going to be able to turn all of them. And that's where I want to talk about this concept of precision medicine or personalized medicine.

[00:29:23.230] – Allan
You probably heard some things about, but the gist of it is this normally you go into your doctor and you tell your doctor what's going on. He does a couple things, maybe a couple of tests, and then he comes back and says, okay, we're going to try this and the this that he's giving you the pill or whatever the treatment is, it helps 80% of the people. And that means 20% of the people it doesn't help. And so you try that and it doesn't agree with you or it doesn't work.

[00:29:49.810] – Allan
And now we've got to try something else that helped 80% of the people. And it didn't help 20%. Then there's a third thing we can try and on and on and on. But with precision medicine, we're getting closer and closer to understanding why it doesn't help those 20% and why it does help those 80%. And as a result, they can go directly to maybe medicine number three and make that work. Can you talk a little bit about why we're able to do precision medicine now? And what are some of the things coming up that's going to make it even better?

[00:30:23.410] – Sergey
So we're talking about completely different approach to medicine. And this is happening already. And the whole transformation will happen in the next ten to 20 years. And it's happening. The main fundamental reason is that finally we have an ability to process data related to human health. And before that, it was all in the head of the doctor that he or she would need to quickly grasp what is the problem with you recall from his or her memory? Like, these symptoms, they usually mean that you're suffering from that.

[00:31:08.350] – Sergey
And it was just a hypothesis, right. You can go through a certain diagnostic. It was pretty generic. And then there's, like, a set of protocols, like, for this disease, you can try this, this and this. It usually works for, like, 60 or 70% of people you're right.

[00:31:25.990] – Allan
I guess I was just a little optimistic.

[00:31:28.330] – Sergey
Yeah. That's true.

[00:31:29.590] – Sergey
I mean, we've seen therapists which working, like, 40% to 50% of people sometimes. So this is what happened so far. And as you can see from my description, it was very symptomatic.

[00:31:42.010] – Sergey
So, you would need to live for the disease until disease will manifest itself. Some of the diseases, some of the indications it's solvable, but in some it's like dangerous, like cancer. Cancer just a few decades ago was kiss of death because people discovered that usually in like, stage four, when disease manifests itself, there was not a lot of diagnostic developed on that diagnostic tools developed for that. And they are all pretty expensive, invasive, like colonoscopy, gastroscopy, some of the cancer markers in a blood test. So what is happening now?

[00:32:28.210] – Sergey
Well, the beauty of this, like early detection and prevention of the diseases, give us much better chances for recovery and sustaining the quality of life. So stage four cancer survival rates are 10, 20, 30% depending on the cancer type. Right?

[00:32:48.910] – Sergey
I'm just generalizing it that's simply the figures. So this is what happens when you just wait until disease will manifest itself at the level when you just decide to see a doctor like early detection of cancer, like stage one, for example, recovery rates for some of the cancer types are 90% or even 100%. Well, that's amazing. And what is more important? It's cheaper to treat early stage cancer and it's much more effective in terms of sustaining inequality of your lifestyle. So that's beautiful. So how are we doing this day?

[00:33:30.430] – Sergey
Well, first of all, it's generating and taking a lot of data. The whole feedback loop feedback cycle and our ability to grasp this data is changing. I'm wearing like, Whoop and Apple Watch. You can wear Samsung watch or fitbit doesn't really matter. Our wearables are becoming personalized health care devices and things will change. Right now, I'm using this account, like 10,000 steps today, so you can use Apple Watch to do extra cardiogram to detect five different type of Rhythmia. Or if you fall down on the street, you can call ambulance for you.

[00:34:11.390] – Sergey
So that's just the earliest signs of this becoming diagnostic devices. So a lot of data needs to be collected and can be collected today through different diagnostic tools, including wearables, DIY boxes, et cetera. Or like full body MRI, CT, et cetera. So that's kind of one thing. This call feedback cycle as compressed, you can actually detect a problem really early. Rather than wait for your annual discussion with doctor and see if something wrong with your body. Second, we finally have artificial intelligence to process all this data.

