It is my pleasure to bring you the main points of this now "out of print" book - Keith Hunt
REALAGE....... Are you as Young as You Can Be?
An Age Reduction Programme That Can Make You Live and Feel Up to 26 Years Younger
DrDr4Dr. Michael F. Roizen4 Scientifically Proven Steps That Delay
GETTING YOUNGER: FOR LIFE!
What would you do if I gave you a hundred dollars? Would you spend it? Or save it? Think of all the things you could do with it. You could buy tickets to a pro basketball game. Or a new pair of running shoes. You could buy an armful of flowers for someone special. Or just treat yourself to cappuccinos every morning for a month. Sure, you could do a lot with a hundred dollars, but you couldn't buy a condominium with it. Or a new car. You know exactly how far a hundred dollars goes. And that's one of the remarkable things about money.
Because money has concrete value, we can compare activities as diverse as spending a couple of hours watching hoops and paying the phone bill and then choose between them. We know that a hundred dollars will buy an evening out or a pair of shoes but not both. Money values allow us to evaluate our choices. I'm not going to give you a hundred dollars. Instead, I'm going to give you something better: years of life. I'm going to teach you how to add years to your life—high-quality, health-filled, vibrant years. I'm going to show you how to live younger through a method that makes health decisions as easy to understand as it is to understand what that one hundred dollars is worth.
The biggest problem with understanding health care decisions is that we have no common currency for medicine. We have no way of measuring decisions as diverse as buckling our seat belts, exercising, or taking vitamins regularly. But that's about to change.
As complex as medical science can be, there are only two real questions in medicine: How long will you live? And how healthy and vigorous will your life be while you're living it? Whether the issue at hand is eating a nutritious diet, taking calcium supplements, or wearing sunscreen, the fundamental motivation for choosing any of these behaviors is to ensure a longer, healthier life. Unfortunately, medical studies and news reports almost never make it seem that simple. RealAge unifies an array of health topics by determining exactly how they affect youth and vigor. RealAge correlates these to a common measurement—years of life.
For example, think of the neighbor who looks as if she's in her early forties, but who's really sixty. And remember how surprised you were to learn that your coworker, who you thought was in his fifties, was only forty-three? Some people are young for their age: They are physiologically and mentally as active and vibrant as someone much younger. The sixty-year-old woman may have a RealAge—that is, a physiologic age—of only forty-five. Why? Because she has learned how to slow the pace of ageing. Your coworker, on the other hand, has probably abused his body, causing it to age much faster than it should. Remember your school reunion: Even though everyone was the same chronologic age, people no longer looked the same age. Some people wore the years well, were young and exuberant, despite the passage of time. Others looked as if they had aged ten years more than everyone else—and they probably had.
Your RealAge is an estimation of your age in biologic terms, not chronologic years. If your RealAge is five years younger than your chronologic age, it means that your rate of ageing is such that you are in the same shape physiologically as the average person who is five years younger than you. Likewise, if your RealAge is five years older than your chronologic age, you have aged to the same biologic condition as someone who is five years older. RealAge measurements allow us to quantify the age difference between our calendar age and our biologic age. Using the latest and most sophisticated computer technology and statistical methodology, RealAge is able to translate health risk into years of your life.
Better yet, the RealAge program shows every single one of us just how simple it is to become one of those people who really is younger than his or her years. We really can slow the pace of ageing—and even reverse it. Although we've never been able to talk about 'getting younger' before—time moves in only one direction, forward—now we can. Even though you can't change your calendar age, you can 'make' your RealAge younger. That is, you can have the health profile of someone who is chronologically younger. Best of all, it's not that difficult to do. Slowing the pace of ageing can be relatively easy and painless. That means you can start feeling more invigorated, energetic, and healthful almost as soon as you start the RealAge program. You won't just live longer, you'll live younger.
More of us are living longer than human beings have ever lived before. Our life expectancy is increasing, and, barring unforeseen circumstances, most of us can expect to live into ripe old age—ripe old calendar age, that is. Yet, how well you live is largely up to you. Most of us don't want to live to be ninety if the last thirty years of our lives are filled with illness, restricted ability, and dependence on our families or nursing care. We want to be able to play golf, tango, or climb a mountain right until the day we die. We want all those extra years to be quality years—years in which we write the novel we've always dreamed of writing or learn how to paint. We want those years to be years when we travel the globe, visiting the far-off places we've only read about. We want to have fun with our grandchildren and enjoy our children as adults. We don't want to give up the things that make our lives worth living.
Longer lives don't mean much if they aren't active lives. That is what RealAge is all about: making simple decisions in our day-to-day lives that will stave off the biologic ageing processes that make our old age feel 'old.'
Every one of us was born with a potential—the potential of who we will become. Part of this potential is social—the kind of education you get, the job you take, the opportunities and happenstances that come your way. The other part of this potential is biologic. How long and how well will you live? How healthy will you be? For far too long, the medical community has written off ageing as something that is purely genetic, assuming that a person's whole life is 'written in the genes' with which he or she is born. The more we know about genetics, our biologic inheritance, the more we know that this assumption is not true. Studies continue to show that for most of us, lifestyle choices and behaviors have far more impact on longevity and health than does heredity. Your genes (the elements that carry inherited information) define your basic biology, but how you interact with the world around you— whether through food choices, exercise, or social connections—is how you control the way your genes will affect your body. Those interactions shape both the quality and quantity of your life. Most of us do not live as well or as long as our genes or our bodies would allow. We shortchange ourselves. By taking care of our bodies, we slow the pace of biologic ageing and capitalize more fully on our potential.
Through the RealAge program, you will learn to understand your health care decisions in terms of the one thing that really matters: your biologic age. RealAge establishes a measurement system to calculate the relative biologic age of our bodies, so that you can learn to evaluate health care decisions as diverse as putting tomato sauce on spaghetti or taking a jog, in the same terms and then make informed decisions about each habit.
RealAge calculations provide a way to interpret different types of health information and to make informed choices about our behaviors. RealAge gives a value to each of our choices, just as the price tag on a product in a store gives a value to that product. Although some of these changes are easy and some are a bit more difficult, most are relatively painless. None of us can or will do everything possible to get younger, but because RealAge breaks these decisions down into steps, every single one of us can do some things to start getting younger. We can make health decisions that fit into our particular lifestyles and decide which aspects of healthy living would affect us the most. We can decide what really matters, what's worth the effort, and what we may want to postpone. Once we understand the multiple, often unrelated, factors on which the totality of our health depends, we can start living healthier one step at a time. You make the choices about how you want to age—or not.
Getting Younger-Just the Facts
IT'S EASIER THAN YOU THINK
As a doctor, I have often felt I was fighting an uphill battle. My job is to cure people after they are already sick. But preventing illness in the first place is always the best cure. Practicing my specialty of cardiovascular anesthesiology has meant that I have spent much of my working life with patients who are among the sickest of the sick, people who need bypass surgery or emergency operations to fix potentially fatal aneurysms. After spending so much time in the operating room with patients who were so severely sick, I was frustrated by not being able to do more for them. I was grateful that I really could save lives, but at the same time, I was mad as heck. So many of these patients were sick because they had mistreated their bodies over time. Moreover, every single one of them knew better. They knew that they should exercise more, eat healthier foods, and take care of themselves, but they just weren't doing it. That seemed to me a true tragedy, not to mention a national health care crisis. Why were so many people—smart, educated, thoughtful people—not paying attention to the reports of studies that correlated good health behaviors with long, healthy lives? It would have been easy to blame it on the patients. But it wasn't their fault. Clearly, the medical community was failing to communicate its message effectively.
In my internal medicine practice and my anesthesia preoperative clinic, I told my patients again and again how they could live healthier. I told them how they could lengthen—and strengthen—their lives and how they could increase the quantity and the quality of their years. But the tide of patients coming into my office and into the operating room with entirely preventable illnesses did not stem. I felt as if all my talk was for nothing. Why did they persist in habits that were harmful to their health, even though they knew better? What could I do—what could all doctors do—to explain health better? Good health is an attainable goal, but my patients weren't listening.
RealAge: The Beginning of an Idea
One day, a friend said to me, 'Health is so confusing. One day the papers are telling you to do one thing, and the next day they're telling you to do the opposite. There's just so much information. I don't know what to do with it all.' I empathized, but I didn't know exactly how to change things. How could people measure one alternative against another?
When another friend, Simon Z., developed a severe illness, it all came together. For some reason, stepping out of my role as a doctor and into my role as a friend made the idea flash in my head: Health is like money. It has an exchange value. Health decisions and behavioral choices that you make today are capital toward living younger tomorrow. What we were missing was a common currency for health.
Simon, who was forty-nine, was afflicted with severe arterial disease. He had a terrible circulatory problem that made it nearly impossible for him to walk more than a quarter of a block without terrible pain, and he needed a major operation. His lifelong smoking habit wasn't helping any. Even though he was relatively young, his body was in the condition of someone much older. I was afraid that he might not be my friend for much longer.
Simon was a tough cookie—and an even tougher patient. A self-made man, he had a drive and determination that was hard to match. He had worked hard for everything he had ever gotten in his life, and, with a wonderful family, good friends, and a booming career, his was an American success story. Yet he was a heart attack away from losing it all. As a doctor, I wanted to cure him. As a friend, I didn't want to lose him. For all Simon's attention to detail in his job, family, and friendships, he had overlooked the one thing that made it all possible: himself.
Telling him to quit smoking didn't work. (Quite literally, I called him every single day for years to ask him if he had quit yet. The answer was always 'no.')
'Simon,' I said one day when he was in for a checkup, 'how old are you?'
'Mike, please,' he grumbled. 'You know I'm forty-nine.'
'Simon, this isn't a joke,' I replied. 'How old are you really"
'What are you getting at?' he said, eyeing me suspiciously.
'Did you know that all that smoking has made you older?' I asked him. 'Eight years older. Right now, you may be forty-nine. But your body is as old as someone who is fifty-seven, maybe more. For all practical purposes, your age is fifty-seven.'
'I can't be fifty-seven,' he said.
'Why not?' I asked.
'Because no man in my family has ever lived to the age of fifty-eight.'
The message hit home. Simon quit smoking. He began exercising and eating right. He reduced his RealAge and began celebrating 'year-younger' parties, rather than his usual 'one-more-year-over-the-hill' birthday parties. Over time, he became younger.
Fundamental to economics is the concept of 'net present value.' Net present value is used by economists to determine the current value of investments that have future payoffs. The RealAge concept allows us to calculate the value of different types of health behaviors and choices. In biologic terms, the difference between your calendar age and your RealAge is a calculation of the net present value of your health behaviors; it is the estimate of what age you are physiologically when compared with the rest of the population. For example, when I say someone's RealAge is forty-five compared with his or her chronological age of fifty, it means that the person has the health profile of the average forty-five-year-old. In terms of age, his or her net present value is five years younger. Each behavior has a net present value and alters your RealAge by a specific number of years. Instead of considering health decisions as something that will pay off thirty years down the road, you will be able to see just how each choice is paying off in the present.
Has this been demonstrated? Is it real? Yes. The rest of the book gives you the net present value, or RealAge change, for each choice. It also examines how and why that choice affects you.
A Question of Age: What Does It Mean to Get Old?
No matter who you are, no matter what else happens in your life, one thing is guaranteed: You will get older—each and every day. It's one of life's promises, and there's no stopping it.
At least, not until now. Now we know that slowing the process of ageing, reversing ageing, is the best thing we can do to promote health. 'Younger' and 'healthier' are almost always one and the same. Most of the major diseases we confront—cancer, arthritis, heart disease—rarely occur until our bodies begin to show the signs of ageing. Indeed, these diseases are, far too often, the hallmarks of ageing, their onset defining the moment when we first feel old.
