You Can’t Convince Everyone that Healthy Ageing is Possible, and I Won’t Try
I vividly remember the first time my healthy ageing knowledge and reality clashed head-on.
It involved an older relative.
We were discussing my plans for a new project – which would later become this website – and I was enthusiastically sharing what I had learned about longevity science and recent breakthroughs. My relative surprised me by saying they were going to get their diet fixed. They said I’ll start by cutting out butter and moving to margarine…
My heart sank.
Years of advice from organisations that put profit above health were encapsulated in a split second.
There was processed orange juice on the table, that butter was going on ‘healthy’ brown bread. It was the first of three, possibly four meals that day.
These ingrained assumptions are impossible to change head-on.
Add to that people that don’t want to change their habits, believe that ageing is natural and unavoidable, or believe that you need to give up everything and eat only raw lentils to live just a little longer – and it can feel like a mountain to climb.
This exchange helped me define who I would be writing for.
Instead of banging my head against the brick wall of intransience, scepticism and disinterest, I’d focus on people that already had a desire for a healthier, longer life.
That, in turn, led me to clearly define who the Age Well Times is not for.
Who The Age Well Times is Not For
- People Who Believe that Ageing is Natural
- Stubborn and Sceptical (especially if proud of their damaging habits)
- Biohackers and Fitness Fanatics
Who the Age Well Times is For
- Exited by Longevity Science and Want to Get Started
- Taken Responsibility for Health (learning the next steps)
- Busy, Full Lives and Want to Implement Longevity Habits
Let’s Get into Detail: People Won’t Change Unless They Want Too
It is more than simply the cognitive dissonance of needing to replace old beliefs – most people are happy with their current setup and simply not open to new information on healthy lifestyle changes.
I’ll call it laziness, at least when it comes to health and fitness.
The long road and millions spent on reducing smoking highlights this perfectly. It blows my mind that 13.3% of people regularly smoke (based on the UK census 2021) – after decades of messaging about the catastrophic outcome.
On a more personal level, I have a rule of ‘don’t try to change’.
If someone is seeking a solution, perhaps for weight gain, or feeling unfit, I’ll point them in the right direction.
The Age Well Times is for people that have decided to up their healthy habits game.
Ageing and Death is Natural: The Rate and Physical Decline Components are Not
There is nothing unnatural about wanting to live in a robust, healthy body for as many years as possible.
We can’t prolong life much (yet), but we can certainly influence healthspan and reduce the number of years battling multiple chronic conditions at the end.
For me, people play the ‘ageing is natural’ card as a shield against needing to update their beliefs / or take on new habits.
I’m not here to badger them.
I’m not here to ‘show them the light’.
The ‘its natural’ crowd are no different to the ‘it won’t happen to me’ type that smokes, eats processed food to excess and refuses to exercise, and I wish them happy, fulfilled lives.
Biohackers and Fitness Fanatics
I learn a ton from biohackers.
These types are first movers for longevity drugs, workout supplements and new technologies.
What people like Bryan Johnson, Dave Aspery, and David Sinclair do for longevity and healthy ageing is amazing. Even if the press is hostile, they are getting the debate out there. The public find out what is possible, and a small percentage of them decide to take steps to live a healthier life.
That said, the Age Well Times is not for the active biohacking crowd. I’m learning from them, going deep into the scientific papers based on their claims, and turning that information into actionable habits. At the same time, I’m not an experimenter, and want pristine safety before I jump in.
Likewise, fitness fanatics don’t need advice on incorporating simple exercise habits that build over time.
They are already way beyond this point.
Wrapping Up: Turning Longevity Science into Actionable Habits
This blog post is a little more free-from than my usual style.
It started as a concept – that there is a large percentage of the population simply not open to healthy, fitness and longevity.
As this topic hits the mainstream, I strongly believe that the trickle will turn into a stream as we hit the middle of this decade.
Let’s make sure there is an actionable framework to onboard those people.
Here are some posts to get started on your longevity habits journey: