Are you interested in living a long, healthy, and independent life? If so, you may want to pay attention to your marginal decade, which is the last decade of your life. This is the time when you are likely to experience the most significant declines in physical and cognitive function. According to Dr. Peter Attia, a well-known physician and longevity expert, the key to enjoying a high quality of life in your marginal decade is to backcast your life. Backcasting involves thinking about how you want to live during your last decade and then working backward to identify the steps you need to take now to make that future a reality.
Dr. Attia’s concept of backcasting is a powerful tool that can help us take charge of our health and well-being. By envisioning how we want to live in our marginal decade and working backward to identify the steps we need to take now, we can create a roadmap for a long and healthy life.
Strong for Tomorrow
For example, if you want to be self-sufficient and live independently in your 90s, you need to start working on your physical function now. As Dr. Attia mentioned in his interview with Dr. Huberman, preserving muscle mass and strength is essential for maintaining physical function and independence as we age. Resistance training and low-level physical activity are two effective ways to build and maintain muscle mass.
To achieve this, Dr. Attia recommends a combination of resistance training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and low-level physical activity such as walking and standing throughout the day. He also stresses the importance of proper nutrition, including adequate protein intake, to support muscle growth and maintenance.
I have said we strength train now to prevent a weak future. Many of our clients have thrived over the years and live fulfilling lives in the later years.
In addition to physical function, emotional and mental well-being is also important for our overall quality of life. As Dr. Attia emphasized, developing resilience, cultivating positive relationships, and finding purpose and meaning in our lives can promote emotional and mental well-being.
To backcast your life, start by thinking about how you want to live in your marginal decade. Do you want to be physically active and independent? Do you want to maintain close relationships with family and friends? Do you want to pursue new hobbies or interests? Once you have a clear vision of your future, identify the steps you need to take now to make that future a reality. This might involve building physical strength and mobility, developing emotional resilience, or pursuing new experiences and opportunities.
Power of Sleep
Another key topic discussed in the interview is the importance of sleep for our health and well-being. Dr. Attia emphasizes the need to prioritize sleep hygiene and establish a consistent sleep routine to ensure adequate rest and recovery. He also recommends strategies such as avoiding electronic devices before bedtime, keeping the bedroom dark and quiet, and practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing to promote relaxation and restful sleep.
Here is a blog post from the past about 10 ways to sleep better.
By taking these simple steps now, you can improve your physical function, maintain your independence, and enjoy a high quality of life in your marginal decade. Remember, the choices you make today will determine the quality of life you have tomorrow. So start backcasting your life now and take action to ensure a long and healthy future.