Crush the Clock: Life Span vs Health Span

So what is the difference between lifespan and health span and why does it matter in the science of longevity?

Life span refers to the length of your life, simply put, how long you are able to walk this planet earth. It is an essential metric, but it doesn’t paint the complete picture.

Health span, on the other hand, focuses on the quality of those years—the period of time you enjoy vibrant health, vitality, and a high level of physical and mental wellbeing.

Stress is a killer of one’s health span, so is burnout and I’ve seen it happening 24/7 in the corporate corridors.

As we unlock the elements of longevity, it becomes crucial to acknowledge, differentiate and address both dimensions.

It’s easy to be overly critical of ourselves, especially when it comes to caring for our loved ones. However, perfection is an unrealistic standard, and caregiving is filled with unpredictable twists and turns. Embracing imperfection doesn’t signify a lack of effort; rather, it’s a recognition that you’re navigating uncharted territory with love and dedication.

How can you play your part in enhancing your health span?

I like practical and key takeaways so how can you apply this wisdom in your daily life?

It starts with nurturing your body and mind through scientifically proven practices.

You know the drill – move your body regularly, enjoy colourful nourishing edibles, stress less and get your quality sleep to rejuvenate and clean your brain overnight.

Here’s what you can do in a typical day:

1. Get a move on.

Move your body first thing every morning. Have a brisk walk, a short workout session, or stretch, every little bit helps.  Telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, play a role in cellular ageing. So when you move your body like a boss, and combine it with stressing less and eating well it can influence telomere length.

2. Drink up.

Stay hydrated by drinking pure water. Your body has a gazillion cells so fill them up. 

Think of your body like a team of workers. Over time, some of these workers become tired and can’t do their jobs properly. In your body, cells can become “tired” and stop working as well, which is called cellular senescence.  It’s where cells lose their ability to divide and function properly, and it’s also a hallmark of ageing.  

This can lead to problems like inflammation and diseases. Taking better care of your body can help keep your cells working like high-performing team members for longer.  

3. Step away from your desk.

Don’t sit on your booty for long periods, it has a negative impact on your life and health span. Plus it flattens your backside and nobody wants a flat backside.

4. Breathe well and properly. 

I use the 4-7-8 method. In through your nose for 4, hold for 7 and slowly release through your nose or mouth for 8 counts. 

I prefer to breathe in and out through my nose instead of my mouth in my breathwork practice, it’s harder but in my experience, it’s more effective in the long run.
5. Come face to face.

Connect with a friend via a break, text, phone call or in-person – remember those face to face interactions?

6. Decide to be a lifelong learner. 

Your mind longs for stimulation and many people are plain bored with themselves and their lives. Engage in intellectually stimulating conversations, read, solve a problem (especially your own) and uplevel your cognitive health in the process.

7. Protect yourself better with boundaries.

Keep your boundaries in check. Don’t confuse this with having a wall up – that is not a boundary, it’s a wall and there is a difference.  If you want to learn how to do that then click here for my next Masterclass.

Science is sexy…

Beyond these fundamental pillars, cutting-edge research has uncovered promising avenues for enhancing health span. From the fascinating field of cellular rejuvenation, there are scientists at the forefront of these discoveries and I’m watching this space.  You should too.  

Here’s a thought for you: a  vibrant and meaningful life is within your grasp. 

By appreciating the distinction between life span and health span, and by adopting evidence-based strategies, and tailoring the tried, tested and proven ways above to fit your lifestyle, you can make a difference with longevity as your guiding north star.

Take one of the tips above and get started today.

And please, do not underestimate the power of tiny consistent changes.

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