Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being
Spontaneous Healing . . . Eight Weeks to Optimum Health . . . Eating Well for Optimum Health . . . The Healthy Kitchen–in each of his widely acclaimed, best-selling books, Dr. Andrew Weil has been an authoritative and companionable guide through a uniquely effective combination of traditional and nontraditional approaches to health and healthy living. Now he gives us a book about aging that is unlike any other in the breadth and depth of its information and understanding. Hugely informative, practical, and uplifting, it is infused with the engaging candor and common sense that have been the hallmarks of all his books.
At the heart of Healthy Aging is Dr. Weil’s belief that although aging is an irreversible process, there are myriad things we can do to keep our minds and bodies in good working order through all phases of life. To that end, he draws on the new science of biogerentology (the biology of aging) as well as on the secrets of healthy longevity– diet, activity, and attitude–that he has gathered firsthand from cultures around the world.
In Part One–“The Science and Philosophy of Healthy Aging”–he explains how the body ages, and he explores the impact of gender, genes, environment, and lifestyle on an individual’s experience and perception of the process of aging. He describes the various would-be elixirs of life extension–herbs, hormones, and antiaging “medicines”–separating myth from fact and clearly delineating the difference between the spurious notions of preventing or reversing the process of aging and the real possibilities of inhibiting or delaying the onset of diseases that become more likely as we age. He writes movingly about the ways in which an acceptance of aging can be a significant part of doing it well, and of recognizing and appreciating the great rewards of growing older: depth and richness of experience, complexity of being, serenity, wisdom, and its own kind of power and grace.
In Part Two–“How to Age Gracefully”–Weil details an easy-to-implement Anti-inflammatory Diet that will protect the immune system and aid your body in resisting and adapting to the changes that time brings. And he provides extensive practical advice on exercise; preventive health care; stress management; physical, mental, and emotional flexibility; and spiritual enhancement–all of which can help you achieve and maintain the best health throughout the lifelong process of aging.
Healthy Aging–a book for people of all ages–is Andrew Weil’s most important and far-reaching book yet.
About the Author
Andrew Weil, M.D. is the author of ten previous books, including Spontaneous Healing, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, Eating Well for Optimum Health, and, with Rosie Daley, The Healthy Kitchen. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, he is clinical professor of medicine and director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. He writes Self Healing, a monthly newsletter, and maintains the Web site DrWeil.com. More of his work on aging can be found at www.healthyaging.com. He lives in Arizona.
Also available from Random House Audio, read by the author; in a Random House Large Print edition; and from Vintage Español, a division of Random House.
The Healthy Kitchen with Rosie Daley is available in Knopf paperback.
Excellent book, easy to read and complete, May 11, 2006
This review is written by a former hospital administrator of just under 2 decades. I have been studying health and nutrition for more than decade. I became very interested in alternative medicine when a family member was diagnosed with kidney cancer and the allopathic doctors (traditional MD’s) could give no reason for the tumor.
If you have not read one of Dr. Weil’s books before, I think you will enjoy his writing style. His tone is very conversational, you feel as though you are talking to a friend while you are reading his books, this one included. Dr. Weil has a gift for taking a dry and complicated subject and explaining it in a manner that anyone can understand. The purpose of this book is NOT to stop aging, but rather to prevent or minimize the impact of age-related disease, to learn how to live long and well, and to age gracefully.
He subdivides his book as follows:
PART ONE: The Science and Philosophy of Healthy Aging
2. Shangri-Las and Fountains of Youth
3. Antiaging Medicine
4. Why We Age
5. The Denial of Aging
6. The Value of Aging
7. Interlude: Jenny
PART TWO: How to Age Gracefully
8. Body I: The Ounce of Prevention
9. Body II: The Anti-inflammatory Diet
10. Body III: Supplements
11. Body IV: Physical Activity
12. Body V: Rest and Sleep
13. Body VI: Touch and Sex
14. Mind I: Stress
15. Mind II: Thoughts, Emotions, and Attitudes
16. Mind III: Memory
17. Spirit I: Unchanging Essence
18. Spirit II: Legacy
A TWELEVE PROGRAM FOR HEALTHY AGING
Appendix A: The Anti-inflammatory Diet
Appendix B: Suggested Readings, Resources and Supplies
The doctor does a wonderful job of explaining why and how we age. Even without an educational background in the sciences I was able to comprehend advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and how they cross link (form abnormal bonds) to adjacent protein strands leading to inflammatory and autoimmune responses. If you have been reading much about nutrition or health lately you know that inflammation is the new "hot topic" in medicine linked to almost everything. According to Cardiologists inflammation is more important in determining heart health than cholesterol. After reading Dr. Weil’s explanation of inflammatory response this concept now makes much more sense to me.
Dr. Weil explains in great detail which nutrients the body requires to function properly and how to incorporate them into your life. He also goes into much detail about dietary suggestions. These are pretty much what you would expect, but he does a thorough job of explaining why he is making these recommendations, which I personally find very helpful.
The doctor also goes into great detail regarding his recommendations for physical activity and how this should change as we age. The concept of a pool disinfected without chlorine was new to me, and one that I was very happy to know is an option.
If you want to age gracefully, but feel as though you need more information, this is a wonderful book on the subject. I highly recommend this book to baby boomers looking for information on how to minimize or eliminate the impact of disease in our lives as we grow older.