Live Long, Die Short: A Guide to Authentic Health and Successful Aging
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
A rousing call to rethink the aging process
Over a decade ago, a landmark ten-year study by the MacArthur Foundation shattered the stereotypes of aging as a process of slow, genetically determined decline. Researchers found that that 70 percent of physical aging, and about 50 percent of mental aging, is determined by lifestyle, the choices we make every day. That means that if we optimize our lifestyles, we can live longer and “die shorter”—compress the decline period into the very end of a fulfilling, active old age.
Dr. Roger Landry and his colleagues have spent years bringing the MacArthur Study’s findings to life with a program called Masterpiece Living. In Live Long, Die Short, Landry shares the incredible story of that program and lays out a path for anyone, at any point in life, who wants to achieve authentic health and empower themselves to age in a better way.
Writing in a friendly, conversational tone, Dr. Landry encourages you to take a “Lifestyle Inventory” to assess where your health stands now and then leads you through his “Ten Tips,” for successful aging, each of which is backed by the latest research, real-life stories, and the insights Landry—a former Air Force surgeon and current preventive medicine physician—has gained in his years of experience.
The result is a guide that will reshape your conception of what it means to grow old and equip you with the tools you need to lead a long, healthy, happy life.
is indeed how we get sick, then there’s not much we can do about it, is there? It’s fate. We’re going to get it or we’re not. Th is is, in fact, the rationale many use to justify dangerous behavior, like smoking or overeating. “You’ve got to die of something, right?” or “Hey, I’ll get it or I won’t, I’m not going to worry about it.” Or the famous “I know a guy who lived to be a hundred …” Of course, when we were ignorant of the mechanisms and causes of disease, these arguments held some water.
embarrassment, avoiding risk is selling yourself short. Taking calculated risks, taking risk where the potential outcome is growth, joy, increased competence, and reduced risk of decline—that is an acceptable, even recommended, risk. In fact, I strongly recommend to my presentation audiences that they do something that scares them every day. It doesn’t have to be bungee jumping or parachuting (although if that is where your heart is, go ahead—find a way to minimize the risk and go for it!). It
Living Pearls for Having Children in Your Life Are you ready for younger people in your life? A little uncertain about whether you’re ready or whether there are any kids out there who’d be interested in spending any time with you? Start slow. Spend time with children in your family if possible. Listen, observe, smile. Be relaxed. Show no signs of impatience or of having another place to go. The greatest gift we can give children is our time. If you have no children in your family, try going
chosen for specific reasons, for the specific benefits they offer to our new older adults’ aging experience, and for their contribution to overall successful aging. Many will elect to continue to work for pay, but more and more this choice will reflect a conscious decision to contribute or find purpose beyond the financial compensation. Social connection will be fun, yes. It will fill otherwise lonely hours, but most importantly, it will enhance brain and immune function, and make decline less
with an aging society facing an oppressive burden of chronic disease, and the failure of the postindustrial period to improve all of society. These conditions are, I believe, about to spark an eruption within our society that will turn our world upside down: older adults will no longer be the problem but will be part of the solution; being old will give a person a revered status; the focus of media, marketing, and policy will be more inclusive of older adults. Some will be positioned to accept