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The Energy Crisis: A Heist Happening at Cellular Level

The Energy Crisis: A Heist Happening at Cellular Level | Longevity Palace | Not Your Average Longevity Newsletter
“Leave My Mitochondria Alone!!" a dear friend, once exclaimed, as I proceeded to give them unsolicited advice on why he's chronically in pain and on meds.
Healthy Wealthy Biohacking Longevity Masterclass | Live longer and better | Age Unapologetically

Ready for uncomfortable truths? We’re here to cut through the noise so you can make an informed decision about your own health because the government, pharma and big food aren’t going to save you.

Dear friends, this is one of the most important crises of our time.

Forget gas lines and blackouts – a subtler, more insidious energy crisis brewing within our bodies.

In our Longevity Masterclass, you learned the importance of mitochondria.

Imagine your body as a bustling city. Every function, from your heart’s pulsing beat to your neurons’ firing, requires steady energy.

Your mitochondria are the power plants responsible for keeping the lights on. They produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy currency for life.

But lately, they seem to be malfunctioning.

Why You Need To Obsess Over Mitochondria

Our bodies burn through a surprising amount of energy. At rest, a healthy person uses their entire body weight in ATP daily. Because ATP can’t be stored, our cells (especially the brain) rely on constant production from your tiny mitochondrial power plants.

During intense exercise, this energy demand skyrockets, requiring the production of up to 1 kg of ATP per minute! The good news is that our bodies are recycling machines, using each ATP molecule hundreds of times daily.

While the exact number varies, some estimates suggest an adult needs a whopping 3 x 10^25 ATP molecules daily.

That’s 3,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.

So, do you think your body is efficiently producing ATP?

When we lack energy, we can’t live our best lives.

When cells don’t meet their basic needs, they generate symptoms and diseases rooted in the mitochondria, similar to how a baby cries when its basic needs are unmet.

Mitochondria dysfunction from bad habits: the reason we’re all anxious, sick, diseased, or dying is because we lack the energy to live… to sustain good habits.

This is why older folks who break a hip begin to die— they lose their ability to move. When we can’t move, we literally begin dying a slow, mundane death. Movement is life.

Inactivity Kills

A study showed three weeks of bed rest had a worse impact on physical ability than 30 years of aging. Participants spent 3 weeks in bed with minimal movement (similar to recovering from an injury). Their VO2 max dropped by a staggering 27%, and there was profound weakening and atrophying of the heart.

Remember, VO2 max is one of the strongest predictors for longevity.

After bed rest, they underwent an intensive 8-week endurance training program to improve cardiovascular fitness. Their VO2 max increased by 45%, exceeding their pre-bed rest levels!

Researchers followed up with the same men 30 and 40 years later. Even after aging 30 years, moderate training could still significantly improve their VO2 max. However, at 60, some participants developed health issues that limited their exercise capacity. The importance of strength training, especially with age, is highlighted. It helps maintain muscle mass and oxygen uptake.

The Energy Crisis: A Heist Happening at Cellular Level.

Why Do We Have Mitochondria Dysfunction?

The blame falls on a combination of modern-day factors:

  • chronic stress
  • lack of exercise
  • lack of education
  • negative mindsets
  • ultra-processed foods
  • toxic societal standards
  • unsupportive environments
  • arguing with strangers on the internet
  • unresolved traumas & suppressed emotions
  • a sleepless society due to underlying stress & overactive minds
  • messed up circadian from staring at blue lights, especially at night
  • information overload = cognitive overload = chronic stress
  • environmental pollutants
  • prescription drugs
  • toxic metals
  • alcohol

This may be the root cause of many of our problems because our bodies have evolved to heal themselves, but when your mitochondria are malfunctioning, you won’t have the energy to create and sustain good habits.

This leads to:

  • heart disease (no.1 cause of death in the world)
  • type-2 diabetes
  • metabolic issues
  • hormonal imbalances
  • bloating & gut issues
  • anxiety / depression / mood disorders

Symptoms of Mitochondrial Dysfunction:

In case you need to know— but if you already feel like you lack willpower or motivation, you should pay attention to your mitochondria!

