Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Best Exercises for Longevity


Confirming everything I have ever said about exercise: 

Direct quote from Dr. Peter Attia:

“Exercise is the single most important longevity drug we have, bar none.”

Ponder that and note the following which he emphasizes, and which I have been saying for a long time.

Cardio and strength (not muscle mass) are by far the two best predictors of longevity. It isn’t close.

Cardio is the biggest impact on longevity, with a 5x reduction in all-cause mortality — dying from any reason — but strength is important too, with a 3x reduction, so it’s best to do both with cardio as your base. The ideal is biking (stationary is okay) 4x per week for 45 minutes (which is exactly what my ideal goal has always been, coincidentally). He does not discuss walking but my own take is that walking is far better than doing nothing, but biking, swimming, or running are ideal.

For strength the biggest predictors of longevity are grip, dead arm hang, and quads strength (body squats with a basic test of how quickly you can get up from a chair five times in a row). His testing only splits people into “high” vs. “low” strength so that’s where the 3x reduction in mortality applies, no further breakdown is available. Still, what more do you need to know? Work on your grip, your dead arm hang, and body squats, first and foremost. These are lifestyle exercises, too. Everything becomes easier with strong hands, forearms, legs, and core.

And as he notes, and I have always said, by far the biggest “bang for your buck” is in the change from doing nothing to doing something, not in going from doing something to doing a lot. Avoid sloth — it’s a sin, and not good for your health either. Just aim for moderately active, consistently. If 4 x 45 minutes per week is too difficult at first, or due to age or infirmity, try for 3 x 30 minutes per week.

The first step is always the hardest. Make yourself do that, the rest will be easier.