[00:34:57.810] – Sergey
And this is extremely important. If you look at statistics, I know the figure for US. I think it was 25% to 30% of all data in US are health related. It's just massive amount of information which there's no way the human being can process that even in the context of one person. So that's the beauty. Like last two years, when I've done annual screening, my full body MRI was first scanned by artificial intelligence. And then I had a discussion on radiologist. And just to give you a little bit of flavor of that average radiologist working under time pressure, which I would assume their everyday condition can detect early stage breast cancer from MRI from the scan in 38% of cases because it's early stage.

[00:36:00.450] – Sergey
Right. You're not sure or it's not detectable with human eye. But if you empower the same person with artificial intelligence, the detection rate goes up to 98% to 99%. Can you imagine that? So that's the beauty of that. We're talking about MRI. We have a lot of diagnostic tools right now. You can look at your genomic setup, you can look at your microbiome and we just go on and on. There's so many data we can collect about our physical and even mental health, which is super helpful to define the therapy, the intervention for you personally.

[00:36:44.830] – Sergey
So it's much earlier. It's much more personalized. It's obviously data driven and technology based. So that's like a new version of medicine that we are currently creating.

[00:36:58.930] – Allan
Yeah. And it does the huge thing of eliminating human error in most of these cases because it's got a lot more capacity than any of us would have, even as a collective group, it's going to outperform us.

[00:37:13.390] – Sergey
It is. So the other important thing is actually, it's not only eliminating human error, but it leaves human, like, the most interesting and enjoyable part of work.

[00:37:24.550] – Sergey
Right? You don't need to spend, like, 13 minutes to go through the scan. I enjoy discussing with my radiologist for, like, 30 minutes. And this is amazing. More human interaction, more focus on your needs on your particular situation and more emotions. And what I also like about this whole thing is the small, convincing power that I can get from this conversation with doctor. He or she can tell me like, well, Sergey, you need to change that and that try this change. So I'm on the path for, like, improvement and optimization.

[00:38:04.450] – Sergey
And doctors can spend more time working with me, trying to convince me and support me on this path.

[00:38:12.610] – Allan
Cool. Now another topic I wanted to get into. And just to preface this, I'm not a doctor. I'm not a medical doctor. You're not a medical doctor. So we're just talking about this from the perspective of just understanding what this is. And maybe some of the issues that will come up with it is stem cells. So more and more we're hearing about these stem cell treatments. As you said in the book, only a fraction of them, a small number have been FDA approved. So there's these people popping up with stem cell therapies and they're very promising.

[00:38:46.030] – Allan
The science is extremely promising. They can show you study after study after study. That shows really great things. But it's not all upside. But in the future, it might be very important therapy. Can you talk a little bit about just generally what it is and what we should be watching out for if that comes up in a conversation with our doctor or a clinic.

[00:39:09.250] – Sergey
Okay. So stem cells, which has the potential to develop itself into any other different type of cells in our body.

[00:39:24.050] – Sergey
Right. So they pretty generic. They are responsible for our immune function, and they basically serve as repair system inside your body.

[00:39:36.170] – Sergey
so, they can become specialized, like become a blood cells or muscle cells or brain cells. And that's really important repair mechanism developed for us by modern nature.

[00:39:55.310] – Sergey
So, having said that, so that's important. And it's great that we discovered number of interventions and treatments and approaches to use stem cells in treating different conditions. So that's kind of good news. They still are really early stage of going through the trials and really early stage of regulation. So I do believe that if you have particularly difficult condition and it's a matter of life and death for you, you can take a look at stem cells treatment and interventions today. So you just need to be much more considerate with your choices of treatment. For the rest of us,

[00:40:47.630] – Sergey
I do think it's okay to wait another five to ten years until all of this will go through FDA approval cycle. And we'll give more clarity not only on potential benefits of using stem cells treatments, but on potential downside effects as well.

