My third experiment aligns with the start of the New year. A new year full of hope for global health and well being.
This last year was truly an odd one. Where the world did its best to tackle the covid-19 pandemic, I managed to adopt a few healthy habits while I got used to a new life of working from the spare room. Despite my new habits (and a lockdown puppy that helped improve my step count), there is no denying that the negative effects of morbid obesity and advancing years are not easily escaped. Swinging a few clubs, an occasional inversion and a few spin classes have not held back the tide of decreasing mobility and excessive joint pain.
I don’t want to turn this into a whine about my current aches and pains but suffice to say – I have them! I’m 50 this year and don’t have faith in my body holding me up for another 10, never mind 30 years.
That is pretty appalling so my next experiment is one focussed on reclaiming my future health.
Operation Healthspan is here.
I’ve been back to my old habits of reading books and listening to podcasts on biohacking and longevity studies. While I have no particular desire to extend my life significantly, I would very much like to extend the number of healthy years that I have left to me. I’d quite happily die at 80 if that very morning I had taken the dog for a jog around the local common and knocked out a couple of chin ups on a low hanging branch. At the moment that doesn’t look to be my future……
Much of the inspiration for Operation Healthspan comes from the book Lifespan by Dr David A Sinclair. Sinclair is a scientist working on ageing and longevity studies and his book is heavy on the science of the disease of ageing with much discussion on biochemical pathways, gene expression and animal experimentation. It’s an interesting book but if you’d like to go lighter on the technicalities try a podcast featuring David Sinclair (see links below).
Living longer and/or living healthier doesn’t really lend itself to a 30 day experiment format, it requires more of an all or nothing approach and I may not appreciate the affects of the program for decades to come. Still, I found the rodent and worm experiments documented in Lifespan to be convincing enough for me to commit to a longterm experiment – just don’t expect daily updates for the next decade.
This is my planned protocol. Note that not all of these come directly from Lifespan, for example, Sinclair doesn’t say much about fitness other than to recommend HIT.
I’ll be doing some do-it-at-home blood testing just a few days after starting this protocol so I have a biochemical baseline but I also have a long list of aches, pains and moans that I hope to be able to reduce as the weeks turn into months.
- Quit alcohol – ideally moderate red wine consumption would be useful but I don’t trust myself with anything short of daily consumption so I will be going stone cold sober instead.
Fitness & Resilience
- Daily mace swings again for shoulder mobility, strength and a bit of zen
- Original Strength resets
- Mobility and strength with LittleTank
- Breath work using my airofit to improve retention and lung capacity
- Temperature shock – dog walks in a t-shirt, cold water exposure, chilipad to sleep on. I’d like some heat exposure as well but saunas are tricky in covid times.
- Powerzone training challenges on the peloton
- Monthly fasts between 20 and 48 hrs
- Shift to a heavier focus on plant based meals. 80% vegetarian. More lentils and legumes. Blue Zone style eating
- No more protein supplementation
- Renewed vigour with fermented products – sauerkraut, kombucha and yoghurt
- Drink water – 4 litre per day
- Metformin (prescription reqd)
- Vitamin D
- Resveratrol or grape skin extract (probably not required if I hadn’t given up red wine)
If you haven’t read the Lifespan, here are some comprehensive notes from the Joe Rogan podcast where he interviewed David Sinclair on the topic of Longevity.
Fast Hacks details David Sinclair personal supplementation strategy.