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10 Myths of Staying Young…

By Marcus Santer

10 myths of staying young

It’s 12:11 in the morning and I can’t sleep.

It’s thundering, lightening and raining with a ferocity I haven’t seen here in years.

I’m sat here on the end of Ollie’s bed writing. I got up to check on him a few minutes ago and saw his light was on, knocking gently on his door I opened it to find him reading Calvin and Hobbes.

Smart guy.

He’s taking it all in his stride.

Bless him, he even said how horrible it must be to be homeless on a night like tonight.

Up until he said that, I was just annoyed the storm was stopping me from getting a good nights sleep, but his statement kinda put things into perspective.

We turned his light off for a bit, opened the curtains and watched the light show.

It was full on.

Now when I was a kid I hated thunder storms.

I thought they were giants fighting, tearing the fabric of reality apart allowing monsters to roam freely on the earth.

Yeah, your right, I did (and still do) have a very vivid imagination.

And as I got older I grew even more fearful, attaching every horror film cliche ever made to thunderstorms being portents of violent doom.

These days I just worry about the roof leaking =)

Which I guess is my way of clumsily segueing from the myths associated with thunderstorms to the myths associated with staying young.

Hey, what can I say?

It’s late or early depending on your view point.

So what do I mean about the myths of staying young?

Well here’s 10 off the top of my head:

Myth #1: Staying young is all to do with your genes
Truth: Yes and No. Up until 75 it’s your lifestyle choices that are the strongest predictor of your health and well being, after that yes, your genes start to play a significant role.

Myth#2: Staying young is complicated and expensive
Truth: No it isn’t. Many studies into ageing well have shown repeatedly, that certain behaviours can improve your odds while others decrease your odds of a longer, stronger and more independent life.

Myth#3: I need to detox
Truth: Detoxing and cleansing is a $5 billion dollar a year business and growing. Yet all the scientific research and data agrees… cleansing and detox are useless.
Unless you’re a very heavy narcotics abuser.

Myth#4: I don’t have time to exercise
Truth: High Intensity Training (HIT) training can be completed in about 10 minutes and has been shown to still give worthwhile health benefits. And… Who said getting exercise had to involve going to a gym?

Myth#5: To age well I need to find The Perfect Human diet
Truth: Such a diet doesn’t exist, consider this extract from page 73 of my Healthy Ageing Pyramid book:

All of these groups with their different diets scored higher in the health stakes than those countries that have embraced the modern wester diet.

How is this possible?

Because humans are incredibly resilient and can eat a wide variety of diets and thrive… As long as they hold onto this single rule: Focus on real food that hasn’t been messed around with.

Myth#6: Sleep is for suckers
Truth: Sleep influences all aspects of your health – for better or for worse.

Myth#7: Sudoko and Puzzles are good for working out my brain and preventing dementia
Truth: Physical exercise delivers more of a brain work out than mental puzzles[1][2]. And it’s suggested that good sleep can help to prevent Alzheimers by cleansing the brain of toxic ‘plagues and tangles’.

Myth#8: Exercise is the best way to lose weight
Truth: Exercise can certainly help with weight loss, but when it comes to losing weight it starts by changing what and how much you eat. You can find out more here.

Myth#9: If I start lifting weights I’m gonna end up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime
Truth: If only this was true. You have no idea how hard it is to build muscles like the hulk. The amount of vomit inducing work involved, the amount of force feeding and chemicals involved.

And that’s if you’ve got the genetic potential to beef up.

Working out is a great way to strengthen your muscles and prevent age related muscle loss. Discover how to avoid losing 50 percent of your muscle mass as you age here.

And here’s my favourite myth of them all:

Myth#10: You can supplement yourself to health. Closely linked to the Myth: You need to get your supplements right to age well
Truth: No.

Globally the supplement market has been valued at $82 billion dollars and one of the most powerful factors driving the growth in this industry is an ageing population. The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) states that most people who buy supplements are aged 55 and over.

The manufacturers of dietary supplements are very well aware of this fact and invest heavily in advertising to convince you that their supplements can be used to make old age enjoyable and free from pain.

Problem is the research doesn’t back up most of the health claims made by the supplement industry.

Don’t believe me?

For full details on the myth surrounding the supplement market check out Habit #7 (page 121) of my book: The Healthy Ageing Pyramid

Right, it’s 01:30 and the storm is moving away.

Time to get some sleep.

Bye for now


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28304298 Exercise Training and Functional…
[2] Exercise interventions for cognitive function in adults older than 50: a systematic review with meta-analysis – http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2017/03/30/bjsports-2016-096587