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Fundamentals of healthy lifestyle

Updated: Feb 24

The foundational principle anchors www.secondopinionplus.org rejects attempts to make specific recommendations regarding lifestyle modifications needed to promote a longer, healthier life.

In another blog, the scientific basis of aging and senescence is elucidated, followed by a look at the factors to consider in making lifestyle modifications for longevity.

The following is a temptation to be almost hypocritical and a simple ‘appetizer’ to frame the mind. It is not a recommendation but a guide.

The fundamental paradigm in lifestyle medicine has become methodically streamlined to elementary principles.

In summary, individuals can restructure their health towards longevity with an unimaginable health span using the pillars summed up in MUSCLE, MOUTH & MIND as the focus.


MUSCLE

The muscle aspect of lifestyle change is perhaps the most popular and the simplest, yet it is the most

frustrating for most individuals

frustrating to sustain medium to long term. Except for the few weeks after new year resolutions, the frustration often arises because of too much emphasis by so-called gym trainers) has been put on quantity rather than quality as suggested by scientific evidence.

The suggested recommendation based on research is that to improve towards optimal health, a person needs to ‘move.’

To move to involves getting out of the comfort zone of work or home and stimulating the actin-tropomyosin proteins fired by the ATP-producing oxidative phosphorylation and oxidative chains of mitochondria in a ‘different way’ other than routine activities.


For instance, a security guard with lots of walking and rounds at work needs to change that routine so that muscles can ‘sense a difference.’ So, climbing, swimming or intermittent short runs, etc., are recommended for this person. This is the basis of High-Intensity Interval Training HIIT.

Therefore the exercise routines considered adequate for maximum impact on health have to be ‘something different’ outside of individual comfort zone but made simple enough not to seem to be a ‘drill.’ This is also the reason why ‘group-based’ exercise may not benefit everyone. It has to be individualized based on physiological status.

Individuals over 40 years of age should include exercises involving isometrical contraction of muscles (strength exercises) as part of the regime for 30% of the exercise period.


The total period should be a minimum of 30 minutes for a minimum of 3 days in the week.

The overall benefits of exercise are translated into improving cardiopulmonary function leading to optimal brain oxygenations. Increasing muscle tone and residual metabolic efficiency resulting in activation of the tuning of the Insulin-IGF 2 downregulation on the epigenetic factors that create the environment for delayed aging

MOUTH

The mouth must reduce the amount of sugar and saturated fats a person eats. Stop smoking, minimize salt, and moderate spirit alcoholic beverages! (Reduce 5 Ss )

Too much sugar has been linked to dementia, and they glycosylate various peptides and induce insulin suppression of cell regeneration, as highlighted in multiple articles on this blog.

High polyunsaturated fatty foods promote the development of plaque that narrows the arteries and veins and makes circulation to and in organs difficult, especially the heart and the brain.

The best way to recommend dietary habits is to categorically state that regarding quantity, the science incontrovertibly shows that ‘caloric restriction’ of up to 30% of your calculated daily allowance leads to a longer, more youthful life.

The quality of the diet itself should also be plant-based as much as possible.

Secondopinionplus recommends a general dietary habit that includes the mnemonic.


‘Greens & FLOBS no sugar and meats’


Greens include all green leafy vegetables, however. However, science has established the benefit of the cruciferous family, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, spinach, and all green vegetables.

FLOBS are Fruits- including mostly deep-colored, highly scented fruits and berries

Legumes -including all edible tolerable beans

Onions also include underground Turmeric and Ginger

Bulbs -like Garlic, carrots, and potatoes. It is also necessary to add Mushrooms here

Seeds-and grains are the most underrated engine rooms of longevity and lifestyle diets

Go nuts with nuts and grains is not a cliché.’

No sugar and meats are a recommendation that can never be over-emphasized.

The Alzheimer’s Association reports that research establishes that the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet, which strongly recommends leafy green vegetables, low-fat dairy, fresh fruits, and berries, are essential measures to sustain a healthy lifestyle toward longevity and improved healthspan. It includes whole grains, fish, beans, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oils. Just as earlier recommended, DASH limits salts, sugar, sugary beverages, and red meats.

In a similar dietary model, the Mediterranean Diet is widespread. Again, strong scientific foundations emphasize whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish, nuts, olive oil, and other healthy fats. It specifically recommends that Red meat should only be eaten once or twice a month.

Science is factual, so most of these recommendations are based on studies that have consistently shown similar results across species separated by more than 1.5 million years of genetic evolution, including mammals.

MIND


The brain and its functional modulating component- the mind, is perhaps the most critical aspect of beneficial lifestyle modification. It creates the bedrock on which the mouth and the muscle must rest to make healthy lifestyle modifications both comfortable and ultimately sustainable.

Healthy lifestyle changes must also create a mindset and trigger the development of mental space to include spiritual and social requirements that have also been identified by scientific studies for a longer, happier, healthier life.

The social network of friends and family that come together for a good time of interactions and maintaining communications with those far away has been consistent in affecting longevity, as shown in both prospective and observational studies.


Personal interactive love relationships and marriage ( harmonious marriage) positively affect lifespan. However, its influence on healthspan has not been conclusive from data.

Therefore, keeping a positive mindset, optimism, and reducing sympathetic outflow caused by stress are necessary if all other measures are beneficial.

Caloric restriction by fasting or calory reduction and a nutrient-dense plant-based diet with fruits and nuts is the core recommendations. It is also important to avoid sugar and saturated fatty food; include moderate-high-intensity interval cardiovascular exercises with strength training for those above 40 years.


In addition, drinking red wine in moderation improves healthspan because it contains polyphenols, especially Resveratrol found in the skin of red grapes and has been found to influence the epigenetic modulation of longevity in the same way as novel molecules ( to be discussed later) It is also beneficial to heart and brain health and has been linked to slowing aging.


Though polyphenols in red wine act like antioxidants that protect the body by inducing healthy regeneration of cells, the alcohol in the wine are toxic to nerves, so consumption has to be moderate.

Therefore the MOUTH, the MUSCLE, and the MIND hold the secrets of longevity.

The science is here (click below)



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