Body Hacking: Using Exercise Physiology to Slow Aging with Anne Friedlander – Stanford Alumni

Physical activity is a powerful medicine that can promote health and change the trajectory of aging. However, in the modern world, we have drifted away from incorporating physical activity into our lives. As the barriers to daily movement have gotten stronger, the burden to exercise has gotten greater. As scientists learn more about the pathways of disease, the causes of aging and the mechanisms by which exercise exerts its benefits, we can develop targeted exercise strategies that can slow (i.e. “hack”) the aging process. In this session, we will discuss how physical activity can slow aging and how different types and amounts of activity can optimize desired health and fitness outcomes.

Should I exercise outside when the air is smoky from wildfire? – San Francisco Chronicle

“Once it gets to red, purple or maroon …it’s really not safe,” said Dr. Michael Fredericson, a Stanford sports medicine doctor. “The potential negative outweighs the positive at that point.”

People who adopt healthy habits can reduce risk of depressive episodes, studies say – NPR

There are lots of medicines to treat depression, and many people benefit from them. But new research points to effective ways to prevent it. Two new studies show that people who adopt healthy habits can significantly reduce the risk of depressive episodes. NPR’s Allison Aubrey reports.

Morning Workouts are Linked to Better Weight Management, Study Finds – Healthline

Dr. Michael Fredericson, director of the PM&R Sports Medicine and co-director of the Stanford Center on Longevity at the Stanford University School of Medicine, said the way the study was conducted it was unclear if the people who exercised in the morning were “systematically different from those who exercise at other times in ways not measured in this study.”

“For example, people who exercise regularly in the morning could have more predictable schedules, such as being less likely to be shift workers or less likely to have caregiving responsibilities that impede morning exercise,” Fredericson said.

These habits can cut the risk of depression in half, a new study finds – NPR

Antidepressant medicines tend to be faster in treating an episode of depression, says Douglas Noordsy, a psychiatrist with the Stanford Lifestyle Medicine Program. “But physical exercise has more durable effects than an antidepressant does,” he says.

For some people, medication gives them a benefit in the beginning, but then it fades over time, Noordsy says. “Whereas a lifestyle change can have a more permanent and lasting effect.” Noordsy and his colleagues use a range of evidence-based recommendations and tools, from medicines to therapy to behavioral approaches including fitness, nutrition, sleep and stress management, to help empower patients.

Walking Just 4,000 Steps a Day Can Help You Live Longer – Healthline

“What is different is that previous studies have suggested you need at least 4,000 steps per day and ideally 6,000 to 8,000 for significant benefit.” Dr. Michael Fredericson, a professor of orthopedic surgery at Stanford Health Care who was not involved in the study, told Healthline.

“However, this study suggests we do not need as many steps to have health benefits, and they can manifest starting with even 2,500 to 4,000 steps a day,” Fredericson added.

Remembering Dr. Walter Bortz, the Grandfather of Lifestyle Medicine

By Maya Shetty, BS

“Living longer is active, not passive. You create your own destiny.”

These are the wise words of Dr. Walter Bortz II, the former Stanford professor and physician whose pioneering work laid the foundation upon which our Lifestyle Medicine Program now stands. After 93 years, filled with groundbreaking research, influential books, and inspiring athletic achievements, Dr. Bortz peacefully passed away on August 5th.

 “Dr. Bortz is considered the grandfather of lifestyle medicine and was a great mentor for me,” says Michael Fredericson, MD, Director of Stanford Lifestyle Medicine. “He was way before his time and was promoting lifestyle medicine principles to his patients and the greater community before anyone else.”

As one of America’s most distinguished scientific experts on aging and longevity, Dr. Bortz devoted his life to reshaping our perspective on aging and health. He boldly challenged the conventional belief that growing older inevitably leads to frailty and decline, asserting that aging should be regarded as a treatable condition largely caused by disuse. By understanding aging in this way, he advocates for a more proactive approach to maintaining lifelong health and vitality through regular exercise. Practicing what he preached, Dr. Bortz was an avid runner who completed 45 marathons across the world, including the 2013 Boston Marathon at the age of 83. 

His work continues to inspire countless individuals to take charge of their well-being and recognize that they have the power to shape both the quality and duration of their lives. Dr. Bortz wrote several books on this topic, including We Live Too Short and Die Too Long, Dare to be 100, The Roadmap to 100, Living Longer for Dummies, Next Medicine, and Occupy Medicine.

“He was my best friend, best man and best expert on how quality of life trumps quantity of life, and health span is far more important than life span,” said attorney Jack Russo, who was Dr. Bortz’s next-door neighbor, running buddy, and co-advisor to the Stanford Lifestyle Medicine program. “If his philosophy is adopted worldwide, the medical profession will be transformed, as will all of us.”

Click to read more about the life chronology of Dr. Walter Bortz II


Healthy, Easy, and Quick Recipes with Stanford Lifestyle Medicine Experts

Nourishing our bodies with wholesome food is an investment in our health and well-being, but does not need to be expensive or complicated to be effective. In the series, “Healthy, Easy, and Quick Recipes with Stanford Lifestyle Medicine Experts,” Jessica Hope, RN and Rusly Harsono, MD, share simple, efficient, and affordable nutrition tips and recipes.

Stanford Lifestyle Medicine nutrition expert Jessica Hope is a 15-year advocate of plant-based diets who conducts clinical research in nutrition at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and staffs the Humane & Sustainable Food Lab at Stanford Medicine. 

“By creating a simple, thoughtful meal plan, you will be able to minimize food waste, save time, and transform budget-friendly and quick-to-prepare ingredients into a variety of nutritious and delicious meals,” says Hope.

Hope recommends eating nuts and beans as great sources of whole-food protein. While her go-to for nuts are ones that have not been roasted, she recommends having beans either straight from the can or preparing dried beans, which is the more affordable option. “Beans are an amazing whole-food, zero-prep, affordable nutrition source,” says Hope. “For breakfast, I often eat two cups of kidney beans with salt, green peas, or chickpeas with tahini.”

Recipe Ideas for Easy and Inexpensive Meals

Stanford Lifestyle Medicine experts Jessica Hope and Dr. Rusly Harsono share simple recipes containing the whole foods of beans and nuts.

The Stanford Simple Salad


  • Two handfuls of leafy greens 
  • Canned beans (pinto, black, garbanzo, or kidney) as the source of protein
  • A handful of nuts (peanuts, almonds, or cashews) for crunch 
  • Fruit (apples, cherries, or pears) for sweetness

Mix these ingredients together and enjoy!

Jessica’s Sweet Potato and Beans


  • Sweet potato (baked)
  • Black beans with salt (heat up and pour over the sweet potato)
  • A sprinkle of salt 

This recipe makes a delicious, protein- and iron- rich meal that only takes about 5 minutes to prepare (if you bake the potato ahead of time). 


  • Since sweet potatoes keep well in the refrigerator, you can bake a bunch of them at once until they are very soft, then store them for later. 
  • To make your sweet potato even sweeter, swap the beans for natural peanut butter that is free of sugar, preservatives, or added oil. 

The common denominator across all these recipes is that they follow the golden rule to use natural or minimally processed foods and freshly made dishes and meals over ultra-processed products. This golden rule is defined by NOVA, which is a nutritional organization recognised by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Through the insights of Stanford Lifestyle Medicine experts, Jessica Hope and Dr. Rusly Harsono, we can see that good nutrition does not have to be a complex equation. We hope these simple tips and recipes can be a gateway toward a healthy lifestyle where flavor, nutrition, and simplicity coexist.


By Helena Zhang, BS