Lifespan vs Healthspan

In the past fifty years, the average lifespan of westernised people improved from sixty-plus years to eighty-plus. Whenever I have the discussion with my patients of being able to increase their lifespan, they unanimously tell me that they would prefer to die earlier while still having a good quality of life.

If we are not thinking about and focussing on how we can live as long as possible, in good health, then we are missing the point. And this is where the secret lies… to improve your healthspan together with your lifespan. This is why I feel so passionate about teaching about the seven pillars of health.

Our goal is to enjoy our seventies and eighties and beyond without being burdened by chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s or arthritis. This is definitely what the anthropologist, Ashley Montagu, had in mind when he said: “to die young as late as possible.” The aim is not to radically extend lifespan, but to drastically diminish the amount of time spend seriously ill closer to the end of our lives and thus increasing healthpan.

This process already starts when you are still young. It is all about lifestyle- your health is in your own hands! The way you eat, sleep, move, interact with loved ones and how you handle stress in your younger years has an enormous impact on how your body will look and feel in your middle and senior years.

Optimal health does not come from one big change, but from all the small changes we make consistently.

Start from today to work on all aspects of true wellness.


Everyone thinks that they know how to take care of themselves - just eat healthy, work out and sleep more… But how many know the importance of social connection?

Connecting with others can lower anxiety and depression, improve your immune system, help you regulate emotions, aid in recovery from disease and lead to higher self-esteem and empathy towards others. Social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional, and physical wellbeing. Without adequate social connection, you are putting your health at risk and it may even lead to premature death.

This really means that our friendships, social networks, and family are essential to our survival.

Humans are social beings: We crave feeling supported, valued, and connected.

An AARP study found that loneliness or prolonged isolation has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. This has a higher impact than obesity!

Loneliness is not simply about being alone. It is about not having a strong connection to a person or a group of people.

Loneliness is a health epidemic, and it is growing at an alarming rate. Even though we live in the most technologically connected age, the rates of loneliness have doubled since 1980. And skyrocketed since the start of this pandemic.

Data from the United States show that their 75 million millennials (aged 23-27) and generation Z (aged18-22) are lonelier than any other age group and they also report to be in worse health than some of the older generations.

Even with this COVID-19 pandemic still very much part of our lives, we need to find ways to safely connect to others and build and grow our relationships with friends and family. We owe it to our health.

If you feel you are at risk of not having close social connections, consider some of these steps:
• Reach out to people around you- old friends, family, or neighbours.
• Do some volunteer work – this can establish new bonds and serving the community is rewarding in itself.
• Enrol in a class that interests you - the people you meet there already share some of the same interests.
• Join a book club or go hiking with a group.
• Schedule specific time in your week to connect with other people.
• Tell your family and friends how much you love and respect them - they also need to feel connected.
• Get out of a relationship or friendship that is not good for you.

May this month of love encourage us to get emotionally closer and more connected to the people around us.

Lifestyle Choices

What if the annoying symptoms you experience, like fatigue, insomnia, struggling to lose weight or constipation are simply messages your body is trying to send you?

Messages to get you to make different lifestyle choices- altering the way you eat, drink, move, sleep, think, breathe, believe, and perceive.

There is no one supplement or food that will get you quick results.

Optimal health does not come from one big intervention, but from the small things you do daily. Consistency is the secret. Your health is cumulative. And these things take time.

Here are three ways to work with your body to get the results you want:
• Start today and have a realistic timeline.
Stop postponing your health for a later stage and understand that you will need some time to adjust to all the lifestyle changes you are making.
• The right tools.
You need to use tools and implement habits that fit your current lifestyle and health profile. Something that helped you ten years ago might not be as helpful today.
• A customized plan.
With so much general information around these days, it is hard to belief what is true or what might benefit you. Individual testing, guidance and support can make a huge difference with achieving long term results.

There is no better time than now to give your body the care it deserves.

What Defines You

Very often do I hear patients label themselves as being diabetic, hypertensive, depressed, etc

Your symptoms or the name of an illness does not need to take control of your whole being.

An illness or chronic condition does not have to define you!

Just because you have elevated blood glucose or a higher than normal reading on the sphygmanometer, or painful joints, does not mean that you have to put your identity in that condition.

You are not your diagnosis.

Many of the chronic diseases of modern society can be reversed or lessened by finding the root cause of the problem and addressing it.

By simply starting with small, daily changes to your diet, exercise, and workload, many of these “labels” of disease can be removed or altered.

Do not allow the label of a diagnosis to keep you from living your best life!

In what do you find your identity? What defines you? Or even worse, what do you measure yourself against?

How easily do we compare ourselves to everybody else? In doing so, we often compare our worst against someone else’s absolute best!

One of the truest quotes I have ever heard is this one by Albert Einstein:

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Stop comparing your healing journey to that of someone else.

Healing is never a linear process, it has its ups and downs, but the reward of becoming the healthiest you can be will be all worth the journey.

Start today and do the best you can!

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