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Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being
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Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being

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Description:

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. Drawing on the new science of biogerontology (the biology of aging) as well as on the secrets of healthy longevity — diet, activity and attitude — Dr. Weil explains that there are a myriad of things we can do to keep our bodies and minds in good working order through all phases of life. Hugely informative, practical, and uplifting, Healthy Aging is infused with the engaging candor and common sense that have made Dr. Weil our most trusted source on healthy living.

With detailed information on:

-Learning to eat right: Following the anti-inflammatory diet, Dr. Weil’s guide to the nutritional components of a healthy lifestyle

-Separating myth from fact about the would-be elixirs of life extension — herbs, hormones, and anti-aging “medicines”

-Learning exercise, breathing and stress-management techniques to benefit your mind and body

-Understanding the science behind the aging process

-Keeping record of your life lessons to share with loved ones

Product Details:
Author: Andrew Weil M.D.
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Anchor
Publication Date: January 02, 2007
Language: English
ISBN: 0307277542
Product Length: 5.13 inches
Product Width: 0.94 inches
Product Height: 8.01 inches
Product Weight: 0.8 pounds
Package Length: 8.0 inches
Package Width: 5.1 inches
Package Height: 1.0 inches
Package Weight: 0.85 pounds
Average Customer Rating: based on 129 reviews
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Average Customer Review:4.0 ( 129 customer reviews )
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200 of 207 found the following review helpful:

5Excellent book, easy to read and complete  May 11, 2006
By Amalfi Coast Girl
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

1. Immortality

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.

146 of 154 found the following review helpful:

5Impressed & surprised, highly recommended  Jan 10, 2006
By Ricardo
My wife and I bought three books recently to help re-charge our health and fitness motivation. They were: Slow Burn by Fredrick Hahn, and then two books recommended by a health guru friend, Joe X by Avery Hunicutt, and this book, Healthy Aging by Andrew Weil. To make a long story short we gave thumbs-down to the Slow Burn workout (too painful) and thumbs-up to the Joe X workout(something we enjoy doing). As for Healthy Aging, with some embarrassment, I highly recommend this book. I say with embarrasment because, while I had never read any of Dr. Weil's previous books, I used to think he was some kind of a new-age nut & berry quack. I'm guilty of judging books by their cover; not used to associating a portly, bearded, bald guy with fitness. I was wrong and now publicly appologize for my pig-headedness. He may eat nuts and berries, but he's definitely not a quack, and now I wouldn't be surprised if he out lives all of us.

The book is much more grounded on hard science than I expected. And though there is a good amount of science in the book, there is nothing to fear. Dr. Weil has an engaging and polished writing style. He not only makes it easy for the lay person to follow along, but he makes medical research an interesting story, an enjoyable read. I now understand why his books have become so popular: he knows how to communicate. The first hint that my opinion of him was all wet was his discussion of the battle going on behind the scenes between the hard core medical researchers and the "fountain of youth" profiteers (my term, not his). I expected the author to side with those that believed the aging process could at least be suspended if not reversed. To my surprise he did not. In fact the underlying theme of the entire book is that people are making a mistake if they lead their lives as if life extension and age reversing technology are upon us. He makes a strong technical case and almost a desperate plea to not succumb to the snake oil. His recommendation is to forget about anti-aging schemes and avoid obscesing about life extension. Instead he says to focus on preventing or minimizing the impact of age-related disease and how to age gracefully. It may not be the message we want to hear but I suspect it is the more correct choice. In any case, I found Dr. Weil's telling of the political battle taking place fascinating, and it makes it easier to understand what's going on with the sensationalizing headlines and sales pitches I see in the popular press and TV.

