Younger Next Year – A Book Review
I wanted to do a book review on “Younger Next Year” by Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge, M.D. because of the benefit I got from the information in the book. I was down and depressed about getting old and having more and more health problems, when my friend Dan sent me the book and it helped me realize I needed to shore up and get on with the business of living. I wanted to write this article in hopes of helping somebody else in the same boat. The Title says it all; it is a blueprint for the last third of your life, your golden years.
They say when a student is ready the teacher appears. I wasn’t thinking of myself as a student, or a book as a teacher. But it made me realize we need to keep on learning new things our whole life. About 6 months ago I found out I had Diabetes. My first reaction was fear and self-pity, I just wanted to go home, go to bed and wait for the end. The doctor told me I needed to modify my diet and lose weight. I’ve been hearing that for a long time so it didn’t have an impact until she added that if I did do those things, maybe the Diabetes would be cured. Cured?? I didn’t know you could cure this condition; she now had my attention.
The problem is I’d tried so many diets without lasting results. So how was I going to do better this time? I was pretty much aware that successful weight loose has two parts, diet and exercise. In other words the diet has to be part of an exercise program to really be effective. Hence the teacher for the exercise part arrived in the form of a book, “Younger Next Year”.
The book is co-authored by a retired Lawyer, Chris Crowley, and a practicing physician Henry S. Lodge, M.D. The book was written to show people how to have a more enjoyable last third of their life. Chris tells the stories and makes the points and Henry gives the facts and lays out the plan. The plan ends up being called Harry’s rules and there are 7 of them. I’m only going to talk about the first one in this review and hopefully you’ll read the book yourself to find out the rest.
Harry’s first rule is “Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life”. Are you kidding me? This is the way we’re going to start out? I better send this book back to Dan. I only had to go to my job 5 days a week and they start out telling me I have to exercise 6 days a week, for the rest of my life. Nuts, I’m retired, why would I want to do that to myself. I don’t like to exercise. These are my golden years, rest and relaxation is the plan, not exercising 6 days a week.
Well the book gets into the science behind why it’s important and I understood it. It turns out Dr. Lodge has been very active in the study of anti-aging and understanding why so many people don’t really experience any Golden Years, they mostly experience aches and pains and a not so good time. The book explains why this happens and what you have to do to prevent it. Jack LaLanne (1) had the right idea, move or die.
The book explains how the evolution of man developed endurance and strength to survive. It’s only the last 100 years or so that we have pretty much just had to drive over to the super market to get feed. But for the other 25,000 years or so man had to work pretty hard to stay alive and find enough food to survive. That environment required people to do daily physical exertion. And when we don’t we deteriorate and so does our quality of life.
Getting back to exercising six days a week for the rest of your life, Chris puts it in perspective by saying consider this your new job. But you get paid in health not in dollars. Plus it’s just a part-time job; the program says you have to exercise for 45 minutes six days a week. OK, I guess I could squeeze in 45 minutes a day out of my busy retirement schedule. By the way it’s 4 days of aerobic exercise between 70 and 80 % of your max heart rate based on your age, and two days of strength training at the gym. The research has shown we have two types of muscle cells, some for endurance and some for strength and we have to work them both.
Now I’m not getting too deep into the science in the book, but I just want to tell you I’m losing weight, my sugar numbers are coming down and I saw an improvement in my health and well-being almost immediately. I can play with my grandkids now without getting tired so fast and I actually look forward to the exercise, believe it or not. I have the motivation and I feel so much better, why would I want to stop and go backwards.
I hope you read the book and get all the details of what I’ve outlined, and you practice what it says and see a benefit like I did. The other six rules aren’t so bad and the program can be a life changing event. Your physical condition will improve and greatly influence your emotional wellbeing and your whole attitude on life. Like I said in my other article I want to be around to be able to do the funky chicken at my Grandkids weddings, and that will be 5 parties so far. Good luck to all of you.
1. Francois Henri “Jack” LaLanne was an American fitness, exercise, and nutritional expert and motivational speaker who is sometimes called “the godfather of fitness” and the “first fitness superhero.” Wikipedia