Live longer, look younger, reverse aging — at every turn someone is touting cures, tricks and tips to help us live forever. But what does it really take to hack your age, and how is social isolation helping Zoomers take charge of their aging? A new documentary premiering on VisionTV follows Canadian Deedee Moscoe as she explores everything from genetic testing to infrared saunas and cryogenic chambers, all with the hope of turning her into a “superager”.
Produced by the award-winning Fathom Film Group, Hack Your Age follows Deedee, a 55 year woman who is starting to feel the effects of time and wants to stay as healthy and vital as possible as she continues to age. Having always been an active snowboarder, the mother of three wants to maintain her lifestyle despite aching muscles. Looking to set herself on a better track than her aging parents, whom she is moving into a retirement home, Deedee decides to try the relatively new health trend of biohacking, also sometimes referred to as do-it-yourself biology. Simply put, a biohacker is someone who uses science and technology to make his or her body function better and more efficiently.
Experts on the forefront of anti-aging medicine say the field is booming with new therapies, with many on the horizon, that aim to target illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer’s and make for a healthier, older population in the years to come. Deedee meets with a super ager, 86-year-old Nancy Elsasser who lifts weights and does yoga every day. Nancy is a role model for the 86-year-old that Deedee plans on being. After a year on her anti-aging quest, Deedee finds out the overall impact of her efforts to see if she’ll get some more healthy years on this planet.
Looking for the fountain of youth is not a new trend, but as data and technology continues to enrich so many areas of our lives it makes sense that we are now using it to help keep our cells, joints, and brains healthier longer,” says Hack Your Age writer, director and co-producer Hannah Donegan. “We don’t know how long it’s going to be until life goes back to normal, so more and more people are turning to biohacking and data-driven workouts and diets that promise to keep us healthy while the gyms are closed. Following Deedee’s journey, I hope audiences will see that while we don’t have the power to turn back the clock, we do have the power to keep our bodies and spirits young well beyond our eighties.”
Donegan sat down with Deedee for a Q&A to reflect on her experiences with biohacking, and how she’s continuing her healthy aging journey in isolation.
In your own words, did you Hack Your Age?
“Yes I think I have. It was a very interesting journey. I met some really incredible people, I was a guinea pig and had a million tests run on me and I think I learned how to better take care of myself. I hope I continue on this path and keep mindful of my health because I know that that is the key to my longevity.”
What was the best part of your health hack journey?
“The most positive was getting my genetic testing done. Everything came back perfect so I don’t have to worry about any unknown genetic diseases-so that was pretty positive! I loved the acupuncture. I found that was very helpful with all my aches and pains.”
How did your health hack journey prepare you for the current state?
“I realized after meeting with our super-ager how important exercising consistently is and since COVID I’ve been working out on the Peleton at least twice a week getting my heart rate up, I’ve been doing weight training with my daughter, and I feel I’m in better shape now than I have been in 20 years! It is a scary time and you can look at it negatively, or you can try to take the time that you all of a sudden have and make time for yourself.”
What are things people can do to stay on top of their health and well-being during isolation?
“Contact the people you love. Check in, stay in touch and just keep an eye on each other. It’s been very challenging not being able to see my parents. They’re seniors’ home has been on complete lock down so I haven’t seen them in over 2 months. But at least with facetime, it’s tolerable because at least we can have a face to face conversation.”
Is this the new world? Are you the new, upgraded, version of aging? Is that why you’re staying so active during a pandemic?
“I hope that when things (finger crossed) go back to normal that I will continue to workout and stay healthy. But I don’t think that this is the new normal, or at least I really hope it’s not because it’s very lonely and we need other people and their families. Hopefully once a vaccine is found the world will return to normal. I think our human nature will slowly bring us back to the way things were.”
Hack Your Age premieres Monday, June 22 at 9pm ET on VisionTV. Watch the preview below.