9 Steps to Start Living Longer Today
An award-winning scientist, engineer, and millionaire several times over predicted that by 2029, humans could start living forever.
That’s right. Immortality is almost here.
This ‘futurist’ has been frightening the masses with his predictions for years.
He predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union, described the rise of the Internet, and foretold the year a computer would beat a World chess champion… along with dozens of other predictions that have come true or are being realized today.
His critics have called him “one of the greatest hucksters of the age,” and a “narcissistic crackpot obsessed with longevity.”
Love him or hate him, Ray Kurzweil is a man whose track record speaks for itself.
Co-author of multiple books focusing on how to extend one’s life, and living well, Kurzweil has spent decades figuring out the secret to eternal life.
He breaks down the journey to immortality in three steps (called bridges).
Bridge One: applying what we know today to help us extend our lives.
Eating healthy, exercising, avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol – these are things that help us reach Bridge Two (Biotechnology).
Biotechnology, is what Kurzweil and Grossman believe will help humans overcome disease and the ageing process.
Kurzweil and Grossman also saw potential in biotechnology regenerating cells and organ tissues – predictions we’re already seeing come true today.
Kurzweil believes that by the year 2045, biotechnology will be sufficient enough to make humans live forever.
The final bridge humans need to cross to realize immortality is nanotechnology.
“Nanotechnology will enable us to rebuild and extend our bodies and brains and create virtually any product from mere information, resulting in remarkable gains in prosperity,” says Kurzweil.
He predicts that nano machines will take over our immune system (fixing problems like cancerous cells and clogged arteries) and connecting our brains to the cloud ultimately extending human life indefinitely.
In his books, Kurzweil provides a more actionable plan to improving longevity with concrete evidence.
The plan is laid out in an easy-to-remember acronym ‘transcend’ which I’ll walk you through today.
- Talk to your doctor
- Calorie reduction
- New technologies
Talk to your doctor
Kurzweil and Grossman are big advocates of preventative medicine. They recommend a typical doctor-patient visit consists of three parts.
- Medical History
- Physical Exam
- Laboratory Testing
Here’s what they recommend you do for each part:
Compile your personal and familial medical histories prior to your doctor’s visit.
Include personal information on your diet, sleep patterns, medications and supplements and exercise program.
Include family information from your parents, children and siblings.
2. Physical Exam
Several components can be done at home (e.g. breast self-exams and testicular self-exams) and you should get in the habit of performing these regularly.
A comprehensive physician will also examine your head, lungs, heart, abdomen, spine and other body systems.
3. Laboratory Testing
Many tests (e.g. cholesterol, homocysteine levels) are routinely done by conventional physicians.
Others (e.g. hormone levels, vitamin levels) are less routinely done, but you can request them during your visit.
There is no way to eliminate all stress, so Kurzweil and Grossman recommend you learn how to better manage your stress.
Time management - maintain a plan to organize your time and avoid over commitment
Priorities - checking and resetting your priorities ensures you do what is important and allow yourself time for spontaneity and relaxation
Relationships - maintaining close interpersonal relationships are essential, providing an outlet for emotional energy and a network of understanding
Implementing the 4 C’s into your daily life can help you develop and maintain a positive constructive attitude.
- Challenge - choosing a difficult objective worthy of your efforts
- Commitment - staying on task to meet the challenge
- Curiosity - cultivating an open mind and a desire to learn
- Creativity - using your imagination to innovate
“The two pillars that will help you to live - and remain in optimal health - long enough to take full advantage of upcoming health technologies are Prevention and Early Detection of disease,” says Kurzweil.
Lifestyle choices are the key to successful prevention.
Eating healthy, exercising, avoiding bad habits like smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol will all compound in a successful prevention plan.
For early detection, there are a number of tests you can perform like, breast self-exams, heart rate blood pressure, and fitness testing.
Nutrition is a nuanced topic so it will vary from person to person. But here’s a high-level summary:
- Aim for 33-40% daily calories from low-glycemic carbs*
- Choose complex carbohydrates
- Avoid sugar and try stevia instead
- Pick foods high in fiber
- Choose healthy fats (olive oil, nuts, fish)
- Limit 3-7% daily calories from saturated fat
- Avoid both whole and skim milk dairy
- Favor skinless white meat poultry
- Do not eat fried food
- Supplement with EPA and DHA
- Emphasize plant proteins (tofu, miso, lentils, nuts)
- Avoid whole milk and eggs
- Eat more fish
- Vegetarians should focus on variety for amino acid balance
- Two or less alcoholic drinks per day for men under 65
- One or less alcoholic drinks for men over 65 and women
- Red wine appears to offer additional health benefits
- Beer may lower homocysteine levels
At one point Kurzweil admits to taking 250 pills per day! He’s down to 100 but says that average person can get away with less if they’re consuming some of these nutrients from whole food sources.
Vitamins and Minerals
- Vitamin A and beta-carotene for healthy eyes, ni and bones
- B vitamins are needed for nerves, hair, skin, and digestion
- Vitamin C is the best water-soluble antioxidant
- Vitamin D regulates cell growth and function
- Vitamin E protects your cells from toxins and carcinogens
- Minerals are needed in smaller amounts
- Omega 3 (DHA/EPA)
- Grape Seed Extract
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
Find your maintenance calorie level and start eating that number of calories each day.
Kurzweil and Grossman recommend integrating three types of exercise into a complete regimen to help you live longer:
Bridge Two is biotechnology. The manipulation of genes and reprogramming of cells.
While there’s not a lot you can do yourself to influence the speed at biotechnology progresses, you can be prepared for when it arrives.
Kurzweil and Grossman recommend:
- Saving your stem cells
- Looking into your DNA
Toxins lead to mutations in our bodies which cause cancer and other disease.
To prevent toxin accumulation, you should practice regular detoxification by reducing your exposure to toxins and strengthening your defenses.
Here are the main areas to focus your energy:
- Use natural cleaners like lemon juice, vinegar, borax
- Choose an air filter that removes large and microscopic particles
- Houseplants remove toxins that air filters cannot
- Check for radon in your home
- Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke
- Minimize use of products such as dryer sheets, artificial scents, antibacterial soaps
- Choose frozen or dried foods instead of canned
- Avoid buying plastic that is not labelled BPA free
- Buy organic, avoid the ‘dirty dozen’
- Use filtered water for cooking and drinking, and consider installing a filter on your water main so that chlorine does not absorb into your skin in the shower
Here’s what steps to take to reduce your exposure to electromagnetic radiation:
- Use a Bluetooth earpiece for your cell phone
- Choose thermography over mammography (talk to your doctor)
- Replace tube-based screens with flat screens
- Minimize use of hair dryers and electric shavers
There’s no saying whether or not humans will live forever.
But given Kurzweil’s track record I won’t bet against him.
To a richer life,
— Nilus Mattive
Editor, The Rich Life Roadmap