How to Feel Younger Next Year – Book Feature


Welcome back to the Inspiration2grow podcast, the best place on the internet to uplevel your mindset, health and wellness all in one place.  My name is Lisa Oberbichler, your host, life coach and personal growth strategist.

This podcast is dedicated to exploring the intersection between physical and mental health and how the two are interconnected.
My aim is to provide a platform for meaningful conversations about building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and how to create a positive mindset to help you achieve your goals.

On today’s show I am reviewing or better said, summarizing the concepts of a book I have recently read.  I would strongly encourage everyone to get your hands on a copy, then share it with everybody you know over the age of 40 or 50.  The words touched me in a very special way because the authors’ message is what I have been preaching here on my podcast since its inception.  So, without further ado, let’s dive into the best book EVER, in my humble opinion.

We all expect to get older and slow down, right?

Our knees don’t like stairs, we feel discomfort just getting moving to start our day and our heart rate goes up just thinking about exercise.
It’s a predictable downward spiral that eventually finds us slumped in a lazy-boy recliner, sipping lukewarm tea or beer watching our favourite series on TV or reading the obituaries in the local newspaper.

No thanks.

If you don’t like the sounds of that scenario and you’d like to live: strong, fit, sexy and smart until you’re 80 and beyond. I’d like to introduce you to a book I recently purchased and consumed so quickly wanting then to run out and order as much copies as I possibly could to gift all my family members, friends, friends of friends, anyone and everyone.  It’s that good!

I recommend it to anyone who has fallen off the good health wagon.

The title of the book is: Younger Next Year. It’s not heavy on theory, but you will get solid advice that’s easy to put to work.
This New York Times best-seller book has been written by retired lawyer Chris Crowley and the late gerontologist Henry Lodge and delivers some of the simplest, most practical advice on healthy living.

Crowley is a recovering workaholic who’d neglected his health to the point of seeking medical help. This is how he met and eventually collaborated with Dr. Lodge on this book. Together they paint a pretty scary picture of what happens when we ignore our health and what’s possible when you put just a bit of attention every day on your health.

Listeners of this podcast know how important daily exercise has become for me both for my weight loss and to help my mobility issues. For the past 15 years, I haven’t exercised or gone to the gym regularly. 

Younger Next Year will help some you shift from an occasional, opportunistic athlete to a more consistent and intentional one. 

After reading this book, I am even more committed to my exercise routine and ensure I have at least one 60-minute heart-rate increasing session 6 times a week.  My spin classes are the best way to get this in.

In addition to my spin sessions, I make sure I walk our dog for 45 minutes, swim 3 – 4 times a week for 45 – 60 minutes each time, and incorporate 40 minutes of strength training 3 times a week.

That might seem excessive, but as I was explaining to some friends today…my painful joints are far less painful doing this, my sleep has improved immensely and I am losing the weight I need to lose in order to relieve my joints more and prepare for surgery next year.

Most important thing to me is consistency—Without having a structured plan of when and how I am going to get in my exercise and workouts, I am not as efficient with my time.  Sticking to a routine creates the healthy habits and the progress I want to see.

For motivation, I log all my workouts in a notebook. As obsessive as that might seem, the act of pulling out my trusty notebook at the end of the day to record my workouts is a big motivator. Every entry is a reminder that I had the willpower to overcome resistance and get the work done.

Now, let’s deal with resistance.

Anytime is a good time to start!

Your knees might be shot, bending over leaves you winded and you’ve let your belt out a notch (again).

That’s not a problem.

According to Crowley and Lodge, it’s never too late to regain balance, coordination, muscle, and aerobic capacity.  “Most aging,” wrote Lodge, “is just the dry rot we program into our cells by sedentary living, junk food, and stress.”

But you have to start somewhere.

In a five-year study of 10,000 men (hard to argue with those numbers), the fittest had one-third the mortality rate of the rest. But here’s the great news – the guys that got fit during the five-year study were able to drop their mortality rate by 50%!

Crowley, who’s now in his 70’s and still enjoys daily hard-core workouts, didn’t start turning his health around until his 50’s.

This is important: your body is ready to respond to what you throw at it. Sure you might be sore after your first bike ride or visit to the gym after a 20 year hiatus. But that just means your body is working – doing what it was designed to do – replacing old cells, adding muscle, and burning calories.

When starting out fresh, CONVENIENCE is the name of the game.

Choose an activity you can maintain every day, like walking, yoga, meditation, or cycling. And then choose the dietary/nutritional change you can keep every day, like drinking water in the morning, cutting back on coffee and alcohol, or reducing consumption of anything white (pasta, bread, muffins, potatoes).

If you look at what you tried to change but quit in the past, it probably failed because it wasn’t convenient.

Let’s start with something convenient, like walking, and why it might be a waste of time (the way you’re doing it now).

If you aren’t getting your heart rate up, you’re just wearing out your shoes.

It wasn’t until I read Younger Next Year that I realized I was missing out. With a little more effort, I’ve been able to turn my walks into a workout.

Here’s how it works.
According to the authors, we all need to elevate our heart rate to somewhere around 60-65% of our maximum heart rate to get any health benefit.
You can calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220 (medical experts will roll their eyes at this crude math, but for most of us it’s a good place to start.) For me, that is 220-57 = 163 BPM (beats per minute.) So a good, steady workout for me would be: 163 X .65 = 105.95 BPM.

