Peter Attia MD’s New York Times best-selling new book, Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity, has put the conversation of lifespan and healthspan center stage. Early in his book (and in the many articles and podcasts in which he promotes the book), Dr. Attia states that the most important thing we can do to age well is to engage in resistance training. Dr. Attia goes on to state that he used to believe a proper diet was the most important health protective behavior, but he’s now compelled by the preponderance of research that points to exercise and specifically, resistance exercise being the most important health behavior we can engage in.
Dr. Attia’s book echoes the findings from the groundbreaking 2022 research paper, Molecular Mechanisms of Exercise and Healthspan published in the scientific journal, Cells. This paper’s authors provide us with a motivating and informative summary statement, “Healthspan is the period of our life without major debilitating diseases. In the modern world where unhealthy lifestyle choices and chronic diseases taper the healthspan, which leads to an enormous economic burden, finding ways to promote healthspan becomes a pressing goal of the scientific community. Exercise training remains the most potent ‘medicine’ that preserves quality of life and expands healthspan. The molecular understanding of exercise’s impacts on different organ systems reinstates that exercise is the most powerful lifestyle intervention against chronic diseases. While human lifespan seems to approach its limit, great potentials lie in promoting physical activities among any given communities to improve the healthspan and possibly lifespan as well.”
The two questions that Dr. Attia asks his patients (my paraphrases) that you can ask yourself, your spouse, or your inner circle:
1. What do you want your life to look like (in your 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s)?
2. What’s your plan to get you there?