Thursday, February 21, 2008

Younger Next Year

The book "Younger Next Year", by Chris Crowley and Henry S. (Harry) Lodge was recently recommended to me by a friend. He was a recently retired plastic surgeon, somewhat depressed and overweight. He said "this book is changing my life" which tends to get my attention! My wife bought the book and gave it to me that night and, over the next few days, I read it with great interest.

Harry's rules are:

1. Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life.
2. Do serious aerobic exercise four days a week for the rest of your life.
3. Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week for the rest of your life.
4. Spend less than you make
5. Quit eating crap.
6. Care
7. Connect and commit

This book elaborates on these seven rules, which are a wonderfully simple approach to healthy aging. Although I am a fairly fit 58 year old, I can tell you I had some fine tuning to do after reading the book, and felt inspired to do it! Here is the tangible, near-term result of the book for me:

1. I am committing to trying some new things, such as a yoga class with my wife one or two days a week (I have been to three so far!)
2. Increasing my aerobic exercise duration to at least 45 minutes a day for at least 5 or 6 days a week.
3. Increasing the time and effort of my two times weekly weight workout.
4. Cutting out more fried foods from the diet.
5. Avoiding the temptation to have that third glass of wine at night.
6. Thinking concretely about connecting in my work and social interactions, rather than just going along for the ride.

I can enthusiastically recommend this approach to you if your life and your health is in a funk and needs a jump start. These guys are seasoned, realistic, optimistic and fun to relate to. They also have a web site

Check it out. Comments always welcome.


e-Patient Dave said...

Oho, you're 58 too? I just got there, this week!

My status on the 7 things to do is not nearly like yours. I just got an exercise bike, but where do you find the time?? The only thing I can see is that I have to cut things out ... maybe that's what I need to do. But I don't WANNA!

(I may be 58, but part of me is still 3...)

Charles Smith, MD said...


Thanks for your comment. Certainly, time is the greatest impediment I face. I'm sure I share this with many people, especially those with daily, demanding schedules without a lot of flexibility.

But the "want to" is, I think, really the biggest impediment, as wanting to overcomes the time barrier. These guys approach exercising hard six days a week as a job on which our lives literally depend (at least, a quality life). And, I find that I have to approach it this way to get my time in. For example, when I have a 7 a.m. meeting, to get my time on the stairmaster or treadmill, I have to get to bed by 9 or 9:30 and get up by 4! And, to be honest, I don't feel like doing it (and there are mornings when I wimp out and stay in the bed). But, I think that is what it takes.

e-Patient Dave said...


Funny ... when I read your comment in email, I was going to come here and reply "But I don't WAAAANNA!" Then I got here and found out I already said that last time.

I think I see the source of my problem. I'm on the LackaWanna Railroad.

Charles Smith, MD said...

Dear e-patient Dave,

Man, that is one crowded railroad! Over my 58 years, I have found my enthusiasm waxes and wanes. Personally, I try not to beat myself up when my desires just keep me off the bike or the road, but I find some source of inspiration helps me get back on track. This usually includes, as in this case, reading a good book with new ideas or, even better, finding a workout buddy. That can be hard, but it is great when it works. Also, the authors point out that spinning and other fitness classes provide great motivational atmospheres. Also, they are big on the concept of "kedging", which is planning a big "event" such as running a marathon, taking a two week bike ride trip or a strenuous ski vacation and training towards that for several months.

I feel for ya' and with ya' on the motivation problem!