The whole premise of Younger Next Year is to build healthy living every day. That means finding every opportunity you can in your day to get the body working. When you raise your heart rate you’re exercising your heart, building oxygen-carrying blood capacity, burning fat (that only happens when you exercise at 60-65% of max. for extended periods), and building muscle.

And you live longer, stave off dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, stroke, arthritis, heart disease, and stay slim. It’s also how you ski, swim, run, cycle, hike, or play pickleball into your 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.

You don’t need a heart rate monitor to know if you’re getting a workout. Just pause, take your pulse for 15 seconds, and multiply by 4. That’s your heart rate.
The authors are big on exercising with heart rate monitors (you wear an elastic strap around your chest, and a matching smartwatch reads out your heart rate). The idea is to get your heart rate up to 60-65% (at that level you’re working hard, but still able to talk) of your maximum heart rate for all workouts, even walking the dog. At that pace your body is building new blood vessels and mitochondria, basically increasing the size of your blood flow capacity, and (good news) burning fat.

Hunt Sabre-toothed tigers

Car manufacturers have a trick they’ve been playing on us for decades. They build new models on old chassis. The exterior is all buffed up and new, but it’s running on the same frame.

Our bodies are no different.

Our chassis (the heart, bones, organs, intestines, muscles, etc) haven’t changed much from our distant Palaeozoic age ancestors. Sure, we’re sporting Fitbits and eating salads for lunch, but how our body responds to what we throw at it hasn’t evolved much.

And central to how we respond is our design to hunt and hibernate.

Here’s how it works:
When we exercise we’re hunting. Hunting is good. That’s when our muscles are stressed, breaking down, and getting rebuilt. Hunting stimulates healthy disease-fighting white blood cells attacking bacteria, viruses, inflammation, cancer cells, and all sorts of nasties.

When we hibernate (sitting, reading a book, sleeping, watching TV, or writing) the body stores fat. Hibernation is good…in moderation. When our ancestors hibernated it meant winter must be coming or times were tough. When we hibernate we also load up.

In Younger Next Year, Lodge promotes a balance between hunting (making the body work for its meal) and hibernating (restore, rest, and get ready to hunt again). Do this year-round and you will avoid the worst health epidemic our developed world has ever experienced:

“About 60 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease. Most of them don’t know it, because it’s preclinical, but it’s there. That’s the vast majority of Americans over fifty. It’s been the leading cause of death since 1918, even before WW II. Being sedentary is formally classified as a major cardiovascular risk factor, increasing risk more than smoking or high cholesterol. Vigorous exercise, the real thing, cuts your risk of dying from heart attack in half.” (Dr. Henry Lodge)

The good news is the solution is simple. In fact, it needs to be simple and convenient or it’s not likely to last.

The solution is simple

The solution is simple: build exercise into every day. Here are some simple, convenient ways to get started:
Get up 15 minutes earlier and go for a brisk walk right after your first cup of coffee. Don’t debate it: stack your new walking habit on top of your coffee habit (rain or shine).

Park two blocks further from your office and walk to work.

Move your recycling box, garbage can, and water bottle away from your desk (even your printer) so you have to stand up to use them (this strategy is highly recommended by researchers who study the dangers of excessive sitting).

Build a habit of standing for phone calls or conference calls and taking short standing/walking breaks throughout your day. Aim for standing and moving at least every 30 minutes.

Three times a week download a favourite podcast (this one I hope!) and take in a brisk 30-minute walk or cycle right after work.

Drink a glass of water before meals so you’re less likely to overeat. Also waiting 20 minutes before getting seconds gives your body time to register how full you feel.

None of these are a big deal—you can easily work them into your day without much sacrifice, but the results will be huge.

Not only will you be feeling a change in your body something else magical will happen. And this surprised me:
When you keep a promise with yourself – especially one that is non-essential – and that builds willpower. Willpower is what it takes to get sh*t done, even when you don’t feel like it.

We can both conserve willpower (choose your clothes the night before) and build willpower. And exercising a simple habit like drinking a tall glass of water before your morning cup of coffee is a small way to make a deposit in the willpower account.

Like magic, you are becoming a stronger person in body and in mind. And that’s healthy.

Huge thanks to Chris Crowley and the late Henry Lodge for writing this book.  Their second edition has been updated with the latest research on keeping the brain young.  So, be sure to look for Edition 2 of Younger Next Year.  This book will be life-changing in more ways than one.

My hope is that you start to implement some of the ideas, tips and strategies that I talk about and I would love to know which ones have been beneficial for you personally.

I would also like to invite you to become part of the Inspiration2grow community on Facebook.  The group name is: Inspiration2grow for Female Goal-getters.  It is meant to be a community of like-minded women who want to grow strong from the inside out.  There will be daily journalling prompts, nutrition and fitness tips, exercises to try, encouraging conversations among the community and lots more.  So, be sure to join this group for support, new ideas and the necessary rocket fuel to propel your health and wellness to new heights.

You owe it to yourself to take care of yourself, show up for yourself and become the best version of YOU.

In case you haven’t heard it yet today, let me be the first to tell you…

You are incredible, capable and your potential is limitless.  Never forget that I believe in you 100%.  Now, go out there and show the world what you are truly made of.

I hope to have inspired you to grow.
Til next time,
Lisa  xoxo



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