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How to Live Longer: A Checklist

How to Live Longer: A Checklist

Longevity hasn't really been top of mind for me up until the last couple of years. Honestly, it's when I met my sweetheart, got engaged (soon married), and the prospect of having a family, kids, and so forth, that living longer actually became a primary focus of my working out, diet, and supplementation.

What you learn about as you dig deep into longevity, is that improving performance markers helps improve longevity, and in upping your training to live longer you end up having more energy, stamina, and strength to live better, which is a wonderful side benefit.

And, yes, training is the most important thing you can do for longevity.

Most guys won't want to hear that. We want a quick fix or something to take, but hours of training equal years of life added. However, there are efficient ways to train effectively for longevity, there are also dietary practices that help, along with supplementation.

In this article we'll go through a checklist of the 'what to do's' re: longevity. I'll provide a brief summary at the end that you can write down and use as a checklist every week.

Let's get after it...

1. Exercise... MORE

Exercise Frequency: Insights from Dr. Benjamin Levine

Dr. Benjamin Levine, a renowned cardiologist and professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has conducted extensive research on the benefits of regular exercise. His studies reveal that consistent physical activity can significantly improve cardiovascular health and extend lifespan.

It's the frequency that's interesting. Working out 2-3 days a week doesn't do much to increase benefits - and we're primarily talking about cardio training. However, 4-5 days of training per week, does.

The thing about the research is the focus on frequency and not necessarily duration. So, 2 longer runs and an intense run (we'll cover this later), may be enough.

The key is the health markers, namely VO2max. By increasing this health marker, you increase your chances of living longer, and you improve your heart health.

Do Cardio to Boost Your VO2 Max

Understanding VO2 Max

VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake, is a critical marker of cardiovascular fitness. It measures the maximum amount of oxygen your body can utilize during intense exercise. A higher VO2 max is associated with lower risk of chronic diseases and longer life expectancy.

Increasing VO2 Max: The Norwegian Method

The Norwegian method of intensity training, also known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), is an effective way to boost VO2 max. This involves short-ish bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest or low-intensity activity. A typical session might include 4 x 4-minute high-intensity intervals at 85-95% of your maximum heart rate, with 3 minutes of active recovery in between.

Ideally have this set up in your training once a week. It's intense, going for 4 minutes hard like that (keep in mind, you're not going all out for 4 minutes, you're going as fast as you can last for 4 minutes straight), so start small, more like once a month, then increase.

This Norwegian Method should be a part of your weekly training, along with 2-4 other cardio exercises. 

I like doing my Norwegian Method exercise on the airbike, then run the rest of the workouts, including one 10k run per week.

You really do have to train a lot, and train hard, to increase longevity. But, don't go all out at once. Start very slow and small, and increase as you see fit.

Overrall, for substantial cardiovascular benefits, aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity each week, as recommended by the American Heart Association. This can be broken down into sessions of 30 minutes, five times a week, or whatever split you can manage.

2. Don't get fat (if you are, get un-fat, NOW)

Dr. Peter Attia emphasizes that maintaining good metabolic health is crucial for longevity. This involves managing blood glucose levels, insulin sensitivity, and body composition. Poor metabolic health can lead to a host of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers, all of which can shorten lifespan.

Gaining too much weight puts you in all sorts of health problems. If you're overweight, for men, over 15-18% body fat, lose weight. First fix, diet.

Consume 1 gram of protein per pound, and balance your other calories between good carbs and fats.

For a breakdown of how to eat, check out our MITA Meal Plans.

Of course, exercise also matters, but it's tough to out-train a bad diet. You need exercise, but eating less is also a must.

To keep metabolic health in check: 

  • Exercise: Regular physical activity, particularly strength training and aerobic exercise, is crucial for maintaining insulin sensitivity and metabolic health.
  • Don't Eat Sweets: removing these from your life will go a long way. Fill your diet with animal proteins, slow carbs, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Sleep and Stress Management: Both adequate sleep and effective stress management are essential for metabolic regulation.

  • 3. Incorporate Strength Training

    Preventing Injury and Enhancing Longevity

    Strength training is crucial for maintaining muscle mass, improving bone density, and preventing injuries as you age. Studies show that individuals who engage in regular strength training are less likely to suffer from sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss) and can enjoy greater mobility and independence in later years .

    One of the most deadly things the elderly do is break their hip. All kinds of health issues happen after this. Strong legs and proper balance help prevent this.

    Strength train 3-4 days per week. Focus on legs at least one day a week.

    You want to undulate between lifting for strength/power with lower reps, and volume with higher reps, with each workout containing at least 1-2 bigger, compound exercises like deadlights, squats, dips, bench press, rows, and so forth.

    We have all of the cardio and strength training workouts you'll need in our TRIBE for free here.

    4. Can Supplements Help With Longevity?

    Magnesium: A Key Supplement

    Magnesium is a vital mineral that supports numerous bodily functions, including muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and bone health.

    Research suggests that adequate magnesium intake is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality . To ensure you're getting enough magnesium, consider supplements or magnesium-rich foods like nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables, also, get a full dose of Magnesium in Man Sleep.

