Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity

Peter Attia 2023
Read: 2023

I’m in my sixties, and, although I’m believe that I am at peace with whatever the future brings, I want to live the longest healthy lifespan that I can. “Healthy lifespan” is a Peter Attia term. He is trying to figure out not just how we can live longer, but how we can have as many strong, healthy, and able years as possible while we are here.

This is a 496-page book. I bet that if you added up the pages I read, from start to finish, it would probably be between 250-300. There is a lot of doctor and scientist speak in this book – full and detailed medical explanations backing up the conclusions he has drawn. Dr. Attia is a cancer doctor who believes that current medical practice, which he calls Medicine 2.0, is built around fixing illnesses. But when it comes to the “Four Horsemen,” heart disease, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and metabolic dysfunction like diabetes, the things that kill most Americans, the diseases that Medicine 2.0 has not figured out how to prevent, something new is needed. That something new is Medicine 3.0.

  • There are no surefire answers, but Attia believes that by engaging in a healthy lifestyle, we stand a better chance of extending our healthy lifespan. His recommendations, backed by the science of Medicine 3.0, which he provides great detail on are:
  • Exercise: Aerobic, Anaerobic, Strength, and Stability
  • Healthy food intake – he stresses protein and limiting calories overall
  • High quality and sufficient sleep
  • Strong emotional health

I feel like I read this book 30 years later than I should have. At the beginning of one of the chapters, he features a quote from Desmond Tutu: “There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they are falling in.” Though it’s not too late for me, I am pretty far downstream. That being said, it will be a gift for my sons this year. I’m not sure anyone wants to receive a 500-page book as a gift, but I’m giving it anyway. Because I want them to have the healthiest lifespan possible.

Blue Zones longevity research has been out for a couple of decades now. There’s now a TV series about the Blue Zones. I don’t think there’s anything in Attia’s book that goes against the Blue Zones research. The cultures featured in the Blue Zones embrace Attia’s recommendations, but just do so more naturally. Attia puts the science in it, and gives us suggestions for how to include these regimens in our own communities, even if we don’t live in a Blue Zone.

Great stuff, and . . . I have some work to do.

You can purchase Outlive here.

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