[00:41:05.750] – Sergey
So, as you can imagine, right. I'm part of longevity community. I'm really passionate about this whole thing. I've been offered so many times to do stem cells. What I don't like, well, Sergey, we kind of do it in US, come to Costa Rica or Panama, in Bahamas, and we're going to do it there. Why should I? So I'm 49, and I do believe that at least for another ten, probably even 20 years, combination of my lifestyle intervention, early diagnostic use, the benefit of technology, which technology can offer to us today is a great plan to stay on longevity bridge.

[00:41:57.670] – Sergey
And in 5, 10, 15 years from now, we're going to see more regulatory approvals in the field of regenerative medicine, whether it's stem cells or organ regeneration or organ replacement and a lot of different things. And not only that.

[00:42:14.830] – Sergey
Like, the major part of my book about the near horizon of longevity innovation. You've seen it, Allan. And a number of chapters then we go to DIY diagnostic, regenerative medicine, genomic medicine, which is genetic, gene therapy, etc. And this is all very promising. What I like that we're going to see almost like a mix, a combination of different breakthroughs in different areas which can use for our special specific situation. The other thing which we will see in the next ten years is longevity and build. So it's going to be new, completely different class of drugs which would address aging problem and its core.

[00:43:04.750] – Sergey
So right now, every drug should have an indication and it should fight particular disease. They disease specific but we're going to see completely different drugs which will influence aging processes inside our body and therefore will help us to fight and minimize risk of getting it related diseases. As we discussed cancer, heart disease, diabetes, neurogenerative diseases as well. So I'm really excited. It can be existing drug reposition and repurposed like Metformin, the old diabetes generic drug or Rapamycin, Immunosupression, or it can be drug developed with the help of artificial intelligence.

[00:43:45.430] – Sergey
Like a Longevity Vision fund. We invest in two companies which used artificial intelligence to compress the discovery cycle. And they do the impressive things. And for the audience to know, like developing a drug is like super expensive exercise. It's like in the US, it's twelve years. It's $2.6 billion for every drug to develop. So our AI technology big data will help us to compress this process and make it cheaper or more efficient as well. But there's so many exciting things happening. Like my other favorite example is what we discussed in the field of gene editing and gene therapy, like genomic medicine.

[00:44:36.550] – Sergey
Remember the case that I brought the first human genome has been sequenced in the course of 13 years. They actually wanted to stop. I think after the first two years of the exercise because in the first two years, they managed to sequence only 1% of genome. That's it. The whole story is in the book.

[00:44:57.310] – Sergey
It's amazing. Like fast forward today we are all participating in a global experiment in the field of gene therapy because MRNA vaccines like Moderna, some other Covid vaccines are the outcome of gene therapy work. And well, for me, it's positive, not sure about the rest of the audience.

[00:45:17.950] – Sergey
And I was just looking at the article a couple of months ago and it starts with moderna vaccine has been developed in a course of two days.

[00:45:28.990] – Sergey
This is amazing.

[00:45:30.310] – Sergey
Obviously, they put a lot of work before that, right? It probably was decade plus even more. And a lot of great scientists and entrepreneurs work on that. But just an ability to develop vaccine against the new virus. I think we managed to sequence genome of the virus in just in the course of days, if not weeks after we discovered that the dangerous thing called Covid is here on the planet. So this whole Covid response, I do know this. There's just a lot of skepticism and criticism in almost every country that I went in terms of the covid response because we were fighting with a known enemy.

[00:46:12.190] – Sergey
But the rest is just amazing. See how fast we've been able to sequence genome, develop different tests to test against corona virus develop vaccines. So I'm really amazed by our ability to respond like 200 years ago, we would have Covid on Earth 25 to like, 50% of population would just die.

[00:46:37.210] – Allan
Yeah, it would have been so much different than Spanish flu. We just toughed out for the most part and did some things. But in a two year process, which I guess we're going to go through a two year process here, too. But in the realm of it, you're right. We do have to kind of open our minds to the fact that medicine will move faster, not slower. Things are going to be introduced that are brand new that we would never have conceived of even years ahead. In the book, you talked about the first Orville brothers and flight and how it was 500 years in the making, and they went against the paradigm, which was you have to flap like a bird to build an airplane.

