Best longevity app as of 2020? LifeExtend, and it's free

Among the longevity apps, LifeExtend is the clear winner as of May 2020. The app is evidence-based, has helpful references and it is free: https://lifeapps.io/apps/life-extend/

It is backed by the physician/entrepreneur Don Brown (LifeOmics) and the University of Indiana, so it is not going away next year.

The app is packed with features and you can dig deeper in any of the domains/5 pillars when you have time.

LifeExtend is based on 5 scientifically proven health pillars, they appear as 5 columns and you collect points in each pillar. It looks like a game but the benefits are real.



The app tracks the big 5 longevity practices:

1. Sleep. Give yourself an 8-hour sleep opportunity every night. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Oura ring ($300) or Withings under mattress sensor ($99) can be very helpful. You will quickly realize there is a big difference between hours in bed and hours of sleep. 8 hours in bed will give your approximately 7 hours of sleep. Try to go to bed by at least 10 pm to maximize deep sleep which typically occurs in the earlier hours of the 8-hour sleep opportunity. Sleep is the most important longevity practice. Mathew Walker's book Why We Sleep is an essential reading. You can watch his talks on YouTube before buying the book.

2. Nutrition. Try to eat at 5 servings of vegetables per day. Fruits are OK but from a longevity perspective they are not as good as vegetables. Consider a whole-food plant-based diet. Plants stimulate hormesis, more details are available in Dr Mattson's article on the topic in PubMed. Simply cooked, minimally processed meals are the probably best choice. Valter Longo's longevity diet is a good starting point. You can watch his talks on YouTube before buying the book. Most centenarians have BMI around 20.



Interventions that promote longevity, remembered by mnemonic: DEEP purple - “eat colorful plant foods: Dietary modification, Exercise, active Engagement, Purposeful living (click here to enlarge the image).

3. Time-restricted eating/Intermittent fasting. Packing all nutritional intake into a window of no more than 6-8 hours (or intermittent fasting for at least 14 hours per day) can be helpful. In addition to time-restricted eating (TRE), consider the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD, Prolon (TM)), developed by Dr Longo. Dr Mattson's NEJM article from December 2019 is an excellent summary of the benefits and the practices. Time-restricted eating (TRE) is the more accurate term for the time of fasting charted in the Life Extend app vs. intermittent fasting.

4. Physical activity/exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity. Walking may not be enough. As we get older, low impact exercises take priority. Exercise is defined as at least a 10-minute continuous activity. HIIT (high intensity interval training), with no jumping or equipment, is a very practical choice, see an example of a 15-minute HIIT workout below:



5. Stress management/mindfulness. Engage in meditation or other stress reduction activities. LifeExtend integrates the meditation guides within the app. Wim Hof Method free app is an excellent starting point as a relaxation/active mediation practice.Wim Hof adds an additional hormetic stress via cold exposure (optional).



Satchin Panda's app works in a similar way to LifeExtend, adding data about nutrition, sleep, exercise, but the interface has a different focus: myCircadianClock | Salk Institute https://mycircadianclock.org

More and more employers have an activity/healthy weight requirements pushed to the employees in order to pay lower insurance premiums. A typical example would include 5,000 steps per day, no obesity, hypertension, diabetes or asthma. LifeExtend can help you achieve some of these goals on your own.

References:

Intermittent metabolic switching (IMS) via fasting: is it for you and how to do it? 

Fasting mimicking diet (ProLon) by Valter Longo, PhD

Exceptional longevity: why some people live to be more than 100-year old  

https://medium.com/lifeomic/a-vision-of-life-extend-a-powerful-precision-health-mobile-app-b00e9e443bbf

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kCRJLSUit4

Check LifeOmics' playlists for more info: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfOiisp_IiWB6bWJtgzh7OQ/playlists

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