Ageless... it's not all in your genes!
You needn't go to extremes of excessive exercise, rigid dieting, and so on, just to live longer. Edward L. Schneider, a renowned expert on longevity and Dean of the Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, has written an authoritative book on the subject of living longer and better. His book, entitled AgeLess, is devoted to increasing health and vitality through ageing research and education.
For three decades, Schneider participated in a radical shift in the understanding of the ageing process. While scientists once thought that the secret to longevity was to choose healthy grandparents who lived to a ripe old age - not an easy proposition - there is now evidence to prove that it's not all in your genes. In fact, your daily actions and attitudes are the strongest influence on how well you age, via specific biochemical and neurological effects on your biological clock. This means that the ability to increase your health and longevity is in your hands.
The following AgeLess Nutrition Pyramid is based on the latest nutrition research of the Novartis Foundation, 2003:
Introducing Edward L. Schneider's new book AgeLess, editor Robert Griffith describes Schneider's reasons for writing the book, his measure of individual longevity - the Longevity Quotient (LQ), and the basis for his New Rules for improving one's LQ. The LQ quiz in Ageless can help you to see where you are on track for a long and vigorous life, and where you have room to change. A true assessment of your current situation is critical to prioritising your personal longevity plan.
To help you measure your health span - and change it - Schneider has developed a measurement plan called the longevity quotient (LQ). For those who are familiar with this form of assessment, the term intelligence quotient (IQ) test was introduced by Dr. William Louis Stern in 1912 to predict how an individual will perform in comparison to the population on various cognitive tasks. Likewise, Schneider has developed LQ quizzes to size up people's habits to help assess the length and quality of health span in six key areas. These six habits that can help you age less fall into six categories:
- Weight management
- Engagement with life
- Hormone replacement
With regard to hormone replacement there is no one-size-fits-all answer, and decisions about hormone replacement therapy need to be considered on a case-by-case (or woman-by-woman) basis in consultation with one's family doctor.
And so, will you be playing tennis on your 85th birthday or struggling to get out of a chair at 60? Should you expect your energy and sex drive to fizzle by age 45 or will you hit middle age with body and mind in their prime?
11 june 2003
- On nutrition http://www.longevityquotient.com/?pageName=agelessNutritionPyramid
- On sexuality and ageing** http://dlibrary.acu.edu.au/staffhome/yukoszarycz/aged/Elder1.htm
** This site may contain material that is of a sensitive nature.