Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being

 
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Spontaneous Healing . . . Eight Weeks to Optimum Health . . . Eating Well for Optimum Health . . . The Healthy Kitchen每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 in the breadth and depth of its information and understanding. Hugely informative, practical, and uplifting, it is infused with the engaging candor and common sense that have been the hallmarks of all his books.

At the heart of Healthy Aging is Dr. Weil*s belief that although aging is an irreversible process, there are myriad things we can do to keep our minds and bodies in good working order through all phases of life. To that end, he draws on the new science of biogerentology (the biology of aging) as well as on the secrets of healthy longevity每 diet, activity, and attitude每that he has gathered firsthand from cultures around the world.
In Part One每※The Science and Philosophy of Healthy Aging§每he explains how the body ages, and he explores the impact of gender, genes, environment, and lifestyle on an individual*s experience and perception of the process of aging. He describes the various would-be elixirs of life extension每herbs, hormones, and antiaging ※medicines§每separating myth from fact and clearly delineating the difference between the spurious notions of preventing or reversing the process of aging and the real possibilities of inhibiting or delaying the onset of diseases that become more likely as we age. He writes movingly about the ways in which an acceptance of aging can be a significant part of doing it well, and of recognizing and appreciating the great rewards of growing older: depth and richness of experience, complexity of being, serenity, wisdom, and its own kind of power and grace.

In Part Two每※How to Age Gracefully§每Weil details an easy-to-implement Anti-inflammatory Diet that will protect the immune system and aid your body in resisting and adapting to the changes that time brings. And he provides extensive practical advice on exercise; preventive health care; stress management; physical, mental, and emotional flexibility; and spiritual enhancement每all of which can help you achieve and maintain the best health throughout the lifelong process of aging.

Healthy Aging每a book for people of all ages每is Andrew Weil*s most important and far-reaching book yet.


From the Hardcover edition.

Dr. Weil has raised dispensing health advice to an art form. Instead of making his audience feel inadequate or guilty about bad habits, he seems to subconsciously convince readers to do better merely by presenting health facts in a non-threatening way. Healthy Aging is his most scientifically technical book yet (you'll learn all about enzymes like telomerase and cell division and the chemistry behind phytonutrients like indole-3-carbinol, and the connection between cancer and other degenerative diseases like diabetes) yet by far his most fascinating.

His main mission here is to recommend "aging gracefully," which he considers accepting the process instead of fighting it. As the director of the country's leading integrative-medicine clinic (combining the best of traditional and alternative worlds), of course he disses Botox and the slew of $100-a-jar face creams out there. It's also no surprise that he focuses on proper nutrition, moderate exercise, and meditation and rest among his "12-point program for healthy aging." (Triathletes and exercise addicts should take special note of the research linking excessive exercise and ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.) He occasionally references his earlier works, including 8 Weeks to Optimum Health. But the most eye-opening sections are those that discuss the spirituality of aging and its emotional aspects. "Aging can bring frailty and suffering, but it can also bring depth and richness of experience, complexity of being, serenity, wisdom, and its own kind of power and grace," he writes. At 63, Weil is still a bit shy of senior status, but is aging well indeed, with the legacy of his late 93-year-old mother (who*s touchingly eulogized by Weil in this book) to guide him.--Erica Jorgensen

Customer Reviews:

  • A wise book
    I found this book to be wise because it reviewed supplements and other health related things telling which were useful, which were over-hyped and which were even dangerous. Also it was a pleasant readable book....more info
  • Another interesting angle on aging and acceptance
    Dr. Weil gives a straight-forward, no-nonsense take on everything from cosmetic surgery to cosmetic complusions to vitamin supplements and all the silly crap in between.

    He fortifies a long-standing belief that had I've for years that if you over-power your body with supplements and vitamin-chemicals, you can actually cause much more damage than if you just ate healthy and exercised even occasionally. Many people believe that if you overdo vitamins and supplements, you simply excrete and eliminate any amount over what you can use. It's simply not true and Dr. Weil tells you why it's not true and what the real cost to your body can be.

    Weil gets into the oxidant/anti-oxidant discussion (along with a number of other "now" subjects") from a place of intelligence and medical experience that can make the most ardent supporter of supplements feel downright silly. He thoughtfully attacks the "more is better" crowd and pulverizes the opposition who insist on stuffing huge quantities of fish oil, Vitamin A,B,C and K into their mouths at every turn.Can you say "overload?"

