I first heard of YOU: The Owner’s Manual: An Insider’s Guide to the Body That Will Make You Healthier and Younger from an episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show (I sometimes tune in while waiting for 5pm local news to come on), and I was impressed, seeing Dr. Michael Roizen, the RealAge dude, contrast two specimens of various human organs — one normal, the other diseased — and giving tips about how to live longer and stay younger longer that, as soon as I got back from Kalamazoo MI, I bought the book.
I’ve finished reading it, took some notes, and here’s the skinny (although I’d highly recommend that you get the actual book if you want to know more ::cue Starship Troopers music::).
1) Have supportive friends
2) Have an active group affiliation
4) Keep learning something new and/or add on to what you already know
5) Daydream a little
6) Have good posture
7) Have plants
8 ) Have frequent, high quality sex
9) Have pets (even if it’s just fish)
Physical Activity, page 139:
1) General Activity (like walking):
30 minutes EVERY DAY (can be broken into 10 minutes increments, 3X a day)
2) Resistance (Weights) Training :
30 minutes EVERY WEEK (can be broken into 10 minutes a day, 3X a week). Do enough reps/ weight load to the point of muscle fatigue failure (you can’t lift anymore — usually about 8-12 reps).
Brain (“Balance”) Test, page 86:
a) Stand on one leg and close your eyes. Try to keep your hands as close to your sides as possible (no airplane arms!)
b) The longer you can stand without falling, the younger your brain is (15 sec. is good if you’re 45 years old and older). It’s a sign of one kind of brain strength, proprioception (the ability to balance).
c) To develop better proprioception, you should use free weights (like dumbbells and barbells) in your resistance training, not weight machines. Weight machines are fixed to a surface, so you don’t balance as you lift with them.
3) Stamina (Cardio) Training:
60 minutes EVERY WEEK (can be broken into 20 minutes a day, 3X a week); swimming, rowing, cycling, speed walking — jogging and running hurts your joints.
Your heart rate should be 80% of your age-adjusted max, heart rate (that’s 220 minus your age).
Recovery time test:
a) at end of strenuous exercise, stop cold and check heart rate.
b) Wait 2 minutes, and check heart rate again — should decline 66 or more beats (indicates heart health).
30 minutes EVERY WEEK (can be broken into 5 minutes a day, every day)
5) Deep (Belly) Breathing:
10 deep breaths in the morning, 10 deep breaths in the evening, every day
Breath Test (do once a month to check overall fitness level):
a) Briskly run up 2 flights of stairs or walk six blocks.
b) If you can do either without pausing to rest, your lungs are in good shape.
6) Sleep: 7-8 hours, daily.
Depending on body size, you should burn through exercise 500-950 calories a day (that’s 3500-6500 calories a week). There are studies out suggesting a low-calorie, high nutrition diet (1500-2000 calories a day) may increase your life in years and overall health.
You’ll need more calories if you’re still growing (either because you’re a kid or because you want to grow more muscle/ bone mass) since 1 pound of muscle burns 75-150 calories a day; less calories if you’re mostly blubber, since 1 pound of fat burns 3 calories a day.
Diet Basics, page 347
1) Meal Schedule:
Eat when hungry; take a little bit of fat and protein with each meal (including breakfast); and make the last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime. Ideally, you should eat breakfast, snack mid-day, eat lunch, snack mid-afternoon, and eat dinner.
2) Plate Size:
9-inch plate (reduced portion size)
3) Foods, Daily:
*four handfuls of fruits (especially red, purple, and orange fruits like grapes, citrus, cranberries),
*five handfuls veggies (especially “cruciferous” veggies like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and garlic and onions),
*one handful of nuts (like walnuts),
*25 grams of fiber (like in whole grains, legumes, and plenty of fruit and veggies),
*mono-unsaturated fats (like in olive oil, nuts, avocados, and fish, and should be 25% of total daily calories),
*1 ounce dark chocolate;
*yogurt with active lactobacillus acidophilus (as much as you like);
4) Foods, at least 3X a week:
Fish (like salmon, tilapia, catfish, mahi mahi, flounder), one portion about the size of your fist
5) Foods, weekly:
*10 tablespoons of *cooked* tomato products (spaghetti sauce with olive oil and garlic, highly recommended) — or 2 tablespoons daily.
