Gifts of Longevity for A Long and Strong Life
When you’re in the gift-giving mood, consider gifts of longevity. These are the things that can make a meaningful difference in people’s quality of life as they endeavor to increase their healthspan and strive to live long and strong.
A new year is coming after probably the worst year that most of us have experienced in our lifetime. The pandemic has upended our lives in every way possible, including getting people we know and love sick; some even dying.
This past year showed us the value of health, and with that in mind, I’ve curated (and in once case, created) several of what I call “gifts of longevity”. These are things that can appreciable make people healthier and feel better.
Make your gift count — give someone something that matters.
Here are the categories:
- Pandemic protection
- Test and assess
Scroll down and dig in…
Obviously, the first thing needed for a long and strong life is to not die, or get chronically ill. This bears repeating during this week when:
- COVID-19 surpassed heart disease and cancer as the leading cause of death in the U.S., according to an editorial published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
- The long-term damage people are experiencing to their lungs, hearts and cognition is becoming more pronounced, as underscored by some heart-wrenching stories about the so-called “Long Haulers”.
- The young have been shown not be invulnerable: newly revealed data show Americans aged 25 to 44 have died at historically high rates between March and July, suggesting that the virus may be more damaging to younger adults than was previously understood, a new academic study found.
When you add the young to the former list of those vulnerable to Covid — those over 50, overweight, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, heart and lung conditions — you’re talking most of us!
And so, the first two things on my list of “Gifts of Longevity” deal with protecting you from infection:
- My Covid Immunity Course; and
- A face mask tested and authorized as effective.
Let’s dig into each of them.
The Covid Course
The Covid Immunity Course is designed to help keep you from getting infected, but if infected, to help you reduce the severity of the symptoms and long-term effects. Go here to watch my video summary of it.
The Right Face Mask
As you know, the quickest and simplest thing you can do in addition to social distancing is to wear a face mask, but not just any face mask will protect you. I get into this in some detail in my course, and from it will copy/paste the following table that displays the best and worst face masks as determined by two universities:
I also wrote Choose A Reusable Antiviral Face Mask To Protect Yourself and Others, which has links to where you may purchase highly rated face masks.
Test and Assess
To know how to get somewhere you need to know where you are to start with.
“Test and assess” is about testing health metrics to assess where you are health-wise, so you can know the starting point of your journey to improve whatever you tested, if needed.
Thryve Gut Health (Starting at $99)
All disease begins in the gut.
Hippocrates said “All disease begins in the gut”, and year by year, the scientific research increasingly proves he was right.
You wouldn’t be wrong to think of your gut as the command center of your health. It helps you digest food, weed out foreign pathogenic bacteria, shifts your mood, and much, much more. Science has been discovering many fascinating things about our gut, and how it’s connected to many different system in our body including our brain, skin, mouth, blood, and metabolism.
Mainly, this all happens via the microbiota that make your gut their home.
Although a simplistic way of looking at it, you can think of your gut microbes as belonging to one of two groups — the good group and the bad group. The good bugs endeavor to enhance your health, and the bad bugs do the opposite.
Every body has both the good and bad bugs — your job is to make the good ones be dominant. The first thing to do is to test and assess, and for that I recommend Thryve’s Gut Health Test.
Thryve’s Gut Health Program analyzes poop to target the good and bad bacteria in your gut to treat the root cause of your symptoms. It comes with Digital Health Report, Customized Probiotics, and Personalized Food Plan.
23andMe (Starting at $79 till Dec. 26)
It’s inexpensive given that it reveals a lot important information about you!
“Know your genes, own your health” is their mantra, and the 23andMe genetic test does just that by listing your:
- Health predispositions — Learn how genetics can influence your chances of developing certain health conditions.
- Carrier status — Thinking of starting a family? Find out if you are a carrier for certain inherited conditions.
- Wellness — Discover what your DNA has to say about your well-being, and how your genes can influence certain lifestyle choices.
23andMe provides incredibly detailed information on how your DNA can affect your diet, exercise, sleep habits and a lot more. You’ll receive reports on a variety of metrics, such as genetic muscle composition and genetic weight, which tells you if you’re predisposed to weighing over or under the average. This is a great starting point to better understand how your DNA may impact your fitness or health goals.
