If you watch Dancing with the Stars, you've almost certainly noticed: Maksim Chmerkovskiy (simply "Maks" to his legion of fans) is in amazing shape. You might attribute this to hours and hours on the dance floor, but that's only a small part of the equation. Maks is not only fit, but also amazingly strong and healthy. He takes his health very seriously and that means subjecting every food, fitness, and lifestyle choice he makes to a simple litmus test: Will this help me meet my goal of living to 120...or will it detract from that goal?
"I truly believe I can make it to 120 and I want it to be an active and vibrant 120," says the 36-year-old dancer, choreographer, and television personality. "It's not just about quantity of life, but quality of life. This lifestyle is what allows me to even consider a 45-city tour at my age. Also, I want to be able to play basketball with my kids when they're teenagers and still kick their butt—I don't want to be an old dad."
He adds, "To do that in the future, I have to make friends with my body right now," he adds. "If I get out of its way, and help it do its thing by giving it the right nutrients, it will take care of me in return. It will reward me. It will just live. Yeah, things come to an end—but they don't have to degrade by the time you're 60."
This may sound simple. But if you've ever tried to overhaul your habits in this age of processed foods, supersized meals, and electronic distractions that lull you into a sedentary stupor, you know you're swimming against the tide. Still, Maks is doing it—and he insists the rest of us can, too.
Want to join Maks in his quest to live long and prosper? Then consider his 5 "best odds" secrets:
- Educate yourself on what to eat and why. Your body is smart and will regulate itself when you get out of the way—but that means learning how best to feed it. Do some research. Don't limit yourself to "mainstream" resources as many are driven by big food manufacturers with their own agenda. Digging deeper reveals that the typical Western diet—grain-heavy; filled with genetically modified, hormone-infused, processed foods; and deficient in many nutrients—is counter to what the body needs to operate at its best.
- Learn which nutrients you are missing and supplement them. Almost everyone is deficient in certain vitamins (D, for example) and minerals. That's why Maks starts each morning with three supplements he believes are the foundation for good health. The list includes Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C, Lypo-Spheric Glutathione, and Lypo-Spheric R-ALA (all from LivOn Labs).
- Make a conscious decision to stay well. No matter how often you wash your hands during cold and flu season, you'll never be able to shield yourself from every germ. What you can do is follow a best odds regimen to strengthen your immune system so you get sick less often. In Maks's case, that means adhering to a natural "clean eating" regimen as well as supplementing with the aforementioned Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C.
- Find a doctor who believes in prevention—and don't go only when you're sick. "Most people go to the doctor only when stuff hurts," notes Maks. "But we need to use our doctors to help us stay healthy, not just to try to fix what's wrong. We can show up when we are not sick, and if enough people start doing that, doctors will have no choice but to start getting more involved in prevention."
- If it's man-made, don't eat it. Maks bases his diet on lean grass-fed meats and organic, GMO-free fruits and vegetables. This is not as hard as you might think, he says. Processed foods are an addiction, and when you're hooked on them, it's hard to imagine quitting. But once you do, you won't want to go back.