💡 Life Tip - Choose Vitality Over Longevity
An active life is better than a long life (although you may live longer, too)
Have you read about the immortal mice?
Ok, I’m exaggerating a little. They’re not immortal — yet. But, scientist recently published research that they successfully reversed aging in lab mice.
“In Boston labs, old, blind mice have regained their eyesight, developed smarter, younger brains and built healthier muscle and kidney tissue.” - source
It generated some interesting conversations in my family over the weekend about aging, longevity, and quality of life.
Would you want to live forever?
Would you still want to live forever if your quality of life wasn’t the greatest?
Would you rather have a shorter life with an active lifestyle or a longer life with an inactive lifestyle in your final years?
Luckily, my wife and I are on the same page. We’re in our 50s and enjoy a very active lifestyle: skiing, hiking, lifting weights, running, traveling, etc. For example, we just went skiing a couple of days last week and did our best to keep up with our 19-year-old son (not easy, and sometimes scary 🤣).
We are going to keep pushing ourselves and doing things that some of our friends think are crazy (e.g., my wife really wants to run an ultra-marathon). We also agree that we don’t want extraordinary lifesaving measures if something goes wrong later in life (e.g., no chemo or heart replacement surgery after 80). Obviously, this decision is personal, and many people don’t agree with it.
However, given who we are and how we live, we don’t see the point of living to be 100 if we can no longer go out and about and enjoy time with our family. We love being able to lift heavy things, run long distances, ski, and all the other things that come with being fit and healthy.
I know that my life is just better in almost every way (physical, cognitive, emotional, and my marriage) ever since I lost 40 lbs about 13 years ago and committed to working out every day.
The good news is the very behaviors that make an active lifestyle fun also repair your epigenome.
A healthy diet.
Exercising and lifting weights.
Reducing stress in your life.
Having fun with the people you enjoy being around.
As you grow older, focus on living an exciting, active, and vital life. Don’t just try to live a “long life.” Instead, let that be a happy byproduct of your activity!
Larry Cornett received his Ph.D. in Psychology from Rice University. He spent decades in the Silicon Valley tech industry as a designer, Design leader, Product executive, and startup founder. He eventually left the corporate world to start a coaching practice and now lives in Northern California near Lake Tahoe with his wife and a gigantic Great Dane. He does his best to share advice to help others create their own invincible lives. He's also on Mastodon.