    A chilling truth comes out when Weil starts detailing how you can cause damage and disease by taking that route. And his sobering tales of stupidity for people who mess with their "ph" levels is dead-on. Example in that line of thought: If your body is naturally wired to work at maintaining a neutral ph level, and it is, why in the world would you take supplements or eat certain foods to mess with it? If you eat foods or substances that claim to alter your ph levels, your body will fight to re-establish a neutral ph state. The resulting stress that you can cause your own body thinking you're doing a good thing can be deadly!

    Be prepared to dust-off the old college biology textbook in a few dicussions. Weil takes us to the cellular level right through the cell membrane and into your own mitochondria. And this isn't a multi-level marketing presentation at your dinner table with the crazed neighbor who won't leave. It's human biology, physiology and common sense.

    He zeroes-in on our culture's phobia toward aging gracefully and it hurts because it's so true. His anecdotes about how uncomfortable some poeple get when they're around the elderly are painful to read when he hits the proverbial nail on the head with a proclamation that many of us are uncomfortable around old people because we see how we're going to turn-out...if we live that long. Ouch!

    If you're at that stage where aches and pains that you would have shrugged off at age 19 are a part of your daily routine, read this book. If your significant other is spending otherworldly amounts on "anti-aging" creams and potions, read this book. If your goal in life is too get a tummy-tuck, a eye-lid surgery or you're constantly dyeing your hair, read this book.

    But only if you want to change those expensive and systematic annoyances and learn to grow old gracefully. His story about the old pine tree outside his home in Arizona will bring it right to your front door!

    ...more info
  • Could the negative reviews get any dumber?
    Why don't these people read the book before they criticize it? Oh look, a chunky guy wrote a book about health. He must be full of it because, you know, fat people aren't intelligent enough to study something even if they can't or won't (for whatever reason) apply it to their lives.

    FYI, he has a degree from Harvard Medical School.

    I know Amazon is full of tards who get off on the fact that they can post anonymously, but this is pretty ridiculous....more info
  • Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being
    Was good information, but buried in some boring extraneous stuff. Had to dig through to find what needed. Too much background info....more info
  • Refreshing change
    Dr. Weil's book is a refreshing change from society's(and some authors) obsession with antiaging methods that are usually only money makers and do nothing to make you younger.This book talks first about the current trend to "reverse aging" which the author believes is impossible. Then he goes on to talk about how natural the aging process is and how it should be viewed as positive in many ways. He discusses how many things get better with age,cheese,wine,beef, etc. He says we should accept aging not resist it and should live a healthy lifestyle so we will have healthy aging with out being ravaged by the diseases that are a consequence of lifestyle.Great writing, a pleasure to read....more info
  • Weill Does it again
    The book is excellent for those of us who wish to age , but not age disgracefully....more info
  • Accepting the aging process
    Andrew Weil presents a balanced, realistic view of aging. He begins this excellent book by reducing our resistance to this natural process. His excellent advice spans nutrition, exercise, mental and spiritual well being. I have given this book to several friends, and recommend it highly....more info
  • ex-biochemist review.....
    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....more info
  • YES!
    This author is not a perfect man and MOST of his thoughts are not perfect or even original. However, every reader will be guided to a better and possibly longer life by reading this wonderful work....more info
  • Its alright. Just sounds like Weil weighing in on the aging industry and parroting his own material again
    Nothing exceptional here. Just more of Weil's practical advice on health and nutrition, which doesn't really do much for me as I've already read most of his views on this in earlier works.
    The book starts slow with an excruciating overview of the science of aging and various researching being done today. It's like a grueling college lecture initially (And one can't help but notice a slight sneer to Weil's voice addressing the stem cell "controversy" and that pesky "religious right" [with very little, if any, focus given to the controvery of the ethics of stem cell research.]) Andy, leave the politics to the Dixie Chicks and focus on health instead.
    There wasn't much spirtitual offered here. I think Dr. Weil is more in tune with his dogs than in any genuine spiritual endeavor, and now that I think about it, even the nutritional information seemed somewhat lacking. Unless of course you can afford the grandiose Japanese mushrooms that Weil downs, using the proceeds from his book sales, no doubt.
    This one didn't do much for me. Andrew Weil has written some decent and educational material befor, and there really isn't anything exceptional here....more info
  • What about mental fitness?
    As much as I love what Dr. Weil has to say about the spiritual aspect of aging plus some great tips on how to stay physically vital, everyone seems to be ignoring the issue of mental fitness. Whoever talks about that? We are an aging population and more needs to be done to prevent memory loss, etc. I use services like Agogus.com to fill in the gap and it's fun too....more info
  • Just OK
    Maybe because I'm an RN with an interest in holistic wellness this book had nothing new or specific for me. The information was good but very generalized. Perhaps for a layperson with very little knowledge of wellness and nutrition this would be good, but the terminology and writing style is not conducive to a light read. I'd like to think I'm beig unfair, but overall I wasn't impressed....more info
  • Handbook For Life - For ALL Ages
    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....more info
  • Good to the last drop!
    Remember the Maxwell House coffee ad? That is how I feel about this book.....it's good to the last drop or in this case.....the last page. Dr. Weil has packed his current book with a wealth of information on how to get well and (most importantly) stay well. I believe that you will read with great interest how the cause of a number of chronic diseases are the result of the inflammatory process (I concur) and what you need to do to combat inflammation. I have had a number of patients tell me that they have changed their diet and started an exercise program after reading this book. They have changed because this book makes a strong case WHY they need to change. I have been in practice for over 23 years and any book that is able to get patients to change their lifestyle is worth its weight in gold!

