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Ambrosia: The Startup Harvesting the Blood of the Young

In what seems like a theme right out of a movie, a new company in California is harvesting young people’s plasma to sell to old people. Paying a whopping $8,000 per person, 600 clients with a median age of 60 have lined up to be infused with young blood. According to The Guardian, company officials say they get the blood from local blood banks, then separate it, using multiple donations to come up with just one infusion package.

While I congratulate the entrepreneurs on their creativity, I can offer a far less costly strategy to get and stay young, beginning with something you can do at home, for free: Sit less, move more. Yes, it’s that simple. If you want to “young” yourself by as much as eight years, just stop sitting so much.

Being sedentary for long periods of time each day appears to accelerate aging at the cellular level. Diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer and premature death are just some of the chronic conditions linked to sitting too much. Of course, your daily lifestyle also makes a difference in how fast your cells age — what you eat, the quality of your sleep and whether or not you smoke also help determine how fast you age.

But so does whether you exercise. In fact, adding an exercise routine to your daily activities can make your brain a decade younger than your calendar age. Exercise improves memory and cognition, and helps stave off dementia. Strength training — and working your leg muscles in particular — has been shown to have a particularly strong impact on brain function and memory.

Exercise also helps dispel depression — in many cases more effectively than antidepressants — and purges your body of stress chemicals associated with stress-related depression. For this reason, I strongly suggest walking at least 7,000 steps a day or more each day. Again, it doesn't have to be done all in one shot. In fact, it may be more effective if spread out throughout the day. So whenever you can, simply move.

Or at least stand up.
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