Habit Changes that Impact Healthspan

While 2020 seemed to drag on forever, many people have found that 2021 is speeding by at a record pace.  Soon it will be the holiday season and time to start thinking about New Year’s resolutions.  But you don’t have to wait until December 31 to begin making small habit changes that can have a significant impact on health and longevity. 

Longevity and aging researcher Dr. Brian Kennedy, a professor of Biochemistry and Physiology at the National University of Singapore, focuses much of his work on disease prevention and how simple changes in habits can slow down the aging process.  His work explores in depth how food choices, exercises, supplements, and other lifestyle habits influence longevity and chronic health conditions. 

Kennedy uses biomarkers such as walking speed, grip strength, and pulse wave velocity to evaluate a person’s biological age and determine if they are aging better or worse than their true chronological age.  He focuses on sustainable habits that can have an impact on successful aging and disease prevention beginning with an exercise program that adults can stick with, a healthy diet, stress management, and sleep. 

While caloric restriction may work for some people to lower their biological age, provided they are getting the proper micronutrients, for most adults, it’s not sustainable.  Intermittent fasting, however, is an approach Kennedy believes is easier for people to sustain and will likely offer aging benefits.  By narrowing the span of time during which one ingests food, the body has a chance to burn fat for fuel which may result in weight loss. Intermittent fasting is also associated with improved memory and thinking, a reduced risk for heart disease, better physical performance, and tissue health.

Learn more about the concepts and research behind longevity science by following the podcast Longevity by Design.