The RealAge Makeover by Michael F. Roizen, M.D.

11 Jan
The RealAge Makeover by Michael F. Roizen, M.D.

The RealAge Makeover

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 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 A hardback version is still available for $20, and a Kindle version for $10. By the way, some of the 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.


Posted by on January 11, 2013 in Book Reviews


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39 responses to “The RealAge Makeover by Michael F. Roizen, M.D.

  1. determined34

    January 11, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Your Mother-in-law sounds like my 92 year old father-in-law, although he left Italy for Australia so he wouldn’t have to shovel snow again! This week he was helping his grandson remove a tire from a trailer. He still lives independently, grows his own veggies and eats unprocessed food.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 11, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      It is amazing how some people can just keep on thriving in their old age, and others just barely survive.

  2. st sahm

    January 11, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    So happy for your excellent bill of health as reward for your incredible drive and hard work!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 11, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      I am pretty happy about it oo (and so is my wife — she was not ready to be a widow)

  3. belfebe

    January 11, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    Great article and thanks for the reference. This is exactly how I started working out. Not because I had necessarily a health problem at the time, but because I saw my mother deteriorate at a relative young age and her quality of life take a nosedive until the day she died. Definitely, good nutrition and exercise are the key to a much better life!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 11, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Every time I see my parents become more determined to spend more time improving my health! That’s not the way I want to spend my final years on this earth!

  4. Zeus Adventure

    January 11, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Thank you for posting this review ASC… For the first time in our 12 year marriage, my wife and I have taken a real serious look at what we eat and why we eat it. We’ve been looking for books to point us in the right direction, and I believe that you just added another to one to our expanding library of health books…

    Be Safe and Be Green!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 11, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      Thank you! While this is not the only book I would recommend, it certainly is the FIRST one I would suggest most people read as they seek to improve their health. Please let me know what you think of the book after you’ve had a chance to read it!

  5. kurtbredeson

    January 11, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    Nice writeup! I’m happy you were able to make such a big change in your life.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 11, 2013 at 3:05 PM

      Thank you! I won’t say it was “easy” to make all the changes, but there is no way I could go back to living the way I used to.

  6. OrganicREADY

    January 11, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    You have a great story! Thanks for sharing it.

  7. xcountrypearl

    January 11, 2013 at 1:30 PM

    Thank you for your story! My husband had that book from the library just recently but I’m not sure he read it completely. Your mother-in-law sounds like my Mom! When my twin died at age 22 (the day before our 23rd birthday, mountain climbing)… Mom took up running as a way to keep him close. Years later when she had trouble with her knees, she took up cycling and still cycles as much as she can by not renewing her car insurance and so has to cycle the 8 miles down to town if she needs to go anywhere. When she turned 55 and started taking part in the Senior’s Olympics, she had already done 2 marathons and cycled across Canada twice with tour groups. She was always in the Top 5 of her age group and as she got older she gained the Top 3 and then the Top one. Lots of gold and silver and bronze medals on her wall in those 20 years. I expect to live to 100 and still manage to get on my bike! hahaha.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 11, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      Your Mom sounds awesome! A lot of the Senior’s can really put the “Junior’s” to shame!

    • marylouharris

      January 13, 2013 at 6:47 AM

      Your mother chose a positive path through a rough time and stayed on it. It gives me inspiration.

  8. AndrewGills

    January 11, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Your example of parents is my experience too but in a different way. My in-laws were about 55 when I met them. Both were overweight and behaved like elderly people. They watched ‘old people’ shows and went to pensioners’ groups despite still working. They said they ‘used to do things when they were still young’. Both are now 70 and waiting to die instead of living. They are still ‘old’ in their lives and actions.

    My parents are now 60. They just bough motorbikes . They are traveling to Africa to work as volunteers in a small community. They are training to go dog sledding in the US. They never refer to themselves as ‘old’.

    There is definitely a dietary difference but there’s also attitude differences. The book sounds great

  9. Charles Huss

    January 11, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    I had a similar experience in 2007 only my book was Never Be Sick Again by Raymond Frances. He breaks health down to the cellular level and says that all desiese is caused by malfuntioning cells and then gives ways to keep your cells healthy.I am glad you found something that changed your life for the better and I hope your story will motivate others to do the same.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 11, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      I am just glad I found something to help before it was too late!

  10. Wild Juggler

    January 11, 2013 at 10:08 PM

    I’m glad you totally turned your life around. This sounds like an interesting book, especially since it helped you adopt a healthy lifestyle, so I’ll try to get a copy. It’s very inspiring how you restored your health.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 11, 2013 at 10:15 PM

      It is a great book and I would recommend it to anyone — even if they are already in good health.

  11. baileyaj

    January 12, 2013 at 6:49 AM

    An inspiring personal story, thank you for sharing. It is tough to turn your self around at 41 to live and lead a healthy life. Keep up the momentum and good work!

  12. Lilitte Batalla

    January 12, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Wow, I see differences in my parents eating bad, not exercising and my husband’s grandma who is 101 still going for her walks, eating healthy with no health issues no medication.

    I also loved your personal story … I’m inspired.

    Thanks for sharing… I’m definitely in. I’m going to purchase the e-book on Amazon!

  13. marylouharris

    January 13, 2013 at 6:52 AM

    Thanks for following my blog. It brought me to your site. I’m not sure I’ve read that particular book, but I’ve heard Dr. Roiza\en speak and I’ve taken the Real Age test online. It’s an eye-opener to how not only foods, but the stressers in life can affect your health.

    I’m a displaced midwesterner and love the bike trails in Wisconsin, but I use them primarily for running when I am visiting. So much good information on your posts – I’ll stop back.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 13, 2013 at 8:46 AM

      Wisconsin has a lot of great trails for both runners and cyclists — it’s too bad that most of them are seldom used (which is why I riding going there)

  14. drtsneuromojo

    January 16, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    Love it. I am always impressed with those who see their quality of life as a series of choices. Cycling is its own nirvana but one of many ways to stay young. Thanks for sharing your story, keep up the excellent work. And by the way, your brain thanks you too.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 19, 2013 at 9:33 PM

      Keeping my brain functioning is one of the main reasons I exercise in the first place. My father has Alzheimer’s disease and three years ago he had a series of “mini-strokes.” His doctor suggested that he go to physical therapy three days a week. We noticed that on the days he had therapy his mental ability was considerably better than on the other days. It is amazing how increased blood flow to the brain can have such an immediate impact — even when the therapy was so mild.


    January 17, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    So I went to the site and discovered I am 7.8 years younger. Yes!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 17, 2013 at 9:46 PM

      That’s fantastic! See, there is no reason to dread your next birthday after all.

  16. tischcaylor

    January 18, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Good for you — and thanks for sharing what inspired you. You never know what will work for people, but this book sounds like a keeper.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 18, 2013 at 12:53 PM

      Like I said in the review, I’ve given a lot of copies of this book away — it is a great place to start a real life makeover.

  17. jewelsonajourney

    January 19, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    Your mother in law is my hero! I hope I am just like her!
    Your story is so inspiring! Congratulations on making such incredible changes with your life and fitness. Sometimes even little changes can be hard, I am glad your friends have you to help them!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 19, 2013 at 9:29 PM

      My mother-in-law is amazing, but so is wife. My dear wife is short, quiet and VERY petite — she works in a public high school and her gentle spirit makes even the roughest of kids act kindly towards her. Attitude goes a long way toward longevity.

  18. Marty Mathis

    January 20, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    Have you read any of the “You” books written by Dr. Roizen?

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      January 20, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      Yes, they are all excellent books — I think I am going to review of couple of those books this year as well.


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