ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Extend Life

Updated on January 15, 2013
Human beings have always attempted to extend life, in order to avoid ending up here.
Human beings have always attempted to extend life, in order to avoid ending up here. | Source

Life extension is a term growing in popularity by the day. I personally have a vested interest in the subject. Upon hearing the term, most people visualize a future where we have drastically extended the human life span through the use of genetic therapy, biotech, and whatever else the minds of the future may come up with. In truth, however, life extension has been happening for quite some time.

Just 100 years ago, the average life expectancy in America was between 47 and 53. 100 years before that, it was around 32. So, in 200 years we have managed to raise our expected life span by 55 years (almost triple!) to the ripe old age of 87. With about 70% of those added years being in the latter half, you can see where this is going.

This drastic extension of our life span is no evolutionary fluke. Medicinal technologies have advanced, many diseases have been sent into extinction, and the more we learn about the natural causes of death, the more we learn about how to extend life.

Causes of Aging and Disease

Many modern theorists agree that there are seven primary causes of aging:

  1. Cancer causing nuclear mutations
  2. Mitochondrial mutations
  3. Intracellular "junk"
  4. Extracellular "junk"
  5. Cell loss
  6. Cell Senescence
  7. Extracellular Crosslinks

Most, of these topics are a foreign language to the average reader. What is important is that these things are the underlying causes for age related degeneration, and most if not all naturally occurring diseases. These processes are unavoidable today, but that doesn't mean they cannot be drastically slowed down with the right lifestyle changes.

The Secrets of How to Extend Life

We all have a pretty basic idea of what we should do to stay healthy. Those basic ideas are a primary factor in our current calculated lifespan. Everything you've been through, and everything you will go through will determine how many years you have left on the clock. Taking it further, those same factors will determine how many of those years will be healthy.

In order to truly extend your life, you've got to take the reins, make the right choices, and raise the bar on what it means to stay healthy. Treat aging as a disease, not a process.

Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever
Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever
An in depth guide written in an easy-to-follow style that teaches us the what causes aging, how to combat these processes, and the science behind it all.
Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever
Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever
Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman have collaborated to design this easy to follow program meant to help you help yourself in achieving longevity.

There is an organization called the Tzu Chi who are calling out for people to use this practice for themselves, while simultaneously using the extra 20% to help feed those in need around the world. A novel concept, no?

Extend Life with Caloric Restriction

First and foremost is one only scientifically proven technique to extend life. Hara Hachi Bu is a term originating in Okinawa, Japan which means to eat until you are only 80% full. This is textbook caloric restriction. Here’s another fun fact about Okinawa: their population consists of the highest concentration of centenarians in the entire world. Americans have a culture where we are given a plate full of food, and try our best to clean the plate. I know that bloated “I’m going to explode if I get hit in the stomach” feeling after leaving a restaurant, and I’m sure you do too. Nowadays I ask myself, “Why?” Once I feel 80% full I can just…stop. It’s such a simple concept, and everything eaten beyond that is contributing to my early demise.

This change in lifestyle is likely to help maintain lower levels of glucose, ideal weight, and reduce the amount of incoming free radicals which damage DNA and leads to cancer. These all happen to be some of the key elements to extend life.

Learning to Eat Better

We all know that salad is good, McDonald’s is bad. It’s hard not to know the basics of nutrition these days. There are still a lot of things that haven’t made it into the library of general knowledge, though.

  • Not all fat is bad. Fat is a necessary part of the diet. While trans fats are inherently bad and should be avoided, saturated fats are good for you in small amounts while unsaturated fats are important for your body to function properly.
  • All sugar is bad. This is why we have artificial sweeteners. News flash, most of them are bad too. Aspartame harms the brain and lowers serotonin levels. Acesulfame-K has been linked to possible genetic damage. Sucralose has a list of potential side effects, but there have not been enough studies to be certain. Saccharin has been linked to bladder cancer. Stevia has actually shown possible benefits but only when consumed in moderation.
  • Your optimal diet is more than just a calorie to weight ratio. Two people of the same weight are likely going to have a completely different set of needs. Adjusting how many calories are carbs, fats, and proteins is even more important than the overall calorie count. Furthermore, some people may have a need to include a good amount of whole grains in their diet while others may need to avoid grains entirely. Learning where you should get your calories is just as important to include in your nutritional plan as anything else when learning how to extend your life.


Stress Kills

Nobody likes being stressed out. If they enjoyed it, then it wouldn't be stress. Our bodies don't enjoy it either. Chronic stress has been linked to weakened immune systems, gastrointestinal disorders, type 2 diabetes, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, stroke, anxiety, depression, lack of focus, insomnia, and addiction. Anything that causes a list of bad things too long to speak in a single breath is probably something you want to avoid. Stress is clearly a large factor in determining your lifespan, but it is also one of the easiest things to avoid.

The experience of life can be categorized into three general sections, family & friends, work, and yourself. Too much of any of them will create a deficiency in another, and that deficiency is a major contributor to stress in your life.

Relaxation can almost be defined as something like: "partaking in activities with the purpose of releasing stress." Don't live your life always on the run. Slow down. Take the time to enjoy the small things.

Don't sweat the small stuff. Small, containable problems aren't worth worrying about. Just fix them; and if they can't be immediately fixed, then forget about them until they can.
What will happen will happen. Many problems, regardless of their magnitude, are far beyond your control. When possible, just accept that these are going to happen, accept the consequences, and move on with your life. To do anything else serves no purpose but to add to your overall stress.

Meditation is known to assist in all of these areas and more. It may be the best thing a person can possibly do in order to reduce stress both directly and indirectly. If you truly want to ensure a longer, healthier, happier life, meditation is sure to help.

Extend Life Through Supplementation

Achieving optimal nutritional health is impossible with food alone. Even trying to do so would be counterproductive, since you would be eating your way into an early grave. Employing an optimal supplement program would break the bank for most people, so learn the most important supplements that you can fit into your budget and start taking them.

Through a few different polls among a different selection of people, I've learned that a large majority of people are willing to take whatever supplement regimen is necessary to live a longer life. I am willing to bet that most, if not all of the people who answered otherwise would quickly change their tune if the situation really did come to be.

Enjoy Good Health

Being healthy is one of the most important contributors to being happy. Nobody enjoys diseases, organ failures, and sagging skin. Poor health only holds us back from doing many of the things we enjoy. So no matter which practices you employ to extend your life, they all have one thing in common: improved health. They will all in some way or other slow down at least one of the seven main causes of aging and disease.

And there ain't nothin wrong with that.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)