This book review was completed by Vicki, one of the co-founders of Women Who Money and Women’s Money Talk.
If you spend your free time working side hustles or reading every article you can about paying down debt or chasing early retirement; you might be missing something just as important as money.
And don’t just say you take care of it by using the stairs at work or by trying a new healthy recipe each week. No one is saying those aren’t good for you but if you are honest with yourself, are you taking better care of your body or your wallet?
Maybe you’re young enough that you’re putting health on the back burner right now. Once you pay off your debt or reach a specific net worth milestone, you can then shift your focus to your health. If 40 is the new 20, what do you have to worry about right?
Let us introduce you to a revolution. And before you click off the page – don’t worry! There are no cleanses, special pills, or machines giving you super abs by working out just a few minutes each day.
You don’t have to buy anything special and what you’ll take away is sound advice from a now 83-year old who still skies black diamond runs, and his Columbia trained physician who practiced for more than 30 years.
You can probably get this book at your library (and if they don’t have it, suggest to them they should!) It’s a New York Time’s Best Seller by Chris Crowley and physician, Dr. Henry (Harry) Lodge.
Welcome to Younger Next Year
If you think you are too young for this book, think again! Even if you’re an early 20-something, time goes by fast (or consider sharing this with your parents, aunts, and uncles, or grandparents!) These are Harry’s words, “We start to age by the end of our 20’s, so once you turn 30, the quality of your life is up to you.”
And that’s what we mean. Some of you are working so hard to pay down debt, save for the future, give your kids a great life, or to keep up with the “Joneses” – that you’ve lost focus on how important it is to take care of you.
Recommended: What Can You Accomplish In A Year?
Rather than giving away too much of the book, I thought I’d share ten key “aha” moments, quotes, and takeaways I think are incredibly important. These keep me thinking about getting Younger Next Year every single day.
1. “One of the great risks of our age is living far longer than we can live well.”
The average life expectancy is almost 79 in the United States but if a man lives to age 65 now, on average – they expect to live to 84. Women who live to be 65 now can, on average, expect to live to almost 87.
2. Caring, connecting, and committing are just as crucial to our health as what we eat and how much we exercise as we age.
It’s not enough to just take care of ourselves. We need to connect with others, support others, and find our tribe as we age. Family is important but close friends and community matter too!
3. Normal aging isn’t normal. Most of what we call aging and most of what we dread about getting older is actually decay. You are stuck with aging, but decay is optional. You can get decrepit if you like, but you are not likely to die – you are likely to live like that for a long, long, time.
Wow. I don’t think I need to add anything else to this one!
4. Show up every day but take it at your own pace too. You’ll make progress, and that is what matters.
They are talking about “showing up” in terms of getting some exercise and eating right. You don’t have to be perfect, but you can’t give up.
5. Weight training is serious therapy to halt or reverse the ravages of aging. It also helps prevent falls. Aerobic exercise saves your life; strength training makes it worth living.
I’m not a fan of strength training but Younger Next Year has me lifting on a regular basis now. I don’t have to like it; I just have to show up and get it done. I want to avoid the “ravages of aging” as much as possible!
6. Spend less than you earn. You can’t start thinking about this too soon. Money problems create anxiety, and that won’t help you be healthy.
You have to find a balance between the time you spend working to earn money to pay off debt, save, and invest and the time it requires to take care of yourself. Doing one without the other doesn’t make sense.
7. Exercise and quit eating crap. This is your new lifestyle, and you are going to live for a long time. Thin will take care of itself.
For once, you don’t have to worry about the scale. If you can commit to this lifestyle (not diet), you will get to a natural, healthy weight. There is another book in the series called Thinner This Year going more into diet too.
8. People spend hours watching TV (often alone) where characters live rich, connected lives but they miss out on connecting with their own family and friends. You have to WORK at connecting.
I can already see if you don’t have a regular work schedule and when the kids are grown up, and out of the house, it could be easy to spend a lot of time alone.
9. Most of us gave up far too much for success (in our jobs) and got back far too little in quality of life.
I’m guessing there aren’t too many people reading this who’d disagree…
10. 70% of normal decay associated with aging can be delayed almost until the end of your life and over 50% of illnesses and injuries in the last third of life can be eliminated with YNY lifestyle changes.
I saved this one for last because it was one of my biggest “aha” moments (although I had plenty of them as I read the book. And as I re-read it each time!) I was in the mindset of “you get older and things just slowly (or sometimes quickly) get worse.” The downward slope of declining health as you age until you die.
A Younger Next Year lifestyle doesn’t protect you from all decay, illness, and disease but it certainly can help you feel better, younger, and live an active and happier life for many years!. But terrible illnesses can still happen. Sadly, Dr. Lodge (Harry) died from prostate cancer in 2017. He was 58.
Why Not Get Younger Next Year?
No matter what age you are, Younger Next Year principles can make a difference in your life. If you can’t follow every “rule” (there are seven rules – called “Harry’s Rules”) – following 3, 4 or 5 of them is better than nothing. Understanding the importance of “swimming against the tide of aging” and prioritizing your health is the real win!
If you want to learn more or connect with over 570 people from around the world who are trying to get Younger Next Year, visit the public Facebook page – Younger Next Year 2018. It’s a wonderful group of people who share articles, ask questions, support one another and share their wellness wins!