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Book:  Younger Next Year

Author:  Chris Crowley & Henry Lodge

Purchase:  PrinteBookAudiobook

Citation:  Crowley, C., Lodge, H. & Hamilton, A. (2019). Younger next year : live strong, fit, sexy, and smart - until you're 80 and beyond. New York: Workman Publishing Company, Incorporated.

Three Big Takeaways:

  • Some 70 percent of premature death and aging is lifestyle-related. Heart attacks, strokes, the common cancers, diabetes, and many more illnesses are primarily caused by the way we live. If we had the will to do it, we could eliminate more than half of all diseases in men and women over 50. Not delay it, eliminate it. (pg. 29)

  • A lot of people unconsciously assume that they will get old and die: one phase, and certainly one seamless concept. That when they get old, they will die soon after. That is a deeply mistaken idea and a dangerous plan for your life. In fact, you will probably get old and live. You can get decrepit, but you are not likely to die; you are likely to live like that for a long, long time. Most Americans today will live into their mid-80s, whether they're in great shape or shuffling around on walker's. And that number is rising, so you may well live into your 90s, whether you like it or not. Which is a good reason to make retirement terrific – not a life of obesity, sore joints, and apathy. (pg. 29)

  • The secret behind getting fat is eating more calories than you burn. Surprise. As far as getting fat is concerned - as opposed to getting heart attacks in cancer and whatnot - it doesn't matter what kind of calories they are. For obesity, 100 calories of spinach is no better and no worse than 100 calories of french fries. Calories are calories. Start to get an idea in your head of what an ideal level of calorie consumption should be for you. It's a sad fact that your base metabolism, the rate at which you burn calories automatically, without exercise, goes down steadily as you age. That - and the sedentary habits of older people in our society - is where that got comes from after 40. You don't have to be precise, but have an idea of your caloric intake. That is where all the weight comes from. Calories in ... calories out. (pg. 204)

Other Key Ideas:

  • How is your wife? It's too damn hard to do this thing alone, that's why. And it's a real help if you happen to have someone who loves you and whom you love. That may come as a little surprise to you. Some guys have a wistful way of thinking, boy, if I could get the hell out of here and get my mitts on a young girl, then oh, my life would begin. Or if I could just go out there and mess around for a while, just a few years. That could be fine, but that was then and this is now. In this next phase - turning 60 or 70 and retiring - it's a lot easier if you have a partner. (pg. 17)

  • A surprising number of men do exactly the wrong thing. A lot of relationships that have lasted 30 years or more suddenly implode when the players reach their 50s and 60s. People give up, just when those relationships could be turning into something pretty good. Perhaps because of the stress of retirement, or the pressure of suddenly spending so much time together. Who knows, but it happens. This is a time when you need some serious company and serious roots. (pg. 18)

  • Don't be too sure that your partner won't get into the exercise stuff. She may fool you. Also, in retirement, there are important things that she'll be better at than you are. Making new friends. Keeping the children and grandchildren your life. Pursuing connections and commitments and networking. Those are critical areas where she may do the heavy lifting. (pg. 23)

  • In our 40s and 50s our bodies switch into a default to decay mode, and the free ride of youth is over. In the absence of signals to grow, your body and brain decay, and you age. We may not like that arrangement today, but we certainly are not going to change it. What we can do, with surprising ease, is override those default signals, swim against the tide, and change decay back into growth. (pg. 34)

  • Decay is the dry rot caused by our modern, sedentary lifestyle. Decay comes from turning on the TV when the sun is out and then cracking open a beer while you watch. From every drive to a fast food place to get a supersize order of fries or a soft drink. Sugar and caffeine. From riding around the golf course in an electric cart. Sitting home alone. Decay comes from giving up on life and failing to engage. But decay can be stopped by using the ideas we've talked about. Aging is up to nature, but decay is up to you. (pg. 40)

  • If you're anywhere near snow, do not miss cross-country skiing. Even if you've never done it before. For one thing, it's easy on your bones. After exactly one day you'll be doing fine. And once you get the hang of it, you can give yourself a massive dose of the very best aerobic exercise in some of the most beautiful places in the world. There is nothing better on Earth than sliding gracefully along, under trees heavily laden with fresh snow in the Rockies or over the golf course in your hometown. (pg. 93)

