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TomBAvoider

Reaching optimal health

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This is the chitchat section, so a bit of diversion. How do you know you've reached optimal health? Is it even a particular state? After all, your body is in constant flux. Perhaps your liver has become as healthy as it can get (100%), but your lungs are at 70% or your kidneys get better and your joints get worse. So how can you give a global rating of a single descriptive like "optimal health" overall? While one thing might improve another might deteriorate, so how can you say "overall"?

Be that as it may, I'm sure you've heard the following - a 50 year old man starts exercising or changes their diet to a healthy one, or stops smoking/drinking/drugging etc., and proclaims "I'm in the best shape of my life, my health is the best and I feel better than I felt when I was 25". Perhaps it's even true - perhaps his health is at 50 IS better than at 25 and you can say that *for him* he has reached his optimal health at 50. Now, someone who has been living healthily since their teens, has had optimal health at what, 20? before the natural aging process starts a steady deterioration? Everything else being equal, you're closer to death at 30 than at 20, so you have to say that your health - the quality of your organs etc. - is not as good at 30 as it is at 20.

Of course there is the "weakest link" model. Say, you have a bad liver and you fix it. Or a bad heart and you fix it. Or you have ANY bad condition and you manage to fix it. Whatever the age, after you've fixed it, and assuming nothing else has gotten bad in the meanwhile, you've reached optimal health, say at 40, or 50, or whatnot, because the weakest link - a bad heart or bad liver or whatnot - would've killed you otherwise, so fixing it gets you to your best health.

For many on this list, it's a complicated question. We try to fix all our problems - muscles, teeth, joints, CV health etc. and then engage in optimal exercise and diet. But then the aging process represents a steady overall deterioration. If you fixed your "weakest link" that might have killed you early, what's left is aging. So you've reached Optimal Health once you have no morbidities - from then on, you age and that represents continuing deterioration, so maybe you've reached optimal health at 30 and then it's all downhill from there.

Subjectively, even at this late age (technically late middle age) I personally feel as if every year I'm getting healthier - obviously, that's an illusion, since getting older means getting closer to death. Although I suppose you could model a "square the curve" - you're healthy as can be until you suddenly drop dead from old age. Now, I - as I'm sure most here - am constantly optimizing and fiddling with my diet, exercise, supplement regimes and so on in an effort to keep improving... although the truth is that at best it's fiddling at the margins and makes 0.0001% change or it's useless or even making things worse. But all this fiddling gives me a subjective feeling as if NOW I'm at optimal health. I'm fully aware it's an illusion. 

Anyhow, all this was brought on by my having some dental work done - since dental health is super important to the overall health, I felt as if NOW I've reached optimal health, having fixed all my niggling little issues. It's an illusion. 

But that still leaves the question - is there such a thing as having "optimal health"? Is it a specific point in time? Or is it a confused and pointless concept? If it's useless, why do we pursue it?

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Optimal health is equivalent to being immortal (defined as immune to aging), not suffering from any health complications and experiencing a mental state of constant happiness. Until we as a society figure out how to achieve these three things, no one should be fooling themselves with the fable that they already did reach optimal health. If you are aging, you are dying. No dying person should be considered healthy. Unfortunately, people are being brainwashed since birth to accept that aging is something "natural", whatever that means, and the result is that instead of focusing all our efforts on researching aging and developing technologies that would slow it down and eventually even halt it and reverse it, we waste money on things that have a lower priority. It is amusing and sad at the same time. Everybody wants to live forever (given that they would be healthy and would enjoy their life), but cultural indoctrination is strong. Future generations will obviously be much more cognizant of this and prioritize longevity more strongly, and when looking back into the past at what their ancestors were doing with their limited time, they'll shake their heads in disbelief and ask themselves *How could they have been so stupid?* But that's just the cycle of life. Future generations are always smarter than past generations. Though sometimes, I wish evolution worked a little faster.

Edited by Lucius

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23 hours ago, Lucius said:

Future generations are always smarter than past generations.

Seriously! More accumulation of knowledge perhaps, but my guess is we are innately much dumber. Also the big challenge for humanity is to learn how not to be a species that has evolved into a cancer that threatens the ecosystem. That’s a tall order, but one that needs to be met before we start growing the cancer by leaps and bounds with immortality!

 

Edited by Mike41

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Actually, I think that a longer lifespan would promote more ecological awareness and general rationality. If you are to live longer, you have more incentives to take care of the environment. And if you have a longer lifespan you would take better care of yourself too, as you don't want to linger on in poor health. All in all, I can see almost no downsides to a longer lifespan. YMMV.

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I don’t buy it. We humans are self centered creatures and don’t respond well to rational thinking as you so well state. It’s only when the floodgates open do we get serious and it will be too late. In fact it’s probably already too late.