Surprisingly, no one knows why we age. Even though ageing is one of the most clearly visible biological processes—a process that's been written about as long as anyone has written about biology—there is no good scientific explanation for ageing, except to say that our bodies were designed to grow older. Ageing is built right into us, and no one can say exactly why. Scientists have at least seven major theories about why we age, and all of them have some credibility. Some scientists believe that our bodies are programmed to die—that our genes program our cells to divide a certain number of times and that once division has reached that maximum number, our bodies begin to fail. This is known as the telomere theory. (Telomeres are genetic elements that control the number of allowable cell divisions.) Others argue that there is a general degradation of neuroendocrine stimuli—that is, the neurologic and hormonal systems that regulate the organism finally wear out, making us more susceptible to a variety of diseases. A third hypothesis is the 'wear-and-tear' theory, that living itself makes us old. A fourth theory is that our bodies eventually build up so many toxins and other waste products that our systems begin to shut down. In a further elaboration of this hypothesis, many scientists believe that this waste buildup can even affect the structure of our genes. You may know this fifth theory as the free-radical theory of ageing: Our bodies build up free radical 'oxidants' that damage our organs and our DNA, causing us to age. A corollary to this theory is the glucose toxicity theory, which also has to do with waste buildup in our bodies. The final theory of ageing derives from the law of entropy: In the universe there is a continual movement from order to disorder, and in our bodies, that movement is marked as ageing.
Although no one knows exacdy why we age, we do know, at least in part, what ages. Ageing is not one thing but many things. And that's the key to RealAge. Ageing is the catchall term for all sorts of processes—everything from getting wrinkles to wearing out our hearts. Ageing doesn't happen as some mysterious metaphysical phenomenon. Ageing happens in the particulars. That is, your arteries get clogged. Arthritis flares up. Your parts start to wear down, and you don't heal as quickly as you used to. With RealAge, we go to the source; we get down to the details. We all know people who look younger than their age. And we all know people who look like they're older. The question is, How can you turn yourself into one of those people who look, feel, and—in physiologic terms—are younger than their age?
First, stop thinking about health as the prevention of disease and start thinking about it as the prevention of ageing. The chance of any of us being afflicted by any one disease in any one year is pretty slim. We read that 3 in 1,000 women will get a certain kind of cancer or that 2 in 100 men will die from a specific variety of stroke. These kinds of data aren't enough to convince us that we should really eat that salad instead of a burger and fries. These events seem too remote.
However, eating that hamburger will make you older tomorrow than if you ate that salad today. And you will be younger tomorrow if you exercise today. The better condition you are in—that is, the younger you stay—the better prepared you will be to fight the factors that age you. When you take care of your body, time slows down. You will have more time—time to be what you want to be and to do what you want to do. By quantifying how different behaviors affect the rate of ageing, RealAge lets you understand the relative value of your health choices.
Behavior, Genetics, and
the Ageing Process
As recently as twenty years ago, doctors largely believed that as soon as we understood genetics, we would solve many of the basic medical problems that eluded us. The overwhelming belief was that youth, health, and longevity were determined from birth and that there was nothing to be done about it. 'It's all in the genes you're born with' was the word of the day. Almost everyone, including the scientific community, believed that a person's life span was largely a matter of fate.
For diseases as diverse as diabetes, Alzheimer's, many cancers, and cardiovascular disease, we've long known that genetic components are involved in many cases. Some of us are more prone to weight gain, and some of us are more prone to high cholesterol. Those tendencies can increase the likelihood of certain kinds of diseases and ageing. Surprisingly, the more scientists have learned about genetics, the more they have learned just how much the environment, and our interactions with it, matter. We largely control how our genes affect us. We all have the genes we were born with, but how we age is primarily up to us.
Despite commonly held beliefs that ageing is mostly out of your control, inherited genetics account for less than 30 percent of all ageing effects, and the importance of genetic inheritance matters less and less the older your calendar age. By the age of eighty, behavioral choices account almost entirely for a person's overall health and longevity. People who are still able to live young even when their calendar age is old weren't necessarily born with 'good' genes nearly so much as they have made 'good' choices. They exercise, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, keep their minds engaged, and do many of the things that this book advocates to keep themselves young.
