“Younger Next Year: a guide to living like you’re 50 until 80 and beyond.” By Dr Henry S Lodge and Chris Crowley (2004).
Men in your fifties, you might want to read this book. In fact, unless your life is really sorted, you should definitely read this book.
I’m 54 now, but I bought “Younger Next Year” back in 2006. I now call it ‘the bible.’ It’s not a real bible, but it is my bible; my bible for healthy living.
I was knackered — I’m from Ireland, here knackered means sick, sore, tired and sad — when I came across an article by Paula Shields in Ireland’s “Irish Examiner” newspaper in 2006 about a book for men heading into, or into their fifties (‘Forget the notion that age brings decay. A new book details how to live like 50 until you’re 80.’ January 28, 2006). At that time my legs were like rubber, I had heartburn after every meal, I couldn’t hold a drill at shoulder height without being exhausted, I had chest pains and chronic fatigue. I was weak, listless, depressed and angry.
I bought “Younger Next Year” and it turned my life round. They keep their advice simple for guys like us who aren’t into all that medical stuff: “Quit eating crap; exercise; care about stuff.”
The thing that amazed me was how much I had in common with two men whom I should have nothing at all in common with.
The authors are Chris Crowley, a retired lawyer, and Henry S. Lodge, a doctor. Crowley was in his seventies when the book came out. In it, he confessed to being “hugely self-indulgent” and said he drank almost every day and at one point was forty pound overweight.
Crowley explains that Lodge believes a great deal of what is considered inevitable decline as we age — getting weaker, bad knees, dodgy balance, diabetes, heart trouble — can be offset with a combination of certain life changes. These are mental (care, connect and commit), physical (exercise, quit eating crap), and financial (spend less that you earn).
Seriously, if you’re in your late forties or anywhere over that age, and if your life is not so good, mentally and physically, or downright bad, go out now and buy this book. If you follow the advice and take to heart the message it contains, it will change your life.
It says exercise six days a week (don’t worry, it tells you what exercises, how to do them, and for how long). I have never, not once, managed to exercise six days a week. I manage three to four days, on average. And yet I have still improved in leaps and bounds. My legs got their strength back, my arms got stronger, the heartburn gradually declined and is now almost gone. Weight training has kept my knees from surgery. I am more focused. And the chest pains? They disappeared completely, apart from one episode.
The book genuinely helped me turn my life away from decay. With the way I was eating and drinking, I now realize, I was fast approaching diabetes and/or heart trouble country.
But so far I have neither. And I believe, so long as I stay true to the message of the book, hopefully I won’t have. I have fallen off the wagon from time to time, but just picking up the book, and reading it again, always gets me back on track. Another reason that I really respect what these guys are saying is because I witnessed my own parents’ decline into the horrible morass that is bad health: hospitals, doctors, tablets, misery. Don’t go there. Fight like hell not to go there.
Read “Younger Next Year.” You have nothing to loose and a massive amount to gain as you head into the last third of your life.