[00:47:20.290] – Allan
And even after they flew, it took a long time for people to recognize that that's actually still possible as possible just because one person did it, they didn't feel comfortable that everybody should do it. And now almost all of us at some point in our life, anyone listening to this podcast has gotten into an airplane at one point in their life and traveled across the country. And it's opened us up to all these freedoms and opportunities to see things we would never would have seen in the past, not without huge time investment.

[00:47:49.750] – Allan
And so I think that's the concept here. That's what's so exciting about your book. You give us the near term, and we would be on this call for hours if I went into the long term because it's so exciting, I would let you off the call. I just want you to know.

[00:48:06.130] – Sergey
Look, I'm going to be living another 150 years and majority of us are going to be living longer or radically longer than we expect. So we have time, Allan.

[00:48:15.970] – Allan
Yeah, we have time. Then I'll get you on again. We'll talk about that. Sergey, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:48:36.110] – Sergey
Okay. Number one, it's importance of early diagnostics. And I always say, like, the most important day of your life every year is the day of your medical screen. I do think it's super important. We underestimate. You can even imagine. I'm an investor. I'm not MD. I saved so many lives just by pushing people doing screenings. So that's one.

[00:49:05.930] – Sergey
The second I think, is importance of the diet. And we delegated all our diet choices, like in terms of quantity and quality of our food to other parties, like big food, supermarkets, government, et cetera. So it's time to take back control and recognize the importance of the food. And this is like, the easiest way to influence our epigenome. This is the easiest way to make us healthy and body response to that is just amazing. If you switch to more plant based, I'm not saying you need to become vegetarian or vegan.

[00:49:43.850] – Sergey
You need to be religious about this whole thing, but just like decreasing your calorie and take fasting doing more plant based looking at it not only quantity but the quality of your food, avoiding growth hormones, antibiotics and equilibacterias and industrial meat and fish. It was a source of one of the most enormous change that I went through while responding to high cholesterol crisis that I had back in 2014.

[00:50:16.060] – Sergey
And the third thing is just recognizing this whole connection between mind and body. So our health and the way we age and our biological age, like how young or how old we are, is very much defined by our psychology as well.

[00:50:36.050] – Sergey
It's extremely important. So my mantra, I know it's completely responsible to dream about living 200 years today. There's no way given today's science and today's technology, I'm going to be living to 200 years. But every morning I wake up, my mantra is like, I'm going to be living 200 years in the body of 25 years old, man, and your body responds to that. Look at the book. I think this part of the book will think and grow young. And there's so many studies like, if you literally believe that your age is 5, 10 15, even 20 years below your calendar chronological age, you will become younger.

[00:51:17.990] – Sergey
That's amazing.

[00:51:19.070] – Allan
Yeah. I completely agree. I signed up for a tough Mudder in August, so I'm training for that now. But it's so funny because all of my friends that are around my age like, you're too old to do that stuff. And I'm like, but it's fun and I'm excited about it. And so, yeah, I completely agree that those are wonderful. Thank you, Sergey. If someone wanted to learn more about your book, The Science and Technology of Growing Young, or just learn more about you, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:51:49.190] – Sergey
Well, the book is available everywhere.

[00:51:51.650] – Sergey
Again, it's called The Science and Technology of Growing Young. It's an important tool for me to change the world, to change our mindset, to push more of us, to take back responsibility and control for our health, and be excited about the future and recognize, like, new developments in medicine. And it's been already on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list. Usa Today bestseller. Number one on Amazon in multiple categories. I'm, like, really happy. This is the easiest way to connect with me, to understand well, my religion, my promise and exciting things, which we can do today in the next 10, 20 years.

