The last 6 months I’ve been experimenting with a number of alternative ways to increase the quality of one of the core foundations of my wellness program – sleep.
In fact, I would go so far as to say that sleep, above everything else that I do to stay healthy and fit at 55, is the main foundation of my overall wellness program.
Without a good nights sleep, everything else that I do falls apart irrespective of how well I eat, how much I train or meditate, or anything else I do for my overall wellness during my waking hours.
For 50+ guys like me sleep is not just a number – it’s a critical part of overall health and it can have a massive metabolic and hormonal affect on us as we age if we don’t get enough of it. The health affects of too little quality sleep? Everything from decreased testosterone and human growth hormone, increased insulin resistance to decreased memory and cognitive function, to increased systemic inflammation (which is seen by many as probably the #1 killer of men). The list goes on – it’s no joke. Read More
Wayfinder is excited to announce that Craig Cooper will be joining our panel of judges at The Pitch – Presented by GearJunkie on July 24th at Outdoor Retailer. Craig Cooper is a 55 year old serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, author, and TV host. He was the co-founder of Boost Mobile (USA), the Managing Director and Head of Venture Capital at Saban Ventures, and a founding Partner in the Softbank Capital Technology Fund.
Craig was also the co-host of the CNBC outdoor investment show “Adventure Capitalists” and is currently the Founder and Managing Partner of The Action Fund, an early stage venture capital fund focused on the health, wellness, & outdoor sector.
Plenty of ads for testosterone supplementation or testosterone replacement therapy are only too happy to try selling you the dream: higher testosterone, better sex, enhanced libido, improved mood, smaller waistline, stronger muscles, more energy. One problem (and there are several) with this scenario is that while testosterone replacement therapy may raise your T levels, there is absolutely no guarantee it will help address any of the other issues typically associated with low testosterone. In fact, a recent report in Human Reproduction noted that “recent evidence has demonstrated that testosterone drugs do not substantially ameliorate these symptoms and…that their long-term use may be associated with severe adverse effects.” Read More
Finding your tribe. How to live a life of peak performance after 40 – and much more. Merry Christmas people! Listen here.
[Postscript: I wrote this article 3-years ago. In 2018 I went back on Metformin as the science continued to stack up on the long term health benefits – especially for someone like me with a genetic predisposition to prostate cancer and type II diabetes, and that’s leaving aside the other benefits like anti-aging and fast-mimicking. And I found that after a month of going back on it I no longer had any side effects as noted in the original article. I’m taking the lowest dose possible – 500mg a day and at 0.80 cents a month it’s a bargain. As they say on the ads – “talk to your doctor to see if Metformin is right for you”.]
The following is the original article published in 2017. The science is still valid today:
I admit it: I took metformin for a week, the leading prescribed drug for treatment of type 2 diabetes (59.2 million units prescribed) in the United States alone and taken by 80 million people around the world. This medication has been around for more than half a century and is often touted as a wonder drug for individuals with type 2 diabetes as well as for those living with other health challenges.
My reasons for taking metformin were highly personal: I have a genetic predisposition for both prostate cancer and type 2 diabetes (I’m not diabetic but I swing in and out of pre-diabetes based on my daily blood sugar readings), and I’m getting older (who isn’t!). I did copious amounts of research and it seemed on all three counts (prostate cancer prevention, managing type 2 diabetes (increasing insulin sensitivity), and anti-aging), it truly was a wonder drug. Oh, and I had also read that pretty much every billionaire in Silicon Valley was on it – mainly for it’s purported life extension benefits (as it can mimic the effect of calorie restriction – see more below).
Before I went on it I wanted to get some key blood indicators taken, specifically:
So I did that.
The plan was to have these indicators measured before taking metformin and then again, one month later. I really wasn’t looking at metformin as a drug – I was looking at it more as a “superfood”. Could it really have all these purported benefits with no real side effects? Why wouldn’t I take it? After all, I don’t take any other drugs so I had no real risk of the “cocktail effect” whereby it could have possibly interacted with other medications. Read More
I started incorporating fasting about a year ago into my weekly health and fitness program. I had done a number of extended fasts over the years but the logic and practicality always escaped me. You would fast in order to cleanse and detoxify but then what happens? Invariably most people would go back to the same habits until the next New Years resolution or some other new fasting fad comes along.
I wanted to incorporate fasting in a manner that would provide consistent and proven health benefits in a practical way that was also sustainable; so that’s how I started practicing what is called “Intermittent Fasting” (IF).
For me the initial reasons I started IF reasons were fivefold:
- I have a genetic disposition to prostate cancer;
- I have a similar genetic predisposition to type II diabetes, so I needed to manage my blood sugar levels and keep them in a normal range;
- I’ve had high grade PIN (prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia) for the last 12 years, which studies show can progress to prostate cancer in 30% of men;
- I wanted something to help control IGF-1 (insulin growth factor 1), which is a marker for prostate cancer, aggressive prostate cancer progression, and other metabolic disease; and
- I have a genetic disposition to inflammatory disorders so managing inflammation is a key part of my exercise, lifestyle, and nutritional program. If you’ve read my book you’ll know that inflammation has had me in a coma with Encephalitis, nearly cost me my left leg with Osteomyelitis, and nearly killed me with chronic Pericarditis. See a theme here? “..itis = inflammation” – and inflammation is bad.
I was also fascinated with the anti-cancer benefits of fasting; especially through denying cancer cells one of the key ingredients they need for surviving and thriving – sugar. If you are interested in this, you can learn more watching William Li’s TED talk which has over 4 million views.
Through Dr. Li’s talks and other research I became convinced that if you were at risk for prostate or other cancers, then IF should be a fundamental part of a nutritional and cancer prevention program.
Fasting for me has nothing to do with weight loss. In fact that’s the least of the benefits I’m personally looking for – although fasting does have weight management benefits by activating fat burning over carbohydrates as the primary source of fuel/energy. Leptin, the hormone that regulates fat storage as well as hunger signals, and ghrelin, another hormone that tells your brain the body is hungry, are also normalized by routine fasting, so that’s an additional benefit for those looking to lose weight. Read More