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

Men's Health (UK) - - In This Issue -

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”


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