Excerpt: "You: Staying Young"

While some cities can deteriorate if they're not managed well, others can be maintained and revitalized if the right resources and investments are made available. That's the way you, too, can live gracefully and passionately with a fundamentally older infrastructure. Throughout the book, you'll learn many ways to manage your personal metropolis. You'll see that your immune system is your body's police force. Your arteries are like roadways that can be clogged, blocked, or worn down by years of abuse. Your brain is like the energy grid that supplies power to the entire city; it can be knocked out here and there if you let neurological branches fall on your power lines. Your skin, in many ways, is like a city's parks and green space, contributing to the overall sense of beauty and vibrancy. Your fat? Yep, landfill.

You? Consider yourself the mayor, with the power to make all the decisions about what's best for your biological city.

Our ultimate goal isn't just to keep your biological city from naming tumbleweed as the town flower?in other words, to keep you from dying (though that sure is a biggie). Our goal is to put your body at the top of the "ten best cities to live in" list. It's to make it vibrant and hip, with lots of resources and good management of those resources. Perhaps most of all, it's to give it the ability to adjust rapidly to changing times?to reinvent itself. How will you get to know your city and all of the things that influence it. Here's how we're going to introduce it to you: Science has pointed to fourteen major processes that drive almost all of the aging we experience. Those causes of aging -- everything from wear and tear to neurotransmitter imbalances?indicate the tools you'll need to get at what you really want: to help your body live younger and stronger, and to have more energy than a Labrador puppy.

Throughout the book, you'll encounter these causes of aging in special sections titled "Major Ager"; in the chapters between, you'll discover exactly how the Major Agers affect various parts of your body and find specific, practical suggestions about how you can counteract their effects. Understanding the reasons for aging will give you insights into the action steps for extending your own warranty, which we unveil in the last chapter.

Along the way, look for these features to help you learn about your body: Major Agers: These are the major drivers of aging that most folks have never heard of, but they work behind the scenes to age our cells. (Without our cells, we don't do so well.) Understanding these Nobel Prize-winning processes will make you a lot wiser as you wade through the littered terrain of antiaging therapies. At the very least, they'll make you sound smart around the water cooler. Take a look at our crib sheet on page 17, which summarizes these Major Agers so you can see which ones can tip the youthful scale in your favor.

YOU Tests: The beginning of each chapter will start with a quick test that you can take to assess where you stand on the aging scale. These interactive moments will give you new insights into your own body?and how young it's working.

YOU Tips: At the end of each chapter, we'll list a bunch of actions and strategies to keep your body working as vibrantly at sixty as it was at thirty-five. These tips?some admittedly controversial?will provide information about simple changes you can make to alter the complexities

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