  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue and low energy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Difficulty recovering from exercise
  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Loss of motivation, drive, and purpose
  • Declining quality of relationships
  • Inability to maintain better habits

How To Fix Mitochondrial Dysfunction

My dear friend, Dr. Addor, and I are outdoor enthusiasts.

On bike rides, cyclists will ask: what are you training for?

We are training for life.

Exercise is non-negotiable.

It gives us energy.

And because we’re kinda obsessed with our mitochondria.

We realize that when our energy is high and sustained throughout the day, we thrive.

And if that’s not convincing you to start exercising, here’s a food for thought:

The NO.1 reason you should be exercising (if this won’t resonate with you, I don’t know what will):

Think about your children. Your future self. Everyone around you.

It’s selfish not to exercise.

Because it’ll also resolve our energy crisis.

Exercise creates mitochondria = powers your cells = powers you for LIFE.

Do you not agree?

Because now is more important than ever to WAKE UP AND PAY ATTENTION BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.

You have it in YOU to change today to do and feel better than yesterday. Who doesn’t want that?

Join our club! 🫶🏻

7 Unconventional Benefits of Exercise

Here is a pro tip: never exercise to “lose weight.” Exercise for your mind, and the weight loss and aesthetics are just icing on the cake. It’s the easiest way to increase mitochondrial production, but here are some benefits you have not heard of:

  1. BDNF: fertilizer for your brain
  2. Builds grit + resilience so life’s challenges feel effortless.
  3. Better emotional control because being unable to control your emotions is the worst way to live.
  4. There is a higher chance of surviving injuries and setbacks because your body is strong.
  5. Boosts creativity, aka problem-solving, which means you get better at living. Life is a string of never-ending problems. 😉
  6. Sustained energy means fewer crashes, aka “being hangry.” You’ll also be a nicer person because people who are high-energy and confident in their own skin have no reason to judge others.
  7. Increases vo2 max: Is it a coincidence that the solution to our energy crisis is also one of the strongest predictors for longevity?!

Our cells’ mitochondria powerhouses are key to energy production and may be a powerful player linked to longevity.

Exercise, especially high-intensity cardio, stresses muscles, prompting them to create more mitochondria and enhance their function. This improved mitochondrial health, reflected in a higher VO2 max, might contribute to a longer lifespan by reducing cellular stress and promoting repair mechanisms such as activating autophagy, which helps clear out damaged cellular components, including dysfunctional mitochondria.

*Note: while exercise is a strong factor, genetics, diet, and lifestyle also affect how long we live.

What Is Vo2 Max?

VO2 max is a strong predictor of lifespan and can be improved through training or reducing body weight. An improved VO2 max means our body becomes more efficient at using oxygen to generate energy. You know, to do everyday things.

📢 No oxygen? Well, let’s just say things get real quiet.

A high Vo2 max reflects a strong heart, better circulation, reduced inflammation, and healthier mitochondria, leading to a more resilient body that can better handle stress, illness, and age-related decline.

On average, each unit increase in VO2 max (1 ml/kg/min) is associated with a 45-day increase in life expectancy.

To increase your heart and lungs, simply train them.

Now, we all know we must exercise, but most of us don’t because we have yet to strengthen the circuits in our brains. Thank god for neuroplasticity! 🤓

Let me show you how to boost your VO2 max: start with baby steps and think variety.

  1. Low Fitness Level? Move More Every Day: If you’re new to exercise, the key is to simply incorporate movement into your daily life. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from your destination, garden, play with your kids, and walk during your lunch break— anything that gets you moving more is a win. Taking calls? Try a walking meeting. Find a pace you can comfortably maintain and gradually increase the distance or duration over time. You are strengthening circuits in your brain that will build a consistent habit of movement.
  2. Below Average Fitness? Level Up with Options: Once simple movements feel comfortable, consider upping the intensity with activities like jogging, cycling, swimming, or anything you enjoy. Consistency is key, so choose something you’ll stick with. Don’t forget to add some strength training to your routine 2-3 times a week. This keeps your “engine” strong, which means a higher metabolism even at rest. Bodyweight exercises, free weights, or resistance bands are all great options.
  3. Ready for More? Explore High-Intensity Intervals (HIIT): As your fitness improves, HIIT workouts can become a powerful tool for further boosting your VO2 max. These short bursts of intense activity followed by recovery periods are fantastic for pushing your limits. More in our next section.

