Dr Peter Attia tells Chris Evans about the secret to living longer in new book Outlive

Virgin Radio

13 Jul 2023, 13:35

Dr Peter Attia is on the quest to help us all live longer, better lives with his new book, Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity.

Peter has previously described the book, which is out now, as ‘the ultimate manual for living better and longer’. He said it ‘isn’t ‘biohacking’, it’s science’, and is ‘a well-founded strategic approach to extending lifespan while improving our physical, cognitive, and emotional health’. 

While on The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch, the author explained what to look out for in our own lives, and why he became so determined to find new ways to extend life in a healthy way. 

Dr Peter told Chris: “I was hyper obsessed with, like I think most people if they stopped to think about it, not wanting to die, I think that the problem in my case was the reason for that I think smacked of a desperation that was probably born of knowing that I wasn't living the best life. I think, subconsciously, at a minimum, and maybe even sometimes, consciously, there was a belief that said, ‘Look, you're really screwing up right now in your life.’ The longer you live, the more time you might have to fix this, even though you're not going to fix it now. It was very much kicking the can down the road, putting my head in the sand. And I think I needed to confront all of that.”

Dr Attia realised in his mid-30s that despite being a marathon swimmer, he was living an unhealthy life. he was insulin resistant, overweight and on the path to heart disease. It was that moment that he decided to turn his life around.

On the best way to rethink life and what to focus on, Dr Attia revealed: “You can't overstate the importance of exercise. I think a lot of people maybe will tend to say, ‘Well, what's more important, you know, cardio training or strength training?’ The truth of it is both of the big things that we have at our disposal to kind of live the longest, best life, exercise probably plays a more important role than anything else. 

“Having significant muscle mass, being very strong, and having high cardio, respiratory fitness, all have a greater positive impact on your lifespan and healthspan, ie how long you live and how well you live, than any negative thing you can think of would have the opposite. Everybody understands that smoking is going to shorten your life, everybody understands that having type two diabetes is going to shorten your life. The amount that shortens your life is less than the lengthening that comes from being very strong, having high muscle mass, and having great cardio respiratory fitness.”

Dr Attia also argued that medicine has a big part to play in lengthening life, and he dubbed a new way of thinking as ‘medicine 3.0’.

Describing this idea to Chris, Dr Attia said: “Medicine 3.0 is much earlier in its prevention. It has to be much more personalised based on the nature of the tools used in medicine 2.0, which is basically the randomised control trial, which takes very heterogeneous data. When you focus on healthspan, when you focus on preserving cognitive function, when you focus on maximising physical function throughout your ageing process into that marginal decade, you actually get the lifespan benefits as well. But medicine 2.0 is relentlessly focused on extending life, and what it ends up doing is extending sick life instead of maximising healthy life.”

Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity by Dr Peter Attia is out now. 

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.