[00:52:30.770] – Sergey
You can go to Sergeyoung.com and sign up for the mailing list. Every month we're sending out amazing newsletter, translating signs in very simple words to more exciting news. And I couldn't tell you the statistics about this, but I was just looking at statistics for newsletters all around the world. We have one of the highest open rates and click rates, and people are really excited. And I'm not selling anything. I'm an investor, right? I'm just trying to change the world to bring affordable and accessible version of longevity.

[00:53:05.390] – Sergey
So Sergeyyoung.com sign up for newsletter or SergeyYoung200 on Instagram.

[00:53:12.110] – Allan
Sergey I really appreciate your mission. Thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:53:18.110] – Sergey
Thank you, Allan. You're doing a great job. So thanks for helping all of us to spread this message across. And I just wanted to thank our audience for being with us today. Stay healthy and happy.

Post Show/Recap

[00:53:38.190] – Allan
Welcome back, Raz.

[00:53:39.810] – Rachel
Hey, Allan, that was a really exciting and interesting conversation about longevity. Actually, I don't think I've ever thought about how you can define the aging process. I just never gave it a thought, actually.

[00:53:57.390] – Allan
Well, you'll see it on Facebook all the time. They'll show you these memes where there's a woman that's 85 years old and she's still a professional bodybuilder and a woman who is 85 years old and about ready to kick the bucket. You see it all the time because we're all on our own aging curve. And some of that is defined by how our genes. But they're finding more and more. It's really lifestyle choices that we've made all along the way that determine how quickly we get to go down that curve and how fast that curve crashes to our end state.

[00:54:31.710] – Allan
And if you're doing the right things for your body, you can do some things to extend it. We talked earlier and you mentioned on the podcast that just doing some exercise, eating right, sleeping, doing those basic blocking and tackling things that we talk about here every single week. Add years to your life.

[00:54:52.890] – Rachel
Well, Sergey said sleep, diet and exercise, even for as little as eight weeks, can reverse aging by three years. I've never heard that before. And that's astonishing.

[00:55:05.430] – Allan
Well, we saw it. I don't want to get too deep into this, but we saw it in covid. If you have comorbidities, then covid is a scary thing. And age is one of those comorbidities. But you see plenty of people in their 80s and 90s that lived through it.

[00:55:19.290] – Allan
Okay. They got covid, and they maybe suffered a little bit, but they came out maybe didn't even have to get hospitalized in some cases. But if you had a comorbidity, if you weren't taking care of yourself at some point in your life, and you find yourself further and down below that aging curve, then it's a killer. It's a killer straight out. And so it's just kind of one of those things of the better you take care of yourself each day, the more likely you are to have another one.

[00:55:49.770] – Rachel
That's a good point.

[00:55:53.310] – Allan
That was one of the principles of why he's believing that 150 and 200 or even permanence being effectively immortal. He believes that those are possibilities for the human race. Because if science moves fast enough to add one more year within a year, then you've effectively pushed your age your expiry date, if you will, one more day and that one more day means they get one more day to have science to solve. The next thing that would kill you. We think about in terms of okay, what's killing us?

[00:56:32.650] – Allan
Heart disease, cancer, medical malpractice, the things that are killing us, most of them are lifestyle choices. But that said, if you can have a newborn that's born and you're feeding it the exact diet that that individual baby needs throughout its entire life. It's eating exactly the nutrition that it needs. Then it's going to be a healthy baby. It's going to be a healthy teen. It's going to be a healthy young adult. It's going to be a healthy, older adult. And the other things that would kill us, we start dealing with, they have artificial hearts now, they have artificial hips, they have artificial knees.

[00:57:15.290] – Allan
And so the basic principle being, they don't know where the limit is or if there even is a limit to what the human being can live, because we haven't really pushed the envelope all the way. We've doubled our life expectancy in less than 100 years. And that's just because mostly people aren't dying as babies. But beyond that, people are living longer, and we see it. We see more Centenarians than they ever have been. And you start asking them what they're doing, and they're not necessarily doing anything special.

[00:57:53.510] – Allan
Drink a glass of whiskey and drink a smoke cigar every night.

