The longevity files: A strong grip? Push-ups? What actually can help you live to a ripe old age.
“Frailty is a really bad thing starting in middle age, and even worse as you get older,” says Michael Joyner, a physician and human physiology researcher at the Mayo Clinic.
One way to think of longevity is “not as some magic property of a body, but as the lucky state of not having a fatal disease,” says Steve Cole, professor of medicine and psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the UCLA School of Medicine. “By and large, people don’t die of being old; they die of disease.” Therefore, the study of longevity is a way of looking at disease risk or the rate of disease development, he says.
Over the years, various drugs and nutritional supplements have been studied for their potential to help us live longer, but nothing has been shown to work in humans to the extent that would be required for the Food and Drug Administration’s approval, says Gordon Lithgow, chief academic officer at the California-based Buck Institute for Research on Aging.
While researchers continue searching for a pill to extend life, you’ll have to try these verified methods.