  • It may seem exhausting to fit exercise into your crazy work schedule, but that's looking at it backwards. We are not tired at the end of the day because we get too much exercise. We are tired because we do not get enough exercise. We are mentally, emotionally, and physically drained from being sedentary. Study after study shows that the productivity gains at work outweigh the time spent exercising, and that we function better at home – with more satisfaction and on less sleep - when we're fit. If you put any value in quality of life, the time you spend exercising becomes a bargain. (pg. 113)

  • Once we're in our 50s or 60s, most of us go through this fundamental, deeply surprising change in how we look. I remember when it happened to me. I really thought there was a problem with my camera. All of a sudden, when a set of pictures came back from the developer, the ones of me were terrible. I felt sad. Depressed, to tell you the truth. Old is old, but there's a huge difference between the look of a fit, engaged 60 or 70 year old and some old loser who's 50 lb. overweight and wanting to die. So get in shape. Get involved in life. That will help a lot. As to the rest, get over it. (pg. 182)

  • Nothing makes you look older and more pathetic than a scraggly mess of yellow teeth. Fix em! Go to the dentist and tell him to dye em. And he won't give you a mouthful of bone-white ones that look fake. He'll just bring you back to the range of normal. Makes a difference in how you look and feel. (pg. 185)

  • I beg you to go see a dermatologist. Old boys are stubborn about this, but listen: Skin cancer is mostly curable, and the cure is often a little zing with something cold. It is absolutely nuts for anyone over 50 not to get regular checkups. (pg. 187)

  • Everyone burns some 60% of the calories taken in just sitting around. That percentage goes up for those who exercise and have a greater lean muscle mass. You can increase your basal metabolism by 50% with rigorous exercise. That is huge. That is why the single best thing you can do to reverse obesity is to be physically active - to exercise consistently enough to send those springtime signals everyday. The point of exercise is not to burn off calories, but rather to tell every part of your body to grow, to invest in building new tissue, and to run at a higher metabolic rate all day and all night long. Burning those extra calories is what does the job, even while you sleep. (pg. 214)

  • Bad carbs are the white foods - potatoes, white rice, and pretty much everything made with refined flour. The good carbohydrates are the ones found in nature - in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which have relatively few calories per pound. Starch is bad because it continually signals you to take another bite. Fat and protein signal your body to stop eating after a certain point, but carbohydrates, whether good or bad, don't. In nature, you had to eat large amounts of them to get enough calories to stay alive, so a full stomach was the only shut off signal you needed. (pg. 219)

  • You burn far more fat recovering from exercise than you ever will on a treadmill. It's the great hidden trick to weight loss - stepping out of the gym, but still running your metabolism hard for the rest of the day. And even after the regeneration is complete and the muscles are rebuilt and recharged, your metabolism keeps taking over at a higher rate than it does for the sedentary guys - even while you're sleeping. You can probably increase your resting metabolic demand by 50% with good, stiff, daily exercise. That is key. That's how you lose weight. (pg. 223)

  • It was nuts to immerse myself so completely in my old professional life before retirement. It was foolish not to have other hobbies and commitments - things I cared about - when my work life ended. If you're going to do well in this country, you have to make a massive commitment to your job. No question about it. But don't make your job your only commitment, because it will go away. You need to get a life that will last a lifetime. It makes sense to start on that project as early as you can. Today would be good. (pg. 270)

  • While many statistics about age-related decay are widely cited in both the medical and lay literature, it is vital to remind ourselves that these are just the averages. On the other hand, superagers are now becoming a well-defined group of senior outliers, of super-performers. We want to create the highest likelihood of placing ourselves in that group by making the right lifestyle choices. What do superagers do that we don't? In essence, the trait the superagers exhibit first and foremost is that they think. And I will add that they think very hard. The body needs to be pushed or we lose ground. And the same holds true for the brain: seek out strenuous mental and intellectual challenges. Make your brain sweat. Super agers rev their brains and push them to the red line. The hallmark of super agers is that their brains are restless and hungry to seek new challenges. (pg. 320)

  • Ten years ago I was scared. Everyone fears and dreads aging. And the possible emptiness of retirement. And death. You think about emptiness, aging, and death all the time in your 50s. I was physically active, but I had trouble finding a passion and I absolutely dread the notion that I would soon get old and sick. That I wouldn't be able to do stuff. Wouldn't find enough worthwhile things going on. Or anyone to do things with. (pg. 345)