The body is the most fascinating machine ever created, and nobody talks about it in ways that are as illuminating and compelling as Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz. Most people think of the aging of our bodies the same way we think of the aging of our cars: the older we get, the more inevitable it is that we're going to break down. Most of us believe that at age 40 or so, we begin the slow and steady decline of our minds, our eyes, our ears, our joints, our arteries, our libido, and every other system that affects the quality of life (and how long we live it). But according to Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz, that's a mistake.
Aging isn't a decline in our systems. It's actually very purposeful. The very systems and biological processes that age us are designed to help us when we're a little bit younger. So what's our role as part of the aging population? To learn how those systems work so we can reprogram them to work the way they did when we were younger. Your goal should be: die young at any age. That means you live a high quality of life (with everything from working joints to working genitals) until the day you die.
At the core of this landmark book are the Major Agers--14 biological processes that control your rate of aging. Some you've heard of, some you haven't, and some you never knew contributed to the aging process. Some speed decline, others inhibit your repair mechanisms. These Major Agers are everything from short telomeres and inefficient mitochondria to stem cells and wacky hormones. The doctors explain the principles of longevity and many of the causes of aging and how to fight the effects. The climax of the book is a 14-day plan to help you along your path to staying young. The doctors want you to be able to integrate important processes into your daily life in order to make staying young routine, but first you'll need to measure your real age and health right now. Staying young encompasses your emotions and mental health as well as your exercise habits, eating habits, personal hygiene, and genes, among other things.
Wouldn't you like to know how to prevent your body from aging badly? The original YOU book showed how bodies work in general, and YOU: On a Diet explained how bodies lose weight and stay fit. Now in YOU: Staying Young, Drs. Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz illuminate the mysterious mechanisms with a lively metaphor -- the modern city. What differentiates a vibrant and thriving city that ages gracefully from one that is worn down and rusted out? Despite genetic differences, which are like the geography upon which the city is built, cities age differently because of the way residents treat their education system (stem cells), power plants (mitochondria), electrical grids (brains), transportation routes (blood vessels), and landfills (fat). You -- as mayor, resident, and street cleaner -- have the power to balance your biological budget to ensure a life that's both long and strong. Thankfully, just as cities can invest in renewal and improving their repair processes, so can you.
YOU: Staying Young is filled with signature YOU Tools, including YOU Tests, YOU Tips, and visual and verbal metaphors to bring the science to life.
A Letter from Michael Roizen and Mehmet Oz
Dear Amazon Shoppers:
Our books, YOU: The Owners Manual and YOU: On a Diet, have become #1 Amazon and New York Times bestsellers, and we thank you. Many people have asked us questions about aging. We want you to know that the science in the last very few years has challenged the very perceptions of aging.
Most of us tend to have the same view of the way people age: As we grow older, we start losing things. We lose some hair, lose our minds, lose our balance, lose our eyesight, lose a little of this and a lot of that until we eventually wither away into a hunched-over senior who takes 3-inch steps and eats dinner at 4:00 pm. But to think that a life of frailty is an inevitable outcome of aging is a mistake. And the fact that we don't take control of it is because we have excuses. We live in a society where making excuses is as easy as making a sandwich. Nowhere is that more apparent than when it comes to your own health. The reason why we are frazzled with stress? Blame the boss. The reason why we are sick? Blame the sniffling kids. The reason why our societys waistbands are stretching and snapping at alarming rates? Blame Auntie's alfredo sauce. The top health excuse, however, revolves around the biggest four-letter word of them all, the GENE. We blame our genes for just about everything--for baldness, for fatness, for illness and for every other health-related problem we can think of. In our minds, that means that our mom, pop, and the rest of the family tree are all on the hook for the ultimate health question of them all--how long and how well we will live?
But that is exactly where more of us have it wrong. While we are certainly born with genes that help determine everything from our height to our risk of heart disease, we are making a monumental mistake by assuming that we cant control our genes--especially when it comes to aging.
