Healthy. Vital. Active. Joyful!
For 20 years masters athletes have been the focus of my research starting with the last National Senior Games held in Pittsburgh in 2004. More than 11,000 healthy, vital, active and joyful athletes, ages 50 to 103 competed that year and more than 3,000 of you gave of your time and passion for knowledge by participating in our inaugural research studies!
The discoveries we made helped to change the paradigm of aging in this country as you are not satisfied with a superficial veneer of youth & vitality but are remaining youthful on the inside through mobility.
Since these early studies you have continued to inspire researchers and the public alike showing us how to face the future without fear. In fact, the national zeitgeist has pivoted to a driving focus towards longevity through mobility, smart nutrition and the five pillars of health. As an orthopaedic sports surgeon, a gatekeeper of mobility if you will, I know that the work I do daily to save mobility via orthobiologics such as PRP or stem cells, nanotechnology surgery without incisions or more traditional interventions like arthroscopy or joint replacement not only saves mobility but in doing so saves people from the ravages of chronic disease.
The goal is to equalize our healthspan and our lifespan so as long as we are alive, we are healthy. Although the average life expectancy in this country has risen from around 40 in the 1900’s to nearly 80 years old today, for many people the healthspan, those years we live in good health, is only 62. This means that many of our last 20 years are spent in suboptimal health and decline.
I do not believe we are destined to go from the vitality of youth to the frailty of old age, spending the last 20 years of our lives in decline. Using the tools of mobility and the new science of aging, we can be healthy, vital, active and joyful long into the foreseeable future.
Even after 20 years studying masters athletes and aging myself, I am more excited by the new science of aging than ever. For my own patients, we have built Precision Longevity Experiences to optimize health and move people into peak performance. We design strategic plans by measuring actionable biomarkers, such as lactate threshold, body composition, and mobilizing their mindset to face the future without fear.
Of all the actionable science to optimizing health and peak performance, I am most excited by our ability to eliminate senescent cells. These are circulating zombie cells, whose jobs are done but they refuse to die and instead circulate, releasing harmful cytokines and aging us in the process.
I’m also excited by our ability to build our energy stores via NAD+ supplementation to fuel the more than 400 enzymatic reactions we need to power for health. There is renewed interest in building and maintaining lean muscle mass as a means to maintain metabolic health, prevent diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease and prevent the frailty that leads to fracture.
These are the best times….to date… to actively age and push the boundaries of performance across the lifespan. Masters athletes and National Senior Games champions inspire me personally and, through their willingness to share their performance, they are inspiring the new science of aging for the health of those around them.
To work with Dr. Wright or learn more about her programs for optimal health, peak performance and precision longevity please email her at [email protected]
This article is featured in the Summer 2023 issue of The Growing Bolder Digital Digest.