My morning routine right after getting out of bed is to push the button on the coffee maker and sit down at the computer on my desk in my home office. My first click is typically the icon on my desktop that will take me to ESPN.com. I want to find out how my Boston teams are doing. It’s just my way of waking up. One of these mornings in early 2019 I read an article about New England Patriots Head Coach, Bill Belichick. I didn't realize it then but I was about to learn how to restore vitality in my life.
Belichick is 67 and by all appearances is going strong. He is constantly asked how many more years he will coach. After all, he has done everything an NFL coach can do. In this interview, he mentioned that he had read a book called, Younger Next Year, and liked it.
Bill Belichick, amongst football fans, is an influencer. I say that because he influenced me. I immediately Googled “Younger Next Year”, read about the book, and asked my wife Shirley to buy it for me on Amazon. If Bill Belichick is going to mention that he got value from a book, and the topic is of interest to me, I’m going to buy it for two reasons. One, he’s smart. He’s very smart. And two, he knows the power of the media. He controls the media perhaps better than any other sports figure ever. So, he knows that if he mentions a book, as an example, thousands of people will buy it. I’ve never known Belichick to endorse anything prior to this. So, if Bill Belichick is going to say that he liked this book, and it could teach me how to restore vitality, I’m in. Younger Next Year arrived the next day. We have Amazon Prime of course.
Younger Next Year Book Review
Younger Next Year is written mainly for those in their 50’s and older. The main premise of Younger Next Year is that if you do the right things for your body and mind you’ll not “be” younger next year of course, but you will look and feel younger next year. It’s primarily a guide on how to restore vitality and health. Somewhere along the journey into our 50’s and 60’s, we lose focus on health and vitality as we age. Then we wake up one morning and just feel old. It happens to all of us if we aren’t consistently on a mission to maintain health and vitality. Younger Next Year is the book specifically written to wake us up and put us on a path that will help us rediscover health and vitality.
The book is written by 2 authors, both of which were highly educated and successful in their respective careers. Chris Crowley is a retired attorney. He is now 85 but was 70 in 2004 when the book was published. Henry (Harry) Lodge passed away in 2017 from prostate cancer at the young age of 58. Lodge was a physician specializing in geriatric medicine. The fact that he died at such a young age is perhaps a message that genetics do play a role in one’s longevity. But it doesn’t dismiss the possibility of living a high quality of life should our genetics allow us to live into our 90’s.
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Why I Loved Younger Next Year
Here’s why I loved Younger Next Year. It is very well written. The book flows. It’s one of those books that you’ll start and not want to stop. There’s humor throughout. As they are instructing you on how to restore vitality, they toss in a lot of stories that will make you laugh. Much of which you’ll only appreciate if, in fact, you are over 50. And it’s also logical and practical. It doesn’t suggest you do things that normal people can’t do. And it doesn’t suggest things that normal people would think are not tried and true ways to better health. In other words, it doesn’t introduce some scientific breakthrough that sounds great but that isn’t tested or difficult to do. The authors simply maintain that exercise and nutrition, and commitment to regular exercise and good nutrition, can make you look and feel ‘younger next year’. As it is stated, “functionally younger every year for the next five or even ten years”.
Regular exercise in our 50's and beyond may be the key to overcoming some health issues as well. Our bodies need to move to grease the joints, get the lungs pushing out the bad stuff, and get the blood flushing out toxins. Regular exercise can help us with random anxiety and other issues that have no logical reason for happening.
Throughout Younger Next Year, Crowley (the retired attorney and older of the two) introduces concepts such as, “exercise six days a week for the rest of your life”. He then tells about personal experiences, with great wit, that demonstrate how the concept has worked for him. Lodge, the physician, then comes behind it and provides the science that solidifies the concept of how to restore vitality in a way we can grasp. Like many things, it’s brilliant in its simplicity. In fact, nothing in the book is difficult to understand.
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Younger Next Year has value for those of us over 50 in two ways. It’s a wakeup call, and it’s a plan of action. It’s very easy to reach your 50’s and conclude that your body has gone south forever. You lack vitality, your joints ache, and you can’t run anymore without feeling like you’re having a heart attack. You feel sluggish, unmotivated to workout, and maybe even conclude that it’s just not worth it to work out. What’s “that” going to do? Younger Next year will slap all that right out of you.
Then the authors provide a game plan, a strategy to get you back on track and regain vitality.
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How to Restore Vitality
It’s not rigid but it is definitive. It’s not unrealistic for the average 55 to 70-year-old but it is aggressive. What I like about it is that it starts you out where you’re at. If you haven’t moved faster than a semi-brisk walk in 10 years, they don’t suggest you start off by running 3 miles. But they do suggest you get a heart rate monitor and start getting your heart rate above where’s it been for the past decade.
Reading Younger Next Year motivated the hell out of me. It was so simple that I felt extremely confident that, even after kidney cancer, I could regain health and vitality. I didn't have to figure out how to restore vitality. The answer was right here in my hands. The first step was to write out a workout schedule for myself that incorporated heart rate goals suggested in the book. I began walking, then running. Then I started lifting weights again. And, I incorporated what I liked to do which is riding a bike. Every day was different so I wouldn’t get bored and that my body would have to adjust to that days’ exercise. Both of those concepts are important to be consistent with working out daily.
My wife, Shirley then got motivated to join me. She had heard me talk about the book and how excited I was to really get back to working out again and being in the best shape that I could at 62. She joined me a few weeks after I started and now works out with me every day.
Ok, so here’s a little disclaimer. We do get off track from time to time with working out daily. It seems that two things do that to us. The first is traveling. When we travel, we tend not to work out even though we may have good intentions to do so. The other thing that will throw us off is either minor injury or some minor malaise. For example, as I’m writing this, I’ve developed some sort of itchy rash that doesn’t seem to want to completely go away. I believe that I’m on the road to recovery, but I haven’t worked out in about 2 weeks. However, I will be back at it in just a few days. Only just a little guilt has crept in so far.
Exercise Program for the Over 50 Crowd
However, if you workout on a regular basis and eat right you will look and feel younger. If you’re a regular visitor to this blog, you know that we write about and offer up some great information about diet. You can read much more in How to Have Optimal Health.
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However, if you want to get back in shape but don't really know how to go about it, we have published our workout program. And, we give it to you FREE!
This workout program is specifically designed for women and men over 50. If you have never worked out before this program will ease you and your body into it. If you used to work out and maybe even were an athlete back in the day, this program is perfect for you too!
Pick Up a Copy of Younger Next Year
For now, I highly recommend that you purchase a copy of Younger Next Year (see below) and get your head wrapped around the fact that you must get it moving, and you must be conscious of what you put into your body. You won’t “be” younger next year. You’ll still be one year older. But you absolutely will look and feel younger next year and therefore, effectively be younger next year.