of your body. Whenever the science gets thin because we can't accurately extrapolate fifty years into the future, we offer the advice that we would give our families.
YOU Tools: On page 334 and throughout the book, we've created programs that you should implement in your life. They'll help you decrease stress, stop smoking, get the right lab tests, deal with anger, and so many other things. In addition, you'll get a special chapter on ways you can improve your body (and mind) with workouts that work for everyone.
The YOU Extended Warranty Plan: At the end of the book, we'll provide a fourteen-day plan for doing the little things every day that make a big difference so that you can live longer and live younger. This plan will serve as the blueprint for your future decades.
YOU: The Principles of Longevity
It turns out that one of the best predictors of aging isn't how slowly you drive in the left-hand lane or whether or not you wear plaid pants. It's your own perception of how healthy you are. So indulge us for a moment and answer this question:
How healthy are you compared to other people your age?
v Very good
If you selected fair or bad, you're thirty times more as likely to die in the next two years. If that's not enough to scare the Pop-Tart right out of your mouth, then we're not sure what is. But we're not in the business of trying to frighten you to make changes; we simply want you to see that you're responsible for making your own "most livable city" list. Are you happy in your body? Do you want to live there? Where do you rank your own health? Would it top anyone's list?
The answers to these questions provide the ultimate answer to how long and well you will live. Why? Because the truth is that you likely have a gut feeling about how well you're living; about how healthy you are and about your personal weak links. Your innate feelings about your body may lead to the ultimate insight?that you may not be headed in the right direction. Luckily, science is here to help. And given what science has uncovered recently (recently, as in, some of this stuff could never have been talked about ten or even five years ago), you're going to be able to make the changes.
Before we jump into the book with explanations about these wondrous biological processes?and the specific conditions and aging-related problems you can control?let's explore what, in fact, science has found. Once you understand these new principles of longevity, you'll be better equipped to shift your actions. These five principles will change the way you think about the way your body ages.
1. Aging Is Really About Trade-offs
Despite what you think, aging?in the traditional way that we think of it, with everything slowly and painfully shutting down?isn't "meant to be." It's not an effect of life. It's actually more of a side effect of a grander plan for humans.