Lets say you knew that on December 15, 2020, you were going to die in Springfield, Illinois. What would you do? Well, for starters you would probably prolong your life simply by avoiding Springfield, Illinois on December 15, 2020. It just so happens we can use statistics to see the future, and by doing so, can postpone death as long as possible.
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I’m sick of the anti-ageing industry. Basically, nothing fancy works. Dr. Oz recommends reservatrol but scientific studies only show that enormous amounts of it are what expands the lifespan of a mouse. There’s no way to take an equivalent amount as a human. Anti-ageing expert Andrew Weil often suggests herbal remedies instead of pharmaceutical medicines but I think, again, the research is very unclear and it’s no secret that lifespans have gone up in general with the rise of more readily available, FDA-approved pharmaceuticals. There’s always a lot of discussion of homeopathic medicine but, again, the evidence is lacking.
My view is to take a very common sense view towards ageing. By the way, I have never thought about anti-ageing techniques before. But I’m 42-years-old now, and probably past the half-point of my life, so I’ve started to wonder about it. Common sense has served me well in most other areas of my life. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, puts it succinctly with “Do no harm” in his hippocratic oath. There’s a similar rule in the area of financial advice which I think applies here as well. It’s actually two rules, stated by Warren Buffett, the greatest investor ever: “Rule No. 1: Don’t Lose Money. Rule No. 2: Don’t Forget Rule #1.”
The Warren Buffett approach is appealing. Think about it from a financial perspective. Most of the reasons people go broke is not because they failed to make money but because they spent their hard-earned money on bad investments that went to zero. In other words, they broke Buffett’s rules. Much more important than figuring out how to add dollars to your net worth is how to avoid losing the dollars you’ve already accumulated. Applied to the anti-ageing industry — don’t spend so much time figuring out how to add years to your lifespan. How about use common sense to make sure you don’t make additional decisions that cost you your health.
We know what the main killers are in life (this comes from the centres for Disease Control, U.S. Government, data):
Top 10 Killers
Heart disease: 616,067
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 135,952
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 127,924
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 123,706
Alzheimer’s disease: 74,632
Diabetes: 71,382 Influenza and Pneumonia: 52,717
Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 46,448 Septicemia: 34,828
You know what I mean: constipation is bad. Imagine keeping all that horrible bacteria in your body one more second than you have to. Get it out! What happens is that faecal matter builds up in your colon, causing an unvirtuous cycle: the more faecal matter that builds up, blocking the openings of the colon, the more faecal matter gets stuck up there, putrefying for years, leading to everything from colon cancer to a breakdown of the immune system: more flus, allergies, heart disease, etc. The key of all of this article is how to very simply avoid the leading causes of death. Keeping the inside of your body clean is the simplest. Going to the bathroom more than three times a week is key. Everyone varies in this but ideally, at least once a day is enough to keep the factory working.
How to avoid constipation:
1. Use it or lose it. When you have to go … GO!
2. High fibre diet: fruits, vegetables, high fibre cereals (Dr. John Harvey Kellog, the founder of Kellog's cereal, invented his high-bran, high fibre cereal for just this purpose).
3. Lots of liquids
4. Avoid eating too much low-fibre foods. Obviously we all like our ice cream. But too march starch and sugar could be bad, particularly if you are currently suffering.
Stress effects every aspect of your physical health and can cause every single one of the causes of death mentioned above. Every technique described above indirectly reduces stress. But dealing with stress also involves building your mental muscles. Mental muscles are like physical ones -- they atrophy. If you are bedridden for a few months then you would have to engage in intense physical rehab in order to even walk because your muscles would've atrophied that severely and quickly.
Its the same with mental muscles. The muscle that prevents stress needs to be regularly exercised or you will succumb to the excesses of too much stress in your life and you won't be able to climb out of the hole. Believe me, I know this. At different times in my life I've made and lost millions. Part of what I do is I daytrade for a living. While there are many stressful jobs out there, daytrading has to be among the top 10. When I'm in a big position and it starts moving against me I feel every heartbeat in my body pushing the blood all around. The stress permeates me and part of the daily routine of a daytrader is learning to deal with the stress.
Think of the human body when its mugged, or when a car is bearing down on it. The human body signals a flight or fight response. Your adrenalin pumps through and its almost as if you have superhuman powers as you either run the fastest you've ever run, or you jump out of the way of a car or, god hoping, you block a car from running over your baby, as has happened in extreme examples. In other words, in a normal response to stress you feel the stress, your body produces the adrenalin and hormones to deal with it, and you react, quickly working off the stress.
But the normal daily grind that causes our stress almost never gets worked off. Its as if you are mugged all day long. And that leads to only bad things in the body (see all 10 killers above).
There are many ways to avoid stress but the one I'm focusing on in this technique is to exercise your gratitude muscle. Try it for just five minutes a day. List all of the things you are grateful for. Don't think about anything else. You don't need to meditate with the Dalai lama to reduce stress. All you have to do is for five minutes a day think about the things you are grateful for. Your kids. Your friends. The walk you took yesterday. The smile a stranger through your way this morning.
Once the muscle is exercised, then get it working again during the moments you feel stressed. If you are feeling stress about a family relationship, think about a time when that relationship was great in your life. If you are feeling stressed about money, remember that all things cycle and whatever you have this second is still enough for you to enjoy life. I know it sounds corny. But if you do that five minutes a day I can guarantee that you'll be surprised at the new muscles you find.
Nobody knows for sure how every detail of the brain works. But we do have a basic model. The brain has 100mm neurons, give or take, that communicate via synapses. When you learn something new, a bunch of neurons and their synapses fire up with traffic. The more traffic between neurons, the more their synapses strengthen. Like in the Gratitude section above, if we keep on strengthening the synapses between neurons all across the brain then we build up resistance to any illnesses that effect the brain, such as Alzheimer's, the #6 killer above. Additionally, there are other benefits to keeping sharp: higher income, perhaps less stress, hopefully an ability to avoid accidents (like balancing your checkbook incorrectly), etc.
Some mental exercises you can do daily to keep sharp:
1. Play memory games. Exercise your memory
2. Get a book of brain teasers and puzzles and solve them.
3. Play chess, checkers, poker, any game that requires some strategic thought and memorization.
4. After meeting a person, try to remember everything he or she wore and said.
5. Try to eat lefty every once in a while (or right-handed if you are left-handed).
6. Right now try to figure out what coins are in your pocket just by touch. Now do the same for bills (100 dollar bills are less worn than ones)
7. Play boggle or any other game which takes a set of letters and you try to see how many new words you can form from it.
Like physical exercise, if you do mental exercises for 20-30 minutes a day for five days a week you'll see dramatic results in a very short time.
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