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Well, maybe it is too late, I don't know. But I do know it won't be my problem, because by the time when the ish really hits the fan, I'll be long dead. As will be my wife and anyone else I care about. I'm not happy about it, I wish civilization would last, since there is so much beauty and glory in the human being, but in the end nature will take its course. Admittedly, I'm an optimist, so I reckon somehow things will work themselves out. I'm not saying the situation isn't dire, but perhaps I have too much faith in human inventiveness. 

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Ultimately yes I believe humanity will pull through and hopefully grow as a result. It’s an interesting ploy I think. Humanity learns who and what it really is. Perhaps there is a meaning after all. Certainly, at least, that we are all one and these idiotic divisions need to be transcended.

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On 10/20/2020 at 12:45 PM, Lucius said:

Unfortunately, people are being brainwashed since birth to accept that aging is something "natural", whatever that means, and the result is that instead of focusing all our efforts on researching aging and developing technologies that would slow it down and eventually even halt it and reverse it, we waste money on things that have a lower priority.

This sounds a lot like magical thinking.... Based on available know-how, humans have generally tried to improve their living conditions and longevity, through sanitation, homeopathy, pharmaceuticals, and so on. There are trillions pouring into biotech companies to further such goals.
 

On 10/20/2020 at 12:45 PM, Lucius said:

... but cultural indoctrination is strong.

And this sounds like someone took their nonsensical critical theory classes way too seriously 🙂  Nothing to do with "cultural indoctrination," whatever this may mean, and everything to do with the hard facts of evolution, biology and genetics, and current limits of technology and knowledge.
 

On 10/20/2020 at 12:45 PM, Lucius said:

Future generations are always smarter than past generations.

Not true, unless we view very long periods, often millennia and often encompassing tens and even hundreds of generations.  Generally, there are cyclical patterns in history and development is not a linear process, which means that it is not a given that immediate subsequent generations would be more advanced, or "smarter" (as most advanced societies have virtually eliminated natural selection, the opposite is a more likely outcome for the general population).

The average Roman subject at the height of the Roman Empire was much more likely to be literate (if I remember, estimates are about 16% literacy) than someone living in the same region say six centuries later (literacy dropped to about 2%-3%). Sanitation infrastructure, relatively advance during the Classical period, largely disappeared in Europe during the Middle Ages. The spread of Christianity also effectively stalled scientific inquiry in Europe for close to a millennium.

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6 hours ago, JohnBrown said:

Trying Clomid-only to see If TRT is the best option. Good idea or not?

👍👍

Edited by Clinton

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In my opinion, optimal health includes optimal physical efficiency but only to an extent. Some people may construe physical efficiency as being able to run a marathon or to lift big weights, but we know that optimal health implies physical efficiency in the most common chores of our ancestors: walking and jogging, climbing,  farming, moving light objects, occasionally heavier, rarely very heavy and in such a case moving them in group. But of course a degree of physical efficiency must be included in the definition of optimal health.

To me these are some of the main parameters defining optimal health.

  • Good metabolism and homeostatic mechanisms (glucose, fats, thermal, weight and so on)
  • Moderate to high physical fitness
  • Unimpeded cognitive faculties
  • Good level of energy  and mental alertness across the day
  • A balanced, well-responding, optimized immune system
  • Healthy organs, bones, skins and skeletal tissue.

Optimum health also implies that any injuries, except the most serious ones, are healed in a reasonable time.

Aging influences optimal health in the measure it influences the above parameters.

Edited by mccoy

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5 hours ago, mccoy said:

we know that optimal health implies physical efficiency in the most common chores of our ancestors: walking and jogging, climbing,  farming, moving light objects, occasionally heavier, rarely very heavy and in such a case moving them in group.

I think you're 100% correct on this Dr. McCoy.  Optimal Health doesn't require a 300lb bench press or 4 minute mile.

Edited by Clinton

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On 1/13/2021 at 4:01 AM, mccoy said:

Strong immune system

Semantics, but I believe the goal is a well-balanced and well-regulated immune system.

If too strong and active, it will actually kill you :)

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On 1/15/2021 at 1:09 AM, Ron Put said:

If too strong and active, it will actually kill you 🙂

Yes, we agree, by strong I didn't mean overreactive, but to avoid misunderstandings I edited: a balanced, well-responding, optimized immune system.

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On 1/13/2021 at 6:02 PM, Clinton said:

Optimal Health doesn't require a 300lb bench press or 4 minute mile.

Clinton, although I admit I would love to be able presently to bench press 660 pounds. But that, even if possible, would require most probably an anti-longevity strategy.

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I totally agree... I am benching 165lbs right now.  3 sets to total failure I can manage 13, 11, 10.

I am feeling pretty happy about that with no strength enhancing supplements except some creatine and beta-alanine.

And I don’t think I could run a mile in under 8 minutes 😁

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