Home Grow Turns Out You Don't Have to Spend Millions to Reverse Aging

Turns Out You Don't Have to Spend Millions to Reverse Aging

Tech titans are spending millions to stay youthful. Science suggests you can get the same results with a gym membership and a salad.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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A few months ago, the story of Bryan Johnson took the internet by storm. A wealthy tech entrepreneur, Johnson is spending literal millions on an elaborate and unpleasant-sounding health regime to try to reverse his "biological age" (meaning the age of your body according to scientific tests of how much wear and tear it has sustained, not the number of years you've been alive). 

I suspect this story fascinated many of us because of what it said about the mindset of some of the people building our tech-enabled future. And also because, even if you're a little more humble and farsighted than the average tech titan, who doesn't want to live a longer, healthier life

The appeal of Johnson's oddball quest may be clear, but does his experience mean we non-millionaires are doomed to age at whatever rate our genetics have destined for us? Is there such a thing as antiaging for the rest of us?

How to make your brain work like it's 30 years younger 

Just a little bit of nosing around among scientific research on the internet is enough to show that slowing or even reversing aging doesn't require a team of 30 medical experts and a $1.5 million annual price tag. Only a few months ago, for instance, I wrote about a study highlighted in Scientific American showing that it is possible to get your brain to work like it's 30 years younger

What advanced technique or involved regime is needed to achieve this startling improvement? Simply signing up for a continuing education class later in life to keep your mind challenged. 

Three months of conjugating Spanish verbs or improving their cha-cha "enhanced participants' memory and attention so drastically that their abilities came to resemble those of adults 30 years younger at the program's end," wrote the psychologists behind the study. 

For costs, contact your local community college or ballroom dance school, but I'm willing to bet the total will be far less than seven figures. 

Slowing physical aging can be equally simple  

But that's just the brain, you might object. What about the body? Then I point you to a fascinating recent Fortune Well article highlighting the successful antiaging efforts of middle-class, 55-year-old, single mother Julie Gibson Clark.

She's currently in second place in something called the Rejuvenation Olympics, a ranking of people reducing the speed of their aging, conceived by Johnson and a longevity-focused doctor. Johnson himself is currently out of contention for a medal in sixth place in his own competition. 

What is Clark's secret? She eats a lot of vegetables, limits sugar, and works out five days a week doing a mix of strength training and cardio. On the weekend, she indulges in active pursuits like pickleball or hiking. She also likes a weekly sauna session, followed by a cold shower. And probably not incidentally, she seems extremely close to her son (more on the role of loving relationships in health here). Total cost: $29 a month for a gym subscription and $79 for supplements. 

Turning back the clock doesn't require millions 

Clark could, of course, be some kind of genetic freak with an extreme gift for antiaging. The other possibility is that the Bryan Johnsons of the world are maybe going a little over the top for reasons that have more to do with their extreme personalities than the current state of science. It seems quite possible that fancy "reverse aging" regimes aren't such a huge improvement on pursuing a standard, if rigorously followed, healthy lifestyle plan.

After all, studies keep showing that switching to a Mediterranean-type diet rich in plants and whole grains (and low in Cheetos and candy) can help you live up to a decade longer. Walking just two hours over the course of a week has been linked with significant increases in life expectancyAdopt a dog and you'll get that without thinking about it.   

So go ahead and go wild with your health interventions if that seems fun to you. It's your money and your body. Do with them as you like. But please don't conclude from Johnson's story that you need to spend huge sums and subject yourself to vile breakfast smoothies to slow aging. A nice salad and some resistance training at the gym seem likely to get you nearly as far as tech billionaires' extreme interventions.

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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