Aiming for 130 to reach longevity escape velocity
Disclaimer: This longevity escape velocity survival plan should not be taken as medical advice. It describes my personal strategies and tools for staving off aging and death. I base my plan solely on scientific research and will do my best to quote sources consistently. All life is precious and I wish that everyone could keep theirs. This plan is a work in progress and will be modified as new knowledge comes to light. You are welcome along for the ride at your own discretion. You are also very welcome to suggest corrections or improvements to the plan.
How I plan to reach 130 it and why it will work
The longest authenticated human lifespan to date is 122 years (Jeanne Louise Calment). Even if she was purposely trying to live as long as possible, she didn’t have the resources that we have today. With constantly increasing knowledge about healthy living, good access to healthcare, scientific advances, new anti-aging therapies (existing and upcoming) we can realistically aim for the currently living generations to reach at least 130 years – with active effort.
With the current pace of advances in science and technology (epigenetic reprogramming of cells, gene therapies, artificial intelligence), it’s beginning to look very likely that humanity will reach the longevity escape velocity (biological immortality) within the next 20-40 years – lab mice even sooner. If history is any indication, then every passing decade brings new radical therapies which were previously thought to be impossible.
The purpose of this survival plan is to help us reach at least 130 years in the best possible shape, by utilizing all the knowledge and technologies presently available. While we aim for 130, this puts us well within the range for the anticipated longevity escape velocity. In essence, aiming for 130 is baby steps towards biological immortality.
Let’s, however, act as if the longevity escape velocity will never happen unless we do something, and then do everything we can to reach it. It doesn’t matter who you are and what you do – if you would like to stay alive we are on the same team, so let’s contribute to the best of our abilities. People on a mission can bring change rapidly. Everyone has talents, we just have to find ways to direct them towards this common goal. We might want to postpone hobbies and other non-essential work for later when our time stops running out. At the moment our period of adequate mental energy and clarity is limited and expiring. If we are going to do something, now is the time.
I suggest you take a look at the section why we age before you proceed. If you are serious about health and longevity you should understand what is going on with our bodies.
The 130 years survival plan
At the moment our existing tools are relatively primitive for what we aim to achieve, but they are all we have and will do fine for now. Sure, there are some more advanced, experimental tools in the works, which are being tested on animals to determine if they are viable for us. Personally I’m not yet in such a pressing need, to risk testing them on myself before they have been proven safe by time. Your body might be further along on the damage scale so your situation and reasoning could be different. Drastic situations require drastic measures. The imminent loss of health and life is as drastic as it gets.
This longevity escape velocity survival plan currently consists of the following:
- Avoid speeding up the aging process
- Employ methods that slow down the aging process
- Contribute to humanity’s drive towards reaching the longevity escape velocity
Our cells, organs and the entire body are highly adaptive to the environment and internal circumstances. Everything we do or experience causes changes on a cellular level. Some changes are instantly noticeable (chills, emotions, inflammation, feeling energetic, pain, etc) while the more subtle ones become noticeable when they build up (any system dysfunction or improved function, etc). Our systems try to always keep us in an optimal state considering all circumstances. For example, if your lifestyle involves regular rock climbing your muscles will strengthen, endurance will increase and your brain will perfect the dexterity for climbing. After a while, such a person’s physique will be visibly different when compared to someone with a completely different lifestyle. Our cells come with the blueprint (DNA) for everything that they could be required to do. Being able to quickly find the appropriate sections of the blueprint and correctly following through is governed by the epigenome – a collective name for proteins which take care of the DNA and control expression of genes.
Our cells take instructions from the epigenome which takes instructions from the circumstances we put ourselves in. We can thus design the circumstances in such a way to achieve the desired changes on a cellular level. In other words, do what is beneficial and avoid doing what is harmful to the aging process. A good example of how circumstances create changes on a cellular level is bodybuilding. The person makes his body believe, that the environment is extremely harsh and surviving involves moving of heavy objects. The body gradually adapts by strengthening bones, muscles, and various mental coping mechanisms to get the person to persist. To other people around him, the bodybuilder then looks like an alien from a world where gravity is much stronger and life more difficult.
So let’s figure out:
a) which circumstances we need to avoid in order to reduce the speed of damage accumulation to our tissues
b) which circumstances we need to put ourselves into, to induce and increase our capacity for damage repair
Dos and don’ts of aging
Sedentariness (being lazy, inactive lifestyle)
Your entire body, down to the last cell is on a mission to do something and is constantly waiting for your instructions. If there are no instructions, the cells are left to improvise. If you don’t keep all your systems constructively busy there is a high likelihood they will randomly turn destructive.
Your entire body, down to the last cell is on a mission to do something and is constantly waiting for your instructions on what needs to be done. If you don’t keep all your systems constructively busy they will randomly turn destructive due to substituting uselessness with improvisation. This spans from philosophical to biological aspects. You were not born to sit around and wait for decay. You have limited time to do with it what you can. Your cells are your soldiers and are waiting for instructions. They work beautifully and efficiently when there is a clear mission but start to mess around when the mission is over. Here is a working example: Take two retired grandmothers. One is knitting, watching TV and waiting for the grim reaper. The other has a grandchild to raise because she is a surrogate mother due to unavoidable circumstances. One is on a mission and her cells know it, the other is gradually powering down her systems because the captain is leaving the ship.
Resting is necessary, but if you are always low on energy, there is probably a problem that needs to be solved before it’s too late (more on this in other sections).
What you can do today: Keep all your systems busy. Move. If your job involves a lot of sitting, what can prevent you from doing 10 jumping jacks once per hour or even more often? Use stairs rather than lifts. At home, move around in a lizard crawl rather than walking, make it challenging. Don’t forget about the brain cells. Learn new things, develop dexterity – juggle, walk the rope, eat, shave and brush your teeth with the non-dominant hand, be creative, explore). Do at least 30 minutes of daily workout of any kind and know it’s to prevent the cells from turning against you. If you look at it that way, can you afford to be lazy? If you are tired, take a nap and then do training. It would be amazing if you could figure out a way to have fun, be creative or productive while training – that makes spending your time even more efficiently.
3. Contribute to humanity’s drive to reach the longevity escape velocity
What the future holds
The complexity and interconnectedness of our biochemistry is such, that every cellular process causes cascading, domino effects (desired and undesired) on other processes. A solution to aging would require weeding out the undesired effects while keeping the desired ones. Our brains are capable of figuring out most of the required details, however, we are not very good at simultaneously considering thousands of interconnected factors. We can probably come very close to achieving biological immortality all by ourselves, but maybe we won’t have to. The Artificial Intelligence (AI) which humanity has been developing for the past few decades will be perfectly suitable for this task and is getting better every year. Our part is to figure out the necessary details and feed them to the AI. Soon enough it will be capable to piece them together and create the ultimate anti-aging therapy and DNA upgrade for a permanent solution.