What would it be like to grow old in a culture that values aging? What is an anti-inflammatory diet and why is it beneficial? What part of us never ages? What is our most important legacy?
In a new public television special, integrative medicine expert and bestselling author Dr. Andrew Weil takes on the subject of aging with unflinching honesty and offers uplifting advice based on his scientific studies and personal observations. With the authoritative but warm style that has made him Americas best-known doctor, he urges us to reject the prevailing notion that aging is an evil to be fought off with magic elixirs and invasive procedures. Rather, Dr. Weil emphasizes the rewards of growing older and offers practical steps for remaining healthy in mind and spirit so we can enjoy it. He explains the science behind the best approach to diet and exercise as well as how to get the most beneficial sleep, maintain emotional well-being, keep your memory sharp, and think about the emotional legacy you want to leave behind.
Andrew Weil, M.D., a graduate of Harvard Medical School, is the author of 10 books, including Spontaneous Healing, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, and Eating Well for Optimum Health. He is a clinical professor of medicine and director of the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.
Many of the words of wisdom dispensed by Andrew Weil, "America's most trusted physician," in the course of Healthy Aging
are elementary, even obvious. But that doesn't make them any less relevant, as Weil takes on an issue that most in this youth-obsessed culture would just as soon ignore. Originally aired on PBS, this program is essentially an 85-minute lecture by the Harvard-educated doc, a prolific author and Integrative Medicine pioneer now based at the University of Arizona; sans
props, guests, or bells and whistles of any sort, it's all rather static. What's more, while his assertions that aging is not necessarily synonymous with diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's and that memory loss and aging don't have to go hand in hand are provocative, we're more than a third into it before Weil delivers any really practical ideas for those 60 and over whose goal is what he calls "compression of morbidity"--i.e., living not only long, but well. Even then, it should come as no surprise that eliminating certain unhealthy (i.e., fast-digesting) fats, oils, and carbohydrates from one's diet, engaging in regular and age-appropriate physical activity, sleeping well, and managing stress are key steps along that path. Still, Weil articulates these points in engaging, articulate fashion, and some of his specific recommendations (such as keeping the mind active by learning new things, practicing yoga-like breathing exercises, or composing an "ethical will" that will record one's personal values, wisdom, and experience) have considerable worth and appeal. For those unwilling to wade through the wealth of talk and information that occupies the first hour or so, these topics are summarized near the end of the DVD in Weil's "12-Point Program." --Sam Graham