Excerpt: 'The Longevity Bible'

It's not enough to just live a longer life. You want to live a life that's healthier and better, too.

Gary Small, chief of the UCLA Memory and Aging Research Center, who has written "The Memory Bible" and "The Memory Prescription," has eight strategies to help you do just that in his latest tome: "The Longevity Bible."

He takes a holistic approach in telling readers how to improve their mind and body by focusing on the areas of memory fitness, healthy diet, physical conditioning and stress reduction. And yes, his diet plan allows you to eat indulgent desserts.

Below is an excerpt from the book.

Chapter One

You're savoring your ritual cappuccino across the street from your dentist's office when this incredibly handsome young guy sits down two tables over. Your eyes meet his and he smiles seductively -- you practically choke. You could swear you know him from somewhere… He gives you a little wave. Where the heck could you know him from? He's so young. And you've been married a long time. Oh my god, he's coming over! Could this amazing hunk possibly be hitting on you? Ridiculous. No way! Thank God in heaven you just had your teeth cleaned. He grins broadly, "Hi! Remember me?!" You're completely at a loss. "I'm Andy! Andy Carter! I was on your son's basketball team in middle school." You freeze with a ridiculous smile on your face and a sudden urge to evaporate into thin air.

Age reminders happen to everyone. It could be as simple as the appearance of a single grey hair, the first time someone calls you "ma'am," or perhaps walking into a room and forgetting the reason why. None of us can stop time, but we can slow down the effects of aging -- and sometimes even reverse them.

A mere 100 years ago, people were lucky to live beyond age 40. Now, life expectancy has risen to age 74 for men and 80 for women, and recent studies show that the average 65 year-old American can expect to live another 17 years. Modern medical science is striving to keep us alive well into our 90's and beyond, and when asked, most people say they want to live as long as possible. But what's the use of living that long, unless we can remain healthy, vital, and on top of our game? That's where The Longevity Bible comes in.

Traditionally, magazine and television advertisers have focused their marketing strategies on youthful looks and attitudes to attract consumers to their products. However, recently there has been a shift in tactics. Today Madison Avenue's emphasis is not so much on youthful demographics, but more on "psychographics" -- marketing focused towards the age group that consumers actually perceive themselves as being in. Try asking a baby boomer how old they consider themselves, not in actual calendar years, but mentally and physically. Many will confess they still have the attitude of a 25 year-old and feel nowhere near their chronological age.

The Eight Essentials

People often protest the idea of aging in the way their parents did, and vow to fight against the process as long as possible. Most are looking for a safe, convenient, medically-sound way to live longer and remain healthy and fulfilled throughout that long life – what I refer to as "quality longevity" -- and The Longevity Bible contains the Eight Essential Strategies for achieving it.

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