How to be younger, healthier and live longer – Book of the Month!

Hari Kalymnios | The Thought Gym

This month’s book of the month promises to help you live younger, healthier and longer. Some bold claims but delving into the book it’s easy to understand why they are made.

The book is called – The Telomere Effect. It’s written by Elizabeth Blackburn PhD (and Nobel Prize winner) and Elissa Epel PhD.

Elizabeth Blackburn won the Nobel Prize for her discovery of Telomerase. The enzyme that helps build Telomeres (and the subject of this book). Turns out telomeres are really important for our health and play a major part in the rate of ageing that occurs in us.

Telomeres are protective sheaths at the end of our chromosomes. A bit like how the aglet (yes, that’s what it’s called) at the end of your shoelace stops it from being frayed. These telomeres stop the chromosomes from being frayed.

Telomeres and Telomerase

Telomeres and Telomerase

As cells divide and go through their normal cell life cycle, these telomeres get shortened. When they are too short or disappear then the chromosomes are all used up. Not all cells in our body behave this way, but a significant amount to.

Turns out that the length of our telomeres may be pre-determined (by how our parents and grandparents lived), but we have largely the most control over them through our lifestyle habits and choices.

We can in fact produce more telomerase and increase or strengthen the telomeres.

What increases telomerase production is things you might guess and that I talk about in my Leadership B.E.A.T. Model (see here:

Good sleep, meditation, stress reduction, avoiding toxins, good real food, exercise.

We tend to look at ageing in a bit of a victim view. That we age at a certain rate, we get worse (health wise) as we age and then, even if we live a long life, it’s disease ridden and miserable.

That’s not my view. Maybe not even yours. This book won’t give you the recipe to live forever, but it will give you the best chance of living to over 100 years old but crucially, with a good healthspan and not just lifespan.

No one wants to live to 120 with the last 60 years being in ever declining health. What if you could live to 120 and only the last couple of years or so you start to decline rapidly.

Sure you might we a little more restricted from 80 or 90, although the longest (official) living person, Jeanne Calment, who died at 122, took up fencing at 85 years old, so who knows. Plus there are “unofficial” records of people living to 140+ in great health ( ). Imagine that!

Personally I think that people in their 30’s or so right now have an excellent chance of going to 140, and even more with new advances in technology. Even without that, the human lifespan is generally accepted to be 120 currently.

We just age quicker than we need to. You know certain people who at 60 look like they are much younger, and some at 60 who look much much older. It’s within our control to a large extent.

Grab a copy of this book and see what you personally can do to live a longer, but more crucially, healthier and happier life!

Let me know what you think? Have you heard of telomeres before? Have you read this book? Do you know of people living to 120+ years old?

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What do you think?