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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.
[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 email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
[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
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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.
[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
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.
[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
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In his book, Cheating Death, Dr. Rand McClain tells us how to live longer and better.
[00:02:36.260] – Allan
[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
[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.
[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
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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.
[00:07:58.530] – Allan
[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
[00:08:37.890] – Allan
[00:08:39.570] – Rachel
[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
[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.
[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
[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
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|
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.
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.
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|
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.
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
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|
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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|