When Cameron Diaz was nearing her fortieth birthday, she started to get questions about aging. More questions she got, more curious she grew about it herself. She was wondering how to stay healthy and strong for many years to come. After the success of her first book The Body Book, she decided it was time for her and Sandra Bark (the coauthor of The Body Book), to educate themselves about aging and share their findings in their next book. They consulted with scientists, researchers, and physicians, visited research centers and universities, and summarized everything they learned in a book. The Longevity Book is the result of their journey to comprehend better the science of aging and what it means to women in their day-to-day life.
Aging in three parts
The book is divided into three parts: Living in the Age of Longevity, The Biology of Aging, and The Art and Science of Living Longer.
In 1850, the life expectancy for a woman in the United states was about forty years old. Less than two hundred years later, that figure has doubled.
In the first part of the book, the authors explain how and why our life expectancy increased so much. In the last hundred years, a lot has changed in medicine, in particular for women. Now, physicians, researchers, and scientists take female body composition, female cells, and female hormones into consideration in determining the best treatment and care for any health related issue. All these things (our body composition, our cells, and hormones) influence how we age, determine our predisposition to certain diseases. They also affect how we experience symptoms, and respond to treatment.
We can’t rely on medicine developed twenty years ago for our treatment today. The only way to stay informed is to ask your doctor lots of questions, and to keep on asking if you still aren’t sure of the answer.
The second part is like a dense, female-focused biology book where everything from a cell, its structure, composition, and function is explained. The authors dedicate one chapter to the changes woman’s body goes through over the years. They continue with describing the changes in each system, e.g. respiratory, cardiovascular, visual, nervous, etc. and finish with tips on how to protect, strengthen, and keep healthy each of these systems.
The way your body looks will change. The way your body responds to your nutrition and exercise habits will change. The way you feel in your body and about your body will change.
The last part of the book talks about all the elements that contribute to a healthy body and which help you age well. Importance and benefits of a good night’s sleep, proper nutrition, and fitness are discussed. The authors share findings from research about the relationship between these building blocks of a strong, healthy body. They provide tips on how to eat for a healthy cardiovascular system, how to protect your brain with a proper food and exercise, and how to rest to keep calm and retain long-term memories. They explain how being a part of a community and among friends leads to happiness and joy. And how these feelings affect our health.
The Longevity Book is full of information, advice, tips, and encouragement. There are things you might have known, but also things that should be repeated, again and again. The book is not preachy; it’s more like a written record of a discussion with a friend. A discussion about topics relevant to staying healthy and happy as we age.
In this book, Cameron Diaz and Sandra Bark don’t share just their personal opinions and experience. They researched the topic of aging, gathered information, and discussed it with physicians, scientists and researchers. And at the end of the book, they list all the resources – websites, books, and scientific articles. If you would like to learn more about aging, you can continue by reading these sources.
Have you read the book? Or do you have other sources for information about staying healthy and happy throughout the life?