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The High Performance Journal

5 Simple Ways I'm Testing My Longevity

Apr 25, 2023

The High Performance Journal‚Äč - April 25th 2023


The older the more I think more about longevity.

Some people don't care to live long but I do. I'm 43 at the time of writing this and I have a lot of things I want to do.

I want to see my children grow up.
I want to be a granddad and run circles around my grandchildren.
I want to see the North Shore, New Zealand, and more.
I want eek out as much out of this life as I can muster.

While I can't determine when it's my time to go I can determine my degree of risk.

This is why I see longevity as more about risk mitigation than about adding years to my life.

Aside from bloodwork and VO2 max tests, there are some simple tests I can perform at home to see my risk for mortality.

In this newsletter, we're going to go through these tests and the things we can do to improve them.


5 Simple Tests To See How Long You'll Live

1. The 30-Second Sit to Stand Test

The 30-second sit-to-stand test has you sit & stand in a chair as many times as possible with your hands across your chest.

This is tests strength and endurance in older adults.

  • Sit in the middle of the chair.
  • Place your hands on the opposite shoulder crossed, at the wrists.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • Keep your back straight, and keep your arms against your chest.
  • On “Go,” rise to a full standing position, then sit back down again.
  • Repeat this for 30 seconds. Using your arms to balance negates a rep.

How to improve on this test:
- Weighted squats using progressive overload
- Glute Bridges for the glutes
- Planks for bracing the core

2. The Sit and Raise Test

The sit and raise test is a more advanced version of the chair stand test. While standing you sit in a cross legged position then get back up from there back to standing.

This tests lower body flexibility, balance and muscle strength as you age.

 

 You lose a point if:
- You place your hands on floor
- Need support
- Touch knee to the ground
- Lose balance
- Support yourself on your side of the leg

You get 0 points if you can’t do this at all.

How to improve on this test:
- Weighted squats using progressive overload
- Glute Bridges for the glutes
- Planks for bracing the core

 

3. The Extended Arm Test

The extended arm test is where you hang from a bar as long as possible.

This tests upper body strength as well as grip strength, which is an indicator of how long you'll live.


You literally just hang from a bar for as long as you can.

If you can hit 40 seconds then you're good to go. One minute is advanced. If you do less than 30 seconds then there is some work to be done.

How to improve this test:
- Lat pulldowns or Chin Ups
- Avoid being overweight
- Practicing bar hangs

 

4. The Breath Hold Test aka. BOLT or (Body Oxygen Level Test)

Breath holds are a great way to test your breathing volume.

One of the primary indicators of how long you live is your lung capacity.



Before doing the BOLT Score Test, you should rest quietly for at least 10 minutes, avoiding any physical exertion.

  1. Sit upright in a comfortable position.
  2. Take a normal breath in and out through your nose.
  3. As soon as you’ve exhaled through your nose, pinch your nose to prevent any air from entering your lungs and start the timer.
  4. Keep the timer running while you hold your nose and do not breathe.
  5. As soon as you feel the first sensation that your body wants you to breathe, stop the timer. Sensations you might feel include involuntary contractions of the diaphragm, the desire to swallow, a constriction of the airway, or a mental urge to resume breathing.
  6. The BOLT Test is now over, and you should let go of your nose and resume normal breathing.

A good BOLT score is 30 or above. However, many people start out with BOLT scores around 20

How to improve this test:
- Practice breathwork, specifically Wim Hof Breathing
- Do regular runs & walks to increase zone 2 cardio
- Do one HIIT session a week.

5. The 10-Second Balance Test

The 10-second balance test is where you balance on one foot for 10 seconds.

A study found that people at the age of 50+ who couldn't stand on one foot for 10 seconds were associated with a higher risk of death within the next decade. Falls are the leading cause of injury-related death in the elderly.

 

During this test you simply balance on one foot for 10 seconds then do the next. If you did it without having to stumble or balance you passed. If not you have some work to do.

How to improve this test:
- Do single leg exercises like lunges & bulgarian split squats
- Do a tightrope walk by putting a long piece of tape on the floor, walking forwards and backwards for 15 steps
- Avoid being overweight as the more weight you carry the harder it becomes to balance

When to test these?

Do these tests every 6 months to a year. If you're in the process of improving on them do them every month to quarter to see how well you fair.

How did you test?

If you scored well on these then great job. You've done the work and it shows. Keep testing these as you age to stay on top of your body.

One thing I must point out about these tests is that they can be improved upon.

If you didn't score well on these avoid seeing them as a death sentence. Do not be resigned to fate. Look at these as areas of improvement.

While learned helplessness is a real thing so is learned optimism. The best way to improve on these is to do the work, learn from courses or get some coaching.

Now you've got 5 ways to test your longevity. Please send this to any family members or friends that may need them.

 - Dan

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