I next expected the book to be all generalities with few specifics my wife and I could actually do to help us "age gracefully." I was wrong again. The second half of the book is filled with actionable specifics, much having to do with diet, but many other non-diet matters as well. Some times he would get very specific, e.g. not just any olive oil but what kind of olive oil, that kind of thing. Throughout the book I was impressed by how the author always gave both sides of an argument in seemingly unbiased fashion before giving his recommendation and why. And I learned quite a few things I didn't know. One small example: I've noted how popular press diet doctors have steered folks away from carrots because of their higher glycemic index number. Dr. Weil explains why this doesn't make a lot of sense (better to make choices based on glycemic load number, not glycemic index number).

Finally, there is another underlying theme in this book that I think has a lot of merit: Dr. Weil puts much faith (based on science of course) in the concept of minimizing and managing inflammation in the body. As always he explains what it is, why it happens, the good, the bad, and then why he recommends what he does with regard to diet, medication, and exercise. My wife and I also now understand why our guru friend recommended the two books he did, as they are very complimentary. For all I know we are the last two people that had never read an Andrew Weil book, and all this is old news to you. If not, order yourself a copy or get to the library now.

65 of 70 found the following review helpful:

5Handbook For Life - For ALL Ages  Nov 30, 2005
By K. Johnson
What's realistic about this book is that it's based upon realistic concepts. Many of the old and recent "aging" books are re-hashed bombardments

that focus on the perpetually futile attempt to "turn back the clock." We know this can't be done. Same now, as Ponce De Leon.

Dr. Weil calmly and convincingly gravitates toward acceptance and realization, rather than denial. Botox injections and wrinkle creams may help those who use it. It's their choice, and it's fine as long as it's realized that these are cosmetic band-aids. Using food (nutrition), and the physical & mental, can provide ourselves with better quality years as we age. Better lifestyles, less ailments, less pain, lower medical bills, and more longevity.

Convincingly, Weil notes basic nutrition, macro-nutrients, EFA Omegas 3 & 6, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidents, and the G.I. Index and Load. Essential information for attaining a quality of life after the early and mid-sixties, when the body begins to reveal the natural effects of aging more significantly. Reducing stress levels via meditation, Yoga, and breathing exercises can be done at home and for free.

Natural Ingredients and activities also act as an insurace policy. These Items and actions need not be expensive. And, they ward-off the negative consequences of neglecting ourselves.

Dr. Andrew Weil advocates avoiding animal fats (saturated fats) and processed foods. (The food coloring chemical Tartrazine is in over 85% of processed food in the United States.) Hydrongenated oils (often in breads) are bad for us, and there is an explanation in laymens' terms of specifically, why.

He did cite reasearch from areas of the world that have a high percentage of older populations.

The author has a very pleasant and comforting writing style.

Those with the basic nutritional and supplement knowledge may know many of the concepts and facts discussed, but there are lots of additional pieces of information and facts that can prove beneficial.

42 of 44 found the following review helpful:

5ex-biochemist review.....  Jul 24, 2007
By Patrick D. Goonan "see profile for URL"
I currently work in the field of psychology, but I was educated as a research scientist in the area of biochemistry. Prior to that period, I was a teaching fellow in physiology and have had a strong interest in integrative medicine as well as integral psychology.

I think this is probably Dr. Weil's best book to date. The suggestions he make are very practical and wise. He also frames aging as something positive, which is unusual in our culture. I think his suggestions for supplementation are also quite good and he provides a lot of good references throughout the text.

While the book is more technical than some of his earlier works, it is also very accessible. The technical material that is presented is fascinating and relevant. For the most part, this material is related to the aging process, particularly of cells. He also talks about how turning off these normal processes relate to cancer.

I also like this book because it is well-rounded. It covers every sphere of life including exercise, diet, the need for touch, social connection and even spiritual needs. It is comprehensive, yet easy to follow and impliment. The advice seems very sound and responsible to me.

This is a great owner's manual for aging. It's a very small investment for a potentially very high return. Also, it's not a lot of hype about staying young forever and making false assertions to prey on people's fear of aging. In short, it's very well done.