    If you're struggling to get enough protein in your diet alone, a protein supplement can be beneficial as well.

    As far as supplementation for longevity, part of it is staying healthy, but also keeping your bones strong as well as your muscles.

    Supplements like Man D3, POWER (for muscle recovery), BOOST (for vital minerals), and Man Greens for stress reduction and overall health, are a good idea.

    5. Eat Right

    There's a ton of conflicting information out there about what to eat to live longer, but not much conflicting information about how much to eat to live longer.

    Don't eat too much. 

    It's such a simple thing to follow. It keeps you lean, keeps your body performing efficiently, and keeps you energetic and healthy.

    A couple rules to follow:

    1. Consume 1 gram of protein per pound, ideally from animal proteins, including eggs and yogurt.

    2. Have 30-35% of your remaining calories split between carbs and dietary fats. Carbs help keep cortisol levels low, and many of the nutrients we need to thrive and live long are found in fruits and vegetables.

    3. Eat natural foods. Ideally organic. Eat animals, fruits, and vegetables. That should be the foundation of a diet. 

    6. Manage Stress, Sleep Well, and Have Fun

    Chronic stress and poor sleep can take a toll on your health. Yet, we crave achievement, which brings stress, but it doesn't have to.

    Chronic stress is a choice. It's choosing to see things in a certain way. I fall under this spell all the time, but it doesn't have to be this way at all. You can go through hell, but opt out of stress - to a degree (no one is perfect). Don't avoid stressful situations, learn how to thrive in them.

    Read good philosophy that will help you manage stress, apply, and keep reading it as a part of your daily routine:

    Man's Search for Meaning


    Seneca's Epistles

    The Art of Living - Epictetus

    The Importance of Social Connections

    Humans are social creatures. We need human connection. Playing sports with your pals, good dinners with the entire family on a daily basis, real, close friends you can trust and a community that supports you, all of this stuff matters.

    Man, we need to laugh, bust balls, and have fun. 

    If you look at the Blue Zones, the areas in the world that have the highest concentration of centenarians (people who live to 100+), social connections is a constant. Most of these groups of people actually consume alcohol, which just isn't good for you at all, but the power of social connections over alcohol (not too much, a drink or two) may have more benefit than downside.

    Don't go partying with idiots, but enjoy the company of pals, do fun stuff with your lady and your family, enjoy being around people, it'll help you live longer.

      Conclusion + How to Apply the Above

      The path to living longer is actually a path to living better.

      The other benefits of constructing an active lifestyle like we've gone over here is that you'll have more energy, higher testosterone, lower fat, less stress, and you'll be stronger, so you can enjoy the time you have here.


      • Cardio: 150 mins a week minimum, 1 session/week of Norwegian Method
      • 3-4 strength training workouts per week
      • 1 gram of protein per pound, balanced diet, with whole, natural foods that you can pick or kill.
      • Read good philosophy, figure out the puzzle that is stress, and solve it. Don't avoid stressful situations, learn how to thrive in them.
      • Go have fun with friends, family, the people around you on at least a weekly basis.

      Products that help with longevity:



      • Levine, B. D. et al. (2019). "Exercise and the Heart: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." Annual Review of Physiology.
      • Levine, B. D. et al. (2018). "Cardiovascular Adaptation to Exercise in Healthy Humans." Comprehensive Physiology.
      • Joyner, M. J., & Coyle, E. F. (2008). "Endurance Exercise Performance: The Physiology of Champions." Journal of Physiology.
      • Wisloff, U., Ellingsen, O., & Kemi, O. J. (2009). "High-Intensity Interval Training to Maximize Cardiac Benefits of Exercise Training?" Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews.
      • American Heart Association. (2018). "Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults."
      • Fiatarone Singh, M. A., et al. (2000). "Exercise Training and Nutritional Supplementation for Physical Frailty in Very Elderly People." New England Journal of Medicine.
      • Zhang, X., et al. (2012). "Magnesium Intake and Risk of Colorectal Cancer: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies." European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
      • Rosanoff, A., Weaver, C. M., & Rude, R. K. (2012). "Suboptimal Magnesium Status in the United States: Are the Health Consequences Underestimated?" Nutrition Reviews.
      • Trichopoulou, A., et al. (2003). "Adherence to a Mediterranean Diet and Survival in a Greek Population." New England Journal of Medicine.
      • Chrousos, G. P. (2009). "Stress and Disorders of the Stress System." Nature Reviews Endocrinology.
      • Walker, M. P. (2008). "Cognitive Consequences of Sleep and Sleep Loss." Sleep Medicine.
      • Attia, P. (2020). "The Science of Longevity: Understanding Metabolic Health and Disease Prevention."
      • Attia, P. (2019). "Cardiovascular Health and Longevity: Strategies for Heart Health."
      • Attia, P. (2021). "Optimizing Physical Fitness for Longevity: The Role of Strength and Cardio Training."
      • Attia, P. (2018). "Nutrition and Supplements: Tailoring Diet for Health and Longevity."
      • Attia, P. (2022). "Mental and Emotional Health: The Forgotten Pillars of Longevity."
      • Attia, P. (2021). "Preventive Medicine and Early Intervention: The Future of Longevity."
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