Ageing and lifespan are strongly affected by metabolism. The maximal possible uptake of oxygen is not only a good predictor of performance in endurance sports, but also of life expectancy. Figuratively speaking, healthy ageing is a competitive sport. Although the root cause of ageing is damage to macromolecules, it is the balance with repair processes that is decisive. Reduced or intermittent nutrition, hormones and intracellular signalling pathways that regulate metabolism have strong effects on ageing.