Life Span vs. Health Span For Aging Well

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As we age, our bodies experience a natural process of decline that can affect our overall health and well-being. However, aging does not necessarily have to mean a decline in health. There are two important concepts that can help us understand this: life span and health span.

Life span refers to the length of time a person lives, while health span refers to the length of time a person lives in good health. While life span is largely determined by genetics and environmental factors, health span is largely influenced by lifestyle choices and behaviors. While we may not control how long we live, we can take steps to increase the amount of time we spend in good health.

One of the key factors that can impact health span is physical activity. Regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, reduces the risk of chronic diseases, and strengthens bones and muscles. Even small amounts of physical activity, such as walking or gardening, can significantly benefit our overall health and well-being.

Another important factor that can impact health span is nutrition. Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, whole grains, vegetables, and lean protein can help to reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support healthy aging. In addition, staying hydrated and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption can also help to promote good health.

In addition to physical activity and nutrition, social connections and engagement can also play an important role in promoting health span. Studies have shown that social isolation can negatively impact both physical and mental health while maintaining strong social connections can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline and improve overall well-being.

It is important to prioritize regular health screenings and preventative care as we age. Early detection and treatment of health concerns can help to prevent or manage chronic diseases and promote overall health and well-being.

Life span and health span are two important concepts that can help us understand how to age well. As we may not be able to control how long we live, we can take steps to increase the amount of time we spend in good health. We can support healthy aging and promote overall well-being by prioritizing physical activity, nutrition, social connections, and preventative care.

Here we discuss with Dr. Arno Kroner, an integrative medicine physician, on how to reverse some parts of the biological clock, and to achieve healthy aging.

What Is Life Span vs. Health Span?

NourishDoc: Hello, everyone. Well, welcome back. Today is Thursday, almost the weekend. We are talking about an exciting topic today aging and longevity, which all of us want, but how do we achieve that? That’s what we are talking about with Dr. Kroner today. Dr. Kroner is an integrative medicine physician joining me living in South California. Thank you so much.

Dr. Kroner: Hi. Hello, everybody. Yeah, so anti-aging and longevity. I want to put some nuances on those two words because anti-aging is a little deceptive. We want to age well because everybody will age at some point. However, there is evidence that you can reverse parts of the biological clock. You know, we can achieve longevity and age well. The idea is to age well.

So, we want to increase not just the lifespan, which is the length you’ll be living of time you’ll be living. However, we want to increase their health span. There have recently been many advances in modern research from the more biochemical standpoint of medicine. There’s always been a Chinese medicine tradition called Yang Chen, which stands for the nourishing of life. So this is the tradition, and this is modern science.

Nowadays, especially in my practice, my job is to blend both to give people the best. And usually, it goes along different modules because we find that every organ system, the skin, the cardiovascular system, the GI tract, the brain, and so forth, all age at different paces. So some of them it’s faster than others. So you could have somebody with perfect skin but a cardioid system that’s not optimal for either certain chronological age. That’s just an example.

So when we work on aging well strategies or healthy life, we always need to consider that. When I offer a program to my clients or patients for aging well, I’ll break it down into about eight modules. They are the brain, the body, the sleep, the nutrition, the social life and relationships, and so forth. So there are different approaches; my favorite is behavioral; the behavior of individuals is in their lifestyle. It’s going to determine how long and well they’ll live.

So if you’re partying all night and using things we won’t mention, you’re cutting years off your life or giving yourself yours that might not be as healthy as possible. There’s a shortcut with a hot dog; you lose a day of life every time you eat a hot dog. Is it true? Because many of those behaviors can also be balanced by, you know, the opposite. So, everybody needs to enjoy a little fun sometimes. But that’s the general guidelines. I’ll be happy to answer any questions because it would take about eight days if I start going through all the modules. Do you have any specific questions for me?

Tools For Anti-Aging & Longevity

NourishDoc: Yeah, I want us to talk briefly about the higher modules. We want to talk about general guidelines. For example, what are the tools that we should use, because as an end consumer like myself, I, you know, I know sleep, on a high level, I need to do eat well, I need to do this, I need to do exercise, I mean, we all know that? But, how do we, like, maybe from a Chinese medicine perspective, it has a fascinating theory for eating warm foods? You know or doing your constitution. Do you want to talk more in-depth about aging and longevity, because that would be a little bit more?

Dr. Kroner: Yeah, and you know I’ll, I’ll take the example of, for instance, nutrition. nutrition is we all know it’s essential, but it works in conjunction with sleep and exercise. So this, as you know, for aging well before we start employing the strategies of supplementation like, for instance, you know, NMN, NR, NAD plus, and resveratrol and all the supplements we can use to, you know, slow down the epigenetic aging, this is useless, you know, they’ll be putting a band-aid on an on a wound if, you know, there’s no foundation and what I call kind of like the pillars of wellness, which is sleep, mental health, or mindfulness, spirituality, and nutrition exercise.