6) Foods, AVOID:
*Processed foods with trans fats and saturated fats — increases “lousy” LDL cholesterol;
*White foods like cream sauces, white bread, white rice, simple sugar — increases blood sugar and LDL;
*Products with high-fructose corn syrup (like soft drinks) — increases blood sugar
7) Drink, daily:
*64 ounces of water (8 eight-ounce glasses daily, preferably filtered);
*2 glasses low-fat milk;
*up to 24 ounces (about 3 cups) of tea and/ or coffee (decreases risk of Parkinson’s disease 40%, Alzheimer’s 20%)
*1 glass of red wine (at dinner or lunch);
8 ) Take, daily:
a) Multivitamin (with milk) that contains:
folate — 800 mcg
vitamin D — 400 IU
calcium — 1200mg (supplement and dietary sources)
magnesium — 400 mg
vitamin C — 1200 mg (don’t overdose!)
vitamin E — 400-800 IU
potassium — 3000 mg best from food sources, (one banana = 450 mg, one avocado = 1000 mg)
selenium — 200 mcg, found in garlic (don’t overdose!)
lycopene — 400 mg/ week or 10 T of cooked tomato sauce
vitamin A — 1500 IU, but no more than 2500 IU (don’t overdose!)
vitamin B6 — 6 mg
vitamin B12 — 25 mcg
zinc — 15 mg
beta-carotene — 15 mg (can be found in dietary sources, like colorful fruits and veggies)
copper — 2 mg
lutein — 1000 mg (found in food sources like corn, spinach, leafy green veggies)
resveratrol — in red wine
others — Daily Value
Note: No one multivitamin will contain all of these at these amounts, but if you follow the recommended foods, then the food sources will likely make up the difference. The only exception is folate (folic acid) since the human body absorbs folate poorly from food sources.
b) Aspirin — 162 mg (that’s half a regular aspirin, or 2 baby aspirin);
take with warm water before and after to dissolve faster and have less gastric upset.
THIS IS IMPORTANT! Decreases colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer by 40%. Systemically decreases inflammation, aids in lowering blood pressure. Start taking 162 mg aspirin a day FOR LIFE, starting at age 40 (younger if you already have degenerative symptoms that would usually occur in someone older that you are)
c) Omega-3 fatty acids — 3 grams; if you eat plenty of fish, nuts, avocados, and / or olive oil, no additional supplement needed. If you don’t, take pills.
Know Your Medical Stats
1) Blood pressure: optimal is 115/76. High blood pressure “literally gouges holes in your arteries” (page 52). Check every year after age 16.
2) Cholesterol: Aim for low “lousy” LDL (go as far below 200 as possible, 100 is optimal) and high “healthy” HDL (greater than 40). Eat less than 20 grams of trans and saturated fats to lower LDL, and consume healthy fats like olive oil, fish oil, and nut oil (like walnuts) to lower LDL and increase HDL.
3) Blood sugar: less than 100 mg/dl. Check once at age 20, again at age 35, then every five years after.
4) Family History — know it.
5) Regular medical checkups:
Men over 50 — annual prostate exam, especially prostate specific antigen (PSA) test.
Women — annual pelvic exam/ Pap smear; monthly breast self-exam; mammogram every other year after age 40.
For both: against colon cancer — homoccult test (blood in stool) after age 40, colonoscopy after age 50, every 3-5 years.
6) Thyroid check: once at age 55, every 5 years after.
1) Don’t smoke
2) Floss every day — gum disease is linked to cardiovascular disease
3) Be aware of food allergies and sensitivities; you might want to eliminate the offending food.
4) Avoid food poisoning
5) Skin — wear SPF 45 on all exposed skin daily. BUT get 10-20 minutes of sun exposure daily to convert inactive vitamin D to active vitamin D
Skin cancer screening: every year after age 30.
6) Eyes — wear UVA and UVB blocking sunglasses
7) Ears — avoid noises 85 decibels or higher OR wear ear protection
Ear Test: A diagonal crease in your ear lobes might indicate that you may be experiencing arterial aging (your arteries are aging).
8 ) Touch — don’t live with pain. Interrupt it with
*non-steriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen, acetominaphen, etc.;
*capsaicin creams (binds with pain receptors);
Pain Test: (you can do this yourself, but you might want to have a friend do it to you)
a) Take a needle and close your eyes
b) Rotate the needle so you don’t know whether it’s the blunt or sharp side.
c) Lightly prick yourself on the foot and see if you can tell which side is which.
d) If you can’t, it means you might have lost some of the quick-response or slow response pain filters, or both.
e) If this is a change from what you’re used to in the past, then you might want to see a doctor to rule out circulatory problems, like undiagnosed diabetes, etc.
9) Wash your hands
10) Poop every day (doesn’t have to be a lot; and if you don’t, you need more fiber in your diet)
11) Lose fat-weight if you can’t do the Balance Test and/or the Breath Test.
12) Take *all* of your prescribed antibiotics.
Three Things to Shorten the Common Cold (from 5 days to 3) at the First Sign of Symptoms:
1) Eat chicken soup — 1 cup/ 4x a day
2) Take zinc lozenges — one/ every 6 hrs
3) vitamin C — 500 mg/ 4x a day with LOTS of water, for 2-3 days.