Perhaps the best way to explain the dynamics of aging is to take a look at another complex system that is subjected to the same forces as your body: a city. Some cities remain beautiful and elegant in their old age, while younger ones may look worn down and beat-up. Now, every city has its own genetic code, just as you do. For a city, genes are geography; whether it's built on a river or whether it's located in a hot or cold climate, or whether it lies directly in a prevalent hurricane path. A city's geography can't change. But the city can adapt to the environment with earthquake-proof construction, with underground tunnels for walking in wintertime, or with strong levies. The adaptation the city makes to survive and to thrive is what is crucial to its vitality.
The same goes for you.
Just because you have been dealt a genetic hand that predisposes you to heart disease or diabetes or the wearing of pants as large as a parachute doesnt mean you can't mitigate the effects of those genes. One of the major things we will teach you is that while you can't change your genes, you can change whether they are turned on or off or how you express them. Just like a city, you can compensate elegantly if you understand your options.
For the first time in history, the medical world has uncovered many of the miraculous biologic processes that control how and why we age. Truth is, much of aging is actually in our control; with the power to nudge our biologic systems so that our unwanted genes can work in our favor--as long as you know what to do and how you are doing it. In YOU: Staying Young, we translate the latest science (much of which wasn't available even three years ago) to help slow your rate of aging. You will learn 14 Major Agers, and dozens of action steps so that you can take control of those agers and your aging processes.
We hope you enjoy the cartoons, analogies, and jokes. But ultimately we hope you soak in the message: Your health is largely in your control. We dedicate the book to all who desire longer life so they can serve more.
Thanks very much,
Mike and Mehmet
A Look Inside You: Staying Young
Take a look inside You: Staying Young with these three excerpted charts, full of crucial, easy-to-digest information that you can start using today:
- Fuel Your Fighters: One of the best ways to pump up your immune system is by eating the foods and getting the nutrients that have been shown to improve your natural defenses.
- Your Vital Supplements: The doctors' recommendations of pills and supplements that will make your body and mind stronger, healthier, and younger. It's best to get them from your diet, so consider these an insurance policy for an imperfect diet.
- Move Your Body: Most of your body parts become stronger when you use them. Take a glimpse at what you can and should do to make sure you're doing enough to prime your pumps.
Questions for the Doctors
Q: What is the single most important thing someone can do to combat aging?
A: To understand that you get to control your rate of aging if you want to. It isn't that hard and doesn't take that long. In fact, even if you have had burgers for breakfast or fried your brain cells with stress by noon, you're not necessarily destined to wear husky pants, forget birthdays, and spiral into a state of complete upheaval. That's right: You get a do-over in life if you want it. Repeat after us: not hard, not long.
Q: Is there one food, vitamin, mineral, exercise, or lifestyle change that does more to combat aging than any other?
A: Our top choices in terms of ease and impact:
- Walk 30 minutes a day and call someone after you do it. No excuses, walk every day. If you do it, you'll have the courage, health, and attitude to adopt other changes too.
- Take 2 grams of omega-3 fats every day in form of either walnuts, fish oil, or DHA supplements.
Q: What is one of the most surprising contributors to aging that we can easily remove from our lifestyles?
A: Inflammation of our teeth. Remove it with daily flossing and brushing and seeing a dental professional regularly. You won't just save your teeth; you'll also go a long way in saving your heart and arteries. Another? Our lack of turmeric--curry and mustard (mustard on stadium hot dogs does not qualify). Both of those ingredients make your memory better.
Q: What are some of the immediate benefits you will notice from following the tips in the book?
A: You will feel younger. You might get hit upon by strangers or be mistaken for someone 20 years younger. In addition to the waist size you'll lose, your new attitude and vitality for life may give your reading choice away.
Q: How early should most people start to focus on slowing the aging process?
A: The aging process starts in your teens or even before, but any time you start is better than later. (Repeat: not hard, not long.) Your cells basically have a memory of three years. So by changing your habits now, within three years, it's as if you have done your healthy habit all your life.
Getting to Know YOU