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Longevity: Healthspan vs. Lifespan

Create space in your mind and soul to be open to new things and keep the feeling of living life for the first time each day alive in your heart.

Longevity is more than living a long life. Longevity is more than living a long life. Longevity is comprised of your healthspan (length of time you’re healthy) and lifespan (length of time your body is alive). Many of us seek to live a long life full of travel, time with family and friends, etc. but we forget that those “one day” things can only happen if our minds and body are healthy. Do people, do you, consider how you’ll do that in your healthiest mind and body?

This is where healthspan comes into play - focus now on living a healthy full life for as long as possible. It is possible to live a long life healthily if you start today - whether you’re 20 or 60 - the time is always NOW.

Consider prioritizing your healthspan longevity. If I were to offer a few ways to boost your healthspan this is what I’d start with:

  • The Gut

  • The Mind

  • The Movement

The Gut

The gut is at the core of your health. When things are awry it’s disturbing to the rest of the body, including the mind. Imagine when you’ve eaten a meal that makes you feel sluggish - it creates brain fog, you just want to sit until the overly full feeling passes, and you likely don’t want to do much. Imagine when you have a stomach ache - it makes it almost impossible to focus on anything else - it’s a silent killer.

So what does one need to have a healthy gut? You can try out pre and probiotics - it’s a craze thanks to social media and influencers and if you’re going to try one I’d recommend one of these - Seed / Ion. However, what I would really start with is the basics. Get in pre and probiotic foods like kimchi, cottage cheese, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir. Then, reset your gut with those good bacteria and whole healthy foods.

By this point, many of us have heard that there is a mind-body connection. Think of the last time you had a “gut-reaction” or you could feel intuition in your gut. This phenomena is absolutely real. “Our brain and gut are connected by an extensive network of neurons and a highway of chemicals and hormones that constantly provide feedback about how hungry we are, whether or not we’re experiencing stress, or if we’ve ingested a disease-causing microbe. This information superhighway is called the brain-gut axis and it provides constant updates on the state of affairs at your two ends. That sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach after looking at your post-holiday credit card bill is a vivid example of the brain-gut connection at work. You’re stressed and your gut knows it—immediately.” (Justin Sonnenburg + Erica Sonnenburg)

The Mind

So the next phase of ensuring a healthy lifespan would be to incorporate mindfulness practices. This could be morning journaling, reading self-help books, meditating, going to church, listening to morning and evening prayers from YouTube, doing tech-free hobbies like photography and art, visiting spaces in nature to see the beauty in the world, and so much more.

Create space in your mind and soul to be open to new things and keep the feeling of living life for the first day alive in your heart.

Create intention in your mind with your time. Be intentional about who you spend time with, where you spend your time, how you spend your time. Are you in a job you love, spending time with friends and family, and have a good work/social/home life balance? Odds are you are happy and feel like you are living life fully - which is the goal for us all right?

The mind is active constantly throughout every second of our life. Whether conscious, subconscious, or unconscious, our mind is working and the gears are spinning. Consider what you want your mind to be spinning it’s gears for. What if you could slow the gears down sometimes to consider what they’re spinning for… I’d recommend picking up the book The Untethered Soul and reading it once, but probably twice, to see what you can do to release the unnecessary thoughts and feelings to open your mind and soul up to the present and future.

“If you decide that you’re going to be happy from now on for the rest of your life, you will not only be happy, you will become enlightened. Once you decide you want to be unconditionally happy, something inevitably will happen that challenges you. This test of your commitment is exactly what stimulates spiritual growth.”

The Movement

There’s no secret that movement is critical to sustain a healthy life. Moving your body intentionally for just 15 minutes a day can reduce the risks and symptoms of anxiety, depression, brain fog, restlessness, and tiredness. It can raise endorphins, positive goal-oriented thinking, creativity, self-esteem. Overall it can reduce the risk of chronic disease and support a healthy balanced life. Maybe you don’t belong to a gym or fitness studio, maybe you pay for a monthly gym membership but don’t have time to go. Maybe you’ve gained weight and are too busy to spend time on losing it now, but will when you "have time" next month.

Maybe if you start walking 15 minutes every morning and/or evening for one, two, three, or four weeks, you’ll feel a transformational shift in your mind, body, and soul and it will catapult your into the phase of life you’ve been waiting for.

Movement can stimulate great change in life. A yoga class can bring alignment and a message that you needed to hear at the exact time you needed to hear it. A HIIT workout can push you past what you ever thought you could do so then you carry that into your life and surpass work/family hurdles with ease. A walk can shine sunshine on your face, lower your stress and raise your endorphins making you feel content with happiness at the start or end of your day. Simple things can have a lasting impact and create a lifelong ripple effect in your mind, body and soul.

A few resources to consider

The Longevity Paradox explores ways to live a longer, healthier life and “die young” as a senior, instead of having to go through illnesses, all by focusing on the microbiome and improving our lifestyle as heart surgeon Steven Grundy suggests.

The ultimate guide on how to build and integrate healthy habits into your diet and lifestyle, revealing a more positive, balanced, and invigorating approach to long lasting health.

With modern “healthy” diets constantly flip-flopping on what foods to eat and focusing on restricting calories, individuals can be left confused, defeated, and unsatisfied. This new book by acclaimed macrobiotic health and nutritional experts Denny and Susan Waxman leaves all negativity behind and brings to light a positive outlook on building one healthy habit at a time. “Great health is not achieved by taking away and restricting—it is achieved by adding healthier foods and lifestyle practices. One healthy choice leads to another healthy choice,” says Denny Waxman.

Based on the latest scientific research, How Not To Die examines each of the most common diseases to reveal what, how and why different foods affect us, and how increasing our consumption of certain foods and avoiding others can dramatically reduce our risk of falling sick and even reverse the effects of disease.


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