By LouAnn Good –
So you’re coming into the peak of your life. You’re already more attuned to your physical and emotional needs, and more inclined to commit to a healthier lifestyle, you’re poised to live brilliantly for the thirty-plus years after menopause. All you need now is the program outlined in Younger Next Year for Women—which, for starters, will help you avoid literally 70 percent of the decay and eliminate 50 percent of the injuries and illnesses associated with getting older
Authors Chris Crowley, 73, and Henry S. Lodge, MD, a board certified internist who is listed variously as “One of the Best Doctors in New York/America/the World, have collaborated to write “Younger Next Year for Women”, after the great success of “Younger Next Year”, targeting men as they age.
Their message is simple: “Ladies, listen up! Life isn’t over yet.” We don’t have to morph into pathetic old ladies who shrink, get tired, sick, fat, and accident-prone. The worst things that happen turn out to be voluntary — about 70% voluntary, says Crowley. There’s no rule forcing you to feel old and to act old. Instead, why not make the last third of your life a really terrific experience?
The secret of staying younger than your chronological age is to change the signals you give to your body. There are two basic types of signals, the signal to grow and the signal to decay. Both types of signals get transmitted through the nervous and circulatory systems. And both types of signals have the potential to change your body, your brain, and your emotional outlook.
Decay is the default signal, which means it’s the message that automatically takes over without any conscious effort or thought, whereas the signal to grow has to be deliberately stimulated. This stimulation is achieved in three ways: through exercise, nutrition, and caring about someone or something. The authors claim that the physical messages you send by being consciously and steadily active, and the emotional messages you send by being engaged in the great hunt of life, can override the default message.
While three signal-changing tools are recommended, by far the biggest emphasis is on exercise. This is not the walk in the park kind of stuff but serious, big-sweat exercise . To get the life-saving and life-enhancing effects of exercise, you must exercise six days a week for the rest of your life… until you die. It’s your most important job. Both aerobic and strength training are prescribed. Aerobic exercise saves your life; strength training makes it worth living. As for eating, the co-authors have just two things to say: quit eating crap and don’t worry about your weight. Because women are bombarded with ultra-thin cultural conditioning from the very moment they exit the womb, the direction to stop focusing on body weight might be a bit easier for men to than for women. It doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. Cut back on fast foods. Get the white stuff out of your diet. Eat your veggies. Read food labels. Pass on the starches. Stuff like that. That said, given the state of our national girth, everyone can use reminding about what constitutes good nutrition and that it starts in the grocery store.
The authors even talk about the dreaded m-word, menopause. Menopause kicks off the tide of decay like a hurricane, and exercise is still the best therapeutic treatment for moderating side effects and for compenpensating for the loss in estrogen production. They also venture into sex. Did you know, for example, that your sex life has a direct relationship to your longevity? Men who have the most sex live the longest and women who have the best sex live the longest. The only predictor of an active sex life as you age is an active sex life in your 40s and 50s; if you can climb a flight of stairs, you can have sex. Crowley talks about how more and more women are finding ways to sexually express themselves as they age.
The bottom line: Never, ever give up on yourself, no matter how old you are. And don’t let your friends and family give up on themselves either. If you aren’t exercising, get up and get your shoes on! Start today on being younger next year!
We wish to thank Karen Bentley for her wonderful review of this great book!