How to Reverse Aging: Lifestyle, Workout, and Nutrition

It’s no secret that staying fit by working out, eating healthy, and being physically active can help keep us young and full of energy.

But as old age sets in, many people resign themselves to the effects of aging, accepting joint pain, weight gain, memory loss, and more as inevitable.

However, emerging research suggests that this has not had to be the case. Biological aging can be slowed and even reserved.

The human body is amazingly adaptive and can rejuvenate under the right circumstances.

This article will discuss how you can actually reverse aging by optimizing your habits and routines.

For many people, aging is synonymous with being weak and fragile. As we get older, our vulnerability to major conditions like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease grows exponentially. But what exactly about aging makes us more susceptible?

Aging is largely caused by changes to our epigenome - the system that controls how our genes work.

As we age, our lifestyle, illnesses, and long-term medications, such as painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, can make our cells lose small bits of epigenetic information over time. Without this information, cells start to "forget" what type of cell they should be. This confusion means they may not function properly - some grow out of control, some stop responding to threats. These cellular changes lay the groundwork for age-related diseases and even cancer.

The short answer is yes. Aging is a biological process, and we have more control over it than we think.

Recent studies have found that we can slow down the rate of aging by better maintaining our epigenome. Our DNA contains “longevity genes”. These genes activate when we are exposed to adversities and protect our epigenome.

Longevity genes trigger our responses against aging when we are exposed to threats such as cold or hot temperatures, hunger, and survival scenarios.

1. Fasting

Time-restricted fasting and other forms of caloric restrictions can help improve the gut microbiome and enhance longevity.

Benefits of fasting:

Multiple lab studies have found that monkeys who eat less can live longer by up to 3 more years. This is equivalent to 9 more years in the human lifespan.

Eating 30% less of our usual diet can delay the onset of chronic diseases and enhance longevity. This is mainly because of the effects of fasting on reducing inflammation and keeping our cells healthier and younger.

Eating less often produces the opposite effects of obesity.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) can have a profound impact not just on our heart, lungs, and brain but also on our cells themselves.

HIIT leads to a shortage of oxygen in the body, which puts us under tons of short-term stress. This necessary stress activates the longevity genes, which repair our DNA.

One Mayo Clinic study found that HIIT reverses damage to our mitochondria— the ones responsible for creating energy molecules for our body to keep functioning.

HIIT puts our body under the necessary stress to drive positive change.

We all know that sleep is essential to life. But it turns out the quality of our sleep is even more crucial if we want to live a longer life.

As we age, the most restorative stage of sleep - slow wave sleep or SWS - progressively declines. This deep sleep phase, characterized by delta brain waves, shrinks by 2-7% each decade. By our 60s, SWS may disappear completely, particularly in men.

Share it

However, research reveals that people who live exceptionally long lives - between 85 and 115 years - can maintain healthy slow-wave sleep. This suggests that preserving sufficient deep sleep may be the key to maximizing human lifespan.

How to optimize sleeping pattern:

  • Sleep in a cool, dark, quiet environment
  • Avoid large meals and caffeine late in the day
  • Try hot showers/sauna before bedtime
  • Stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule
  • Consider supplements like magnesium, glycine, calcium, zinc, and melatonin

The quality of your sleep is crucial for longevity.

We live in a world full of distractions and noises. For decades, studies have confirmed that inner silence and taking time off can lead to better mental and physical health.

Emerging studies show that mindfulness and meditation can also affect our bodies on the molecular level. Meditative movements, such as Yoga and Tai chi, have been shown to slow down changes in the DNA associated with aging.

Mindfulness practices and meditation have also been shown to protect epigenomes, improve fat storage, modulate inflammation, and enhance brain performance.

Mindfulness and meditation can help prevent chronic diseases related to stress.

The most debilitating effect of aging is the loss of muscle mass and strength, leading to loss of function and decreased ability to move and do physical tasks. Our muscles decrease in size by 3-8% every 10 years after age 30. This effect is even more pronounced by the time we reach 60.

Your ability to move freely in the later years determines your health and life expectancy.

In one large-scale study, adults who are performing strength training three times or more per week have a 47% lower risk of premature death than physically inactive people.

Adopting a strength training routine early in life is crucial to maintaining physical independence.

DNA damage is the main reason why we age. Damage in our DNA can accumulate and modify our epigenome, resulting in inflammatory diseases and even cancers.

How to avoid DNA damage:

  • Avoid harmful substances (illegal drugs, alcohol, and smoking)
  • Avoid chronic stress (trauma, relationship stress, financial stress, work-life imbalance)
  • Avoid radiation (X-rays and UV rays from extreme sun heat)
  • Avoid low nutritional value foods (soda, soft drinks, candies, chips, fast food, sugary breakfast)

If we can protect our DNA from damage, we can increase our lifespan.

Here’s reverse aging plan for women:

And for men:

Remember, engaging in high-intensity exercises is key to enhancing longevity and reversing aging. This means speeding up the tempo of your workout and minimizing rest periods between sets.

Ideally, you want to combine some form of strength training and HIIT exercise in your exercise sessions and incorporate active recovery during your rest days.

Week 1

Day Focus Parameters
Monday Cardiovascular and Strength 5 sets x 30 sec of: Rest 30-45 seconds between rounds
Tuesday Rest & Recovery Light stretching, Yoga
Wednesday Strength and Agility 4 sets x 30 sec of: Rest 30-45 seconds between rounds
Thursday Rest and Recovery Light stretching, Yoga
Friday Endurance and Power 5 sets x 30 sec of: Rest 30-45 seconds between rounds
Saturday Rest and Recovery Light stretching or yoga
Sunday Flexibility and Balance 4 sets x 30 sec of: Rest 30-45 seconds between rounds

Week 2

Day Focus Parameters
Monday Cardiovascular 4 sets x 30 seconds of: Rest 30-45 seconds between rounds
Tuesday Rest and Recovery Light stretching or yoga
Wednesday Agility & Core Strength 5 sets x 30 seconds of: Rest 30-45 seconds between rounds
Thursday Rest and Recovery Light stretching or yoga
Friday Power and Endurance 5 sets x 30 seconds of: Rest 30-45 seconds between rounds
Saturday Rest and Recovery Light stretching or Yoga
Sunday Total body conditioning 3 sets x 30 seconds of: Rest for 1-2 minutes each round.

Accelerating and slowing down the rate of aging is possible depending on our lifestyle, level of physical activity, diet, and medications.

We can reverse aging and delay the onset of age-related diseases by engaging in HIIT and strengthening exercises while incorporating strategies that preserve our epigenome.

Share it
Bert Bauzon is a licensed physiotherapist specializing in spinal care and sports rehabilitation. He writes articles and books about exercise science and health care.

Weekly knowledge exclusively for people who want to improve their health, fitness and mindset.

First name