Defining Longevity: Tips To Enhance Your Lifespan & Healthspan
Next Health Staff | | 0 comments
For the majority of human existence, health was synonymous with survival. As long as you were alive and could work, “health” was not a priority. This was, in part, born out of ignorance as society lacked the science and technology to understand the human body and ways in which we can support it.
Today, we have incredible capabilities when it comes to supporting health and wellness; we are learning more now about biology in one year than we have learned in decades. However, it is still common for health to take a back seat to a variety of other priorities in our busy modern-day world. This is especially true when it comes to the future of our health, or our longevity.
What if we were as invested in fueling our bodies and health as we were our cars? Better yet, our phones? Arguably, our most precious devices come with more maintenance checks, detailed owner manuals, and troubleshooting instructions than our current healthcare model provides for our own health.
At Next Health, we champion promoting your longevity, which we identify as a combination of lifespan (living longer) and healthspan (living better). Simply put, investing in longevity is supporting a long, healthy life.
This can feel somewhat vague and difficult to apply when we rarely take time to consider our health in the present moment. Relatively speaking, we are resilient. It is safe to say many of us will skip a meal during a busy day, miss out on getting a full eight hours of sleep, reach for the “easy meal” versus creating a nourishing one, or drink alcohol. Oftentimes, we accept the fact that we just feel “normal” or “fine.” For this reason, a change in mindset is one of the most influential ways to support longevity.
Understanding the value of proactive healthcare versus sickcare is arguably the first step in this process. Oftentimes, particularly in the United States, traditional medicine only addresses our health when something is wrong. In fact, the average American spends less than 20 minutes annually with their standard practitioner, making it difficult to gain any real insight into your current state of health. At Next Health, we champion a modern proactive and data-driven approach to your health, as we believe health is not the absence of disease, rather it is the abundance of vitality.
We no longer need to tolerate someone telling us we are “healthy,” when we don’t feel great, that loss of energy / memory/ and motivation are “because of our age”; we deserve to feel amazing, we deserve to feel optimized. Feeling our absolute best and optimal now, and as long as possible, is what truly defines longevity.
Here are three practices or considerations to ensure you are being optimized and investing in your longevity:
Consider Your Micronutrients
42% of Americans lack optimal levels of vitamin D, over half do not get enough magnesium daily, and two-thirds do not consume enough omega-3s.
Vitamin deficiencies are this common due to a couple of factors including depleted nutrients in our agriculture and the acceptance and commercialization of processed food.
First, overfarming, modern agricultural practices, and the increased prevalence of environmental toxins, all of which have left our soil and food nutrient-depleted. Research shows that crops grown decades ago were far more nutrient-dense than the crops we have today. In fact, a study from the Kushi Institute analyzed nutrient data across 12 different vegetables over a 20-year period. They found that average calcium levels decreased by 27%, iron levels dropped 37%, vitamin A levels were reduced by 21%, and vitamin C levels declined by 30%.
On top of all that, despite their convenience, processed and packaged foods do not provide the necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need, yet they are still a considerable part of the American diet.
Vitamin deficiencies may seem like minor nuances, but their compounded effect can impact how you feel and function, even leading to chronic conditions and diseases.
Symptoms of vitamin deficiencies include:
- Brain fog
- Skin problems
- High blood pressure
- Susceptibility to illness
- Hair loss
- Brittle nails
- Poor quality of sleep
- Mood swings
- And so much more
In order to avoid symptoms such as those above and stay on top of your health, it is best to get your micronutrient levels tested.
Micronutrient Testing is detailed blood testing that measures the cellular function of specific vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids within your cells. It can be used to determine specific micronutrient deficiencies to guide dietary and supplementation protocols.
Taking a data-driven approach to your health, especially when it comes to your diet and supplementation routine, is an effective way to ensure you are promoting your healthspan and lifespan.
Combat And Prevent Inflammation
Inflammation is linked to every chronic condition. In fact, over 50% of deaths globally are linked to inflammation-related diseases. Thus, when taking a proactive approach to your health in order to feel optimized, it is essential to regularly combat systemic inflammation.
It is important to note, like vitamin deficiencies, inflammation is not just a problem for the future, but can compromise how you feel now.
Symptoms of (chronic) inflammation include:
- Digestive issues
- Brain fog
- Poor memory
- Skin issues
- Joint and muscle pain
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Headaches and migraines
- Frequent infections
- Anxiety, depression, and/or mood disorders
- And more
Inflammation damages cells and impairs cellular function, which can lead to premature aging. Luckily, there are a multitude of ways we can combat inflammation including:
Anti-inflammatory diet: Foods high in antioxidants are great at combating inflammation. Antioxidants help repair the cellular damage that results from oxidative stress (hence the name antioxidant). Foods high in antioxidants include blueberries, kale, spinach, broccoli, artichokes, red cabbage, beans, and more. It is also important to avoid foods that promote inflammation such as processed foods, foods containing refined sugar, dairy, and gluten.
One of the best ways to kick start an anti-inflammatory is through fasting-mimicking diets or intermittent fasting. Fasting is an effective way to remove cellular waste from your system as it can increase the production of enzymes involved in detoxification. Because of such benefits, fasting has become one of the latest crazes in the health and wellness realm.
