Human Health and Longevity

Human Health and Longevity

We are living in a time of scientific discovery so revolutionary that it soon could change the course of the human race. Once we dreamed of flying like the birds, rising up and dancing with the gods. Now an even older dream is about to come true. If we are short of attaining immortality, we are on the verge of prolonging life by slowing down aging.

- from the PBS documentary: "Stealing Time"

I want to live to be 120. My doctor tells me that is the current, realistic maximum life expectancy of healthy human beings. Now, I've got to work at this. I'm not the healthiest person on earth at the moment. But, I believe it is possible and, if you are going to live, why not strive to live forever? Even if that goal is currently beyond reach, who's to say what science will come up with in the next 40 or 50 years?

In the past century the average life expectancy in the developed world has increased from 47 years to over 76. In 1960, there were fewer than 5,000 people in the United States over the age of 100. Today there are over 70,000 and by the year 2010 it is estimated that there will be more than 160,000 centenarians, an increase of more than 125% in the next 10 years! What's more, the U.S. Census Bureau states that there will be 834,000 American centenarians by 2050. Let's see, I'll be 91 then, so I still won't qualify.

Most folks over 100 are living today because of advances in medicine and good genes to start with, but they haven't necessarily worked at a "healthy lifestyle" over the course of their lives. The concept of "health for longevity" is a fairly recent phenomenon and certainly doesn't account for the increased number of centenarians.

Now, place this longevity trend in the context of a person living healthily (proper nutrition, exercise, productive stress levels, safe living practices, etc.) over the course of several decades. As that person takes care of their body and mind, medicine will continue to advance, at perhaps a more rapid pace. Does 120 seem so incredible?

Michael Rose, an Evolutionary Biogerontologist, makes the following prediction: "Mankind will postpone human aging substantially in the future, doubling the human lifespan at least, when we have accomplished this we will be ashamed that we did not work on it much sooner." Of course, there's always the possiblity of meeting one's demise in a traffic accident or being struck by lightning or falling victim to any of a number of biological quirks. But, these things don't happen to most of us. Most of us have the opportunity to live longer, healthier lives. And if I only make it to 95 or 105, at least I did all I could to live well.

There seems to me to be a good, basic philosophy for living contained somewhere in that.

This page is devoted to my personal quest for a "healthy" life. I have certain health problems that I am addressing. I am not some kind of physical or mental superman. I'm a normal guy with various medical issues to face (some more major than others.) Yet, none of it is life threatening. So I deal with my problems, I pay attention to nutrition and exercise. I stay mentally active. What else can I do if the possibility of human longevity interests me?

In the future I will share some of my personal health challenges here. I will also share what I have learned along the way. This is kind of a sporadic diary for those interested. Perhaps you will learn something as well. Or perhaps I can learn from you. It's a journey. Hopefully a LONG one. Come along.

Things I will write about Health...(all forthcoming)

My own health issues and challenges.
My personal exercise and nutrition program.
The importance of genetics.
Longevity research and the human spirit.
The ethics of human longevity.
Health and longevity fraud.

Health and Longevity Links...

American Society on Aging: For over 40 years, the American Society on Aging has been an active and effective resource for professionals in aging and aging-related fields who want to enhance their ability to promote the well-being of aging people and their families.

The Duke University Diet and Fitness Center: This site offers a complete program that is a lifestyle, not a diet. It is based on sound scientific principles and experience, not the latest fad. The Diet and Fitness Center focuses on each of the four essential components of successful weight management and lifestyle change: nutrition, fitness, lifestyle counseling, and medical management.

Fast Food Facts: How many calories are in a Big Mac? Is there a lot of cholesterol in a Taco Bell taco? Fast Food Facts offers nutritional information for over 1,000 different fast food items.

Fitness Fundamentals: Developed by the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Good, basic information on various aspects of exercise and fitness. Includes workout schedule guidelines.

HealthWorld Online: A complete cyberspace health resource. Includes a large library of health and nutrition related information with a powerful search engine. There's a disease center, healing center, fitness center, and wellness center. Other pages cover alternative medicine, health discussion, and an E-newsletter.

Immortality, Inc. "Being born is not a crime, so why must it carry a sentence of death?" The latest news, books, therapy's, insights and links on well researched, scientifically based and critically evaluated human longevity analysis.

The Life Extension Foundation: The world's largest organization dedicated to scientific methods to slow and reverse aging. LEF has a 19 year history of introducing life saving medical discoveries and funding scientific research.

The Life Extension Manual: By Jerry Emanuelson of Colorado Futurescience, Inc. An excellent resource on attaining a healthier, longer standard of living. This article was very influential on me when I initially developed and interest in health and longevity. A very complete overview of the causes of aging, anti-aging supplements, developing technologies, and suggestions for further reading. Highly recommended.

The Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator: This fun little gadget was designed to translate what has been learned from studies of centenarians and other longevity research into a practical and empowering tool for individuals to estimate their longevity potential.

Los Gatos Longevity Institute: The first and foremost provider of Longevity and Anti-Aging Medicine in Northern California -- dedicated to the proposition that "Aging is a Treatable Condition."

The National Institute on Aging: The NIA is America's leader in sponsoring and directing the aging research agenda. Its Web site not only provides information on research opportunities, it also gives important authoritative commentary about recent research findings and other age-related issues spanning the full spectrum of gerontology.

The Nutritional Encyclopedia: Get detailed information on hundreds of nutrients, additives, and more.

Palm Springs Life Extension Institute: Physicians used to believe that our hormone levels fall because we age. Now most acknowledge that we age because our hormone levels fall. By restoring your hormones to young-adult levels, Palm Springs Life Extension Institute believes it can help you avoid age-related illnesses, reverse your biological age, extend your life expectancy, and significantly improve the quality of your additional years.

The Powersurge Web Site: Publishers of books and other media about physical immortality, about surpassing perceived limitations, and about human transformation.

You Are What You Eat: This Web site provides introductory and in-depth information about nutrition. Be sure to use the interactive Nutritional Profile Generator, an age-targeted guide to nutrition. In addition, the USDA's The Food Guide Pyramid is an excellent set of guidelines for planning a nutritious lifestyle.

The Vitamin Express Quick Nutrient Information Index: Use this page to find information about nutrients. Quickly access the information you are looking for by clicking on the first letter of your subject of interest. Or use the Search Box to find all occurrences of your topic in the Vitamin Express Web Site.

World Health Network: The official site of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. A dynamic and powerful resource on the internet dedicated to health, vitality, and longevity.

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