    Dr. Michael L. Johnson, author of "What Do You Do When the Medications Don't Work?--A Non-Drug Treatment of Dizziness, Migraine Headaches, Fibromyalgia, and Other Chronic Conditions."...more info
  • Dr. weil does it again!
    One of his best books, I love learning about health and nutrition and Andrew Weil is the doctor I trust most to give me honest, balanced advice on these subjects....more info
  • same o same o
    This man is also a great writer and person to listen too and read, but after a while you are getting repeats in a different form. Good stuff, but after so many books, if you've read them, why buy more. If you never read his book, very good....more info
  • As perfect as it gets
    Dr. Weil, first of all, while admitting to the man's quest of becoming immortal and find the fountain of youth, makes you believe the futility of trying to reverse aging. He goes on elaborating the advantages of aging. Not everything is bad about aging. As he points out, I hope one day the aged get as much respect just for living into old age, as they do in the East. The proved importance of low calorie diet as one ages has been well stressed. In later chapters, he compares the aged body with the aged whisky and wine, aged cheese, trees, violin, and antiques. The comparison of living old flesh to the aged dead meat (beef) feels far fetched though. He could have added how 'green' the younger people are and how comforting is the company of older, more mature people.
    As most people get old, the body is prone to develop chronic diseases, resulting in long years of suffering. Dr. Weil, explains to us that 'by an ounce of prevention,' we can 'compress' the 'illness period' into last one or two years, leading to happy old age. He touches all aspects of old age, including prevention of ailments through anti-inflammatory diet, adequate sleep (I loved his prescription of afternoon nap), dietary supplements, exercise(Yoga and meditation), reduction of stress. He even goes ahead to reveal how old people desire to be touched and loved (including changing patterns of sexual intimacy).
    I know Dr. Weil is a big advocate of dietary supplements. But after going through his book I wonder whether anybody can swallow so many tablets everyday. It seems impossible for anyone to do especially if they are already taking other drugs for their illness(es).
    People who have read his '8 weeks to optimum health' will find many things borrowed from there. But even for them the book will still be very readable. A lot of people will reflect on the wrong things they did to spoil their health.
    Well done again Dr. Weil. ...more info
  • Going to Health
    Please forgive the play on words in the title of this review. I had almost given up on Medical Doctors until reading Dr. Weil's superb book. I'm 64 years old, a tenured Professor of Education at a California State University, and I've just started studying Aikido (which is also all about mind, body and spirit). That study has proven to be catalytic in the development of my awareness of the healthy aging that Dr. Weil writes about with such insightfulness and clarity. I have already posted my recommendation of this excellent book on my own web site for benefit of my students and fellow faculty and staff at the university where I teach. Perhaps I am biased in favor of this book because I already embrace the underlying philosophy, but I believe that anyone who takes the time to read and carefully consider what Dr. Weil has written will find it to be of great value. In fact, I liked it so much that I recommended it to the Naturopathic Doctor who is my own personal physician! Special thanks to Dr. Weil for including his own ethical will. I wish more people in the helping professions would write ethical wills and include information about themselves on personal web sites to help the people who need their services make informed decisions....more info
  • Tonic for those who fear the future
    Dr. Weil does an excellent service with this book - he provides his readers with reasonable goals to set as they foresee their aging years. And he evaluates a range of approaches - diet, exercise, dietary supplements - debunking some and recommending many. Add to that his personable voice (I listened to him narrate the Book on Tape version). Use this book to plan for your own future....more info
  • Self Centered Guru
    I am so disapointed in this book. It is a lot of endless stories of his mother and tribes and such but nothing to help the average working American. I found more vitamin and supplement information in my copy of "Earl Mindlers Vitamin Bible" which is over ten years old. I could get more vitamin information off a cereal box. I never did get far enough in the book to find out if he is or ever was a medical doctor. He sounds like a P.H.D with a lot of medical terms but no real conclusive information. Save your money. The American Heart Association can tell you ten times more on their "free" web-site....more info
  • Dr. Weil fan
    Since I believe in complementary medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil's books always interest me. I had already purchased this particular book and decided to buy another copy for a friend who has ulcertive colitis. Because anyone who has colitis has a lot of inflammation in his/her body, Dr. Weil's book is an excellent choice because he talks at length about the anti-inflammatory diet. ...more info
  • You're not going to live for ever.
    Let's get this straight, you won't live for ever if you read this book. And you won't live forever, if you don't. But you'll live better if you do. The first part of this book details both the dodgy science of immortality and the good stuff. The second part details ways to live a long, but not permanent, life healthily.
    For me, the first part although interesting was a little long. I felt myself getting (or is that just feeling) much, much older as I read it. It goes into some detail about long sounding chemical names for drugs that I have no idea about. And The DNA squishy bits of why we age. Or at least why and how the boffins think we age. It gives some detail about societies that have the longest living people (Japan, and within Japan, the Okinawans -go goya!) And advice about getting old, and dealing with it. Overall, the first half is okay.

