How To Boost Your Longevity (For Free)

Instead of spending millions trying to live longer, research suggests a mindset shift could help extend your life by more than 7...

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • The $1,000 home gym

  • How to become more resilient

  • The free longevity boost (add up to 7 years)

Arnold’s Podcast

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The $1,000 Home Gym

A couple of months ago, we showed you how to build a home gym with nothing more than a cold, hard Benjamin (that’s $100 for those wondering). This time, we’re spending a little more to help you achieve your goals and fill your home with everything you need for a fantastic pump. We asked Cooper Mitchell (Coop), the creator of Garage Gym Reviews, how he would build a home gym with $1,000 or less.

Barbell: You can easily argue that no tool has made people stronger and fitter than the almighty barbell. It’s considered the king of strength training tools because it can be incrementally loaded to more weight than you’ll need to lift, is incredibly versatile, nearly indestructible, and quite affordable. If you’re looking for a barbell on the lower end, go with something like this. If you want something that you can pass down to your grandkids, get this one.

Weight Plates: You’ve got your bar but need some weight to put on the end. This can get expensive quickly depending on the type of plates and how heavy you get, but these basic, old-school iron plates can work and then just build up over time. Another benefit is you can throw these on inexpensive, loadable dumbbells for things like rows, shoulder raises, or an Arnold favorite, concentration curls.

Squat Rack: A squat rack is certainly not required to lift, but it’s helpful to do so safely and optimally. Although I love the squat racks with every attachment possible, they’re unnecessary. This $250 squat rack survived me dropping 700+lb on it (see video here) and is still used to this day. It also includes a pull-up bar to help you build a barn door back.

Weight Bench: With the above three items, you could easily become the strongest person on your block, but big pecs cash big checks, so a weight bench should be in order. This $100 bench isn’t my top all-time pick, but for the price, it meets all the specs of higher-end benches in a lighter-weight design.

Resilience Training

When hard times hit, it might be a good idea to mumble something under your breath. But we’re not talking about F-bombs or other frustration-fueled four-letter words. 

Research suggests repeating a positive personal mantra could be what helps you overcome an obstacle instead of being crushed by it.  

In the study, participants said a single-word mantra. This meditative practice shifted their brain away from negative thoughts and helped them stay calm. And it was all done with just 20 seconds of repeating the mantra. 

Even if you’re not into mantras, changing your mindset during hard times builds the grit and resilience needed to rise above challenging moments.  As pointed out in this great article by Pump Club contributor Brad Stulberg, 

In the words of Jon Kabat Zinn, a meditation teacher and professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, meditation teaches you to “cradle [pain] in your awareness,” which in turn dampens its effect. Studies show that individuals who meditate regularly feel the same amount of pain as those who don’t, but they respond much differently. Rather than reacting to pain with a massive stress response, they accept pain, sit with it, and then move on.

You don’t need to avoid stress — it’s a part of life. But, if you want to become more stress-proof, you’ll build more resilience when you accept the hard times and become a master of not letting life’s difficulties distract and derail you from your goals. 

Longevity You Can’t Buy

We hear a millionaire is selling his “longevity” kit for a minimum of $999. We love the commitment to better health. But — with all due respect — before you blow your savings, understand that many cost-effective and free methods are proven to help you live longer.

Research suggests that developing a more positive mindset about the aging process could help you live up to 7.5 years longer. 

That’s a bigger boost to longevity than lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol or stopping smoking. And it’s a similar increase to what you see from exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.

Your mindset is deeply tied to your mental and physical health. The researchers found that beliefs like “as you get older, you are less useful” create negativity that can disrupt your relationships, work, and other healthy behaviors, triggering an explosion of lifestyle disruption. And this was true regardless of age, gender, socioeconomic status, health, and loneliness. 

Arnold’s advice to “be useful” might be more important than ever to your health. The researchers found that “negative self-perceptions can diminish life expectancy…positive self-perceptions can prolong life expectancy.”

If that wasn’t enough, research also suggests that a more positive mindset is linked to a 43 percent lower risk of dying from any cause, including a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

How do you change your mindset? Do something. 

  • Go to the gym, take a walk, or do an activity you love. 

  • Connect with others who share similar values or encourage you to become better. 

  • Volunteer your time, start a new project, or try a new hobby. 

  • Reject negative stereotypes that suggest you’re too old or it’s too late.

Changing your mindset isn’t easy, but it is free. And that’s a great place to start improving today so you can live longer tomorrow. 

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell