These are the 3 habits you should have to stay young.
Staying young, both physically and mentally, offers a multitude of health benefits that extend beyond the pursuit of aesthetic appeal. First and foremost, maintaining a youthful lifestyle contributes to enhanced physical well-being. Regular exercise, a cornerstone of youthfulness, not only helps in maintaining a healthy weight but also boosts cardiovascular health, strengthens bones, and improves overall flexibility. These physical benefits, in turn, reduce the risk of chronic conditions and promote longevity.
Secondly, embracing a youthful mindset fosters mental resilience and cognitive well-being. Engaging in activities that challenge the mind, such as learning new skills or participating in social interactions, promotes neuroplasticity— the brain’s ability to adapt and grow. This can lead to improved memory, cognitive function, and a reduced risk of age-related cognitive decline. Moreover, a positive and curious mindset associated with youthfulness contributes to lower stress levels, better mental health, and an overall sense of vitality.
Lastly, the pursuit of staying young encourages healthy lifestyle habits, including proper nutrition and skincare. A well-balanced diet rich in antioxidants and nutrients supports cellular health, skin elasticity, and immune function. Adequate skincare, with practices such as sun protection and hydration, not only enhances external appearance but also promotes skin health, reducing the risk of skin-related issues. Ultimately, the holistic approach to staying young intertwines physical, mental, and lifestyle factors, fostering a comprehensive foundation for overall well-being.
But how can one simply explain 3 habits a person needs to stay young? Well, we leaned into a video shared by Brendan Jones, from the Goal Guys, and his journey to achieve better health and longevity.
The Goal Guys are two brothers (Brendan and Cam Jones) with a YouTube channel with more than 400,000 subscribers. They share videos in which they take on “different goals in fitness and productivity.”
Hang on as this is going to be a lengthy ride as we learn through Brendan’s eyes how and what he learned about longevity and health. Or you can just skip to the last paragraph to see Brendan’s takeaways on the 3 habits you need to stay young.
3 Habits You Should Have to Stay Young
Brendan Jones, a 24-year-old man, has been worried about getting older since his hairline started to recede. He’s afraid of getting wrinkles, losing strength, and running out of time to accomplish his goals. However, he’s been told that many of his fears about aging are unfounded. There are a few key habits he can adopt to slow down the aging process and one major change he can make to avoid living a shorter life.
In her book “True Age,” pathologist Dr. Morgan Levine argues that rather than looking at Brendan’s chronological age (how many years he’s been alive), he should instead focus his attention on his biological age, which tracks the rate at which his body is changing and breaking down over time. It sounds complicated to track all this information, but everything Brendan needs can be found in a simple blood test. By tracking these changes, it’s possible for Brendan to enjoy a full year of life while his biological age barely gets older.
Hoping to find his own affordable way to biohack his aging, Brendan read through Dr. Levine’s book and discovered he had a number of habits that might be causing him to age faster than he originally thought.
When it comes to decrease biological age, the key is to increase capacity for resilience. If you push yourself out of the comfort zone, your body’s response will go into a different mode where it restores and repairs itself.
This repeated cycle of stress and response tends to cause biological age to flatline so the body can remain fit and ready to take on whatever challenge comes its way.
Easily the most studied approach for creating a stress and response cycle to slow down aging can be achieved through diet. By changing how much, when, or just what foods to eat, researchers first found a link between diet and longevity when they began testing subjects on calorie-restricted diets. The subjects were still getting the levels of nutrition they needed, but they were doing so in a 20-calorie deficit until their bodies reached the low end of their ideal weight.
As someone who spent a decent amount of time trying to build muscle, the prospect of cutting until he’s 15 pounds lighter and below 140 pounds is not appealing at all to Brendan.
He then explores alternatives to traditional calorie restriction for extending his lifespan, discovering promising options like time-restricted eating and fasting. These methods trigger a stress-response cycle similar to calorie restriction without necessitating significant weight loss. A six-month study on time-restricted eating showcased participants testing two and a half years younger upon completion, actively reversing the aging process.
Seeking a manageable approach, Brendan finds time-restricted eating requires only willpower within a designated window of time. Diversifying his dietary strategy, Brendan reevaluates specific foods, uncovering that diets high in animal protein may accelerate aging. Considering plant-based protein sources like quinoa, lentils, or beans becomes an appealing substitute, aligning with his goal of extending life. This exploration signifies a pivotal step in Brendan’s journey toward a more mindful and intentional approach to nutrition and aging.
The second way he can apply short-term stress to his life in order to slow down the effects of Father Time, and that is through exercise. If he wants to live longer, he needs to work harder.
Brendan’s commitment to exercise is evident as his alarm blares at 2 AM, signaling the start of his running routine with unwavering dedication. However, moderation is the cornerstone of his approach to exercise longevity. Striking a balance that challenges his body without risking overtraining is crucial—no excuses, no quitting, but no compromising recovery.
