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How to Look and Feel 20 Years Younger
Bob Greene's book
Do you want to lose weight, erase wrinkles and get energized? Bob Greene says it is possible. Along with a team of top experts—dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer, sleep expert Dr. Ronald Kotler and nutritionist Diane McKay—Bob has written a new book called 20 Years Younger that he says can help you reverse the effects of aging.

"The important part is you feel 20 years younger, and your body functions as if it were 20 years younger," Bob says.

His program is built around four pillars: Exercise, nutrition, skin care and sleep. According to Bob, incorporating these pillars into your life can change your physiology, which will slow down aging and cause your body to function as if you were years younger.
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FROM: Turn Back the Clock: Look and Feel 20 Years Younger
Published on April 27, 2011

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Live Strong, Feel Great: Bob Greene's 3 Secrets to Feeling 20 Years Younger
Bob Greene
Maintain an Active Social Life
The love and companionship of others is integral to aging gracefully. It's well established that isolation or perceived loneliness is associated with conditions that age the body and put it at greater risk for age-related diseases. Loneliness has been found to raise blood pressure, affect sleep quality, and increase the production of the stress hormone cortisol. On the other hand, friendship has been associated with decreases in depression, increases in self-esteem, and better stress management.

Data from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Aging has shown that people age 70 and older who have an active social life can live 22 percent longer than those with a less active social life. And in 2008, researchers at Harvard's School of Public Health found that socially active seniors had a slower rate of memory decline than their peers.

But if I had to boil down all the sociopsychological factors that help you age well into one word, it would be happiness. It's happiness—that joie de vivre—that makes all the difference. The good news is that many people actually become happier as they get older. When researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed different age groups, people in their early 20s reported feeling sad an average of 3.4 days per month while people ages 65 to 74 felt sad only 2.4 days. Cheers!

Next: Want to reach 100?
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    Bob Greene's Better Body Boot Camp
    Three lucky O readers got the opportunity of a lifetime: a retreat at Santa Barbara's Bacara Resort & Spa with Oprah's personal trainer and his team of weight loss experts.
    Bob Greene
    Photo: Williams + Hirakawa
    Yolanda Duckworth would like to be able to wear a bikini by her 50th birthday. Amy Reeves wants desperately to put an end to her emotional eating. And Kerri Castellini needs to find time in her frenetic schedule to shed 20 pounds. Essentially, they all want the same thing: to commit to their own strength and health. That's why they're here in Santa Barbara, at Bob Greene's Better Body Boot Camp: an intense four-day program led by the exercise physiologist who has been coaching Oprah for nearly two decades.

    Day One


    On the way to their first meeting with Bob, the women follow the palm-lined pathways of Bacara Resort & Spa, a collection of Spanish colonial villas hugging the coast between the rolling Pacific and the Santa Ynez Mountains. They look more than a little nervous. Just last night, they flew across the country from Shreveport, Louisiana (Yolanda), Atlanta (Amy), and Washington, D.C. (Kerri), not entirely sure what they should expect from a "boot camp." Kerri was steeling herself for severely calorie-restricted meals. Yolanda had nightmarish visions of marathon sessions at the gym.

    To their great relief, Bob's greeting is decidedly un-drill-sergeant-like. After welcoming his campers with a big smile and hugs in an elegantly decorated, high-ceilinged meeting room, he sits down in an armchair and invites the women to settle into two white sofas. "The first thing I have to tell you," Bob says, "is that weight loss isn't just about diet and exercise. I've never seen success come from simply changing what you eat and how you work out. It's about breaking down your barriers—the hang-ups that are keeping you locked in an unhealthy lifestyle. Are you ready to break down those barriers?"

    The women nod. To help them, Bob has brought along three more experts: psychologist Ann Kearney-Cooke, PhD; dietitian Janis Jibrin; and life coach Angela Taylor. Over the next few days, in a series of sessions with their counselors, the women will sweat, bond, and cry as they face deep-seated fears about themselves and their relationships. For now, though, Bob simply wants to know what inspired them to come here.

    "I've always struggled with my weight," says Yolanda, a coordinator at a cancer hospital and research center. "I want to be the person inside, who no one knows." With big brown eyes and strikingly high cheekbones, Yolanda has such good posture that she appears taller than her five-foot frame. She tugs at the sleeve of her purple sweatshirt as she explains that since her mother's stroke six months ago, she's had little time to focus on her own health. She has given up her only form of exercise—daily three- or four-mile walks with her dog—and her weight has crept up to 167 pounds. Yolanda's goal is 135.