    The second part deals with ways to live a long, healthy life. Generally regarding things we should know, and should do. About eating better, eating less and exercise. No surprises there. Some aspects for me were new, such as the herbal advice he gives (well, I'm just a little lazy chasing up the things that I know I should do.) The second half is also okay.

    Somehow I felt that the style of the book, and the way it was written might end up being read more by the already converted (like me) and not by the need to be converted (the person I originally gave the book to.). I see colourful coffee table picture books with sexy presentation calling out to me from the same section of the book store, with easy to read formats and soothing images, such that this tome just doesn't seem to appeal so much to me. But it is the good stuff, there's a lot there to wade through but if you read the second half carefully and take notes, it will lead you onto the path of long, healthy but not immortal life....more info
  • Evidence based, but not stuck to the Western medical model
    Healthy Aging is an oasis of sage advice in the raucous marketplace of alternative health care literature. I appreciate that Dr. Weil's approach is science and evidence based, but isn't stuck to the Western medical model.

    This book is very accessible--for the general reader, it strikes the right balance between "technical" and conversational. For me, the chapter discussing the relation between diet and inflammatory processes in the body, and the relation between these processes and age related diseases such as Alzheimer's, cancer and heart disease, was a revelation. I had been vaguely aware of the dangers of poorly regulated inflammation, but Dr. Weil brings the issue into sharp focus.

    Healthy Aging reinforces my admiration for Dr. Weil's work. If you want to take responsibility for your own health, read this book.

    The 15 pages of Notes in the back are a gold mine....more info
  • Healthy Aging by Andrew Weil
    It gave me new ideas and facts about aging. It could help me add some years to my life. ...more info
  • Such an important book
    Dr. Weil's book is full of great, easy to understand advice, particularly with regard to the importance of increasing omega-3's and decreasing omega-6's in the diet. Following his advice and that of other nutritionists, I've eliminated meat, dairy, and wheat from my diet and feel great. In the process, I also decided to cut down on sugar and other sweeteners, but found that it's frustratingly difficult to find bread, soup, pasta sauce and many other dietary staples that do not contain some type of sweetener. All the more reason to stock up on fruits and vegetables. Great book!

