What is longevity, what does it have to do with fasting, and why should you care?
Well for starters, according to Meriam Webster,
Longevity is defined as a long duration of individual life.
And while the length of time we live is heavily impacted by our health and choices, there are other similar terms to be familiar with too, your healthspan & lifespan.
Healthspan vs. lifespan: What's the difference? Lifespan is “the amount of time that passes between when you're born and when you die,” Cohen tells CNBC Make It. While healthspan is “basically how long you're living in good health.
In our current global health climate, lifespan and healthspan continue to decrease, affecting people worldwide. However, despite grim data that continues to pour in from scientists and researchers, there are things we can do to achieve longevity by lengthening our healthspan and, consequently, our lifespan.
The CNBC article reiterates the importance of bringing attention to healthy habits, as I would mutually suggest. With regards to proper balanced nutrition (this isn't anything new), we should be getting all our essential nutrients preferably from the foods we eat instead of supplementation unless otherwise determined by our doctor.
Not so surprisingly, the article mentions the real efficacy of integrating a lifestyle of intermittent fasting, however, they also mention the keto-style of eating. (See my full podcast episode on why I feel no one should do keto for long-term sustainable losses)
So if you're looking at the big picture, the emphasis is on eating right, which in this setting refers to real, nutrient-dense, minimally processed food, which I fully support and advocate for.
However, there are no mentions of other tips or tidbits for others. It has a very generic and stale sort of candor. So I will fill in the gaps and explain how improving healthspan and lifespan can improve your longevity.
The Blue Zones!
(Yes, I'm talking about them again 😅)
The blue zones, as a refresher, are the now 6 specific locations documented in the world (so far) with the highest amount of longest-living communities. In these locations, as citizens age, our commonly heard diagnoses of dementia, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, for example, do not occur at the same rate as in the more commercialized parts of the world.
As I've previously discussed, my experience in Ikaria, Greece, reinforced many of the valuable points Dan Buettner addresses in the Infographics here. However, one thing to note on top of these great resources, the commonalities discovered amongst these areas of the world are instinctual and ingrained into their culture and who they are. Yes, these locations are somewhat isolated from the busier neighboring towns and villages, but their lifestyle remains uninfluenced by the ever-changing world around them.
Why does that matter?
Well for starters, while it is important to be connected to the world and community around you, there's a mindset among blue zone'ers of purpose, passion, personal responsibility, tradition, and confidence that they seem to be unaffected by potential stressors. I'm not saying they live in this perfect utopia and have no stressors, but the commonly held mindset in these areas of the world demonstrates something about them that we all can learn from.
So longevity, to me, means your lifestyle and subsequent healthspan should positively influence your lifespan to achieve optimal longevity and overall wellness.
Once you make the connection with this fasting lifestyle, everything in your life is connected and influenced in ways you could never have previously imagined.
This is what I wish for others to achieve, and YES you can do it too.
Need help getting there? My calendar is available to schedule a virtual 1-1 consult, whenever you are ready to reach out!
Warmest regards as always,