BULLETPROOF YOUTH TIM FERRISS
You’re only as old as your body feels, says Tim Ferriss. Fight the signs of decline on all fronts to secure a Peter Pan existence
Podcaster, bio-hacker and new MH columnist Ferriss shares his top health kicks to make mind and muscle impervious to age
In Silicon Valley, you see a lot of people trying to fight ageing. I don’t view decline as an inevitability. You can either do things to protect your body or play the victim. The following recommendations are a reflection of the lessons, research and life applications I’ve picked up from the smartest scientists, doctors, trainers and anti-ageing experts.
But before I go on, remember that I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on TV. Staying young is about protecting your brain, joints and strength – the things most likely to decline with age, which have a significant impact on how you live.
For good brain health, I combine the ketogenic diet (a low- carb plan emphasising dietary fats that stimulates ketosis, a fat-burning state) with fasting to augment autophagy, or the process of cellular cleansing. Our cells weaken as we age, but autophagy increases in ketosis and is amplified during fasting.
Much of my thinking on fasting and the ketogenic diet is influenced by Dr Dominic D’agostino, an expert in molecular pharmacology and physiology at the University of South Florida. He believes fasting has huge benefits: “If you don’t have cancer and do a therapeutic fast one to three times a year, you could purge any precancerous cells that may be in your body.” D’agostino suggests a five-day fast, two or three times a year. I now try to do a three-day fast once a month and a five- to seven-day fast every quarter.
Body destruction due to old age is often the result of sarcopenia, or muscle wasting. Much ‘higherchain’ inflexibility that creates pain and disability is actually caused by mobility deficiencies. That’s why I tend to focus on thoracic spine mobility as well as ankle and knee mobility. In particular, the following movements are staples for me in my routine: overhead squats with exceptional form (dumbbells are more difficult than a barbell), the Jefferson curl, thoracic bridging with my feet elevated and slant-board exercises (see ‘Health hacks on my radar,’ below). The slant board was introduced to me by an ultra-endurance runner, Eric Orton. It appears to directly address the foot, arch and ankle issues that have led to the leg and hip problems I’ve had in the past, which means it may also help protect me for the future. After all, I tend to believe that you’re only as old as your joints feel.
It’s important to realise that fighting ageing isn’t hard. What is hard is coming to terms with where you are vulnerable, assessing the threat and then creating a plan you can execute, so you can live the life you want for as long as possible.
“I try to do a three-day fast once a month and a five- to seven-day fast every quarter”
MAKE AN AGEING BODY A WEIGHT OFF YOUR MIND