Acknowledging the pitfalls of extreme training, Brendan opts for a more sustainable path. Ultra-marathon runners, studied for their aging patterns, revealed that pushing too hard could accelerate aging. The quest for longevity through exercise involves finding the sweet spot—pushing oneself without exceeding limits. Enter high-intensity interval training (HIIT), a program hailed by researchers for its ability to strike this balance effectively.
HIIT’s principle involves pushing to the maximum intensity for short bursts, followed by a break allowing the heart rate to settle back to around 60% of capacity. This cycle, coupled with resistance exercise, addresses the two vital components of long-term health: cardio and strength. Brendan’s commitment to this balanced and efficient exercise regimen underscores his dedication to optimizing his well-being for the journey ahead.
If Brendan knows how to slow down aging through the right diet and exercise, what are the areas of life that will cause his internal clock to tick faster, causing him to grow old ahead of his chronological age? Acknowledging the well-known culprits like smoking and binge drinking, Brendan focuses on the paradoxical relationship between moderate stress, daily stressors, and their impact on the aging process.
In Brendan’s exploration, he recognizes that while the key to slowing down aging lies in building resilience through moderate stress, the day-to-day stress in our lives seems to counterintuitively speed up our biological clocks. Work-related anxieties, financial stress, or the perennial feeling of time scarcity trigger the production of cortisol, initiating the body’s fight or flight response.
While cortisol itself is not inherently harmful, the problem arises when its production remains active throughout the day, fuelled by a ceaseless influx of text and email alerts, social commitments, and even concerns about the taste of a meatless chili. Brendan reflects on Dr. Levine’s insights, emphasizing that, despite our stable physical needs for shelter and food, the modern era introduces higher levels of daily stress, impacting sleep quality and compromising the immune system’s ability to ward off sickness and disease.
Understanding that reducing stress isn’t as straightforward as changing dietary habits or incorporating exercise, Brendan cites Stanford researchers who assert that transforming how stress is perceived can significantly alter its effects on health and performance. Individuals who embrace the positive aspects of stress, viewing it as an energy source and motivator, tend to perform better and experience positive health effects compared to those who solely perceive stress as a negative force to be avoided.
Brendan identifies a second key to mitigating the adverse impacts of stress—fostering a mindset that emphasizes the ability to succeed despite difficult circumstances and a willingness to reach out to others before feeling overwhelmed and run down. This insight leads Brendan to a broader societal observation, noting a sharp decrease in social connections and a rise in loneliness among young people. He laments the shift towards spending more time alone, a trend exacerbated by factors like technology, modern work culture, and urban environments fostering isolation.
Sharing a personal note about moving to a new city during lockdowns, Brendan admits to the challenges of building new connections and finding close friendships. Despite acknowledging the complexities of addressing societal changes contributing to loneliness, Brendan emphasizes the individual responsibility to invest effort in building and maintaining friendships. He encourages a shift in priorities, urging people to allocate time for social interactions alongside work, exercise, and personal pursuits.
In Brendan’s view, there’s no ideal number of friends, but the consensus suggests that maintaining three to six close relationships is sufficient for a rich and socially fulfilling life. While building connections may not be inherently easy, Brendan underscores the significance of starting with one or two meaningful connections, positioning individuals halfway towards a socially fulfilling life.
According to Brendan Jones’ exploration of staying young, three key habits include:
- Moderate Stress with Resilience Building:
- Embrace moderate stress that pushes individuals out of their comfort zones, fostering resilience.
- View stress as a positive force that energises and motivates rather than solely a negative to be avoided.
- Cultivate a mindset that emphasizes the ability to succeed despite difficult circumstances.
- Mindful Diet and Exercise:
- Adopt a diet that promotes longevity, considering factors like calorie restriction, time-restricted eating, and choosing plant-based proteins over heavy reliance on animal proteins.
- Engage in exercise with moderation, focusing on finding a balance that challenges the body without leading to overtraining.
- Incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and resistance exercise for optimal cardiovascular and strength benefits.
- Nurture Social Connections:
- Prioritise building and maintaining meaningful social connections.
- Acknowledge the importance of friendships for both mental and physical health.
- Actively invest time and effort in fostering social relationships, understanding that even a small handful of close connections can contribute to a socially fulfilling life.
Drawing inspiration from Dr. Levine’s book, Brendan’s biggest takeaway is the power of small changes. He rejects the notion that drastic measures like working out for six hours a day or spending millions of dollars are prerequisites for slowing the effects of aging. Instead, Brendan advocates for meaningful changes tailored to individual lifestyles and schedules, urging others not to let stress weigh them down. In a concluding note, Brendan reassures readers to embrace the aging process and not to panic when blowing out the candles on their birthdays.
These habits, according to Brendan, offer a holistic approach to slowing down the aging process, emphasizing the power of small changes tailored to individual lifestyles.
Watch his video below for all the information you want about these 3 habits you should have to stay young.
Related: 9 Simple Tips to Live Longer