Live Healthier, Live Longer

Live Healthier, Live Longer

Live Healthier, Live Longer

Friday, 02 July 2021
Written by Dr. Stephen Barrie

We have all read about the many positive short-term and long-term health benefits of adopting a healthy lifestyle – feeling better and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

But how about slowing down biological aging and extending your lifespan? Research published recently shows that following just an 8-week treatment program that included guidance for diet, sleep, exercise, relaxation, and supplemental probiotics reduced the participants' biological on average by 2 years! Imagine the results if we adopted these as a lifelong lifestyle.

Before I tell you about the program, let me explain what "biological age" means. The number of years we have been alive since we were born is our 'chronological age". Everyone "ages" at a different rate – some people seem to age very rapidly. In contrast, others experience aging at a much more gradual pace. Biological age refers to how old a person "seems." There are various biomarkers of aging that we can measure from your body – telomeres, DNA methylation, and microbiome gene expression are some of the methods currently used.

Let me quickly introduce one more science term – epigenetics. Epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and the environment can cause changes in your genes to work. In measuring your biological age, we are, in effect, measuring your epigenetic clock. You can't change your genes (DNA). Still, we can change how the genes express themselves – various lifestyle factors such as diet, obesity, physical activity, tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, environmental pollutants, and stress have been shown to modify the expression of our genes. The great news is that this means these effects are "REVERSIBLE"! We can make our epigenetic clock move slower.

How can we slow down this aging clock?

The program used in the research study mentioned above consisted of five parts:
  • Diet – participants ate a diet similar to what is referred to as the "Mediterranean Diet." A Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. It includes a very low intake of meat and dairy products. Additionally, organic food was recommended when available and minimized the use of plastic food containers. Sugary drinks and added sugar were not allowed. (A separate blog will discuss this diet in detail)
  • Supplements – various pre- and pro-biotic formulas were recommended. (An upcoming blog will discuss pre, pro, and post biotics)
  • Exercise – a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day for at least 5 days per week at an average "medium" intensity.
  • Sleep – minimum of 7 hours of sound sleep per night.
  • Relaxation/Stress Management – breath and mindfulness exercise twice per day.

Coaching – participants were given coaching advice on how to implement the above program. By integrating these activities into your daily life, you will not only live longer but will enjoy a healthier and happier life every day. These are lifestyle choices that you can teach your children, partners, and parents.

Tri Vananda embodies these principles as part of our "DNA" foundation. Everything mentioned above is taught and practiced at Tri Vananda – the healthy community.