Opinion | The Key to Longevity Is Boring

The other day, someone at my gym approached me and lamented that he could spend nearly every waking hour of his life executing the countless viral health and longevity recommendations popularized by internet influencers and podcast hosts, and he’d still feel that he is falling behind.He was alluding to a complicated and often contradictory menu of “biohacks” (shortcuts for improving our biology, all of which lack scientific rigor) and “protocols” (highly specific regimens for exercise, sleep and nutrition).In this era’s search for eternal youth, there are supplements, green powders, cold plunges, the supposed benefits of low-angle morning sunlight, continuous glucose monitors for non-diabetics, box breathing, the proposed benefits of rapamycin (a drug originally used in organ transplants being adapted for longevity), and countless restrictive diets that range from avoiding seed oils to becoming aware of the “hidden dangers” in fruits and vegetables to shunning nearly everything but meat.While obsessions with health and longevity have long dogged humanity, this latest version is intensified by an ecosystem in which influencers and podcasters profit from our attention and quest for health by getting sponsorships from supplement companies, sleep trackers and other pseudoscientific wellness products.

In 2016 the global supplement market amounted to $135 billion.Today it’s ballooned to $250 billion.

That figure is projected to hit nearly $310 billion within the next four years.Some of these interventions have limited uses, while others range from the absurd to the truly harmful.It’s a shame that people are spending their money and energy on such things — even more so because the key to a longer, healthier life is no mystery.Research has long shown that health and longevity comes down to five fundamental lifestyle behaviors: exercising regularly, eating a nutritious diet, eschewing cigarettes, limiting alcohol consumption and nurturing meaningful ...

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Publisher: The New York Times

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