Do you look better than what your parents looked like at your age? Probably. It’s a widespread phenomenon. In fact, it’s a meme. The Wilford Brimley line is a concept on the internet whereby celebrities who reach the age of 52 are compared to actor Wilford Brimley in the film Cocoon, which appeared in theaters when he was also 52. The anecdotal evidence is conclusive: Old people are hotter now.
Health experts have long concerned themselves with lifespan and healthspan. But they have overlooked one important metric: “hotspan.” This is the length of time during which a person is hot. I just made it up. But there is empirical evidence behind why the average senior’s hotspan is increasing.
Surgeon General warnings since the 1980s roughly resemble our health guidelines today: Eat a variety of foods, avoid sugar, etc. Since the 1980s, people have been wearing more and better sunscreen. New gyms pop up each year. We kicked butter out of nutrition guidelines. Smoking has declined.
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If rapamycin works as well in humans as it has in every other species its been tested on, we can expect these people (and all of us taking rapamycin) to look just as good in 30 years
“For example, she believes that running is harmful.” IMO: Especially endurance running.
I certainly agree with that, having run countless, maybe jogging is the more appropriate term, miles. If you are eating properly, doing some resistance training, or a little aerobic training like bicycle riding, running serves no useful purpose other than to wear out ankle and knee joints.
There are many risk factors that are associated with excessive running. If I had it to do over again, knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t run a mile.
Exercise is by far the best anti-aging intervention.
As to running wearing out ankle and knee joints, it’s been debunked over and over.
In fact as usual the human body is relatively well designed and includes a generalized use it or loose it mechanism. That’s the case for the joints, tendons, etc. that need high loads to stay in perfect condition.
That said, that load should only increase progressively for the adaptations to take place otherwise bad things happen to the joints.
Here is a 2023 systematic review (Level of evidence, 4): Effects of Running on the Development of Knee Osteoarthritis: An Updated Systematic Review at Short-Term Follow-up
In the short term, running is not associated with worsening PROs or radiological signs of knee OA and may be protective against generalized knee pain.
As a runner, who knows many older runners who have been lifelong runners who look better/younger than just about anyone else I know, I disagree.
There’s also been a lot of studies on aerobic effort, specifically in zone 2, and it’s anti-aging benefits. If you don’t like running, then great, don’t do it. Make sure to get your own form of aerobic exercise.
I think the myth gets spread because people go out and do too much running, too soon. In both effort and volume. I’d like the myth of “running is bad for your joints”, to go away. And instead, replace it with the science based truth that, running too much too soon, is bad. Running in a healthy manner for where you are at, gaining healthy adaptations, has shown to be quite beneficial for joints.
I am 38 years old, and although I do not log a lot of miles (I’m just not built to be good at aerobic work), I have included sprints and sort of VO2 max style intervals in addition to some slower zone 2 type of work into my workout routine for over a decade now, and I’m happy to say that I wake up in the morning and nothing on me hurts. Ankles, knees, hips, back, all good.
IMO running is something healthy humans should be able to do, so absent evidence to the contrary I don’t want to discourage people from practicing it at least occasionally, while being mindful of their own mechanics.
Repetitive movements can turn any small weakness or misalignment into a, perhaps permanent, injury. Sorry it happened to you. I’ve been there too. On the other hand joints and bones respond to mechanical loading. As far as I know there is no consensus on what regime is optimal, but there’s certainly an argument that impacts greater than walking are beneficial. One should keep an eye on this since skeletal problems are so common, pernicious, and crippling in the older population.