Health And Wellness

How Health Guru Ben Greenfield Reversed His Biological Age By 17 Years

Photo: bengreenfieldfitness / Instagram
ben greenfield

Would you stick laser lights up your nostril if it helped you live longer? What about sitting on energy-emitting tables when you did your work? Or perhaps you would be comfortable wearing weird masks that helped you exhale slowly while you run?

Ben Greenfield would. In fact, these are just a few of the many weird things Ben does to help him live longer. Ben believes in the marriage of ancestral wisdom with modern science to decode longevity. And his efforts have paid off.

Ben tests his telomere lengths which help indicate the age of your body.

At the chronological age of 34 when he first started doing all of this, Ben’s biological age was 37. After a year, his biological age had dropped to 36.

And by the time he was 36, his biological age had dropped to 20 years. Yes, you read that right. Overall, he reversed his age by 17 years in 3 years!

Naturally, I was stunned. I began to follow him everywhere.

And after a year, I’ve learned a lot about longevity and overall health from him. I want to share some of his easy-to-follow advice on longevity. All of what I share below has been adapted from his book Boundlesshis website, and a few of his interviews on Youtube. 

RELATED: 4 Unsexy Habits That Demolish Your Brainpower

Here's how Ben Greenfield reversed his biological age by 17 years:

1. The brain

  • Avoid Vegetable Oils: You’ve heard this before, but Ben explains why they’re so horrible. The fats in these oils actually comprise the cell membranes of the cells in your body. Hence, if your vegetable oil consumption is too high, it’s decreasing the health of every single cell in your body (especially the brain). To avoid this, replace vegetable oils like sunflower oil with olive oil and other options.
  • Optimize Your Coffee: Many people drink coffee every day. But that coffee slowly depletes our brain of excitatory neurotransmitters in the long term. To avoid this, Ben suggests that we add 100mg of Theanine to our coffees. If you’re not that much into supplements like me, he says that Tulsi extract (a plant) can help achieve the same effect.
  • Fix Leaky Brain: Our brains have blood-brain barriers that protect them from toxins. However, with age, those barriers become incompetent. To counteract this, Ben suggests cold exposure to the head area. A daily cold shower or head dips into cold water is a good way to do that. If you want to take it to the next level, you can even try his hot-cold contrast shower.
  • Box Breathing: It’s a breathing exercise where you simply inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and repeat. Check out this cool animation walkthrough! During box breathing as well as breathing throughout the day, he suggests that we engage in deep belly breathing instead of shallow chest breathing. It just means that your belly should move while you breathe.
  • Sunlight: Due to our work, we’re often stuck indoors. More so due to the pandemic. Add to the fact that we’re often up late at night working or scrolling through our phones; we have messed up circadian rhythms. To counteract this, Ben suggests that we spend some time every morning to get some sun exposure.

RELATED: 7 Rare Signs You Have High Social Intelligence

2. The body

  • Strike, stroll, and shiver: Excess fat on the body leads to inflammation, and that decreases longevity. This technique by Ben is his best advice to lose fat. Just drink a cup of black coffee in a fasted state and wait 10–15 minutes. Then, do 20–25 minutes of easy aerobic exercise like brisk walking or a yoga session. Finish it off with a 2–5 minute cold shower. Even I do this every day, and I’ve lost a lot of fat due to this!
  • 30-Second Longevity Tip: Ben says that controlling glycemic variability is perhaps the most important thing to live longer. And the easiest way to do that? Just do 30 seconds of exercise like burpees, squats, or jumping jacks before meals to optimize glycemic variability due to that meal. Yes! 30 seconds of exercise can help you live longer. Combine this with 10 minutes of walking post-meal, and you get the best out of that meal.
  • Nutrition: We all have a pretty good idea of what food is healthy and what isn’t. Ben suggests that we try to eat real food — not food that is made up of tons of ingredients. Besides that, he suggests adding wild plants, colored veggies, and fruits to our diets. He also suggests chewing our food well to improve glycemic control and avoid a lot of red meat.
  • Earthing: When our body comes in contact with Earth, the free radicals and toxins in our body get neutralized. Earthing acts as a powerful antioxidant and helps in improving deep sleep. Sadly, we don’t walk barefoot anymore. To get the benefits of earthing, try to walk barefoot for a few minutes if you visit a nearby park or invest in some earthing equipment that’s available in the market.
  • Low-Level Physical Activity All Day Long: Due to rising health awareness, people are signing up for gyms. We’re really careful about getting that 1 hour of workout every day. However, Ben suggests that to live longer and healthily, it’s better if we care more about low-level physical activity all day long. According to him, we should slowly titer up to 13–15,000 steps a day instead of sitting around all day.

RELATED: 6 Things I'm Doing Instead Of Investing That Will Make More Money

3. The spirit

  • Purpose: All longevity articles talk about purpose because it’s necessary to feed your soul. However, Ben takes it one step further by saying that we should write down a sentence that conveys our purpose, have it memorized, and read it every day. Ben’s purpose is to empower people to live more adventurous, joyful, and fulling lives. I wrote down mine as well — I want to help people use mindfulness to induce inner revolutions. What’s yours?
  • Gratefulness: How does gratefulness help you live longer? In his book, The Biology of Belief, Dr. Bruce Lipton shares how our emotions can actually alter the physiology of our body down to our DNA expression. This suggests that positive emotions — especially gratefulness — can help us live longer.
  • Go after oxytocin: In an age where we’re experiencing a dopamine addiction, it’s paramount that we take care of our oxytocin balance. Oxytocin is the love hormone. Work is necessary, yes. But make time for love and friendships. Call an old friend and meet him. Make more time for your spouse and kids. In the end, that’s what life is really about.
  • Sound Healing: Sound healing — for instance, binaural beats — is a great way to induce positive thoughts and an overall calmer state of mind. It even helps in inducing deep sleep and a focused mind. Some of Ben’s favorite applications for sound healing are — Brain.FM and Slipstream.

Ben does the most insane stuff in his quest for longevity. But we may not have to go to such extents. Longevity is within our grasp if we’re able to focus on just a few key principles that Ben shares through his books and interviews.

  • We can learn to optimize our brain function by something as simple as switching vegetable oils with healthier options, getting a cold shower every day, or trying out five minutes of box breathing per day.
  • We can take care of our body by simply doing 30 seconds of exercise before meals, eating healthier, being mildly active all day long, and reconnecting with the earth.
  • We can enhance our spirit by living purposefully, being grateful, making time for love, and using sound to induce a positive state of mind.

RELATED: The Male Body Type That Gets The Most Women, Says Study

Akshad Singi, M.D. has been published in Better Humans, Mind Cafe, and more. 

This article was originally published at Medium. Reprinted with permission from the author.