Is Lifespan Really Just About How Long You'll Live?

November 13, 2020

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

In our quest to extend lifespan, we often think it’s as simple as extending the number of years in which we are alive. But is it really that simple?

Unfortunately, no. On its surface level, it’s easy to say that longevity is just another synonym for life expectancy. The reality, however, is that there’s a lot more to longevity than what you might initially think. 

First, there’s the fact that modern medicine and diet has already brought up our lifespan considerably. However, we're also spending a lot more time in hospitals and hospice. As it turns out, those extra years don't really mean anything -- the reality of our extra years is that they're spent in fragile treatments and therapies. Because of this, longevity isn't just lifespan.

Instead, we need to bring healthspan into the equation. Healthspan is the time we are healthy. This creates a much greater goal, but also a more difficult challenge. Because of this, we see longevity as the combination of healthspan and lifespan

Secondly, there’s a lot of different types of longevity “health”. When we think of the word health, we typically think physical health; staying cancer-free, being able to move around adequately, etc. However, there are two other often neglected parts of longevity health: mental longevity and financial longevity. Mental longevity is simple enough; it is the mental equivalent to physical health. This measures how long you can retain your memory, happiness, etc. Financial longevity, on the other hand, is a uniquely modern issue in the longevity space. This primarily revolves around the retirement problem: when is the right time to retire, how should you save, how long should you save, etc.

With this in mind, we can work towards a better understanding of what our longevity goals are, and help build a healthy life now. If you want to work on improving your healthspan, why not give Shanah a try

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