Although we tend to imbue our genes with mystery, when it comes right down to it, genes direct our bodies to make proteins. They provide information about what proteins our cells should and shouldn't produce, how much, and when. The fact that you made it into the world at all means that all your essential genes are working just fine. To develop from an egg to a fetus requires incredible genetic coordination. Simply being born means that everything pretty much went right. Since most people with severe genetic illnesses suffer in childhood, growing up to adulthood means that even more went right. For the most part, when we discuss ageing and genetics, we are talking about subtle differences. (For further information on genetics and ageing, see Chapter 5 on cancer genetics and Chapter 12 on evaluating hereditary risks.)
Separating biology and behavior is difficult, if not impossible: Children inherit not just genes from their parents but also behaviors. Those behaviors can have biologic effects, including the rate at which the children age. For example, children who eat a lot of saturated fats when they are young are more likely to die of arterial disease when they get old (or, as it may be, not so old). The behaviors learned and ingrained in youth can affect your whole life, including the rate at which you age.
Cardiovascular disease provides an excellent example of the way biologic predispositions and social behaviors interrelate. Some people are biologically predisposed to the early onset of arterial ageing. They have inherited a tendency toward high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or weight gain. Others are culturally predisposed to the disease because they are far more likely to develop such habits as eating foods high in saturated fat that can accelerate arterial ageing. Finally, we know that there is often, if not usually, a combination of both: The bad habits interact with the biologic predisposition, and cardiovascular ageing is accelerated.
By starting with good behaviors, you live as long—and as young—as your genes will allow.
The Three Most Important
Factors That Affect Ageing
So, exactly what are those behavioral changes that will help keep you young? Essentially everything you do contributes to or prevents ageing. Eating a diet low in saturated fats, exercising, and quitting smoking are probably lifestyle choices you already know are good for you and, although you may never have thought about it exactly this way, prevent ageing. But did you know that flossing your teeth nightly can make a big difference in how fast you age? Flossing regularly can make your RealAge as much as 6.4 years younger (see Chapter 5). And did you know that folate can help your arteries stay young? Folate reduces arterial ageing and can make a person's RealAge as much as three years younger (see Chapter 7). Many of the choices that help prevent ageing are easy and simple to do. Learn to think about the wide variety of choices in your life as they relate to your health currency—your RealAge. Through RealAge, you are able to weigh the relative values of each and decide which changes are worth it for you. Best of all, it is much less work than you think.
Ageing of the Arteries
In no uncertain terms, you are as young as your arteries. Ageing of the arteries is the most important factor in the overall process of ageing. When your arteries are not taken care of properly, they get clogged with fatty buildup, diminishing the amount of oxygen and nutrients that can get to your cells. When this happens, not only your cardiovascular system, but your entire body, ages more quickly. Cardiovascular disease is the leading killer of adult Americans, killing more than 40 percent of us and seriously afflicting more than half of us. Having high blood pressure (a blood pressure reading over 140/90 mm Hg) can make a person's RealAge more than twenty-five years older than having low blood pressure. The better you take care of your arteries and the younger they are, the younger you will be. This book lists a whole range of things for each individual to do—everything from taking folic acid supplements to flossing your teeth—that will make your arteries younger and healthier, and that will make you feel stronger and livelier.
Ageing of the Immune System
Don't let your immune system make you old. As you age, your immune system begins to get sloppy, ignoring important warning signals and becoming negligent. You can end up with cancer or another disorder caused by a malfunction of your immune system. For example, when you are young—except in relatively rare cases—genetic controls in your cells protect your cells from becoming cancerous. If one of these cellular controls slips up, your larger immune system identifies precancerous cells in the body and eliminates them. Thus, your body has a double block against cancer, one on the cellular level and one on the organism-wide level. As you age, both the cell-based genetic controls and your immune system become more likely to malfunction, and you are more likely to develop a cancerous tumor. Many types of arthritis are examples of a breakdown of the immune system, which is why arthritis is a disease associated with ageing. By keeping your immune system fit, you do your best to avoid such diseases and prevent premature ageing. This book tells you which vitamins (and at what doses) help protect your genetic control systems and immune system. The program also describes ways to reduce the stresses in your life that can upset the balance of your immune system, and such practices as strengthening exercises that will help keep your immune system running young.
