How to live longer and healthier is a topic that’s currently drawing a lot of attention. I recently read Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Canadian physician Peter Attia, co-authored by Bill Gifford. The book highlights the significant health problems humans face and compares our current reactive approach to a proactive method that promotes longevity. Luckily, I already practice much of what’s in the book – but there is always room for improvement! 

Trained as an oncological surgeon, Attia’s take on longevity is fascinating. He talks about the ‘Four Horsemen’ – diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease – and how they’re all connected. He believes that if you have diabetes, for example, you might be at risk for heart disease or cancer.

Attia differentiates between Medicine 2.0, which is about addressing chronic diseases after they manifest, and Medicine 3.0, where we proactively prevent health issues.

The book is a powerful reminder that we need to prioritize our well-being. What’s really interesting about it is that he doesn’t just give superficial advice. Instead, Attia dives deep into topics like eating and exercising, nutrition, sleep, and mental health. He says it’s not just about what we eat but also how much and how often. He also writes about balancing health strategies with enjoying life’s pleasures.

I appreciate the insight this read gave me into not only adding years to my life but quality to it as well. This concept has helped me lead Clayco teams better, instilling a company culture that prioritizes people and wellness in every way possible. Investing in ourselves and our communities is the best way to stay healthy!

Attia challenges traditional views on healthy aging. He believes that there’s no one-size-fits-all advice. Everyone is different, so everyone needs a health plan tailored to them. He’s also big on personal responsibility. This means that to get the most out of his advice, you need to be active. You need to learn about health, set clear goals, and know the risks of not following a healthy lifestyle. He emphasizes exercise, particularly strength training, as a crucial aspect of aging well.

Attia approaches health metrics for aging comparably to financial planning for retirement. He sets specific health goals for each decade, using objective measurements to track progress. I’m thankful to my good friend John McLinden, Managing Partner at Hubbard Street Group, for recommending it. It was a very impactful must-read guide for anyone at any age who wants to understand more about how to live a longer, better life.