I just finished Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge. It’s been on my reading list for quite some time, but I finally got around to it. The gist of the book is that aging will happen to all of us, but that there are things we can do to make it less painful and debilitating, more healthy and enjoyable. It’s an interesting book and was written by the two authors in a sort of tag-team effort. One author, Crowley, is an older gent, over 70, and talks more about the practical, day-to-day application of the book’s principles. Lodge is a practicing medical doctor and medical school professor and he handles the more scientific aspects.
I think the book is full of great information, but it wasn’t the most readable for me. I found Crowley’s sections a little too unfocused and chatty. I ended up skimming his pages and then reading just the paragraphs that seemed most relevant. Oddly enough, though, some of my favorite takeaways from the book came from his sections. But, I know a lot of people probably prefer his sections – sharing his experiences with aging and giving some great examples of what’s possible for us as we get older.
I enjoyed Lodge’s chapters much more, but I can imagine some criticism of not having scientific testing and studies to cite in support of his conclusions. That wasn’t a problem for me, for a couple of reasons. First, I’m not convinced that everything needs a scientific study or the government’s stamp of approval to be good advice. Likewise, there are several studies that have shaped America’s nutrition mindset that are, to me, clearly not working out so well. So, solely being able to cite a study doesn’t make a recommendation good. And solely not having a study doesn’t make it bad. Second, I read this book to add to my body of knowledge having already read several more detailed articles on a lot of what he had to say. To me, much of it was new twists on things I’d already seen, so none of it was earth shattering news that I felt like I needed to verify.
And I think that relates to one of the things that I like about the book. I’ve made a lot of changes in my life over the past couple of years and I feel better now than I have in a decade as a result. And, as it turns out, most of the changes I’ve made are pretty well aligned with the principles in this book. Not completely, but definitely moving in the same direction. I’m exercising a lot more and eating much better, which, in a nutshell, is the what the books says are the keys to healthy aging. But, I’m not working out 6 days per week like they recommend. I need to. And want to. But, I’m not. And I’m not completely in agreement on their diet recommendations, so I’ll probably never follow the book there, but I know I’ll continue to eat a healthier diet forever. I am a (not so) perfect example of the benefits of what this book recommends – keep exercising and eat nutritious food.
Overall, I’d recommend this book. I got a few new nuggets of information out of it, and had some older ideas presented in different ways. I think I would have liked it more if I’d read it 2 or 3 years ago, when I was just starting to make changes. But, still, it’s a good book and has some great advice that any of us can benefit from.