I was in Singapore a few years ago and met a guy named YS Nam that recommended I read Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley. It’s a book about aging and how to stay healthy both mentally and physically as time passes.
It was eye opening for me. Once you get into your 50’s this needs to be mandatory reading- we’re all into the same stuff at that point in terms of aging. Even people 40 and up should read this! I would have liked to have known about a lot of the health tips Chris offers in here so I could really dig the well before I was thirsty.
The bottom line is we all want to live long, healthy lives, but almost nobody knows how to get there. Being healthy both mentally and physically as you age is a tremendous process that plays itself out over time. I was privileged to talk with Chris over the phone shortly after I read the book about this topic. If you are getting up there in age and want to know how to live better, read this book. If you’re middle-aged and want to prepare yourself for aging, read this book. And, if you’re on the younger side and want to set yourself up well for the future, READ THIS BOOK!
Brandon Steiner What are the two biggest takeaways someone should have from Younger Next Year?
Chris Crowley: Behavioral change can make a profound effect on your life at any age, especially in the “third act.” Something you control can make a huge difference. Exercise is the flywheel of the good life.
BS: Talk about the tide of aging, not just the physical aspect of it, but also the mental. Is the tide strong?
CC: The tide is less strong than you think, but the tide runs 24/7, all the time. Because it is so steady, you think that it is very strong. If you can send some of the anti-aging signals you can overcome that tide to an extraordinary extent, not completely and not forever, but for a long time and an awful lot.
BS: How can you age more effectively?
CC: Step 1: be a serious exercise person. It makes so much sense and once you understand it there’s a decent chance you’ll do it. It is a profound game-changer.
Step 2: quit eating crap. We all eat so much garbage in this country and it makes us sick. Basically quit eating garbage.
Step 3: Get in touch with people. Get in touch, stay in touch, be connected. We’re mammals, we’re designed to be together. We get isolated at our peril.
BS: What clicked in for you? How did you all of sudden decided you needed to write this book?
CC: Two things went on. I wanted to write. I was a Wall Street lawyer and I said I was going to write someday. Then, I said I’m 13 years older than the oldest baby boomer. If I just write a book saying what’s going to happen, I’ll sell a bunch of them. Then, some exercise guy showed me these goofy charts displaying the change in your effectiveness if you exercise. They were amazing! Do a few things and you flatten that curve of aging.
BS: What’s your best diet advice? How do you get started?
CC: There’s so many things, it’s just so darn hard. If you quit eating processed foods completely, that’s where you can start. Don’t go to the fast food places. Don’t eat the stuff in the middle 80% of the supermarket. Eat veggies, fruit and lean meat. Easy. Quit drinking so much.
Quit eating refined wheat and refined sugar. White flour was such a miracle when it happened. White bread, white flour and all the stuff it appears in.
BS: If there was one regret you had in your aging process what was it? And, what did you do to make up for it?
CC: I wouldn’t have minded starting on this program when I was a bit younger. Luckily I was fairly healthy anyhow. I think about a good friend of mine, the famous writer James Salter who died a little while ago at 90 (he was an Air Force pilot before that). He started writing when he was 32. I sometimes wish I had become a writer earlier because I enjoy it so much. I was a lawyer for 25 years doing litigation- that was a lot of fun. I don’t have many regrets.
BS: Is there a chapter in the book that if you need to make sure to get to and study?
CC: Read them all, but read the first two.
BS: Will there be another book for you?
CC: Coming out in December is the Younger Next Year exercise book. (The book has since been released, click here to check it out too!)