    Note: Diana DeLonzor is the author of "Never Be Late Again, 7 Cures for the Punctually Challenged."...more info
  • Great Insight!
    Healthy Aging is a great comprehensive book that brings new solutions for well being on many levels. It's easy to read, understand and apply for anyone who is looking for better solutions to live a longer, healtheir and more peaceful life.
    I suggest reading it for the benefits it brings, that will no doubt help you see your way to greater health. It has great insight!...more info
  • Healthy Aging a really interesting book
    Healthy aging introduces the lecturer into the aging secrets and explains what the science has accomplished until now and what we could expect in the future. We can't prevent the aging but we can diminish the consequences of this irrefutable process.The ways to do that are explained in details in this book. I think that "Healthy Aging" is worth reading. ...more info
  • Recommended

    This was my first book I ever read by Andrew Weil. I immediately liked the author's notion of graceful and healthy aging. I enjoyed his style of writing and his ability to reach the reader on several levels. I am looking forward to implement many of his suggestions, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in improving and perfecting both their physical and mental conditions. It is an overall excellent book. The other author that I highly recommend is Dr. Tombak. He is as much down-to-earth as Dr. Weil. I think "Healthy Aging" by Weil, and "Can We Live 150" by Tombak belong to the home library of every health-conscious person.
    ...more info
  • **** A Plump Health Guru? (4 stars, the 1 star is a typo) ****
    Inside the book Dr. Andrew Weil provides information in a clear way (I like the way he writes) that should help his readers age in a healthy way. But for the front cover I subtract one star. The doctor tries to hide how big and round he really is on the cover by dressing in black. And the big white beard makes his body covered in black appear smaller relative to his head, an illusion of fitness. By not admitting that he has a weight problem Dr. Weil may tend to redefine obesity in an unhealthy direction (maybe that is why he is so popular with his "large" public). Weil should demonstrate some real self-discipline (meditating apparently is not enough) to his readers by eating less and excercising more (even if that means one less book)....more info
  • Dr weil is amazing
    Buy the book, it will change your thinking about food!!! Better than South Beach Diet....more info
  • NOW YOU'RE TALKING. THANKS, DOC!
    Five Stars? Give it a SIX!
    May well be one of the most IMPORTANT books you buy this year, because it may extend your life and improve your lifestyle. After considering Mr Trudeau's ridiculous tome on health and (according to 20/20) his failed attempts to get support from Dr Weil's statements, this is what we really need to get back on track with respect to our health. Trudeau talks about phony cures, Dr Weil talks about PREVENTION AND LIFESTLE.

    I know it sounds trite sometimes, but he hits the nail on the head over and over. And we need to have this advice REINFORCED until it makes us sick (err.. well, that is). How many of us know we should exercise, relax, avoid the bad foods, and eat our essential veggies/fruits and vitamins AND DON'T? Stop complaining about the advice and DO IT. I hope the good Doctor keeps writing these books until we ALL do it. Now go eat an apple and take a long walk!
    SIX Healthy Stars!!...more info
  • A Book for All Ages
    Dr. Andrew Weil's new book 'Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being' certainly lives up to its name. Written in an easy to read format with many helpful references, Dr. Weil covers all aspects of aging thoroughly. His expertise comes to us in a friendly, caring manner. I read this book from cover to cover upon receipt and find myself referring to it practically every day for help with all questions related to the maintenance of my health as I do my best to age in the best way possible....more info
  • Health
    Book in excellent condition, would purchase from the seller again. Very informative book. Good to know information....more info
  • Same info as before
    There isn't anything new here unless you want to fall asleep reading about cheese and whisky. Dr. Weil gives examples of how some cheese's and whisky get better as they age as if this is supposed to correlate to people. I love Dr. Weil's other books and his website but I was disappointed by this book. If you want to read a good anti-aging book read Roy Walford's 120 year Diet. An excellent read. ...more info
  • 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. ...more info
  • Great Book
    I love all of Andrew Weil books. He touches me on so many different levels and is my favorite source of advice....more info
  • A Must-Have Resource For A Healthy life
    This is a comprehensive guide that should be on everyone's bookshelf. Covering all you need to know about aging, you will find yourself referring to it over and over again.It covers everything from diet to supplements to exercise to thoughts, emotions and attitudes and the role they play in healthy aging.
    Joanne Scaglione, Author Living The Secret Everyday: My Secret Workbook...more info
  • Excellent book, easy to read and complete
    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....more info
  • Don't Bother
    Don't EVEN bother buying this book. If you can avoid the snores with all the medical mumbo-jumbo, maybe this book is for you. Bottom line is: don't fret about aging because it's going to happen to you and eat right, exercise and take your vitamins. So what else is new?

    P.S. Dr. Weil writes that there are no anti-aging remedies yet he advertises Origins mushroom face creams--hmmm........more info
  • Impressed & surprised, highly recommended
    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.
    ...more info
  • Clinical
    The information in this book is great once you get past the first 2 chapters. I found the first two chapters of this book a little more medically in depth than I care to read. ...more info
  • Dr. Weil actually visited some of longest lived cultures, to learn what contributes to their health
    Okinawans reportedly live longer than any other culture and Dr. Weil has spent time there, observing their culture, diet and lifestyle, unlike many armchair researchers, who merely read what others publish. He contrasted the Okinawan diet, with the Japanese diet and diets and lifestyles of other longer lived cultures.