So as far as nutrition goes, there there are different approaches. Some people like to tailor their nutrition according to the blood test they do, their DNA, and their ancestry. So, there are different strategies there. what Chinese medicine will tell you is that, you know, balance is everything. So, in Chinese medicine, we tend not to recommend cold foods, not too many raw foods, especially if you live in a cold environment. We tend to avoid excess, so that will tend to make food a little bland because, you know, you’re going to cut out a lot of dairy, cheese, spices, so, but that’s the idea that you don’t want to over touch the body. Hence, the body stays healthy for longer.

And you don’t want to start creating pathogens through improper nutrition, and that’s where the Chinese medicine standpoint becomes very valuable because, For instance, if you overeat ice cream or cheese or dairy, you’re going to create what we call dampness in your body. I believe ayurvedic medicine has the same kind of approach. So, damp eventually will turn into damp heat. So, somebody who eats a lot of cheese and spices will end up with a tong with a thick yellow coating, and their digestion will change. They will metabolism is going to change.

So, you know, People should approach their nutrition like feeding their little internal garden; in Chinese medicine, we always talk about the internal garden. So, what kind of internal garden would you like, you know, and then there’s sleep, and sleep is so important, and you realize that people who sleep well live longer. and there are tools for having a good sleep routine, and we’re all aware of those. It’s just a matter of planning, implementing them, you know, no, it’s good to dim the lights, it’s good to wake up when the light is coming up when the sun comes up, recent research has shown that exposing what we call the Milano sites, I think in the eyes to early morning, like right now, here in LA, or early morning outside, to have this blue light from, that comes from the outside, I mean, without looking at the sun directly, can be beneficial for the circadian rhythm.

So if you get up and spend 10 minutes and get some, you know, light, not necessarily sunlight in your eyes, you’re going to sleep better at night. You know, that’s been found recently. If people email me, I’ll be happy to provide any references. Then there’s, there, there, there are all the other aspects, like, there’s also the medical interventions, you know, people have hormone replacement, therapy, after a certain point, some people like to add growth hormone which I don’t recommend. I try to think that, you know, more serious interventions are not always necessary, so I tend to approach the guidance for aging well more from the Chinese perspective because it’s gentle.

It’s natural, and then we can complement it with modern supplements. I already mentioned, you know, NAD plus to increase this, and essential chemical and the body and the cell metabolites. there is another thing as well: what we call nemesis with an H, sorry, it is my accent, is very important to stress the body in small amounts. So, for instance, we find that heat and cold therapy work very well. So, a cold shower after a sauna is an excellent idea. for aging well. what else? well, that’s that; then there’s the bio tracking. So I think it’s essential, especially with today’s technology. To monitor our variables. You know, blood markers, heart rate now, they have, you know, rings that you can wear to measure your sleep quality.

So, when working with people, it’s vulnerable actually to look at this data and then in the same line of thinking, there’s the DNA, and, you know, we can actually, these companies these days, and, I don’t know how reliable they are, because it’s just the start, they measure the biological clock. So, a scientist at UCLA, Dr. Olvath, discovered the Ovath clock clocks. There’s even one called the Grime; it’s called the Grim. The Grim clock or the grim age. The grim age is a club that will tell you pretty much supposedly accurately when you’re going to die. So it’s a little scary, but you know, an actuary is already doing quite a lot of that work for life insurance, which was through questionnaires. So, you know, it’s like, would someone want to know when they want to die? I don’t know.

But they might want to measure this if they’re brave enough to postpone it a little longer. I also think another clock I heard was H two cancer. Everyone gets cancer at some point. So they were able to measure the time at which cancer would occur. And I mean, cancer is a big word, you know, over one hundred types of cancer. So, those clocks might give you an idea, but they might not be definitive, you know, truth, you know, we should always take all those values a grain of salt. And that’s why I often favor traditional medicine because we don’t have to rely on data like that.

We rely on principles that have been true for 1 thousand eras, and it still works. there’s a great book that maybe people are interested in reading. It’s Young Shen. It’s by Peter Deadman, one of the biggest authors in Chinese medicine. He wrote, you know, a pretty definitive book about acupuncture and acupuncture points. And he’s highly respected, and it’s called the Nourishing of Life, and you know it’s an interesting book.

NourishDoc: So, much exciting information that you share.

