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Until May 6, 1954, everyone considered running a four-minute mile impossible. This obstacle even had a name: the four-minute barrier. But thanks to British runner Roger Bannister and 1,400 other incredibly talented athletes following his example, the four-minute mile has now become the professional standard.
If the myth of the four-minute barrier can be shattered, then so can the ridiculous belief that turning 40, 50, or 60 automatically destroys your vitality and longevity.
Regardless of your age, if you want to make a health comeback, then all you need to do is commit to positive changes in your life. It’s possible — and even easy! — to add 30 productive and vibrant years to your life. With the right health and lifestyle choices, 90 can be the new 60.
Making a Health Comeback
Yes, you read that right: it’s possible to add three decades of fulfilling experiences to your life’s story. But only if you embrace the idea that being “normal” isn’t your goal.
The word “normal” in this context only means that you’re similar to other people with mediocre health. So you’re not on a mission to normalize your health; you’re on a mission to optimize it.
Whether you’re talking about sleep, cholesterol, fitness, hormones, or anything in between, normalcy can’t be the goal if you want to achieve and maintain longevity.
First, use a comprehensive exam like an Executive Physical to make sure you don’t have any major health problems lurking beneath the surface. You don’t want a landslide knocking you off your feet just weeks or months after you launch your comeback.
Second, begin identifying and hunting down risk factors like heart disease that threaten your longevity. This requires defensive and offensive strategies. For non-modifiable risk factors that you can’t change, such as age, genetics, and gender, develop a strong defense to minimize their impacts. For modifiable risk factors you can control, like tobacco use, diet, and exercise, attack with the best offense possible.
The bottom line? Be thoughtful about lifestyle and behavior choices, specifically how you eat, move, and sleep. Optimizing these habits quickly lowers your risk for the primary things that will kill you. Then you create more room on the backend of your life to enjoy experiences you never thought you’d capture.
What would it be worth to you to add 10, 20, or 30 more years of vibrant living to your life? Can you imagine a greater, more worthwhile endeavor than one that adds a decade or more of time you can dedicate to your family, your passions, and your purpose? It’s worth the journey.
Three Principles for Adding Three Decades of Vibrant Living to Your Life
Believing that it’s possible to add three decades to your life is an important first step.
The next step is committing to the following principles that turn the idea of those three extra decades into a reality.
Perform a Detailed Personal Profile and Risk Stratification
The trajectory of your lifespan is directly correlated to your family history, personal habits, and health patterns. This is why it’s so important to find a doctor who will take the time to define your unique profile.
Optimize Blood Glucose and Hunt for Signs of Metabolic Disease
If you’ve ever spent five minutes with me, you know my number one passion: optimizing blood sugar. Nothing else delivers a better return on your investment for improved health than balancing your blood sugar. Which is exactly why I call it the Holy Grail of Health.
You can’t achieve a comeback after 50 — or any age, really — without optimized blood glucose. Once you create a strategic plan to balance your blood sugar levels, you can reduce your chances of metabolic disease by eliminating your risk factors.
Find and Track Key Health Indicators
You can’t manage what you don’t measure, which is exactly why you need to find and track your Key Health Indicators. KHIs help you focus on the real pillars of longevity such as glucose levels, sleep, and activity.
Thanks to wearable health technology, it’s easier than ever before to gather and interpret data about your KHIs. Many available watches, bands, rings, and patches convert physiological and biochemical information into trackable digital data.
What Optimized Living Looks Like After 50
Most games have a definitive beginning and end. Whether it’s the Super Bowl or the 100th round of Candy Land with your kids, you know the game will eventually come to a close.
But not the game of being the best father, spouse, boss, friend, or human. That’s an infinite game that you’re always striving to perfect.
This is exactly why you can’t expect to get 30 years of results out of three months of effort. Your health is an infinite game. If you want to experience inspiring longevity and maximize the value of your time on Earth, you must commit to your health journey.
Your daily actions will become your long-term results. We are the product of our smallest habits and behaviors. Each small choice becomes the underpinning of our long-term outcomes. We can’t be perfect, of course, so it’s all about progress.
Focus on making micro-improvements to become better and better. Always envision the best version of yourself and work toward that goal. This creates momentum that overflows into other aspects of your life. It’s contagious in a good way! Suddenly, improved fitness translates into a more passionate relationship with your spouse, which spills into your energy in the workplace. It’s all interconnected.
If you can master this, you have the perfect investment. There’s no risk in trying to do better and be better. But there is an immediate benefit and dramatic long-term return on investment. Why squander that type of opportunity if it’s right in front of you?
Ultimately, only you can make this decision. This infinite game of longevity is the only life we have. How are you going to show up and play — for your loved ones, your community, and yourself?
If this speaks to you and inspires you to make a shift in your health, take action today. Find a trainer, a therapist, a nutritionist, a physician, anybody who can guide you to take action toward becoming the best version of yourself.
Start your comeback story!
Dr. Aaron Wenzel is a concierge physician specializing in the care of fast-moving entrepreneurs, executives, and public figures in the Nashville, TN area. Dr. Wenzel’s diverse life experience and extensive training in family medicine, emergency care, nutrition, and hormone replacement therapies give him the unique platform to provide unmatched care for his patients.