Aging is inevitable and that was the topic during a lecture last Friday at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Thomas Rando is the director of the Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Stanford University and says there is no easy answer to delaying the aging process.
Dr. Rando says, “I think it’s becoming increasing common that the interest in studying aging is not to have people live longer but have people live better. And it’s really about what we call health-span, which is the idea that we’re not looking to have people live to be 150 but to live their normal lives but in a healthy state as much as possible to avoid the ravages of age related diseases, degenerative diseases in particular.”
Dr. Rando has several suggestions on how to age well. He says it all comes down to things your mother told you about diet and exercise. He says eating less and reducing calories in animals has a profound impact in terms of health spans and life spans.
Then there is the question, is sitting the new smoking? Dr. Rando says “I think there’s very good evidence for what we now termed sedentary behavior which I and many people are guilty of for a lot of what we do in our careers, not only not getting physical activity but has negative effect on health. So prolonged sedentary behavior seems to change the way certain muscles in our body are metabolically active in a way that they can actual negate the benefits of physical activity. I think that’s where a lot of interest in things like stand-up desks and other ways – wearable’s that tell you to stand up – is to change this pattern that we’ve developed where many people sit all day.”