My Rating of “Lifespan: Why we age and why we don’t have to” by David Sinclair: 8 / 10
Many years ago a friend of mine said something that has stayed in my mind since that time – to become immortal or die trying. Perhaps this is an apt quote that neatly describes the book Lifespan. The premise is that changing aspects on how we live, what we eat and the physical work we perform with our bodies can open up longevity pathways that will enable us to live for many decades to come. Living past 100 won’t be something we would laugh at if we follow Sinclair’s approach.
Lifespan is broken down into three parts: What we know (The Past), What We’re Learning (The Present) and Where We’re going (The Future). I found the second and third parts to be the most beneficial. As I have read a few books on this topic, it allowed me to fly through the first part so that I could get into the key areas of the book. For example, the final part of the book posed a number of excellent questions on how we deal with a future of an over populated world; who may end up living a lot longer than we do today. For example, Sinclair eloquently argued it isn’t population that’s the problem, it’s our consumption.
The book concludes on what Sinclair does as an individual to look after his body driving a longer life. He also provides a brief insight into his lab at Harvard and what his team gets up to on a day to day basis. I enjoyed this book. Although Lifespan is technical in parts I have confirmed alignment in some wellness aspects I already practice. For example, certain types of exercise, intermittent fasting, low-protein diets and hot/cold temperate exposure. Conversely there are aspects I want to research in more detail to give me the best shot to live as long as I can!
Three key takeaways from the book:
- There is a difference between extending life and prolonging vitality (i.e. just not more years of life but more active, healthy and happy ones)
- After 25 years of researching ageing and reading thousands of scientific papers, Sinclair’s one piece of advice for staying healthy longer and maximising lifespan is to eat less!
- People are overly preoccupied with the number of humans on Earth while ignoring the fact that consumption “bears twice as much responsibility for pressure on resources and ecosystems as population growth.”