How to increase your life expectancy to 92 (3 Longevity Habits)


“A healthy man wants a thousand things; a sick man only wants one.”, Confucius wisely said. Here‘s how to maximize your chances of good health well into old age.

What to do

Increase your life expectancy to 92 with three longevity habits around nutrition, limiting alcohol and exercise.

Why it works

Bryan Johnson (pictured above) is an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist. In 2013, he sold his payment company Venmo to PayPal for $800 million. Today, he’s the co-founder and CEO of Kernel, a company that builds devices to monitor brain activity, and OS Fund, a venture capital firm that invests in early-stage science and technology companies. On top of that, Johnson is probably the most measured human on the planet.

In recent years, he received much media attention for his anti-aging attempts around his “Project Blueprint”. He follows a strict dietary and lifestyle regime, which includes having his last meal at 11 a.m. (!) and taking 111 pills each day. He also measures almost every organ of his body and used to get blood infusions from his 17-year-old son. Johnson invests $2 million a year to extend his life and reverse aging. Born in 1977, he has reduced his speed of aging by 31 years and achieved metabolic health equal to the top 1.5% of 18-year-olds.

Johnson is arguably the poster boy of Silicon Valley’s obsession with immortality, and I neither follow nor recommend most of his practices. However, in a recent episode of The Knowledge Project Podcast, Johnson shared five things anyone can do to increase their life expectancy to 92 – including eating a Mediterranean diet, limiting alcohol, and exercising. The remaining two are not smoking and maintaining a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 22.5. While not smoking is a no-brainer, a healthy BMI results from the first three. Let’s have a deeper look at each of these.

How to do it

  1. Eat a Mediterranean diet. Build your diet around low-sugar plants and properly raised animal products. In his book Genius Foods, Max Lugavere introduces an excellent framework for identifying these foods. His ten eponymous “Genius Foods” are eggs, almonds, wild salmon, broccoli, avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, grass-fed beef, dark leafy greens, dark chocolate, and blueberries. I have 5+ of these most days.
  2. Limit alcohol. The cut-off amount is two drinks a week. Here’s how I went from seven (or more) to two. First, halve the amount per glass (et voilà: now you can have 4 drinks a week). Second, resort to alcohol-free versions of your favorite drink (e.g. beer). Third, only drink on weekends (or special occasions). More than six drinks per week is really bad for you. It increases inflammation, stress, neurodegeneration, and cancer risk – while negatively impacting the gut microbiome, brain thickness, hormone balance, mood and motivation (here’s why). 
  3. Exercise. Get to 6 hours a week, including cardio and resistance exercise. Ideally, this includes three forms of exercise. First, 150 minutes of moderate (or zone 2) cardio exercise (e.g. brisk walking); you’ll get in most of this by starting or ending your workday with a walk, always taking the stairs, doing walking meetings, and walking before or after meals. Second, 75 minutes of vigorous cardio exercise (e.g. running or cycling). Third, 135 minutes of resistance exercise (e.g. weight-training). If you’re not getting any exercise at this point, think again: a 2019 study found that not exercising at all is worse for you than smoking.

Start cultivating the three longevity habits today. Your future (92-year-old) self will thank you.

Last but not least, Johnson also revealed the one most important thing we can do each day to make everything else much easier: getting plenty of high-quality sleep. This means getting 90 minutes of deep sleep (and REM sleep) per night.

To get there, start with the 3T Method, which I described in this wildly popular article – or again, reach out to learn more about my new Becoming Ultraproductive coaching program, which is all about mastering sleep, stress and focus.