Let’s be honest, aging is a truly terrifying concept. Nobody really wants to get old, although there is so much beauty in the process. Realistically, there’s no way to outrun time but biohacking is one way you can improve both the longevity and the quality of your life. How do you see yourself in your old age? Will you be frail and on a lot of medication, or will you enjoy your old age upright and young at heart? The average life expectancy for Americans is 78.7 years, but your habits and environment have a large role to play in how your life will turn out in your old age. Let’s take a look at how to hack the aging process – so you can enter your later years without fear.
A Note on Biohacking and Longevity
Before we jump into how to actually combat the aging process, it’s important to note that the stigma attached to aging is unfortunate and very real. Getting old is part of life, and most of us will experience it.
It’s nobody’s fault if they end up aging rapidly or becoming frail in their old age – much of the aging process is down to genetics, and you can’t really control it.
With that being said there are certain things you can do, starting now, that may mitigate some of the negative effects that come with aging.
Keeping Your Brain Young is Crucial
Most doctors will reassure you that mild forgetfulness is part of getting older. It’s common for elderly people to not be quite as “on it” as they used to be, but you don’t have to accept that as your fate.
There are ways that you can maintain your brain function long into your old age, and extend your longevity. The brain makes up only 2% of your body weight, but it uses 20% of your energy. It requires energy and protection to function properly and, effectively, keep the upstairs lights on.
That’s why, if you’ve ever dieted you may have noticed a lapse in your concentration abilities. Your brain uses sugar and carbs for energy, but if you’re not getting enough carbohydrates your body will switch to using fats – your liver starts producing ketones which is actually really solid brain fuel. When both glucose and ketones are available, the brain will use ketones to keep itself going.
To protect your brain, you’ll want to:
- Eat veggies: Get as many vegetables in your diet as possible – particularly the brightly colored ones. These contain polyphenols that neutralize free radicals which can inhibit brain function. Polyphenols also help your produce more Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which help build new brain cells.
- Supplement: Take antioxidant supplements like vitamin C and polyphenol to give yourself a boost.
- Try and limit stress: This is definitely easier said than done, but life stress = oxidative stress, which causes damage.
Keep Your Brain Active
Keeping your brain active and stimulated is vital if you want to slow the mental aging process. Studies have shown that certain brain exercises can slow the progression of Alzheimers and Dementia, even just reading and writing regularly can be incredibly useful for improved cognition.
“Research has proven that brain-stimulating activities and habits can help stave off Alzheimer’s. Not surprisingly, the brain can benefit from a good workout just as the body does.
Engaging in mentally stimulating activities such as reading, writing and playing games can improve brain health. Exercising your brain can help prevent beta-amyloid deposits from developing. These are the destructive proteins that have become the hallmark of those who develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Experts say that stimulating the brain can also stimulate the senses. Triggering sensory responses helps us stay engaged and pay attention as well. This is yet another way that activating the brain can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
The following are brain-stimulating activities you can incorporate into daily life to help ensure long-term brain health. These can make a difference in Alzheimer’s care and prevention.”
Don’t Want Your Body to Fail You? Try This
It’s all good and well for your mind to be solid in your old age, but if your body starts giving out it’s not ideal. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be one way or the other. If you really want to know how to hack the aging process, we have to evaluate the effects of long-term lifestyle choices.
Science proves that regular exercise and healthy eating often improves one’s span and quality of life. We’re not talking about biohacking, when it comes to “hacking” your aging. Rather, there are certain lifestyle choices that you can make that will improve your quality of life in the long run. Biohacking is very cool though, but that’s a whole different article altogether.
Using regular exercise, meditation, and diet together will give you the very best chance of reaching a ripe old age without too many ailments. However, nothing is guaranteed as the aging process is also partially determined by your genetics. Two out of four of my great grandparents lived to be over one hundred years old, so I’m fairly certain I’m in it for the long haul (or I could die of a heart attack in my 60s like my grandfather – mortality sure is one fickle mistress).
Making Lifestyle Changes Now Will See You Through in the Long Run
Look, when it comes to how to hack the aging process, there’s not much you can do to outrun genetics. With that being said, some good old-fashioned diet and exercise will take you far. When it comes to looking wrinkly, I’d have to say embrace it – and wear sunscreen for god’s sake. The aging process is mysterious and relative to each individual, but it can also be full of life and surprises. Treat yourself right, in body and spirit, and you’ll be just fine.