Most of the products marketed to them offer promises that simply can't be met. Wrinkles are not going to disappear overnight. At sixty you're not likely to be fitter, faster and stronger than you were when you were twenty. (Unless you were a real mess when you were twenty)
The simple fact is that we are all getting older. Some day we will all die. There is a sense of peace and wisdom that comes with accepting that. I don't plan to spend my retirement sitting in my rocking chair and knitting, which is fortunate because I don't own a rocking chair and I don't know how to knit.
On the other hand, I also don't want botox, a tummy tuck, a facelift or any type of surgical procedure. Having come to that level of acceptance, why did I pick up a copy of "Younger Next Year"?
The short answer is I'm not sure. I was in an airport bookstore getting ready to fly home after my nephew's funeral. I no longer have to attend funerals for my aunts and uncles, my parents and their friends. That generation has passed on.
Now, I'm beginning to say goodbye to my friends. That's sad but expected. Maybe it was the death of my 29 year old nephew that got me thinking about mortality. Maybe that's why "Younger Next Year" jumped out at me.
I started reading it in the airport lounge and I could not put it down. Here's some of what I learned....
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It's a must have for anyone who is retired or approaching retirement.
You've Got a New Job
Younger Next Year is primarily geared for people in their 50's, 60's and older. It's a message for people who are retired or about to retire, but quite frankly the advice in this book is applicable to people of any age.
Here's the mantra.. "If you are retired, you have a new job. That job is taking care of your body". Don't feel like getting out and exercising today? What if you told your boss you did not "feel" like going to work? How long would you be employed?"
It's a powerful message. In western culture, retirement often means slowing down, and taking life easy, but if you want quality in your older years, you need to do your JOB.
Let's take it a little further. Chances are, you will live into your 80's or 90's. How do you want to spend your final years? Do you want to be healthy and active or do you want to feeble and incapacitated? The choice is yours.
Here's an example. If you are a true couch potato. drive everywhere and get no exercise, your legs muscles will begin to atrophy. It's a fact of life and the process increases as you get older. As you progress from a cane to a walker to a wheelchair, your independence and quality of life goes down. Maybe you don't feel like going for a long walk today, but how do you feel about spending your final years in a wheelchair? Again, the choice is yours.
This amazing book lays out a plan and a blueprint to help you enjoy your final years to their fullest.
The book is written by Chris Cowley who is an uber-fit man in his seventies and Henry S. Lodge M.D. Cowley adds the human touch, while Lodge explains the science of aging. They claim you can, to a certain extent, turn back the biological clock.
After I read Younger Next Year, I found out there was a Younger Next Year for Women. I ordered it from Amazon that day. It sits on my night table so I can re-read chapters as I see fit.
There is a lot of duplicate content in the two books, but Younger Next Year for Women looks at some issues that are specific to the fairer sex.
I gave my original book to a guy friend of mine who is retiring next year. He says the book really opened up his eyes to the aging process. Fortunately he's already pretty active so these are going to be easy lifestyle changes for him.
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Of course it's pink!
What Else Does the Book Cover?
My favorite chapter is titled "Don't You Lose a Goddamn Pound!". Heck, I'd buy any book with that advice. The chapter sets up your nutritional needs, and by the way if you exercise and follow the eating guidelines you will lose weight if you need to. The authors just aren't keen on crazy diets.
When you were little, your Mom probably told you to eat so you would grow up to be big and strong. Did you know that you can tailor make an eating plan that will help you live longer and better?
You'll also learn about the new science of aging, the importance of social connections and committment, how to keep your brain sharp and how to have great sex in your later years. (Blush)
This book is very well written. It's witty, optimistic and insightful. Read it while your still in your twenties, or thirties or beyond.
Would I Recommend This Book?
I've bought five copies of this book and given them away as gifts.
Every one of the recipients say the book has had an impact on their life.
I'm reminded of my dear friend Bob. Bob retired five years ago. He had a job that kept him physically active. Bob bought into the theory that retirement meant taking it very easy. He did not do much after he left his job. He went fishing occasionally. He went to the fridge to get a beer. He wore out the batteries on his remote control.
Bob spent the last year of his life, in a wheelchair in an extended care facility. He was a proud and independant man who did not ever want to live or die like that.
He was also an intelligent man. I'm sure if he had read this book, his final years would be much different.
Even if you don't buy the book, please don't forget the message.."You have a job. That job is taking care of your body".
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Keeping a journal helps keep me on track.