Last night, I read the book, Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy - Until You're 80 and Beyond.
The theme is how to get functionally younger as you get older by putting off the normal problems of aging--weakness, sore joints, and bad balance as well as reducing illness and injury. The authors, a patient, Chris Crowley, who is a retired lawyer and his medical doctor, Henry Lodge, take turns writing chapters about how to stay fit and younger for men. Though there was some good advice, I found it rather depressing, but maybe that's just me.
Apparently, all kinds of terrible things happen to you as you age while male, according to the book. Hair grows out of your ears, you can't hear well and your balance begins to suck. Women, even those who are not so young, walk by as if you are not there. And everyone in the office sees you as retirement material. In addition, you get hit with something called "the Ugly Stick" where you wake up one day and find out that you've turned into a real dog:
Suddenly, your skin gets weird, all over.....In fact, there's going to come a time when there are going to be little notches on your upper lip, as if your teeth were showing through. Ugh. And spots all over the place. And wattles down your neck.
The authors offer decent advice on exercise, the importance of strength training and eating right, etc. but they remind you that you are still old. Yes, very true, but I think something more uplifting would have been helpful. One of the reasons that older people become depressed is not actually being
old, it's being told by society that they are old and that they are long past their due date.
For example, in one chapter entitled, "Chasing the Iron Bunny," author Crowley describes how men have been trained to chase the iron bunny like the greyhounds at the race track. Apparently, men who were trying to make money at jobs were "dopes" who bought into a game that led to a materialistic lifestyle. Crowley tells men of a certain age that "it's over. Time to quit playing and come inside." For some men, that would be suicidal.
I could go on, but I will stop here. I have to say that, despite the above, I did enjoy the book and it is worth reading for Dr. Lodge's advice, which is good.
I would be interested to hear how some of you out there cope with aging? Do you have your own personal tips that you could share? Apparently, anyone over the age of mid-thirties in our society is considered "old" so don't feel like you have to be over 65 to give advice.
Labels: interesting books