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Old 10-08-2012, 06:37 AM   #1
trainstand
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Default Lifestyle/health mistakes during one's life

While I was a kid I used to drink soda for dinner every day, I only quit when I was like 15-16 or so. I've also been very sedentary from about 12-20 (I'm in very early 20s), mostly walking to and fro school. I spend much time infront of my computers, seems like my vision got worse due to this. I'm very thin and underweigh, I don't think I eat enough meat and I tend to eat a lot of white bread. I don't do things like drugs, smoking, alcohol, but surely all of this must add up to reducing my lifespan by eroding veins, internal organs, telomers etc? I wonder how bad it must be at this point, and how much time I've lost, and how much of it is reversible.

I also know one gets new cells every 7 years, so would one of the year one gets new cells be a good time to start living more healthily? I assume how one lives in the periode before the old cells are replaced determines how good the new cells will be, "sets the standard" so to say, and thus that would stick with you for the next 7 years, yes? I don't know the details of the "getting new cells" process, whether it happens slowly over the last year of those 7, if it happens in the few final weeks or few final months.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:32 PM   #2
Mr. Pedantic
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It doesn't quite work that way. In fact the whole "getting new cells every 7 years" thing is completely untrue. Some cells, such as in your stomach lining, replace themselves every few days. Whereas other cells, such as neurons, have the ability to stay with you your entire life. The body doesn't just go and replace itself at a set schedule. All the different cells in your body have different turnover rates, and they are constantly replacing themselves. Basically this means that any time is a good time to start if you want to change how you life for the better.

With regard to what that means for you, you're lucky. You're still young, you're entering the prime of your life. At this stage the body has a great ability to recover from the damage that it gets put through, and on the scale of crappy things you can do to your body, lots of sugar isn't that bad. Most of the chronic inflammation caused by excess sugar is reversible, unlike if you were smoking, for example.
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Pedantic View Post
It doesn't quite work that way. In fact the whole "getting new cells every 7 years" thing is completely untrue. Some cells, such as in your stomach lining, replace themselves every few days. Whereas other cells, such as neurons, have the ability to stay with you your entire life. The body doesn't just go and replace itself at a set schedule. All the different cells in your body have different turnover rates, and they are constantly replacing themselves. Basically this means that any time is a good time to start if you want to change how you life for the better.

With regard to what that means for you, you're lucky. You're still young, you're entering the prime of your life. At this stage the body has a great ability to recover from the damage that it gets put through, and on the scale of crappy things you can do to your body, lots of sugar isn't that bad. Most of the chronic inflammation caused by excess sugar is reversible, unlike if you were smoking, for example.
Agreed. Just start making small, manageable, gradual, and consistent changes to your diet and level of activity. Can anyone say with absolute certainty whether you've done some kind of "irreversible" damage to some aspects of your body or reduced your lifespan? Eh, probably not. But what can definitively be said is that if you start making changes to improve your health starting today, you'll be in a much better place overall down the line. In a week's/month's/year's time, you could either be healthier, or you could be in the same spot you're in now. Might as well make the improvements.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:14 PM   #4
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I think you are being too hard on yourself. If you were morbidly obese and smoked 10 packs a day for years, I'd say maybe you did some damage which affected your lifespan but even then the human body is so resilient, it can heal itself so disease risk is drastically reduced if the correct lifestyle changes are made.

So you drank soda a lot, was sedentary as a child and teen (are there no PE classes anymore?), and you are thin and underweight now. Dude, that's not a death sentence, cheer up! We can't control our past, it does absolutely no good stressing about your past as nothing can change it. So accept it happened and then let it go.

What you do have control over is this moment. Given you are in your early 20s, you can totally make yourself over. I have friends who didn't participate at all in sports during their school years but became more active later in their 20s. Your childhood and teens don't dictate your life. Just start eating right and exercising today, don't worry about this 7 year nonsense. Get on the right program and you can start seeing results in a matter of months.

Last edited by iluvdeal; 10-08-2012 at 06:57 PM.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:14 AM   #5
hans007
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Played too much basketball when I didnt know how to eat or take care of myself. Was probably 25 pounds too heavy to play. Lost the weight but my knee gets sore and probably is never going to be quite perfect. Sigh.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:18 AM   #6
ichy
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I also regret being sedentary when I was younger. I'm no great athlete now but I run several times a week (or some other cardio, currently not running because of an ankle injury) and while it hasn't made me lose a lot of weight I feel so much better than when I was a lazy blob.
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:07 PM   #7
rga
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I did a lot of drugs when I was younger. Ecstacy, cocaine; I went through about an ounce of weed a week from the years of 17-25. So many nights of drinking I can't remember. A friend told me once I was so hammered I passed out while standing up, fell flat on my face on the concrete. Got up a few minutes later and just drove home. I don't remember any of that, but I woke up at home with the car in the driveway, so I believe it happened.

I thought it was all fun at the time, but now I really, really regret all that shit. I guess I'm glad I just never injected heroin.

I'm 28 now, and the biggest mistakes I make come from eating too much junk food in one sitting. I ate 32 ounces of ice cream earlier today. I just got back from the gym running a third those calories off.

Last edited by rga; 10-25-2012 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:54 AM   #8
jcmuse
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"I wonder how bad it must be at this point, and how much time I've lost, and how much of it is reversible."

I think you're over-thinking this one. Get on a workout program and healthy diet and watch your body reverse. The body and mind are extremely resilient. Just look at cancer survivors. A small amount of time (say, months) can undue what years have done.

In short: forget about your unhealthy past, and focus on the future. Cardio is King, lifting/stretching is also important for core strength/posture -- it all goes a long way for well-being.
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Old 10-31-2012, 09:56 AM   #9
MaxPayne63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trainstand View Post
While I was a kid I used to drink soda for dinner every day, I only quit when I was like 15-16 or so. I've also been very sedentary from about 12-20 (I'm in very early 20s), mostly walking to and fro school. I spend much time infront of my computers, seems like my vision got worse due to this. I'm very thin and underweigh, I don't think I eat enough meat and I tend to eat a lot of white bread. I don't do things like drugs, smoking, alcohol, but surely all of this must add up to reducing my lifespan by eroding veins, internal organs, telomers etc? I wonder how bad it must be at this point, and how much time I've lost, and how much of it is reversible.

I also know one gets new cells every 7 years, so would one of the year one gets new cells be a good time to start living more healthily? I assume how one lives in the periode before the old cells are replaced determines how good the new cells will be, "sets the standard" so to say, and thus that would stick with you for the next 7 years, yes? I don't know the details of the "getting new cells" process, whether it happens slowly over the last year of those 7, if it happens in the few final weeks or few final months.
I don't see the point in maximizing your theoretical lifespan if you're going to spend that time worrying about drinking pop when you were fifteen.
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Old 10-31-2012, 10:15 AM   #10
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Never shown how to do a proper squat when I was a teenager, using that technique for the last 25 years has caused me many back issues, two knee operations and a third knee operation on the way. Oh, what I would have given to know proper lifting techniques (Starting Strength) back then.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:53 PM   #11
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good news! you can somewhat reverse the effects of aging by lifting weights:

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2277741
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:01 AM   #12
MagickMan
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It's true, even just dropping soda makes a huge difference. I've not had a soft drink in 15 years, though I do like lemonaid and lightly sweetened tea. Stop eating when you're full, only eat when you're actually hungry, no soda, and get into a 3x /wk workout routine. Do that and you'll get fit and stay that way.
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