Dr. Valter Longo, Italian-American biogerontologist and cell biologist, helped pioneer fasting-mimicking diets at the University of Southern California’s Longevity Institute. His research demonstrated that these diets “trick” the body into fasting mode allowing you to reap the benefits of fasting while still eating minimal calories throughout the day.
There are a variety of different ways to practice intermittent fasting, all of which are based on set time windows to eat and fast. One common practice is only eating during an eight-hour period each day, allowing you to fast for the remainder. This is thought to prolong the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed at a meal and begins to burn fat.
If you are looking for structured fasting programs, there are kits such as Daily Dose that ship straight to your door. Receive 20% off your first order with the promo code: NEXTHEALTH 20 at checkout.
Another effective way to supplement your diet for longevity: IV Therapy. The Next Health Longevity IV empowers you to promote your healthspan and lifespan from the comfort of our modern, vibrant IV Lounge. This IV’s potent combination of key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants encourages healthy body system function and whole-body healing. Enhance your cognitive function, skin and hair health, immunity, stress response, and more with the ingredients that are available in the Longevity IV.
Manage stress: High-stress levels have become normalized in modern society but they can take a toll on your mental and physical health. According to the American Psychological Association, more than 75% of Americans experience physical or emotional symptoms of stress (headaches, fatigue, altered sleeping habits, and others). Thus, it is essential to find ways to unwind in your daily life whether that be through meditation, exercise, or another restorative activity like breathing exercises.
Exercise regularly: Exercise can help prevent systemic inflammation. Research suggests that even just 20 minutes of exercise can promote an anti-inflammatory response.
Supplementation: Supplementation is a quick and effective tool that allows you to boost your overall health from the comfort of your home. Remember, always opt for high-quality supplements to avoid the inclusion of binders and toxins in your supplements.
Theracurmin HP is a pharmaceutical-grade supplement that is scientifically formulated to help reduce inflammation. It contains curcumin, which has powerful inflammatory-modulating abilities and is designed to easily facilitate the absorption of quality nutrients to your cells. This supplement delivers 600mg of bioavailable, water-dispersible curcumin per serving.
Understand The Value Of Sleep
Sleep is another lifestyle factor that often gets neglected when you are busy and stressed, but it should always remain a top priority. Prioritizing sleep is essential for both your current state of health and long-term healthy bodily function.
Research shows that sleeping five or fewer hours per night may increase mortality risk by as much as 15%. Moreover, neuroscientist and author of Why We Sleep: The Power of the Mind and Dreams, Dr. Matthew Walker states that, “Routinely sleeping less than six or seven hours a night demolishes your immune system, more than doubling your risk of cancer.”
Sleep has a profound effect on wellness as it is essential for restorative and reparative bodily processes. Quality sleep is vital for thyroid health, hormonal health, immune health, heart health, and more. Experts recommend eight hours of sleep in order to support an abundance of vitality and long-term health.
If you struggle to fall asleep or to get quality sleep, here are a few tips that may help:
- Stop using electronic devices at least thirty minutes before bedtime (blue light from screens can disturb your sleep)
- Avoid eating after 8 pm
- Avoid caffeine after 4 pm
- Limit naps to 20-30 minutes
- Make your bedroom a cool, dark environment (between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit)
If you still struggle with getting quality sleep after routinely practicing these tips, it may be time to try a sleep study. Sleep studies generally take place in a sleep lab during your normal sleeping hours. The purpose of a sleep study is to record your brain and bodily activity during sleep. This can lead to an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan to address your unique issues.
Struggling with sleep can often feel isolating, but this is a common occurrence in today’s society with over 70 million Americans suffering from chronic sleep problems.
You may participate in a sleep study through Next Health, call to book your appointment or learn more information.
Gain Insight Into Your Body
At Next Health, we believe knowing your levels of biomarkers and data is the first step in health optimization.
Regular testing gives you the tools you need in order to take your health to the next level. When it comes to supporting longevity, it is best to gain a broad overview of your health with a Baseline Test.
The Next Health Baseline Test is a bloodwork starter panel that provides insightful measurements on core aspects of your health. This data, with medical guidance, empowers you to proactively take charge of your health and improve the way you look and feel.
The Baseline Test analyzes over 50 biomarkers to assess your overall health status, including inflammation, hormones, metabolism, immunity, and more.
Our wellness experts do not just check if your ranges are “normal,” they look for optimal. Regularly assessing if your body is functioning optimally is a great way to promote longevity.
For those looking to go even further, a Full-Body MRI scan is one of the most proactive tools in healthcare as it provides immediate insight into your health and well-being. As one of the most advanced imaging techniques to date, a Full-Body MRI can identify potential cancers, tumors, inflammation, and obstructions in the body that can compromise your quality of life.
If you are over the age of 40 and experience headaches, aches and pains, or just don’t feel as good as you used to, you could benefit from a Full-Body MRI scan and Biomarker Testing.
In short, longevity comes down to understanding your body and taking small steps every day to take care of it. As entrepreneur Jim Rohn said, “Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.”
Long-term health goals can feel overwhelming to take on, but as your partner in vitality, longevity, and personalized health, Next Health is here to make your goals manageable. Our wellness experts are always happy to answer your questions and empower you with the tools you need to feel optimized and support a long, healthy life. And most importantly, feeling amazing now.
Have questions? Call or text us at (310)-295-2075