Inside the Longevity Movement

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Last fall, Singapore’s National University Health System launched the world’s first public longevity clinic at the nation’s Alexandra Hospital. The initiative, open to patients from 35 to 75 years old, is part of the Asian nation’s efforts to focus on preventive care as its population rapidly ages.

According to the World Health Organization, the world’s population of people 60 and older will double to 2.1 billion by 2050. Thus, it makes sense why longevity treatments and regenerative clinics are popping up exponentially across the globe. These transformative health care establishments empower their clientele by providing bespoke services, including extensive medical, fitness, nutritional, and cognitive assessments to help them uncover their body’s untapped potential. Who wouldn’t want to look and feel—physically, mentally, and spiritually—at least a decade younger?

But specialized longevity optimization programs are costly and often only afforded to the wealthy. Programs can charge $1,000 for a basic medical assessment and up to $100,000 for a premium year-long plan. Most of these “anti-aging” centers provide a comprehensive baseline screening that targets multiple aging systems. A multidisciplinary team of physicians, exercise physiologists, diet coaches, and psychotherapists examines a patient’s metrics, lifestyle, and medical history by analyzing advanced blood work, genetics, cardiopulmonary health, hormones, and nutrition, which can reveal how much an individual’s body is aging, so that they can develop an individualized health plan tailored to each patient. From PRP to stem cell therapy to hormone therapy, they use everything in their biohacking battalion to conquer the visible and invisible signs of aging.

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Though not all longevity clinics are created equal. “[They] can vary greatly in the approach they take,” says John Beard, PhD, director of the International Longevity Center at Columbia University. “Some centers place great emphasis on helping people understand their health and mental state while guiding them to healthier behaviors. Others offer multiple analyses for biomarkers for which we don’t yet really understand the implications, and suggest [controversial biohacking] treatments for which there is, as yet, little clear evidence [of benefits].”

Yet, these pumped-up regenerative centers don’t just tackle the physical body. At the SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain and Mexico, they offer brain photobiomodulation (PBM) treatment, a cutting-edge therapeutic technique that uses near-infrared light to stimulate cellular function in the brain. The non-invasive method helps improve cognitive function, mood, and overall brain health.

“When it comes to longevity, quality of life matters a lot more than quantity,” says Ruslan Medzhitov, PhD, professor of immunobiology at Yale University School of Medicine. “It should not just be about adding years to life, but about adding life to years,” agrees Petr Sramek, CEO of the Healthy Longevity Clinic and managing partner at LongevityTech.fund. In that sense, most of these gerontology experts reasoned, being healthy and happy in your later years and being able to enjoy it is what really counts. Since longevity centers are costly, they also shared nine simple tips to help maximize your life, below.

Eat a Healthy Diet

“Try to eat plant-based, unprocessed foods and very little meat whenever possible,” says Jan Stritzke, MD, the medical director of Lanserhof Sylt. Focus on fruits, vegetables, grains, lentils, and nuts; they’re rich in fiber, vitamins, and other nutrients.

Limit Your Sugar Intake

Inflammaging is a chronic condition in which our body experiences low-grade inflammation as we age. “Sugar triggers inflammation in your body,” says Frank Lipman, MD, author of the The New Rules of Aging Well and chief medical officer for The Well. “All the diseases that we fear—diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and heart disease—are made worse by a high-sugar diet, so reducing your [consumption] is important.”

Get Screened Regularly

“The earlier diseases like colon, skin cancer, or heart disease are detected, the sooner they can be treated,” Stritzke says.

Move Your Body

Aerobic exercise is good for keeping your heart pumping and the blood flowing. But strength training is equally important as it helps with your mobility and balance as you get older, notes John Rowe, MD, a professor of health policy and aging at Columbia University and author of Successful Aging.

Manage Your Stress

“Chronic stress can contribute to various health issues,” says Jamie Costello, vice president of fitness at Pritikin Longevity Center. “Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, and yoga, can help improve emotional well-being and enhance cognitive function. Taking time for self-reflection and being present in the moment contributes to a healthier and more fulfilling life.”

Go to Extremes

Lipman recommends experiencing temperature extremes, like going from a hot sauna to a cold plunge to jumpstart your body’s autophagy mechanism, a process in which cells clean themselves out. “As we get older, our cellular recycling system slows down, so by going from hot to cold, we shock it back to power,” Lipman claims.

Catch Some Zzzzs

A good night’s rest of seven to eight hours is essential for overall health and longevity. “Sleep is vital for physical and mental recovery and key physiological processes, including maintaining cognitive function by clearing plaque build-up in the brain,” explains Kate Woolhouse, CEO of Hooke London. Prioritize a consistent schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time daily—even on the weekends; it’s crucial to regulating your body’s internal clock and improving the quality of your sleep. An Oura Ring can also help you monitor your sleep quality, Lipman suggests.

Avoid Toxins

“Don’t smoke or do drugs, limit your alcohol consumption, and avoid environmental contaminants, such as polluted air and tainted water, as much as you can,” advises Vicente Mera, MD, head of Internal and Well-Aging Medicine at the SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain and Mexico.

Cultivate Social Connections

A lack of companionship or social interactions can shorten your life. “Research suggests that social connections contribute to emotional well-being and may positively impact longevity,” Costello says. Volunteering is one way to interact with others after you’ve retired, suggests Rowe. “It’s good for your soul and your brain.”

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