    I would like to see someone examine why the counties with the longest average life span, in the United States, are high altitude areas, in Colorado, 2 counties, in Iowa and one, in Maryland. Hawaii was the state, with longest average lifespan, with Minnesota second longest. I am having difficulty discerning any common climatic or cultural characteristic common to these counties. Perhaps, Dr. Weil will examine this interesting phenomenon.

    Dr. Weil refocuses antiaging medicine from an obsession with cosmetics and physical appearance to a focus on actual biological health. He makes an important personal observation that all of the ALS patients he has encountered were exceptionally lean and athletic and speculates that extremely low body fat, may reduce protection from fat soluble neurotoxins.

    Medically, body fat below 5 %,is very unhealthy and associated with increased cardiac risk. Anorexics have excessive dopamine neurotransmitter levels and considerably increased death risk.

    Many of the people, on the covers of the muscle magazines, are less healthy, than they look. Some of these people abuse thyroid, testosterone, human growth hormone and even insulin! One of our Florida Detox patients suffered dangerously high blood pressure, apparently due to an iron overload, secondary to testosterone abuse, although he possessed an impressive physique, due to bodybuilding.

    Weil focuses on healthy aging, not immortality. He discusses the lifespan limits imposed by telomeres. Much of the information found regarding reducing inflammation, protein glycation, free radical oxidation, etc., can be found in other books, but Weil provides a good comprehensive, readable discussion of most of the present knowlege, of healthy aging. Weil has an extensive knowlege of nutrition and herbal medicine.

    The information discussing medical use of mushrooms was encouraging to read. Even many very knowlegeable, alternative and complementary medicine physicians seem inadequately informed of the potential of mushrooms and mushroom extracts. I feel the mushroom information distinguishes Weil's book from many similar books, written by MDs.

    Steven Sponaugle
    Research Director, Florida Detox

    ...more info
  • Provides many important keys to understanding how aging works - and how to control it
    How is it that some people age gracefully and easily and others face challenges early on in life? Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide To Your Physical And Spiritual Well-Being draws on many case history examples - including the author's own mother, who lived into her nineties and even journeyed to Antarctic a few months after a heart problem - to consider how people age well. With so many entering their advanced years and living longer thanks to medical science, Healthy Aging is sure to be a winner years into the future, and provides many important keys to understanding how aging works - and how to control it.
    ...more info
  • Nothing New
    There's nothing new here. There's no fountain of youth, eat your
    vegetables, exercise, etc. etc.
    I knew I was in trouble when the doctor tells me that the lack of stem cell research is the fault of the religious right.
    Save your money....more info
  • Good with a few flaws
    This book offers a lot of wise and thoughtful information and perspectives. I like the respect he shows for viewpoints with which he does not agree but treats them respectfully anyway and lets the reader decide what to pursue. The principal flaw in the book is that he operates from a basic point of view that one diet and general health plan fits all. Other books show that a diet fitted to blood type is more appropriate, and there are simply different strokes for different folks. He seems to think that everything that works for him will work for everyone else. But much of what he suggests will be good for many people. His diet information is more suited for blood type As than for blood type Os. And the blood type differentiation of how people differ genetically is just a starting point regarding which I wish more people would pursue to a more sophicsticated level, but it seems that even a complex medical science cannot handle simple individual variation with any degree of accuracy and appropriateness....more info
  • Wonderful read but . . .
    I love his writing style and the overview of aging in general, very informative ... but the idea of living out my days on such a restrictive diet, yikes! The practicality of the whole thing leaves alot to be desired ... and there are some contradictions that bug me in it, too. I would have to say his "Eating Well for Optimum Health" book was much better suited for "normal" people's lives!...more info
  • Good book, but needs updating
    OK, I wasn't paying attention and ordered the paperback, which was released January, 2007, thinking it was a new edition. It isn't. It's just a reprint of the 2005 hardback.

    While I agree with what most reviewers here write, I think it's time that the bearded doc do a little revising. Example: (p. 180) "Do not eat margarine, regardless of what it is made from or what health benefits manufacturers claim for it." There are new trans-fat-free margarines on the market now that didn't exist when he wrote the book, and this should be in there....more info

 

 
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