A former physician offers a well-researched, pragmatic approach to healthy aging.
As baby boomers advance in age, books about healthy aging proliferate. Adding to the category is this title by Schilling, a former physician who started both a health information website and a blog about, among other things, coping with getting old. Here, without making unsubstantiated claims, Schilling offers a sensible, realistic overview of how to combat aging. He first focuses on the “metabolic syndrome” and the problems it can cause as one ages. Schilling suggests that preventionmethods and reducing certain risk factors will potentially allow an individual to live a much longer, healthier life. Most of the book concentrates on the specific steps needed in obvious areas: food, exercise, stress, etc. But Schilling also addresses hormone replacement, vitamins and supplements, as well as how to change and monitor lifestyle habits. The author integrates the results of numerous research studies into the text to add a sense of impartiality to his recommendations. He also supplements the text with several tables that help make absorbing the information more palatable. While a few of his scientific explanations may be a bit too technical for the average reader, Schilling for the most part sticks to easily understood language. Indeed, the doctor writes with both authority and passion; he also describes how he and his wife adopted his food and exercise plans, which lends the book a more believable voice. Schilling does hold some beliefs that readers will have to evaluate on their own terms; for example, he is a strong proponent of bioidentical hormone replacement: “With bioidentical hormone replacement, you can add about twenty years of youthful life without disabilities to the normal life expectancy.” Schilling also endorses eating organic foods and virtually removing sugar and starch from daily diets. To demonstrate that his food constraints are not onerous, however, he helpfully includes several enticing recipes developed by his wife for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
A focused, compelling argument for making significant lifestyle changes in the later years.