[00:57:56.990] – Rachel
You never know.

[00:57:57.770] – Allan
Okay, well, I don't think that's great health advice, but it obviously didn't kill them.

[00:58:02.750] – Rachel
It worked for them. Yeah.

[00:58:06.290] – Allan
That kind of takes me to the next thing is, well, we don't even know right now why that is why someone can do something or why something works for someone and doesn't exactly work for someone else. And that's where the precision or personalized medicine, to me, is maybe the most exciting thing out of all of this, because with artificial intelligence and all the data and things we know, we talked about the hallmarks, and you think about all those hallmarks. And if you were capturing that data for everybody or most people, the data that you would have available and the things you would know about someone when they walk in there, it's a person comes in with a rare disease, and there's no way this particular doctor would ever have seen it because it happens to one in 100,000 people.

[00:58:55.970] – Allan
And so he hasn't had 100,000 patients in his career yet. So he probably hasn't even seen anybody with this problem. And he stopped. Because if then that symptom, try this. Symptom, try that. Symptom, try that. And so what we are going to have with precision medicine is this opportunity for someone to walk in and all that data be there. The bloodlabs, the microbiome, the genetic, all of it is all in there. And they're like, oh, you have a predisposition for this particular problem. And that's why you're having the symptom.

[00:59:37.370] – Allan
And then you can just say something simple. Stop drinking milk. And we're going to compound you something that you take for the next so many months or years, maybe. Or maybe it's something you might have to take permanently. But at least at that point, they know that it's worked for people with your situation and how often and the likelihood based on your genetics and your blood type and everything, how it's going to work for you. And then over here, they know they're not giving you too much.

[01:00:02.990] – Allan
And they know they're giving you the right doses. And they said, okay, your opportunity for side effects is much lower.

[01:00:10.670] – Rachel
Oh, gosh, that would be amazing to have all of that data aggregated into somebody's AI platform. And it would be so helpful. Just like you said, with the side effects, you go in and you've got a problem, a gallbladder problem or a heart disease or something. And if they could look at things like your blood glucose or your cholesterol levels, maybe they could fine tune the medicine that you need to help to get healthier without having all of the weird side effects that are out there.

[01:00:44.990] – Allan
It will trickle down to everything. So, like, here's an example. Maybe you just have hay fever and you get the runny eyes, the runny nose, the itchy, the sneezes and all that. And you go into your pharmacy and based on your medical stuff, all that data and you step on a scale and they say, okay, this is how much you weigh today. This is the exact dose of medication you need probably still antihistamine, but it's going to work best for you. So it's a particular one compounded a certain way at a certain dose and just enough pills to get you through what you're dealing with.

[01:01:27.110] – Allan
So you don't end up with all these expired things. The medicine cabinet goes away because you don't need it anymore to store things that, you know, I'm probably going to get it again next year, but you only need three pills and you make it through the pollen season and you're done.

[01:01:43.190] – Allan
There you go.

[01:01:43.670] – Allan
You got three pills at the perfect dose for you, specifically for you. And it helps eliminate errors. It helps eliminate overdosing. It helps eliminate a lot of this if then and that they'll probably even know things like, what's the propensity for you to be addicted to opiates? Exactly how much pain medication does someone in your situation need to get there? So it's not one of these, the doctors overshot on the opioids because it was easy. You're in pain here's an opioid, and then they overdose, or they get addicted.

[01:02:24.530] – Allan
And then the other side of it is now they're afraid to give you pain medication at all. So they're on the exact opposite swing. Whereas with AI, it's an AI driven decision. The doctor is there a judgment call to say, hey, this is the right thing. And then they can sit there and spend that three to seven minutes they have with you and just really talk about the risk of taking opioids. They say, well, AI says it's probably not a problem for you. So here's a week's supply.

[01:02:55.970] – Allan
If you don't need them all, please bring them back to the office so we can discard them properly.

[01:03:02.630] – Rachel
That'd be nice.

