How To Avoid What Prevents Us From Growing Healthier and Wiser My life trajectory is pretty typical. When I was young, I was active in sports, running marathons and playing soccer. Later, I applied myself to my studies. I married, became a father, and was a career scientist at various universities in Germany and the U.S. I oversaw functional genomic analysis at a U.S. biotechnology company, became a board member for research, and then CEO /CSO of a Munich biotech firm. My professional success came at a cost. Too many business meals, chronic stress and little time for physical activity tipped my balance in an unhealthy direction. I gained weight, 45 pounds above the ideal for my height, and at age 40, had blood biomarkers of a much older man. I looked in the mirror one day and wondered, "How long should this go on?" Ironically, my company was developing drugs for the "normal" diseases of our time. At the rate I was going, I would soon need those drugs. I began to question what "normal" means and realized that disease prevention was in my control. It was obvious I needed to exercise. In 2002, I bought a bicycle and suffered through the pain of the first 20 miles, having to stop twice to just finish the route. Regular training made riding easier, the tours longer, and offered a bonus: my gut began to recede. I continued to think about how I had allowed myself to get to this place. My questions, their answers and implementation, became my book, "The Methuselah-Strategy." I found the successful formula, which I never thought possible, is a wonderful combination of sports, healthy nutrition, social activity, family time, career focus and restful regeneration: - Cycling around Munich became the most creative time for considering my professional challenges. My best ideas, those that led to patents or innovative strategies that saved my company in difficult times, came to me while I biked. - I did not need a glass of beer or wine the moment I crossed the threshold to home. Day after day, I returned from work without feeling stressed. - My biomarkers improved to a healthy range. Body fat, cholesterol and blood pressure all dropped. With every workout, I felt a little younger and became a little healthier. Flash forward to 2008, when I successfully finished the Race Across America, recognized as the world's most challenging, long distance bicycle competition. My unique approach to make it to the finish line depended on the Methuselah strategy. Unlike my opponents, who typically raced the 3000 transcontinental miles across the U.S. with one hour of sleep per day, I slept a total of 8 hours daily, on average, and became the official finisher with the most total sleep in the history of the race. While I competed, scientists from the German University of Freiburg, Department of Sports Medicine measured daily blood and urine markers and documented every heart beat and power output. Unlike the other cyclists, my power output increased during the race, proving that instead of becoming weaker, I actually became more fit. These amazing results were published in a scientific journal. In 2010, I repeated this "experiment" and finished the Race Across America a second time, using the same strategy. My children filmed the highlights and together we produced the documentary, "You need no victory to be a winner - Race Across America” I challenge you to challenge yourself, to become the best version of you.
The Methuselah Strategy
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