Orangetheory CEO: 6 Things In My Daily Routine That Help Slow Aging And Add Years To My Life

Fortune Well October 22, 2023


Orangetheory CEO: 6 Things In My Daily Routine That Help Slow Aging And Add Years To My Life

For Dave Long, the CEO of Orangetheory—the fitness company comprising over 1,500 studios across 25 countries—wellness is more than a business venture. 

As a leader of a fitness empire offering interval workouts with a mix of running, rowing, and strength training, Long, who cofounded the company in 2010, incorporates a range of wellness habits into his daily life to reduce stress, bolster strength, and age well.

An hour of exercise a day

After a roughly 6 a.m. wake-up, Long’s first priority is exercise. “I need to work out every single day to kind of feel my best and perform,” he tells Fortune

Some days, he heads to the headquarters’ studio in Boca Raton, Fla., for a 60-minute class, including Orangetheory’s new strength offering. Other days, he runs between four and eight miles outdoors or performs a jujitsu workout. Moving every day, specifically with a combination of aerobic and strength exercises, can strengthen cognitive function as you age and combat age-related muscle loss. 

Family connection

Despite having occasional meetings with West Coast–based stakeholders after 5 p.m, Long typically signs off before dinner and spends time with his family. “It’s super important for me to get home for dinner,” he says. Social connectedness is a key longevity habit that reduces loneliness and depression.  

Long also facilitates family walks after dinner. Getting some steps in before bed has been associated with a better night’s sleep, and quality sleep can add years to your life. 

“Once I get home, I try to stay away from my phone and not continue that process of checking email, texts, and things like that over the phone, which can be never ending,” he says. Americans tend to spend 50% of our time on screens, so finding ways to sign off and combat the blurred line between work and home life can serve us well, especially as people echo the importance of connecting in person. 

A good night’s sleep 

Long hits the hay between 10 and 10:30 p.m. and has tracked his sleep for the past few years. Getting ample sleep strengthens the brain, and plays a role in everything from decision-making to managing stress.  

His goal is eight hours per night, but he admits he is averaging about seven hours and 10 minutes. 

Daily sauna and cold plunge

Even before the cold plunge became a pop culture phenomenon touted by scientists like Andrew Huberman for its potential role in aging well, Long was taking a daily dip in the $7,000 cold plunge in his garage. He also spends about 20 minutes in the sauna before bed and another cold plunge, which he says helps him sleep better.  

The cold plunge can promote clarity and alertness and may be associated with a lower risk for mental health problems. It may not be for everyone, though. Experts suggest speaking to your doctor first and avoiding cold immersion if you have underlying conditions like heart disease. 

Deep breathing 

Managing stress is another of Long’s priorities. He spends up to 10 minutes on deep-breathing exercises. Mindfulness practices like the 4-7-8 breathing technique can calm the nervous system and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

A balanced diet 

Regarding nutrition, Long’s diet is rich in protein (which helps maintain energy and strengthen muscle) and whole foods (rich in a multitude of nutrients and fiber). He keeps processed foods and sugar to a minimum. A diet offering a variety of whole foods, including fruit, vegetables, and lean meats, has been associated with aging well and a reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease. 

Still, Long focuses on balance and doesn’t rule out indulging in less nutritious foods on occasion.

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