[01:03:03.470] – Allan
Right? And they give you just enough. The dosing is just right for you, so that you're getting the pain medication that you need without a lot of the risk side effects and all that. So the opportunity there is there. And obviously people are working towards this because there's money involved in medication, there's money involved in health care. And so people are working toward it. And one of his things was he was really wanting to see when the medical society, when they'll start actually recognizing aging as an illness as a way of dying.

[01:03:43.130] – Allan
Almost no one ages out at this point. So very few people, very little money relative is going into aging. Whereas you talk about cancer research, heart disease, so much money is pouring into those because they're seen as the killer. But at some point, hopefully with AI and everything else is going in there, they'll start solving that problem. Why does this chemo work for this one and not for that one? And what's the best chemo for you? And what's the best treatment protocols that starts working and they become less and less a factor.

[01:04:20.390] – Allan
They're still probably just going to be a point where someone just takes their last breath and that's like, okay. So he's looking at it saying, when aging is not just a comorbidity, because they will put that on your death certificate. If you just really old and have cancer, they might put that on your death certificate, but he wants it to be a medical classification. So businesses will start trying to solve aging as a problem. He invests in those types of companies, but they're little bitty companies, tech companies, typically that are coming out with these things.

[01:04:55.610] – Allan
The science is there, but there needs to be more money behind it before it really becomes the thing.

[01:05:02.270] – Rachel
Yeah. It's a big project, though, because I can just think all of my medical records, everything's electronic now. I don't know when electronic health records became mandated, and it might have been a state by state thing, but I probably have maybe 10, 15 years of electronic records, but they're spread all over the place because I've moved. But if someone could aggregate my data, even just my data from the different networks that I've had medical procedures done in, it sure would present an interesting picture for a doctor or even this AI to mash through and see what's in there and what they could pull out of that they would be fascinating.

[01:05:44.870] – Allan
And that's what it will be. They'll say, okay. Someone with this genome with this microbiome that's this age, these are the elements and things that they're most likely to see. You could know. Okay.

[01:05:58.310] – Allan
Yeah. We talked about colonoscopies and screenings and things like that. You could know. Okay, I need to go at age 45 and get screened.

[01:06:08.330] – Rachel

[01:06:09.650] – Allan
And maybe it's even something simple. You just know. Okay. Every year, I got to get screened for something or the other because I'm at a higher risk because of all the stuff we know about it. But you're improving your diet, you're improving your exercise, you're trying to sleep better. You're doing stress management. You're doing those lifestyle blocking and tackling things and not waiting for science to catch up to. You right. There are things we can do today, and we need to be doing today, which is why I think you guys are going to really enjoy the episode next week with Delatorro.

[01:06:45.470] – Allan
He's exciting. He's fun. It's about mindset, but he talks about it. It's like you've got to lean in. You've got to put the weight on this. You got to make this happen. And he's absolutely right. So just realize, don't wait for the science to come up and save you, help you live longer, live better. The types of things we talked about, the three dimensions of aging. Don't wait for that to happen. Every action you take today is a part of making those things happen.

[01:07:16.430] – Rachel
Well, I'm really inspired by the existing genetic technology today, and I think after listening in, I'm going to talk to my doctor about having my genetic testing started. And if I can get my mom and my daughter to get their genetic testing done, it sure could paint a very interesting picture by our personal health. And who knows, between my mom's data and my data, that could help my daughter with her health and fitness in the future.

[01:07:44.630] – Allan
Absolutely. Data is going to be important. They might have some data on me. I don't know, because I've been all over like you have scattered. And in some cases, I don't think there was a computer record at all that I was ever there, especially down here.

[01:08:05.150] – Allan
but that will be important. And if you know, you have a history or something, it's worth definitely. And you do. So it's definitely worth going in and trying to get some of that data, not to panic, not to freak out, but just to say, okay, am I doing the right thing? Am I getting the right screenings and those things we should be doing? We know we should be doing that's going to be important. If you like real science, some of it is science fictiony.

