I am a 53-year-old distance cyclist and, according to the doctor at my last complete physical, my overall health is listed as “excellent” (i.e., I have perfect blood pressure, a low heart rate, a decent cholesterol level and all that other good stuff they look for in your blood test). Unfortunately, this has not always been the case. Twelve years ago I was morbidly obese and was being treated for problems with my lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys and a host of other conditions. In fact, twelve years ago my regular doctor told me that the way I was going I probably wouldn’t be alive in another five years! Surprisingly, he didn’t even make a single suggestion about how I could turn things around. Therefore, I decided to change my diet, start an exercise program and get in shape. I took up cycling, weight lifting and kayaking. My efforts paid off and I dropped 50 pounds rather quickly. I also read a lot of books on healthy living and somewhere along the way I found The RealAge Makeover by Dr. Michael Roizen and it changed my life! If you are looking for some guidance in changing your overall health then I would suggest, in the strongest words possible, that you pick up a copy of this book and carefully read every word.
The full title of the book, The RealAge Makeover: Take Years off Your Looks and Add Them to Your Life, is rather long, but it sums things up quite well. This book not only tells you how to look younger, but how to feel younger as well. You will learn how to reverse arterial aging, boost your immune system, reduce stress, and increase your energy levels. The major premise of this book (as well as a few others that Roizen has authored) is that “70 percent of how long and how well you live is in your hands.”
According to his biography, Roizen is a professor of medicine and anesthesiology at SUNY Upstate and chair of the Division of Anesthesiology, Critical Care Medicine, and Comprehensive Pain Management at the Cleveland Clinic. If you were a fan of The Oprah Winfrey Show (I was not) you might have seen Roizen on one of her programs—usually along with Dr. Mehmet Oz.
Dr. Michael F. Roizen is also the co-founder of RealAge and chair of the RealAge Scientific Advisory Board. If you go to the RealAge.com Website you can take the RealAge Test, which is a scientific calculation of how young (or old) your body thinks you really are based upon your height, weight, daily exercise, education, stress, friendships, emotional health, the supplements you take, family history and a few other items. I took this around 2003, when I was 43 years old—the test claimed that my “real age” was 65! OUCH! I have taken the test several times since then, and as I have modified my lifestyle I keep getting younger! According to the calendar I am 53 years old, but according to the RealAge Test my “real age” is 43!
One of the things that Roizen keeps going back to is your diet and how it not only impacts your lifespan, but your quality of life as well. I thought a lot about this book a few months ago when my wife and I went back to our hometown and took our parents out for lunch. My mother-in-law is 90 years old and still shovels snow, cuts her own grass and keeps up an amazing garden—and if no one catches her she will get up on the roof to repair her own shingles. In addition, my mother-in-law is not on any medication and the only time in her life she has been in a hospital was over 50 years ago (when my wife was born). On the other hand, my parents are both around 80 and in very poor health—they now spend half of their time sitting in a doctor’s office or in line at the pharmacy waiting for a refill on one of their many prescriptions. While we were eating lunch I saw what I believe to be the major reason for the difference between our parents. My wife and her mother both ordered a simple vegetable platter—as is their custom. My parents both ordered a deep-fried appetizer, a deep-fried main course, and then they ordered desert (yeah, that’s the way I used to eat).
When I bought The RealAge Makeover back in 2002 I paid $25 for the hardback version, but now it is available in paperback for under $7 from Amazon.com. A hardback version is still available for $20, and a Kindle version for $10. By the way, some of the Amazon.com retailers have used copies of the hardback book available for only $4 including postage (they claim the books are in “very good condition”). The first edition of this book was published by HarperCollins in 1999.
Can The RealAge Makeover change your life? Absolutely! Will it? Probably not. I loved this book so much that I have bought at least 20 hardback copies to give as presents to friends and relatives who told me that wanted to “get in shape.” I am sure these people read at least part, or maybe even all, of the book. Unfortunately, I don’t think a single one of the people I gave the book to even attempted to make the needed changes in their life. Knowing what you need to do and actually doing it are two separate issues.