Evening Lectures - Ocala

Dr. Steve Anton

THE TALK: Lifestyle Approaches for Cellular Health

February 23, 2023


Stressful situations and conditions are something we all experience, no matter our stage in life. The world we live in is constantly changing; thus, our ability to adapt to these changes is critical to our long-term well survival and well-being. For this reason, a key question is how do we become more resilient and stronger human beings who are capable of adapting to life’s constant challenges. The thesis of this talk is that we become healthier humans by exposing ourselves to small amounts of stress on a temporary basis. There are many examples of temporary challenges, such as exercise, intermittent fasting, or taking a sauna, being good for you. This describes the biological phenomenon of ‘hormesis’ which is the process our cells use to adapt to temporary stressors and become stronger. It’s true that being in a chronically stressed out state is not healthy and has been linked to many diseases and accelerated aging. However, stress in and of itself is not harmful. Rather, the latest research reveals that our bodies and minds need small to moderate amounts of temporary stress on a frequent basis in order to become more resilient and ‘anti-fragile.’ There are multiple aspects of our lifestyle can elicit the process of hormesis in our cells. This talk will cover some of the key lifestyle changes that recent research has found can improve cellular health and ultimately promote healthy aging through the process of hormesis.


Dr. Anton’s specific research interests are on the role that lifestyle factors have in promoting healthy aging and reducing age-related disease conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome. He completed his doctoral degree in Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida (UF), receiving training in health promotion and the delivery of lifestyle interventions designed to modify eating and exercise behaviors. Following completion of his post-doctoral fellowship at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in June 2007, he accepted a joint Assistant Professor position within the Department of Aging and Geriatric Research and Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida. Since joining the University of Florida, he has successfully obtained and conducted multiple grants examining the effects that lifestyle-based interventions have on biological and functional outcomes relevant to obesity, cardiovascular disease. In 2009, Dr. Anton was selected as an Outstanding Young Alumni by the College of Public Health and Health Professions. In 2015, Dr. Anton was recognized as a Master Mentor by the UF Mentor Academy. Most recently, Dr. Anton has been awarded a UF Term Professorship, a distinction given to top professors at the University of Florida. He is currently Professor and Vice Chair of Clinical Research for the Department of Aging and Geriatric Research.

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