[01:08:37.190] – Allan
Because we can already do some of this stuff. We just haven't heard about it. He's in the forefront of this because he's an investor in that space. So he's giving people money on the front end to do some of these things. And he does have this premise. He believes at some point we might just be immortal, that we just continue to exist. We have our normal life and we have our normal reproductive years, and then we can continue. And if you think about some of the most brilliant people or some of the most kind people or some of the most wonderful people that you've known, if they could have lived another 50 to 100 years, what would we be able to accomplish on this planet with the people?

[01:09:23.510] – Allan
Now, there's a lot of ethical things. He gets into some of that in the book, too, about living forever and what that constitutes. And is this something that just the rich people are going to be able to afford to do versus everybody else and all of those things. He has a lot of that in there, too. So if you like geeking out about almost science fictiony stuff, but it's that kind of science fiction stuff that isn't just pie in the sky. It's real stuff that could be benefiting human race.

[01:09:55.310] – Allan
It's a really interesting read. He took all that techie techie techie stuff and turned it into a readable book, which is totally cool.

[01:10:02.870] – Rachel
That sounds great because that interview was a little bit techie, but not terrible to follow.

[01:10:09.530] – Allan
And he's a businessman, his principles, he can learn the tech or at least know the tech well enough to know where he wants to invest his money and he's in that space. So it's a little easier for him. But, yeah, I'm not going to say he dumbed it down for us, but he made it readable. He made it something where you can look at it and say, oh, okay. I don't have to know how the microbiome works. I just have to know that it is one of the things that affects my health, and as a result, their ability to analyze it, to be able to maybe even make recommendations on how you can improve it based on what you eat or sleep or stress, because they all have an impact on it.

[01:10:50.390] – Allan
Then you've got practical, real advice that works specifically for you and all that's just really cool. And then, of course, replacement parts, things like that. We get into all that kind of stuff, too, and just what constitutes being a human. So it's interesting book if you like science and you like science fiction, it's just a cool read, and it's not so deep that you wouldn't understand it. He's not trying to throw words that you wouldn't know or dive down so deep into a rabbit hole that you can't get out.

[01:11:27.210] – Allan
It's just some really cool stuff.

[01:11:29.010] – Rachel
That does sound cool. The interview was great. It was really fascinating to listen to this.

[01:11:33.630] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I'll talk to you next week.

[01:11:36.630] – Rachel
Great. Take care.


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

– Anne Lynch– Eric More– Leigh Tanner
– Deb Scarlett– John Dachauer– Margaret Bakalian
– Debbie Ralston– Judy Murphy– Melissa Ball
– Eliza Lamb– Tim Alexander

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy


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

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.

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

This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Vault Health. Guys, we need to discuss the elephant in the room. Most of us really struggle to manage certain health issues, especially when it affects things we don't want to talk about, like our libido and vitality. Yes, I'm talking about Low T. Did you know that 40% of men over 40 suffer from Low T? Low T can cause weight gain, loss of muscle mass, ED, fatigue and poor sleep, low energy and depression.

These completely dismantle any efforts you're making to be healthy and fit. If you're dealing with one or more of these, it's worth booking a free online consultation with a Vault physician at 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/vault. Vault is all about discretion. After your free consultation and you agree you want treatment, they'll send a phlebotomist to your home to do a blood draw. You'll get a personalized doctor review treatment plan. This can be with pills, cream or injections.

The medications are mailed to your home. There's nothing macho about neglecting your health. If you live in the United States and you're struggling, it's worth learning more at Vault Health, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/vault today. That's 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/vault.

[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.


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– Wendy Selman
– Debbie Ralston– Margaret Bakalian

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.

You can also connect with a fasting buddy to help keep you even more accountable. If you have an iPhone, go to 40plusfitnesspodcasts/ifastic. For an android, go to 40plusfitnesspodcast/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 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/afastic for an Android phone.

[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
– Debbie Ralston– Margaret Bakalian

Thank you!

Another episode you may enjoy