23andMe usually offers deep discounts during the Holidays, so go check it out.
Apple Watch Series 6 ($349.99, originally $399)
The latest Apple Watch hasn’t changed much design-wise, but the display got tricked out. It’s now always on, so whether you’re holding that yoga pose at the gym or riding a bike, you don’t need to take an extra action to monitor your workout. It’s a big change that doesn’t decrease the daylong battery life. The watch can still take an electrocardiogram, and it looks sporty in the aluminum variants.
Elysium Index ($499)
You can test to discover what your biological age is, which can be quite different than how old you are chronologically. In fact, your bioage is the age that matters — do you really care if you’re 5o years old if your body/biology is really 30?
Index is the test created by Elysium Health to determine bioage. It’s a revolutionary at-home test developed that tracks how fast you’ve been aging using the latest generation technology in the science of epigenetics.
With Index you’ll receive:
- Biological Age, a measure of the average age at which your body is expected to function.
- Cumulative Rate of Aging, the pace at which your body has aged for every year you’ve been alive.
- Science-backed lifestyle recommendations you can use to adopt healthier habits.
Gifts of longevity need to include nutrition, the most proven way to extend healthspan, if not lifespan itself. Either way, with the right nutrition, you’ll be healthier and more vital longer.
The science about the relationship between nutrition and longevity is quite clear and proven, as I detail in the article, Why Intermittent Energy Restriction and Circadian Rhythms Optimize Your Health.
Check out the following nutrition-based gifts of longevity, one surely to be the right gift for someone you value, or for yourself.
Prolon Fasting Mimicking Diet ($255)
This illustration tells the tale of the value of the ProLon Mimicking Diet:
There’s lots more to learn about how the precise amount of calories served by the precise ratio of macronutrients can make your body think it’s fasting, and thereby garner all the many health benefits so derived. Check out my articles:
- Can The ProLon FMD Reverse Disease and Extend Lifespan? Dr. Mark Hyman Interviews Dr. Valter Longo; and
- The ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet — Get Better, Not Older.
How Not To Die/Diet Books ($17/$22.49)
If you’re serious about long-term health, you must become acquainted with the work of Michael Greger, MD, FACLM.
I wrote a two-part review of his How Not To Die book. In Part 1, I quoted the good doctor, who said:
In 2002 we learned that every extra serving of fruit we add to our daily diet may reduce our risk of getting and then eventually dying from COPD. In 2006 we could add tea drinking to fruits and vegetables for COPD prevention. In 2007 a twin pair of studies emerged, one from Columbia and another from Harvard, implicating cured meats such as bacon, bologna, ham, hot dogs, sausage, and salami as a risk factor for developing COPD. They thought the nitrite preservatives in the meat might be mimicking the damage incurred by the nitrites from cigarette smoke (see my 2-min. video When Nitrites Go Bad for more). In 2008 Harvard decided to study women as well and came to the same conclusions. We know now what to go out of our way to eat and what to try to avoid.
In Part 2, I reviewed Dr. Greger’s research that guided How Not To Die about how diet can prevent or alleviate a wide variety of health issues, such as Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Upper Respiratory Infection, Immunity, Esophageal Cancer, Stroke, Parkinson’s and Depression.
Recently, Dr. Greger showed you how to prepare the very meals that truly are gifts of longevity in his cook book, How Not To Diet. He shows how to prepare some of those dishes on his YouTube channel and website.
Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer ($25.97)
If you’re going to follow the science of longevity, you’ll need to eat more vegetables, and the Spiralizer is a good tool to make them more palatable. It basically turns vegetables into noodles, making them a great substitute for high glycemic, carb-heavy pasts you want to avoid.
The Spiralizer’s revamped blades are stronger than before, and can cut through hard root vegetables like sweet potatoes and turnips for unlimited vegetable-noodle possibilities.
