It Sounds Really Scary -- But It's Not
Here’s an interesting phrase you don’t hear every day: “compression of morbidity.”
Sounds dreadful, doesn’t it?
But it’s actually something everyone wants: to have all our age-related illnesses come in as short a time as possible at the end of life. In other words, to live really well right up until the end.
"You have to say, 'Do I want to spend my money to live as long as possible? Or do I want to spend my money to live as healthy as possible for as long as I'm alive?' " says Wade Lightheart, a bodybuilding champion turned "biohacks" entrepreneur.
"I'm choosing that one: I want quality of life."
This is the main goal of people pursuing fitness over 50. Some want to maintain athletic pursuits. Some want to lose weight. Some want to be able to enjoy grandchildren and hobbies.
But all of them want "compression of morbidity."
Wade and I discussed this on the Optimal Aging podcast. (Listen to it here ir wherever you get podcasts
.) His company, BiOptimizers, is a leader in the emerging field of "biohacks," supplements and other nutritional products to help us feel better, digest better and live better. If you've heard talk about magnesium gluten, herbal parasites cleanses and more than you're in the ballpark.
The company helps customers transition from a sick unhealthy condition into one that is peak and biologically optimized, where your body's functions are operating in an optimal state of well being. BiOptimizers says its goal is to help us have more energy, feel great live a better life.
Wade is a three time Canadian natural bodybuilding champion, an author, and an authority on natural nutrition and training methods. (He also brought a nice discount and a free gift for our listeners. So be sure to stick around to get the details on that at the end of the conversation.)
The Ultimate Example
The ultimate example of compressed morbidity: being healthy and active until passing away peacefully while asleep.
It’s a universal goal, and a main driver of over-50 fitness. A healthy lifestyle can help us reach it. That means regular exercise; proper diet and rest; living at the right weight. You already know it will keep us alive longer. But more to the point here, these habits keep us healthier longer into our advanced years.
This is a primary motivator for many “active agers.” When you ask why they’re committed to fitness, you often hear them say:
• “So, I can enjoy life for as long as possible”
• “So, I don’t become a burden”
• “Because I don’t want to be feeble and frail over a period of slow decline.”
Wade believes it all starts with our gut and what we eat, and how generations of modern living have corrupted much of what we consume.
"A lot of people, when they get into their middle age, say, 'I don't know what's happening to me -- I start gaining weight and I can't stop it. My hormones are starting to crash. I don't know why. I can't seem to remember what I'm supposed to be saying or where the keys are? How come I can't remember that guy's name?'
"Well, what I'm saying is, You've tipped over the edge of toxic overload in the system, which is disrupting your natural biological functions inside the body. And they call that aging. And because everybody's doing it, they call it normal. And I'm here to say it's not. It's reversible, and you can do it. But it starts in your digestion. Just like Hippocrates said, over 2000 years ago: All disease begins in the gut."
Research shows that people with healthier lifestyles suffer less physical and mental decline than people who are sedentary, smoke, and have other unhealthy habits. Biohacks can help with that, but it takes commitment to self-care, not just popping a vitamin and carrying on with unhealthy lifestyles.
So, at the base of all you're trying to sell and provide to people over 50, remember that what we eat and how we move affects everything -- including how long and how well we can enjoy life.
Just hold off on that "compression of morbidity" expression!