Different Protocols For Every Individual

Dr. Kroner: I don’t know. I only prepared a little. I have some notes that go toward the small book I’m writing about, but you know it’s what we should know is that it’s personal. You know, no one protocol applies to everybody. Natural medicine and integrated medicine, in particular, are personal. So, it’s always custom-made for every individual, and you know, we can’t push everybody through a factory line and have them all come out the same.

You know, this type of medicine is, I work more like a consultant, a longevity consultant, than, you know, a physician that says, okay, well, you there, you take this, you know, I, it’s not mechanical like that, it’s very, we have to be, paying attention to everybody in particular because everybody is different, you know, every individual is unique, and that’s what makes the beautiful place.

NourishDoc: I think that’s great. I love how you said that some clocks tell you when you will die. Many of us would want to know that because we can plan our lives. Yeah. From a financial point of view and a health point of view. Right? Because I want to joke about hey, if people know when they’re going to die, then we will want to spend all our money. Okay, now I’m dying.

Dr. Kroner: I know it’s true, but death is a sensitive topic in society. It’s, you know, I’ve, you know, through my work and personal experiences, I’ve had to deal with many dying individuals. It is part of the journey that provokes fear; it takes a little education to work through death and their own. Our mortality, there’s a good meditation for that, it’s just to sit, close your eyes, and imagine your body, you know, decomposing and the flesh turning into nothing, and then the bones turning into dust because eventually, that’s what happens to all of us. I had a spiritual teacher who always said no one gets out of there alive.

So and it’s true. However, you know, on the more positive side, we can, you know, improve our health span and age gracefully. I know excellent examples of people who don’t look their age because they know how to care for themselves and get the care they need when they need it. Also, we’ll keep an excellent mental attitude toward life, you know, I think that’s the source of, of a good life is, it’s good thinking, you know, good thoughts, good, good, positive up look, which is tough, you know, it’s easy to say, it’s easy, it’s harder to do.

But it is where, you know, there is a way of sinking in Chinese medicine where we think that every sort of illness comes from unhealthy emotional patterns. You know, whether it’s a worry, or anger, or sadness, or fear, or too much joy is also a, a pathogen, so an example of too much joy would be excess, you know, be going to Vegas, and, may I don’t judge anyone going Vegas, I think, it’s a quite an exciting place, but, I’m just thinking as an example, that, you know, it’s like burning the kennel by both hands, so that’s excessive joy, so although, or excessive sadness and grief, which can, we know, can lead to actually a disease, so, it, that’s probably the first step, is to have a healthy mind, and spirit.

NourishDoc: Any questions for you? Please unmute yourself and ask a question or put it in. I’m talking to Penelope.

Penelope: So, I’m always fascinated by you. You’re just your input is just so valuable to me. How could I retain and use this information when I walked out of your office? I’ve been doing well at it. You know, just. So, I’m so part of this tiny group, but I’m just fascinated to hear anything you say about life.

Dr. Kroner: Oh, thanks so much. Well, I always take it with a grain of salt.

Penelope: Well, I do and try to implement it, you know, on a reasonable basis. I don’t try to get excessive about it. Like, I have to eat, you know, four bags of popcorn today, and then I, you know, to go for a five-mile hike. I am moderate and intelligent, and reasonable. However, I’m just fascinated by whatever comes out of your mouth.

Dr. Kroner: Oh, thank you. Well, if you don’t mind me sharing, you’re a stellar example of someone who can, you know, implement all this, you know, I don’t know how much I can share. However, it’s, You know, you’re an excellent example. You hear it from me all the time that you know; if everyone did what you do, they would be very, you know, graceful and beautiful aging on this planet. And as a disclaimer, anything I said on this podcast is not medical advice; it’s not it’s; it’s a little disclaimer that you should consistently implement protocols and work with the healthcare provider. Me, for instance.

Penelope: Right, I’m doing it. We are always supposed to say those things.

Mental Attitude To Be Happy

NourishDoc: It’s beautiful when you explained it. We all know it, but we don’t know how to break it down, you know, daily. And mental attitude, I love the way you said that the mental attitude is so important and too much grief, too much joy, suddenly someone winning a lottery of millions of dollars is not so not good, right? And too much grief is also not good. So you have to come somewhere in between homeostasis. That very mind is balanced. That’s what I’m hitting.

Dr. Kroner: And not nothing in excess, you know, that should be the idea, and we live in a world that promotes success, you know? Do you, the amount of time, we can do something to excess, anything we can do to excess like right now, I have, I have a friend, we play scrabble to excess, okay? So, it’s not going to induce extreme aging, but excess, because you’re like, well, aren’t we playing too much on our phones? And yeah, that can be healthy.