Social and Environmental Factors
How we react to our environment biologically, psychologically, and socially has a lot to do with how young we stay. The environment in which we live, the substances we put into our bodies, the risks we take, and the stresses we undergo can all contribute to ageing. Breathing secondhand smoke, eating foods high in saturated fats, working in an unsafe environment, or using a cell phone while driving can all increase the likelihood that our lives will be shorter or more ridden with illness than they would be otherwise. When we think only about disease, we forget about other factors that are outside our bodies that can make us healthy. Some choices—for example, becoming a lifelong learner by enrolling in classes, reading, or otherwise stimulating your mind—can help keep you younger longer. Having fun with your friends can do the same. In subsequent chapters, I detail the impact of these choices and show you how interacting with your environment in a particular way can keep you young.
From Science to You: Living Young
RealAge is a way of measuring the pace of ageing. By adopting the suggestions in this book, you are slowing the rate of ageing and sometimes even reversing it. In Chapter 2, I explain how we are able to calculate RealAge and discuss the science behind the numbers. I give you two options for calculating your own RealAge (using the charts provided in this book or, for a more accurate calculation, using the computerized survey on the RealAge Web site, www.RealAge.com). Both options not only provide you with an individual calculation that distinguishes you from everyone else around you, but also compare you with the health and youth average for your age group. Your RealAge calculation will weigh the risks you face against the health-related behaviors you choose. The end product is a RealAge that is uniquely descriptive of you. As you adopt behaviors that change your RealAge, you can recalculate your RealAge. With each new calculation, you can chart your progress and watch the years disappear.
How young can you become? When I told one fifty-year-old friend of mine all the things she could do to reduce her rate of ageing, she asked me, 'Mike, if I did all of those things, I could have a RealAge of twelve, couldn'?' Well, for those of us who don't want to relive our teenage years, fortunately, no. In this book, all of the chapters use calculations that reflect the greatest possible effect of each behavior when no other mediating factors are considered. Both the worksheets in Chapter 2 and the RealAge computer program use a multi-variable equation that balances each factor in relation to all the other RealAge factors. This equation evaluates how all these factors interrelate.
The more Age Reduction habits you adopt (the specific plan is described in Chapter 3), the less likely you will be to gain the maximum effect from adopting any single practice by itself. But the more good habits you adopt, the better your across-the-board protection from ageing will be, and that advantage will have a cumulative effect over time. Although none of us can be twelve again, it is relatively easy for individuals in their mid-fifties or mid-sixties to reduce their RealAge by five to eight years and only somewhat more difficult for them to reduce it by fifteen or sixteen years. The maximum amount a person can reduce his or her RealAge below his or her calendar age is about twenty-five years over an entire lifetime. And remember, the effect magnifies with age: At fifty, you may have a RealAge of forty-five, but by seventy-five, if you continue on the RealAge program, your RealAge may be only fifty-five. That means that in twenty-five years, your body may have aged as little as most people's do in ten.
Clearly, RealAge is not a guarantee of longevity. In health, there are never guarantees. But RealAge is an accurate reading of your risk. The lower your RealAge, the better the odds that you will have more years left—not to mention a younger, healthier, and more energetic life. The calculation of risk is the best approximation we have of the body beneath: The lower the risk, the younger the body. Think of your RealAge as your ageing speedometer; it is a reading of how fast you're going. With ageing, faster is not better. By making simple decisions, you can take your foot off the gas pedal and slow down your rate of ageing. How you age is largely controlled by you.
