Dr. Mark Hyman’s secret to a long life: ‘A stress that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’

What doesn’t kill you may not simply make you stronger, however assist you to stay longer too. 

For getting old and longevity professional Dr. Mark Hyman, stressing the physique and mind is essential to lengthening well being span—or the variety of wholesome years lived freed from illness. 

“One of many issues that actually helps us is adversity,” Hyman tells Fortune, including that “a stress that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

63-year-old Hyman, the founder and senior advisor for the Cleveland Clinic Heart for Practical Drugs and creator of Younger Ceaselessly: The Secrets and techniques to Dwelling Your Longest, Healthiest Life, has researched wellness practices and getting old from an—paradoxically—younger age. Earlier than turning into a health care provider, he taught yoga, eager about methods to preserve wholesome diet, train, and mindfulness. 

Whereas Hyman lives by his power coaching routine and nutritious eating regimen, he additionally practices stressing the physique—a lesser-known however equally important characteristic of wholesome getting old. 

“About 3,000 of our genes out of our 20,000 genes are targeted on serving to to maintain us alive in adversarial conditions,” he says, noting individuals don’t typically use them by selection. “We have now our built-in regenerative renewal restore system. I name it the longevity switches, and they’re activated by adversity.” 

Hormesis is the physique’s organic response to brief, wholesome stress. The method prompts pathways that may profit and gradual the getting old journey by “cleansing up previous cells” and lowering irritation, Hyman says. Briefly, the physique builds resilience and short-term stress results in longer-term power. 

Fortunate for us, simple on a regular basis hormesis-based actions can be found. 

Listed here are Hyman’s three hottest stress actions for an extended, more healthy life: 

1. Train 

The following time you’re within the health club and really feel the short-term stress of a HITT exercise or weight-lifting session, keep in mind hormesis. Train is a kind of hormesis as a result of it takes short-term ache to have a long-term acquire biologically. 

Past bettering psychological readability and lowering the danger of coronary heart illness extra widespread with getting old, train may help construct the physique’s resilience to getting old. Any kind of train, from a 30-minute energy stroll to a power coaching session, could make a distinction. 

Hyman touts his 30-minute power coaching routine, which incorporates physique weight classes and resistance bands for muscle power, mobility, and stability; Analysis suggests resistance bands could cut back frailty in older adults.

Hyman additionally loves mountain biking as a type of train and says the secret’s discovering one thing you get pleasure from and might do repeatedly. Nationwide tips advocate no less than 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercises and two days of power coaching per week. 


What doesn’t kill you makes you sturdy is the central concept of getting old. For instance, while you observe resistance coaching by lifting heavy weights and inflicting injury in your muscle groups, your physique responds by repairing the broken fibers, thus creating larger and stronger muscle groups. ⁣ ⁣ That is known as hormesis, a phenomenon that demonstrates the helpful results of low-level stressors. On this episode, I dive into why hormesis is so important to longevity, and the numerous well being advantages we acquire from resistance coaching. You could find the complete episode on The Physician’s Farmacy. #drmarkhyman #muscle #protein #resistancetraining

♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

2. Fasting 

Analysis suggests intermittent fasting could fight age-related processes by lowering irritation, growing insulin sensitivity, and bettering metabolism. 

Hyman fasts in a single day between 12 and 16 hours, one other type of hormesis that stresses the physique by breaking down cells and ridding the physique of broken proteins. Furthermore, late-night meals, which intrude with the completion of an in a single day quick, could affect the physique’s capability to retailer and burn energy.  

After fasting in a single day, Hyman eats a nutritious breakfast full of protein to restore and construct muscle (this additionally helps fight age-related muscle loss). 

3. Scorching vs. chilly 

Hyman jumps in a chilly bathe for 2 minutes each morning. The favored morning chilly plunge, which releases dopamine and adrenaline, may have longevity advantages as a hormesis exercise. The speedy stress impact provides the physique delayed gratification and might enhance psychological readability longer-term. 

“Complete physique immersion in chilly water between 40 to 60 levels for one to 3 to 5 minutes can profoundly have an effect on your well being in optimistic methods by bettering your metabolism, bettering your temper, lowering ache, [and] irritation,” Hyman says.


I’m a giant fan of chilly remedy due to it’s many well being advantages. Scientists have discovered proof that publicity to chilly hurries up metabolism, and reduces irritation, swelling, and sore muscle groups. It’s additionally linked to improved high quality of sleep, extra focus, and even to an improved immune response. You are able to do an ice plunge, chilly water swimming, and even only a chilly bathe. Discover the complete episode on The Physician’s Farmacy. #markhyman #longevity #getting old #youngforever #hormesis #coldtherapy

♬ Paris – Else

Chilly water plunges are nonetheless being studied, however analysis is promising. Nonetheless, the American Coronary heart Affiliation says individuals with underlying coronary heart circumstances watch out and converse to a health care provider beforehand. 

Vital temperature adjustments in both course can activate the longevity pathways—even a scorching tub or sauna. Going right into a sauna in 170 levels 4 or 5 instances per week for half-hour can have large advantages, Hyman says. 

“You’ll find yourself growing warmth shock proteins which clear up all broken proteins and enhance your immune system and improve your cardiovascular well being,” he says. 

Past these stress-related longevity hacks, Hyman additionally has an oxygen deprivation masks he typically makes use of when exercising to place him in a short lived stress state.

“We have now the facility inside us to activate our longevity switches and switch again the organic clock. We simply must observe the fundamental rules of human biology to do this,” Hyman says.

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