The two pillars that will help you to live—and remain in optimal health—long enough to take full advantage of upcoming health technologies are Prevention and Early Detection of disease. There is a lot you can do yourself to uphold these two pillars.
Lifestyle choices are the key to successful prevention. Making better choices will help you live in good condition for longer. The TRANSCEND program can help guide you through lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, sleep, brain health, and stress management.
Soon, we will have the means to reprogram our biological software and reach the point where the clock begins to tick longer with each passing year.
There are a number of tests that you can perform yourself to help identify disease very early on, thereby increasing your chances of recovery.
Breast self-exams (women). Regular examination will make it easy for you to notice changes that should be addresses with your doctor. Essentially, you are looking for lumps, dimpling, changes or redness.
Testicular self-exams (men). Testicular cancer is the leading cancer in younger men, but it is nearly 100% treatable when caught early. Look for lumps and consistency.
Heart Rate. The easiest place to check your pulse is at your wrist. Without pressing too hard, locate your pulse with the index and middle fingers of the other hand. Count the pulsations for 20 seconds and multiply by 3 for your heart rate. An optimal heart rate is less than 70 beats per minute.
Blood Pressure. You can check your blood pressure easily with an inexpensive device at home. Less than 120/80 mm Hg is an optimal level. Any elevation beyond this level constitutes a health risk. Readings over 140/90 mm Hg are too high and most doctors advise medication for individuals who consistently have readings in this range.
Body Composition. Your health can be affected by how much fat you have and how it is distributed on the body. Some fat is needed for reproductive function, while other fat is simply caloric storage. Body Fat can be estimated using a scale or a handheld device is fine. For a more accurate reading, an underwater tank is preferred (see your doctor or gym for more information). Men should maintain 10-17 percent body fat. Women should maintain 18 to 26 percent body fat. Higher levels of fat, particularly in the abdominal region, increase health risks significantly.
Fitness Testing. Exercise is absolutely necessary for optimal health. We recommend that you evaluate your core strength, upper body strength, aerobic fitness level, and flexibility.
A more complete description of these tests is included in Chapter 10 of Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever.
Go to Step 4 where we discuss “N”utrition.