Saturday, March 08, 2008

Younger Next Year - by Crowley and Lodge

A couple of months ago, Hubbs and I came across a his-and-hers version of the book "Younger Next Year" at Costco. Since both he and I are interested in staying healthy, we picked up these books, figuring that they would have something to contribute to our journey into wellness :)

Well, we were right and we were wrong. As he and I read our respective books, we quickly discovered that the target audience for these self-help gems wasn't our demographic, but men and women approaching their 60's and retirement. In that sense, the book didn't apply to us at all (and to be completely honest, both he and I skipped the "Sex" chapters altogether since we were pretty sure they'd be useless for us). That said, the message that was most useful for me, and that stuck with me, is this:

You do
have to age (you really can't fight that), but you don't have to fall apart.

The authors argue that keeping active (elevated heart rates) and weight-training helps to slow down the physical process of tissue degeneration; if you can maintain some semblance of muscle mass, it essentially helps you to stay youthful, maintain mobility, and slow down age-related conditions like osteoporosis. They go on about different types of chemicals released in your body and how these help regenerate tissues, but I don't remember all of the details now, nor do the technical aspects matter as much as the power of a good anecdote. ;)

I am inspired by a story I came across several months ago, about an octogenarian who began lifting weights in her 70's. Marjorie Newlin didn't start strength-training until she realized she was having trouble lifting the 50-lb bag of kitty litter that she had bought, and figured it was time to stop deteriorating physically. Many bodybuilding awards later, she can still bench 90 pounds, dead-lift 95, and squat 135. I wish I could say the same!

Her story inspires, and proves, that aging doesn't have to equate to physical rotting.

As a relatively "young" person, I want to begin a healthy lifestyle now, with regular weight training, clean eating, and moving that will help me live an enjoyable life well past my 60's. I may not win bodybuilding awards, but if I can keep myself from developing adult-onset diabetes, arthritis and osteoporosis, and maintain the ability to move around without walkers or canes or wheelchairs into my 90's, I feel that the sacrifice of those donuts and cakes and that hour each day at the gym to be well worth it!

I am determined to be younger by next year. You?


Natalie said...

Look at her go!

Mrs. Loquacious said...

She is my hero. I want to kick butt at 82! :)