Many of my patients have had success against aging problems. I only use these general guidelines after reviewing a patient’s personal and medical history, performing a thorough examination and evaluating the laboratory studies to make sure that the program will be beneficial.
Please see your own physician before embarking on any treatment program for aging. When discussing anti aging with my patients, I draw a picture of a hand, labeling the thumb and each of the fingers with one of five points in the program.
I do this because I want to emphasize, as strongly as possible, that they have within their hands the power to slow the deterioration of their minds and bodies. Each of the five points is important and should not be overlooked.
- Good nutrition. Any anti-aging program must start with proper nutrition. Unless you need a special diet, the best is a low fat, low cholesterol diet rich in the complex carbohydrates found in vegetables and whole grains. I like to see my patients eating four to five servings of vegetables a day, at least two to three pieces of fruit, a couple of servings of whole grains, plus some legumes (peas, beans and lentils). I prefer a vegetarian diet myself, but have no quarrel with small amounts of very lean beef or chicken without skin (preferably from animals that were not filled with chemicals and hormones). Low fat fish is excellent. Some high fat fish, such as salmon, is also good because it contains the helpful omega 3 fatty acids.
- Supplements and medications. I devise individualized antioxidant supplementation programs for my patients, including beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and alpha lipoic acid, Coenzyme Q10 and proanthocyanidins. In addition, I’ve found that Equiniilk capsules, made by Biohealth of Irvine, Calif, help to strengthen the immune system. (Equimilk is derived from mare’s milk from southern Austria.) As necessary, anti aging supplements such as piracetam, deprenyl, DHEA, acetyl L-carnitine and the other substances discussed in this chapter can be helpful.
- Exercise. It’s vitally important to exercise as much as possible (with your doctor’s consent) in order to keep your bones and muscles strong and to strengthen your heart. If all you can do is walk, that’s fine. I encourage my patients to walk 30 minutes a day, at least four days a week. Begin at a comfortable pace, working up, if possible, to two consecutive, 15-minute miles (the old Army pace). And because we tend to lose muscle mass as we age (many of us can hardly hold our backs straight and our heads up), it’s very important to do some light weight training for the muscles of the upper body (arms, neck and back).
- Optimism and enthusiasm. A positive, joyful mind set enables us to handle stress, to get over the “bumps of life.” And we know that enthusiastic, optimistic people are generally healthier that those who are unhappy and fear for the worst. Positive thoughts enhance the immune system and encourage us to do all the things necessary to stay young and healthy.
- Age with grace. Although Cicero said that “old age must be resisted and its deficiencies restored,” we must remember that with age comes change. We will all benefit by accepting the fact that we’re not going to have the body of an 18 year old forever, and that we all have to make concessions to time. Gypsy Rose Lee showed us how to accept aging with grace and humor when she said, “I still have everything that I had 20 years ago except now it’s all lower.”