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  • Writer's picturePat Birnie

Not Just a Longer Life, a Better Life Is Possible

Isn’t it amazing how the universe often just hands things to you?  Once again I was mulling over what to write about this month. I knew that I was feeling a lot of gratitude for my good health and wanted to express that. There is nothing like several weeks of feeling 'not great' to make us appreciate the norm of having 'getup and go' every single day. It has been a weird winter in sunny Mexico for the typically robust Birnie's. I had 3 weeks of asthma issues, ultimately developing into a lung & sinus infection= first dose of antibiotics. This was followed closely by Ian contracting a wild case of food poisoning; so bad that he ended up hospitalized for a few days. The night before he was released, I got food poisoning!! Unbelievable but true. I was not quite as sick as him but mine would not go away; 14 days and 2 rounds of antibiotics later I am back to my usual self - finally!!

I am back to normal health, I am SO grateful for this 68 year old body that can do so much. I am excited to be active again, and my thirst for learning and sharing tools and inspiration to help everyone live their best possible life has ramped back up. I headed out for a run this morning (first in 2 weeks!) and randomly clicked on a podcast. I chose Mayim Bialik's Breakdown, an interview with Dr. Peter Attia. Wow - within minutes I was mesmerized. This incredible author and podcast host graduated medical school, completed 5 years of residency and then decided to leave traditional medicine and focus on helping people live longer and better lives.

There is SO much information I want to share! Thank you Universe. Alas, this isn't the place for 10,000 words (I don't want you to get bored) and I am not the expert. So I will give you a couple of quick points and share a few resources and links at the bottom. And the best news--- there are really just a couple of things we need to do to live better -- and none of them are rocket science (just neuroscience).

To summarize a few of Attia's key points:

  • Our objective is to optimize longevity -- elongating lifespan and improving health span. We need to delay the onset of degenerative disease -- it is going to happen, but we can take action to delay it. Why are some people barely able to get out of a chair at 50 while many 80 year olds can get down on the floor to play with their grandchild and get themselves back up again? I know, there can be extenuating circumstances, but in the vast majority of cases, people who keep moving, keep moving. During my years as a gym owner/trainer 99% of the cases of poor mobility I saw were brought on by decades of inactivity. Moving daily must be your top priority.

  • All we need is "time and information"....both of these are free and available. We just need to make the decision to prioritize these. Think of the books, podcasts, and videos available to us at zero cost -- it is just incredible. What do I do when I want to figure out the best way to strength train at my age? Google it of course and the info is at my fingertips. Again those years as a trainer -- how often did I hear "I just don't have time" to go for a walk, do a few squats etc? To quote myself, these were often the same individuals who have never missed an episode of some housewife show. You can exercise and watch tv folks! Oh dear, I am afraid I have climbed on my soapbox again. Sorry.

  • Sleep - we need restorative sleep to heal our bodies, build new cells and invigorate ourselves. This can be a challenge as we age. Our best option is to create good sleep hygiene habits and allow our bodies time to wind down at the end of the day. Naps too! I love a great 20-30 minute power nap in the middle of the day, just don't overdo it.

  • Finally, make good nutritional choices most of the time.

So very simple!!

√ Listen to the podcast that got me all excited: Mayam Bialik's Breakdown, Episode 201 (

√ Follow this brilliant guy on IG: @peterattiamd

√ Sign up for Attia's newsletter here -- Lots of great free content right into your inbox.

To close the loop, I truly do feel gratitude for my healthy body, however I strongly believe that it is a combination of good genetics and the fact that I have been active daily and lived by the 80/10 rule as far as healthy choices for the past 40 years. As they say “Genetics Loads the Gun, Lifestyle Pulls the Trigger”.

Let's close with one more great quote from Attia: "I wish I had less muscle said no 90 year old every". Now get inspired & go do a few squats and pushups!!

Pat xo

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1 Comment

Mar 07

This is a great share! I agree with everything...a body in motion keeps moving. I mean, it makes sense, right? But, I do see twenty and thirty somethings that are more sloth-like and I worry bout their future.

I keep up with my workouts and I just wanna be able to stay upright as long as possible.

So sorry you both have been dealing with health issues; wow. I really makes you appreciate when you DO feel good and can do what you want without limitations.

Food poisoning sounds horrid!! I hope you can enjoy the rest of your time in Mexico feeling well.

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