Aggressive Strength Testosterone Booster ($52.95)
Fellas, if you’re feeling listless, are getting flabby and are much over 4o year old, you may need to boost your testosterone, as this graph aptly indicates:
The blue and black lines that are crashing down are Free Testosterone (black line), which measures the testosterone circulating in your blood stream and Total Testosterone (blue line), the number we’re most familiar with, but is less important. The red line is SHBG, or sex hormone-binding globulin, which unfortunately tends to increase is we age and begin couch surfing.
SHBG controls the amount of testosterone that your body tissues can use, so it’s very important. Too much of it reduces Free Testosterone. Unfortunately, little testosterone in men and too much testosterone in women can cause problems. The level of SHBG in your blood changes because of factors such as sex and age. It can also change because of obesity, liver disease, hyperthyroidism and the lack of exercise.
A proven way to increase testosterone is by taking a product formulated by strength coach and hormone expert Mike Mahler.
Mahler’s Aggressive Strength Testosterone Booster gets many, many affirmative testimonials, some from people I’ve personally recommended it to. And I’ll add my voice to them, and affirm that, yes, it works for me. Again, I did not do a “before and after” testosterone test, but my mojo and musculature all improve when I’m taking “Aggressive Strength”.
32-Ounce Hydro Flask With Straw ($29.79+)
Since chronic dehydration is so prevalent, one of the first pieces of advice registered dietitian Laura Burak gives her clients is to purchase a high-quality water bottle that’s at least 32 ounces and comes with a straw.
“This way, you can easily track your water and aim to fill up the bottle at least twice a day instead of trying to estimate and losing track with little cups or bottles. The less thinking, the better,” she explains.
Why the straw? Laura says it works to increase your intake since it makes it easier, but frankly I prefer simply guzzling it down.
If you’re unaware that regular exercise is the key to living the long and strong life, then I’ve got some reading for you to do; namely:
- Why You Must Exercise for Longevity and How To Do It
- Here’s How To Increase Healthspan With Exercise and Diet, Says Science
- 7 Life-saving Reasons Exercise Is The Ultimate Anti-aging Pill
That said, what follows are some gifts of longevity that exercise so ably offers.
Under Armour Adult Sports Mask (starting at $22.43 and up)
Registered dietitian Leah Kaufman reminds us masks are our new normal. And since many people struggle to find the right mask that they can exercise with, consider gifting this one that she uses herself. “This mask is designed to sit away from your face to add breathability. It comes in a range of sizes and colors, so there are plenty of options to pick depending on who you’re shopping for,” she explains.
Trx Suspension Training Body Weight Resistance System ($169.95)
The TRX suspension training kit is an amazing resistance training tool. There’s virtually no strength/muscle building exercise you can’t do other than dead lifts.
All you need is a door or a pull-up bar, and you’re good to go!
For exercise ideas, check out Louis Lopez’s 40-minute full-body TRX workout:
TLC (Tender Loving Care)
Last but not least, be sure to consider giving yourself or someone you care about some TLC. Gifts of longevity need not always be about pushing the envelope. Rest and recuperation are equally as important as striving to better yourself with, say, exercise and nutrition.
Melt Hand and Foot Treatment Kit ($50)
This kit gets high marks for relieving back pain through treating hands and feet. Yes, there’s a connection between them, and using this hand and foot treatment can make a difference in mobility and inflammation quickly. It also can reduce bunion pain, plantar fasciitis, neuromas and stiffness and tightness through the whole body.
Hyperice Hypersphere Mini ($79)
Since you only have one body, it’s vital to protect and nurture it, and a vibrating massage ball like the vibrating mini is mighty fine start.
Us the “mini” before a workout to help prepare muscles and soft tissue around the joints, and after a workout to assist the recovery process.
This device fits easily around/close to joints like in the pocket between the chest and the shoulder joint, or in the hip crease. It’s also handy in those hard-to-reach areas, such as around the shoulder blades or SI joints.
Your Takeaway On Gifts of Longevity
There are millions of stuff you can buy for yourself or others with whom you exchange presents this Holiday season that really doesn’t improve anyone’s life. Why not do both! Give gifts of longevity to everyone you care about that could use some more glide in their stride.
In this post, I provided five categories from which to choose — surely one of them will be right for the those on your gift list!