Remember: The key is to start gradually and build your fitness base. Don’t jump straight into HIIT if you’re new to exercise. Listen to your body, and gradually increase the challenge as you get stronger.

The BEST way to improve VO2 max?

High-intensity interval training.

With longer intervals.

Yeah, maybe you didn’t want to hear that. 😌

Studies show that less intense training programs with shorter intervals have fewer health benefits, while interval training studies reporting the greatest increases typically use longer (3-5 min) intervals.

Overwhelmed? Don’t worry— if this is new, start with shorter intervals and work your way up. We all started somewhere.

Personal Experience: Cycling for a “Effortlessly” High Vo2 Max

In my super-biased opinion, cycling is the best way to increase the field to the max because I can effortlessly keep it in the 60s when I’m training consistently. 🤓

Why?

From my anecdotal evidence, the roads we ride are Mother Nature’s form of natural high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Cycling is also low-intensity— I can ride for hours and hundreds of kilometres daily. It can’t get any better than that.

Want to start cycling?

  • Start with spin classes (don’t waste your time with the ones that make you do push-ups on the bars or bouncing up and down on the seat 🙄).
  • Hit up your local bike shops for group rides. The cycling community is friendly AF because once you understand this addiction, we want EVERYONE to ride bikes!
  • Feel free to follow me on Strava for cycling inspo!

Not a cyclist? TRY THIS HIIT WORKOUT:

Norwegian 4x4x4 Interval Training → (4mins 80=90% max + 4min break x 4 rounds)

💡 Focus on How Hard You Feel You’re Working: Instead of aiming for a specific heart rate or wattage, pick the maximum effort you can sustain for 4 minutes without dropping your effort/wattage. It might take some time to dial this in.

I do it once a week on the treadmill because it’s easier to maintain pace.

This workout is TOUGH AF.

Remember to recover properly after intense training sessions.

If you’re new to HIIT training, start with shorter intervals:

→ 1 minutes on + 1 minutes break → 2 minutes on + 2 minutes break → 3 minutes on + 3 minutes break

⚠️ Disclaimer: Consult a doctor before starting any new exercise program, especially if you're new to exercise. Listen to your body and stop if you experience pain.

Bonus: Cardio or Weights?

Not only should we be obsessed with our mitochondria, but we have to be obsessed with our heart AND muscles. They all work together to keep us functioning.

While high-intensity interval training is more effective at boosting VO2 max over low-intensity workouts, your body thrives on variety.

This mix of training methods and intensities ensures you reap the benefits of both worlds, improving overall fitness and your chances of responding positively to exercise.

Did you know that strength training and aerobic exercise work your heart in different ways?

  • Endurance training (aerobic) increases chamber size and wall thickness (eccentric remodeling) due to the sustained demand on the heart to pump blood.
  • Strength training (resistance) thickens the heart wall without increasing chamber size (concentric remodeling) due to forceful muscle contractions.

Heart rate increases during both exercises, but for different reasons:

  • Strength training: Increased heart rate is driven by the brain and nervous system response to muscle contraction, not energy demand.
  • Aerobic exercise: Increased heart rate is triggered by the body’s need for more oxygen, prompting the heart to pump faster and deliver more blood to working muscles.

The takeaway is that to stay healthy, we must maintain variety in our exercise routines. The key to a healthy heart and mitochondria (and dodging chronic diseases) lies in a combination of high-intensity workouts (like the Norwegian 4×4 intervals) and low-intensity exercise (like zone 2 training).

