What does it take to live longer?
Here is what the science says:
1. A high V02 max equates to decreased mortality over time. In layman’s terms, the better your body is able to get oxygen into your system during exercise the longer you will live. This means having healthy lungs and a strong heart. (Don’t smoke, exercise more) Link here.
2. Low grip strength is a better predictor of mortality than high blood pressure. Link here. According to this study, each 11-pound decrease in grip strength over the course of the study was linked to a 16% higher risk of dying from any cause, a 17% higher risk of dying from heart disease, a 9% higher risk of stroke, and a 7% higher risk of a heart attack. (Add resistance/weight training to your exercise regimen)
3. A higher HRV (heart rate variability) leads to exceptional longevity. Your heart rate variability directly reflects the autonomic nervous system (particularly the parasympathetic nervous system.) This means that if you have a high HRV you have a high-functioning autonomic nervous system. Link here. Why is this important? Your autonomic nervous system regulates, controls, and coordinates all the unconscious functions of your body that allow you to maintain homeostasis—a pretty big deal. You can measure this through many different fitness trackers, including the Apple watch. (Measure your HRV, and develop HRV-friendly habits such as lowering alcohol consumption and stress management.)
When you are making your New Year’s resolutions this year, consider what matters most to your longevity and make a change!