Living Forever for One Year

I’m thinking about writing a book that will require me to live forever…for a year.

A few years ago there were a rash of books about people who tried to do something to the extreme for one year. I found the concept fascinating, and I read a few of them, most notably The Year of Living Biblically (a guy follows all of the rules of the Bible–as zany as many of the more obscure ones are–for one year to see how it affected him personally and spiritually).

My book idea is in the same vein. The concept is that for one year, I would act on all advice that scientists give us about living longer.

You’ve probably heard some of this advice:

  • Drink a glass of red wine a day and you’ll live longer.
  • Take an aspirin a day and you’ll live longer.
  • Eat a few pieces of dark chocolate a day and you’ll live longer.

My ears always perk up when I hear this type of advice, especially if it’s easy to follow. And some of it goes well beyond eating a piece of chocolate. For example, there’s a small town in Italy where fatty foods comprise 41% of their diet, but bonds and support that are an integral part of this close-knit community gives its residents one of the highest life expectancy levels in the world?

The book would explore why, exactly, we want to live longer–if not forever (think vampires, religion, the fountain of youth, etc). What’s so appealing about immortality? And what about the aging of your body versus that of your mind–what do you value more? We spend so much money trying to look younger, but what is it about aging that we so despise?

So this is something I’m thinking about doing. Some of the advice I already take by coincidence (i.e., you live longer if you have a pet), but there’s quite a bit that I’d need to add into my life. And it’s not just longevity advice–there’s also mortality advice. What good is eating legumes every day if you get eaten by a grizzly bear on Day 18?

One gimmick I’d like to include in this book is that I want to take more than just the advice of scientist. I also want to take (if only temporarily) any advice that you’ve ever heard about living longer. If your crazy uncle once told you that you’ll live longer if you eat a spoonful of peanut butter upside down every day, I want to do it.

So if you have a minute, let me know any longevity advice that you’ve ever heard. That’s a very good chance I’m actually going to take this advice, and I’ll give you credit in the book. Keep in mind the distinction between being healthier and living longer. There’s a lot of overlap between the two, but I want to specifically focus on advice you’ve heard about longevity. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but does it add a year to your life?

Thanks for your help, and have a Merry Christmas!