Here are some ways to measure VO2 max:

  • Lab Test (Gold Standard): The most accurate method involves wearing a mask and exercising on a treadmill or bike while hooked to specialized equipment. While expensive, it offers a precise baseline.
  • Field Tests (Convenient Options): Several field tests require minimal equipment or rely on readily available tools like a track or a smartphone app. These tests offer a convenient way to track progress, but accuracy can vary.
  • Fitness Trackers (Estimates): Some fitness trackers, such as the trusty Garmin Forerunner, provide VO2 max estimates based on heart rate data during exercise. These estimates are rough, but they can be used as a baseline.

Try This At Home: The Cooper Test

The Cooper Test is a convenient and popular field test that estimates your VO2 max using a stopwatch. Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Running Track (400 meters is ideal): If a track isn’t available, use a measured flat path or a treadmill. If using a treadmill, be sure to raise the incline one degree.
  2. Stopwatch: A digital stopwatch with a lap function is helpful, but a basic stopwatch works, too.

Performing the Cooper Test:

  1. Warm-up: Before starting, perform a 5-10 minute light jog or dynamic stretches to prepare your body for exercise.
  2. Start the Test: Line up at the track’s starting point once warmed up. Have your helper start the stopwatch as you begin running.
  3. Run for 12 Minutes: Run as far as you can in exactly 12 minutes. Push yourself, but maintain a sustainable pace you can hold for the entire duration.
  4. Record Your Distance: At the end of 12 minutes, stop running and note the distance you covered (either the number of laps completed or the total distance on the track/path).
  5. Cool Down: After the test, walk or jog slowly for 5-10 minutes to cool down and allow your heart rate to return to normal.

Interpreting Your Results:

To calculate your estimated VO2 Max results (in ml/kg/min) use either of these formulas:

  • Kilometers: VO2max = (22.351 x kilometers) – 11.288
  • Miles: VO2max = (35.97 x miles) – 11.291

You can also use online calculators. After calculating your results, compare yourself to age and gender norms.

It’s important to note:

  • VO2 max naturally declines with age. However, regular exercise can help slow this decline and potentially improve your VO2 max even later in life.
  • VO2 max is just one-factor influencing longevity. Other factors like diet and lifestyle also play a significant role.
  • Focus on Improvement, Not Comparison: Your only competition is yourself, so focus on improving your benchmark. Don’t get caught up in comparing your VO2 max to others. Genetics and training backgrounds play a significant role. Celebrate your own progress!
  • Embrace the Big Picture: Don’t obsess over daily stats. Look at graphs and trends over weeks and months to see if your VO2 max increases with consistent training.

The Take-Away

Face it. We are a society of zombies in an energy crisis. Thanks to your modern lifestyle, your mitochondria, those cellular power plants are sputtering on fumes. The good news? You have the power to fix it.

Exercise isn’t a suggestion; it’s a non-negotiable.

It fuels your mitochondria, boosts your VO2 max (a fancy term for how efficiently you use oxygen), and energizes you throughout the day. Forget chasing fleeting trends – this is about building a foundation for long-term health.

Think you’re too busy? Start small. Take the stairs, play with your kids, walk during breaks, find activities you enjoy. Consistency is key, not perfection. Gradually increase intensity as you get stronger.

This isn’t about aesthetics (though, side note: you’ll look damn good). You are dodging chronic diseases, feeling alive, and living life on your terms. Take control and flip the script on this energy crisis. Every step, every pedal stroke, is a victory for your health.

Get moving, friends.

Movement is the key to life.

The Energy Crisis: A Heist Happening at Cellular Level.
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Anti-Disclaimer

Too bad we live in a society that conditions you think we are stupid and must place disclaimers when it’s simply common sense. Take everything you read on the Internet with a grain of salt. What works for you may not work for somebody else. Duh? But here we go anyway:

The information provided in this website is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read online. The content presented here is based on personal experiences, research, and general knowledge in the field of biohacking. Individual responses to biohacking practices may vary, and before making any significant changes to your health and lifestyle, it is advisable to get multiple opinions. We will also do our best to connect you with the most qualified, healthcare professionals. 

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