You know, there are worse things you can do in excess, but when there’s excess, our world promotes success because the modern world promotes excessive and uncontrolled growth. As you know, we know where that led. It led to global warming. And everybody’s burning on their seat right now. So that’s another thing that I should have mentioned is that We have to be aware that we’re not just in little elements, individuals here. Everybody is connected, and we’re connected to the planet.

If we don’t, if we all work on our anti-aging and anti-aging strategies and don’t care about the planet, why? Everything’s going to burn up. So, you know, you can live for 100 years, but if you’re sitting on a volcano or in the middle of a forest fire, your resveratrol, NMN, or, you know, the sauna and cold shower routine. It’s going to take much work. And that’s another part of medicine that I’m currently investigating through the foundation that we have is how we evolve medicine in the face of climate change.

Because that’s also connected to aging and longevity, but it’s more like how do we approach and help people who are going to be subjected to extreme heat, you know I’m fortunate enough that you know I’ve had quite a long resume or you know. You’ll try and learn sports, so I’ve been able to run, you know, for over an hour in the desert for 150 at hundred and 115 Celsius Fahrenheit; sorry, not Celsius, but that came from training. I’m not saying everyone should do this.

However, I’m aware that we will have to evolve with the planet; as the planet warms up or gets wetter or drier in certain areas, the supplies will change. It’s the same as the subject of death; it’s probably not mentioned enough, and the urgency of it. I know Al Gore made a movie, but it’s still a little late now to do something. So, we will have to adapt, and adaptation is part of our health, aging, and evolution. So, yeah. Sorry, I went a bit of attention here, but once you get me started, that can’t stop.

NourishDoc: I think we need to have you come back and make a big splash on this topic because all of us want to understand this topic; we don’t, and rightfully; you said that we all worry about, oh, let me take this supplement or let me try this cream or let me try to we just obsessed as a human being that I need to look good, but we forget about the planet that’s happening all around us are fires in your city right in California we are California and cross our fingers. No more fires happen, but this is what is happening all over the world.

Dr. Kroner: Right, all over in Europe right now. I mean, England, England at crazy temperatures, and I’m laughing because I did live in England. I have got lots of friends in England; it’s not funny. I’m laughing because it’s funny from a cultural perspective that the British are burning up. However, it’s not funny because, you know, usually it’s a pretty, you know, the moderate climate there. It is the same with France, but it is scary that London never experienced those temperatures, which will impact everybody’s health. As physicians, it’s our role to, you know, support the people.

NourishDoc: Well, we typically do a 10-minute session, but We went overboard.

Dr. Kroner: I appreciate you know I don’t feel I have anything new to say. You know everybody has to be humble; I read the research. I see what scientists do. I have teachers that have, you know, much more experience than me and Taught me invaluable lessons; there is something that we should not forget, and you know, develop medicine over time, you know, but I want to be saying that I really don’t know everything and you know I’m just sharing my perspective you know at the end of the day there’s people is doing precious work and research and also disseminating this research to us the clinician you know I’m not a researcher I’m just a. My job is to approach everybody individually and do my best to translate this research into practical protocols for individuals. That sounded like a sales pitch, but it is.

Penelope: No, you’re the best. You’re so informative, and I’m always fascinated by what you have to say. Thank you. I agree with it, and it’s it I like to see things from your perspective because it’s an unusual perspective.

Dr. Kroner: Thanks so much. It means a lot to me, and you know it’s just like I appreciate you so much.

Penelope: Oh, thank you. Likewise. Okay, I have to go, and I’ve got something to do at 9:30.

Dr. Kroner: Thanks for attending, Penelope, because you’re the only one who came. Okay, See you soon. Bye. Take care. Bye bye.

NourishDoc: Thank you, Dr. Kroner, for being with us. We bring these bite-size sessions daily to all the followers and people. But we will be hosting some more significant sessions as well. And our platform is ready for everyone to take a look at it and tell us your feedback. We appreciate everyone’s support, especially Dr. Kroner, who has come and given us so much wisdom and tips that we should incorporate. Anything else from you last anything else you’d like to add?

Dr. Kroner: No, I like, you know, I like the opportunity to share the little I know, and you know, if anyone, you know, I don’t know, maybe there’s my information on the plane. It’s easy to find me, and you Google my name.

NourishDoc: We will add your name to the comment section of this recording, which is live recording right now. We will add all the details on anyone who wants to contact you; we will be adding all the comments.

Dr. Kroner: Yeah, and we publish a weekly newsletter that, most of the time, it’s about, and I should not say, anti-aging, but it’s about, you know, maximizing our wellness and health. So, it would lead to slow aging or better aging. So, if anybody is interested, there’s a way to subscribe or go to my, you know, the visitor with something.

NourishDoc: Okay, thank you.


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