This post is an email that was sent to my newsletter subscribers on February 15, 2023.
Today I am grateful for my 10-year-old car with 140k miles. This modern(ish) machine makes all the things that I love in my life possible. It gives me access opportunities that would be difficult to get without it. I am able to drive to play volleyball. To a trailhead in the mountains (as long as it isn’t snowing). To far off lands to see new places and visit familiar faces.
I know next to nothing about cars except for the fact that they 1.) are expensive and 2.) wear out and get old. Oh, and 3.) I take good care of it, it will continue to serve me well for many years to come. Something my dad first told me when he taught me how to drive. Like a hundred years ago.
You know what else gets old and needs a little TLC to extend it’s life? The human body.
Sport scientists predict the peak age of most elite athletes to be between 28 and 32 years old. After that, physical performance begins to decline about 2% each year.
Of course there are the outliers that seem to defy these statistics. Pro footballer Tom Brady retired for the second time at age 45. Beach volleyball Olympian Jake Gibb also announced his retirement at the same age. But even the genetic freaks like these two can’t do some of the things they could in their 20s. Why? Because aging is inevitable.
I want to be one of those people that subscribes to the “aging gracefully” philosophy. Honestly, I’d be lying if I said I did.
I don’t want to age gracefully.
I don’t want to age at all.
I want to anti-age.
As evidence, you could take a quick peek in my bathroom cabinet. Just about every skincare product I use has some version of “anti-aging” written on the label. Also as evidence is the amount of money I’ve spent on esthetician services in the last year…
But I digress.
I know that I’m not alone in this way of thinking because the anti-aging industry is growing at an astronomical rate. Med-spas are popping up everywhere.
Shrink those stubborn stretch marks!
Eliminate age spots once and for all!
Injections, lasers, chemical peels…oh my! (I’m a huge fan of laser facials, btw!)
The anti-aging technologies used at these places are advancing faster than iPhones and are infiltrating our society at a rapid rate.
And the majority of contributors in this $55 billion industry are between 35 and 55 years old. *raises hand emoji*
Unlike cars, I can’t trade in my body for a newer, upgraded model once it breaks down. That means I’ve got to work with the one I have.
Regular car maintenance can influence the way that my car functions and for how long. My lifestyle choices have the power to influence how my body looks, feels, performs…and for how long.
There are choices I can make that will speed up my body’s natural aging process. But! There are also choices that I can make that will slow it down. You can learn more about these different lifestyle choices here.
Scientific evidence of specific lifestyle interventions that delay aging is still in the works. But most agree we can pump the brakes on aging by reducing aging accelerators and increasing aging delayers.
Thus resulting in the following anti-aging formula:
Rate of aging = Σ (aging delayers) – Σ (aging accelerators)
If the rate of aging is negative, then you’re slowing down your body’s aging process. If the rate of aging is positive, then you’re speeding up your body’s aging process.
In other, less geeky words…
If you want to slow down aging, you must make more lifestyle choices that delay aging than choices that speed it up.
And for the 30+ athletes out there…
If you want to look, feel and perform your best, you need to implement as many aging delayers as possible.
Here are some of the aging delayers that I’ve chosen to try out recently:
Fast for a 16 hour period at least 3 days per week
Get outside and moving by walking my dog within 30 minutes of waking up
Consume lots of micronutrients (including vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals)
Strength train 4 days per week + at least 3 days of high-intensity cardio
Over the next few weeks I’ll dive deeper into why I’m choosing to do these things. In the mean time, check out my latest blog post which answers:
What happens to the body as it ages and what does that mean for athletic performance?
What lifestyle choices might I be doing that are accelerating aging?
What lifestyle interventions can I adopt to slow down the aging process?
Have a great week!
Adult Athletes Playbook
A Guide to Peak Performance and Athletic Longevity
This playbook will help you develop and implement a personalized game plan for improving athletic performance.