Getting Younger All the Time
Since I developed the RealAge concept, I haven't been able to keep quiet. I talk about RealAge to doctors and others all over the country. I have encouraged patients to take the RealAge computer program and have seen them make the decision to take their ageing into their own hands. I have joined people as they have celebrated 'year-younger' birthday parties and observed them becoming younger in front of my very eyes. While the response has been, for the most part, overwhelmingly positive, there have been a few naysayers. On occasion, after presenting a talk about RealAge, I have heard people grumble, 'We Americans just don't have any respect for old age. It's just youth, youth, youth.' These criticisms leave me dismayed, not to mention disappointed in myself, for not communicating the essence of RealAge so that everyone in my audience understood. The whole point of RealAge is to promote old age. Healthy, vibrant, and young old age. RealAge shows you how you can live at eighty with all the energy and vigor of a fifty-five-year-old, how you can be the ninety-year-old who still lives on your own, travels, and forcefully expresses feisty opinions—the person who leaves the 'kids' marveling, 'How does she do it?' Having respect for old age means wanting to end the suffering that so often goes along with it No one wants to be bedridden, afflicted with heart disease, or undergoing cancer treatment. Everyone wants to be able to do all the things he or she has always done and more. And that means staying young biologically, even as you get older chronologically. The data from the Fries Study of University of Pennsylvania alumni, the MacArthur-Mount Sinai study on differences in ageing between twins, and Fogel's study of longevity statistics in national health databases show that people who live healthier live longer and with less disease and disability. Those who adopted healthier behaviors not only lived seven years longer on average, but also did not suffer the onset of old-age disability until five to seven years closer to death. In other words, the period of disease and disability was shortened.
What science shows us is that enjoying a healthy and vibrant old age depends on taking the proper steps to take care of yourself all along the way. Until RealAge, health recommendations were more like promissory notes or junk bonds—something that might have a payoff in the distant future but with little or no guarantee. And who was convinced? Certainly not the 85 percent of Americans who don't get enough physical activity even though they know better. When you take steps to change a behavior now—taking the right vitamins, learning to relax, or taking up exercise—the payoff is not just that you will live longer, but that you will live younger. You slow the rate at which your body ages. The payoff is not thirty years down the line, but now. Why get old when you can stay young?
THE REST OF THE MAIN POINTS OF THIS BOOK YOU WILL FIND ON MY WEBSITE UNDER "HEALTH AND DIET."
This is all so very true. I knew it from being a young teenager and with the encouragement of my Dad, taking the "Health and Strength" course by Charles Atlas [look his course up on the Internet - it's still obtainable] I knew to live as his course teaches, would keep me young. I did figure for myself that even as a teen to use face cream morning and evening throughout my life, would keep my skin from wrinkles as I aged into my 50s and 60s and 70s. It was common sense; with washing the face and the sun and wind, the skin drying up. To put moisture back into the skin was to me common sense. Hence I've been doing it all my life since a teenager. The long and short of it all, is that I've proved what this book is all about. People knowing me, knowing have supple I am, how fast I can still swim, how I can ride my horse, jump my horse, go like a bullet on her when I give her the sign; the people who meet me, like the new manager at the Community Center where I still teach guitar part-time, think I'm 50 years old when by birth certificate says I'm 72 come September 11 2014.
You can go to my Facebook and see how I look now at age 71.
My Dad is another example. He was also a "health" person from a teenager. He made one mistake, when he got into his top 50s he developed a too big a stomach, but did everything else in keeping healthy. It was not until he was 90 that he suffered a minor stroke. He recovered except for being able to walk and his short term memory is all over the place. But he's lost the belly fat. He's in a 24/7 care facility now. I make sure he gets his vitamin and mineral supplements each day. He eats all his meals, pulls himself around in the wheel chair. He will be 94 come August 26 2014. He says he'd like to live to be 100. I think he has a good chance of making it. And if he had not allowed himself to get that big belly, he probably would never had had that stroke at age 90.
This book "RealAge" is right on the bull's eye.