36 of 39 found the following review helpful:

5Outstanding guide by a man who really knows what he's talking about  Apr 14, 2007
By Dennis Littrell
Dr. Weil is a pesco-lacto vegetarian. He is the author of a number of books on health, and he is a graceful writer. He is a physician who has one foot firmly planted in the scientific community and another in the world of alternative medicine. He is a man who believes in the scientific method but also believes in intuition and the spiritual nature of human beings.

Here is his point of departure for this book:

"So please forget about antiaging and avoid obsession with life extension. Instead, let's focus on preventing or minimizing the impact of age-related disease, on separating longevity and senescence, on learning how to live long and well, on how to age gracefully." (p. 85)

He is now about 65 years old and much mellowed since the days when he wrote the bourgeois-shocking The Natural Mind: A New Way of Looking at Drugs and the Higher Consciousness (1972), a book that helped to persuade a generation of Americans to question the establishment's anti-drug mentality. The theme of that book was that human beings have a natural drive to explore other states of consciousness.

Here he wants to guide us toward not only the acceptance of aging, but to help us make this magical time of our lives fulfilling and as free from illness as possible. To this end he recommends supplements and vitamins, exercise, meditation, etc. He warns us that there is no immorality likely to come our way, and he gives the argument from evolutionary biological and of course the evidence of history. This is the fourth book of his that I have read, and I can tell you that if there were a way to immortality, Weil would have discovered it! He is an expert in all things consumable, from exotic plants and herbs to mainstream medicines to hormonal substances to exotic cuisines from many parts of the globe. He has traveled widely and he reads the journals. He has practiced medicine and he has done research. He is a man I greatly admire.

There are two parts to the book: "The Science and Philosophy of Healthy Aging," and "How to Age Gracefully." In the first part Weil explains why we age and warns against the kind of charlatans who would tell us that we can cheat death and avoid growing old. He emphasizes the positive aspects of aging and works to counter our culture's youth bias. In the second part he presents his agenda for aging gracefully. Prevention is emphasized, right habits, right attitude, living in harmony with an older body sensibly while making the most of our acquired wisdom and knowledge to help ourselves and others. He has a 12-point program beginning on page 239. There is a glossary, two appendices, one on "The Anti-Inflammatory Diet," and the other on suggested reading, resources and supplies.

I couldn't find anything I would disagree with in the entire book, and I tend to the critical when evaluating books by physicians. But of course Dr. Weil is no ordinary doctor. He is an immensely learned man who is careful, and is himself the best advertisement for his program. He lives gracefully with style and verve.

Here are some things I learned reading this book:

For some reason I used to think that a high fever helped the body to fight disease because the heat killed the microbes or at least made life more difficult for them. However as Weil points out on page 80 what fever does is increase the efficiency of immune system cells that fight germs--which is why it is not necessarily a good idea to take medicines that artificially lower our temperature.

Like Dr. Weil I enjoy the traditional teas from China, Taiwan, and Japan. However most of these teas are not decaffeinated and that's a problem since caffeine tends to give me vertigo. He writes, "You can remove most of the caffeine from tea leaves by steeping them in hot water for thirty seconds and draining off the water. Then steep the leaves as you would normally. This will not detract from the flavor or antioxidant activity...." (pp. 158-159)

And here's something he got from Rubin Naiman, an expert on dreaming: "REM is not equivalent to dreaming...We're probably dreaming all the time; REM is a window through which we can observe dreaming." (p 197) Some years ago as I gradually became more aware of my own mental states, it seemed to me that I was dreaming even before I fell asleep, and that I was even dreaming while awake sometimes, and I began to question the idea that we only dream during the rapid eye movement stage of sleep. I am happy to see my experience confirmed!

And here's a speculation that I find intriguing: "...most North American and Europeans are deficient in omega-3s, a dietary imbalance that may account for the rise of such disease as asthma, coronary heart disease, many forms of cancer, autoimmunity, and neurodegenerative disease." (p. 147) To this he might have added autism which has also been rapidly on the rise in recent decades.

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