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I am deeply involved in trying to solve the discrepancy between being interested in zen and trying to acquire all the things I've been accumulating

Friday, February 04, 2005

Younger Next Year

Although I don't share Bill Crider's literary ability, we do have one thing in common -- we both look quite a bit younger than we are. In my case, I can attribute this to my mother who had incredible skin and a flawless complexion even when she died at the age of 81. The woman didn't have a wrinkle or a line on her face. She did have heart disease though and had a bypass in her mid-60s. My father also had heart disease, dying at the age of 59. So, in my case, looking younger really doesn't count for too much.

With the family history in mind, I set out to learn as much as I could about heart disease because, quite frankly, I didn't want anyone sawing my chest open. Besides reading virtually every heart-related book that's published, I also read all the appropriate articles in The New England Journal of Medicine and The Journal of the American Medical Association. What I have become is a cardiologist's nightmare, knowing just enough to drive any doctor crazy.

The first time I picked up Younger Next Year: A Guide To Living Like 50 Until You're 80 and Beyond by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, M.D. (Workman, 2004), I only glanced at the book before deciding that it didn't appear complex enough to justify a further look. The book though has a typical Workman cover which won't win any design awards but achieves its purpose quite well. I soon picked the book up again and took a little closer look at it. Even on a second look, it didn't seem like something I had to read. Soon however I did find myself reading it and I can report that it is quite remarkable and well worth your time. It has in fact made a remarkable life-altering change for me.

The book can pretty much be summed up in three words: exercise, EXERCISE,EXERCISE!! Now if you told me that, I admit I wouldn't be too eager to read it. Crowley and Lodge however have made the most compelling case imaginable for the need to exercise and the proof of their success is in the fact that a drag-your-feet exerciser like I was now finds himself in the gym every day!

The beauty of this book is that it is written by a doctor (Lodge) and his patient (Crowley) and they have beautifully laid out the science and wisdom of exercising to keep yourself young. They alternate their message, Crowley talking like somebody you've known all your life, and Lodge like the doctor who's truly interested in your well being, instead of just shuffling you in and out of his office.

If this book doesn't get you up and exercising, there's no hope for you. I can guarantee you that you'll never need to read another word to motivate you to exercise. There are of course a few other things they discuss but I'll leave them for you to discover by yourself. Although I'll never be able to bring myself to eat a donut (though sometimes I'd like to), I no longer feel the need to be as obsessive about my diet now that I'm exercising. I can eat my dark chocolate knowing that it's good for my heart and my mental well being. I am reminded though of a news story about Jack LaLaane celebrating his 90th birthday. Jack was having a great time at the party but he steadfastly refused to have a piece of his birthday cake. Now that's willpower!

Do yourself a favor and take a look at their website: youngernextyear.com and pick up this book and read it. You won't be disapponted!

3 Comments:

Blogger Bill said...

You obviously haven't seen me in a while. I now look like that picture Dorian Gray kept in the attic.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Cap'n Bob Napier said...

Jogging guru Jim Fixx dropped dead while running. I'm not convinced that exercise is all that good for one, and think of all the time it takes away from important things, like lazing about.

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Fixx was a proponent of the idea that all you need to do is exercise regularly, and you are immune to the bad effects of eating poorly. He ate a high fat diet, and proved himself wrong, the hard way. The sensible thing is to eat a simple natural diet (bye bye donuts) and make exercise as much a part of your life as our ancient ancestors did.

2:42 PM  

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