    Amy, a blonde, freckled second-grade teacher and mother of three, says, "My whole family is unhealthy. Even my 9-year-old son is becoming overweight, and I want to stop the trickle-down that's coming from me." At 5'5" and 140 pounds, Amy is at the top of the normal weight range for her height, but she and her two younger kids (the oldest is away at college) eat fast-food dinners three times a week and rarely exercise. Amy brushes a strand of hair over her shoulder and explains that her husband owns a business in South Carolina and comes home to Atlanta only on weekends. Taking care of their family alone is overwhelming, but she doesn't want to burden him by asking for help. Instead, she soothes herself with chips and cookies in front of the TV. The more she has on her to-do list, the less she's able to cope. Amy worries that if nothing changes, she and her children are headed for obesity.

    Bubbly, 5'2" Kerri, with her shiny chestnut hair pulled high into a ponytail, tells the group she has dropped 50 pounds in the past year—down from 215. The weight loss began by accident, 29-year-old Kerri explains. Depleted after finishing law school, she hit a gym near her apartment to de-stress, and 15 pounds just melted away. Liking the results, she began taking body-sculpting classes. She even changed how she socializes—catching up with friends for a walk instead of dinner. But now the scale won't budge. In fact, Kerri has added a few pounds since her low of 165. She would like to drop another dress size, to an 8.

    Bob reminds the women that he can't offer them any quick fixes; if they want to gain control of their bodies, they will need to reimagine their daily lives. He tells Yolanda, Amy, and Kerri to keep asking themselves one question for the duration of boot camp: "Do I feel deserving of the life I want?"
    PAGE 1 of 6

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      Excerpt from 20 Years Younger: Look Younger, Feel Younger, Be Younger
      Chapter 1: The Science of Aging
      Bob Green's book 20 Years Younger
      The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.

      —Frank Lloyd Wright


      Everyone has a notion of what it means to age. Whether it's a snapshot in your head of how your parents have slowed down or lines you see on your own face, for many people it has something to do with decline. Things not being the way they used to be. Everything less than before. A lot of people feel that aging is about loss. And in some ways it is. "Aging is a wide range of physiological changes that make us more susceptible to death, limit our normal functions and render us more susceptible to disease," says João Pedro de Magalhães, PhD, a researcher on the biology and genetics of aging and a lecturer at the University of Liverpool in England. I would add that the physiological changes that take place as we age can also render us more susceptible to psychological downturns. It's not uncommon for people to lose enthusiasm as they get older, disheartened by their physical deterioration and inability to live the way they used to.

      Do we have to age? It's the $6 million—or maybe I should say $6 billion—question and it's one that researchers the world over are donating a lot of time and money to answering. Some scientists are even hoping to answer the inevitable next question: Do we have to die? I don't think we're all that much closer to immortality than Ponce de León was when he went searching for the fountain of youth in 1513. However, we do have a much greater understanding of the aging process. And we are living longer: Over the last 150 years, the average life span has climbed from about age 45 to closer to age 80.

      Living longer is important, but the ultimate goal is to live longer and live well into your later years. And through the science of aging we now know that it's very possible. In fact, it's become clearer that not all the effects of aging we've come to expect are inevitable, and that by making certain lifestyle choices you can dramatically slow those effects down—and maybe, in some cases, even eradicate them. We all age—that is undeniable—but your likelihood of aging poorly increases if you decide to sit back and leave well enough alone. To the contrary, take action and you'll retain your vitality, age gracefully and, yes, have a longer, better life.

      Each of the subsequent chapters in this book asks you to make certain lifestyle changes toward that goal. The reasons behind those changes will be clearer if you know a little bit about the theories of why we age and the physiological consequences of growing older.


      Theories on Why We Age
      Scientists have long debated a central question about aging: Why? Why do we age? Many of them, both past and present, fall into the evolutionary camp. In the late 1800s, a German by the name of August Weismann was one of the first to promote an evolutionary theory. He believed that we're programmed to age and die in order to make room for the younger generation, continuing the evolution and betterment of the species. You might call it planned obsolescence.

      Over time, the evolutionary theory of aging has, well, evolved and other theories have risen to the fore. One, called the mutation accumulation theory, is based on the idea that undesirable genes that cause the death of children get weeded out; they're not passed on to the next generation. But undesirable genes that don't cause death until late in life get passed on from generation to generation because the people who have those genes have children before their death. Over successive generations, those genes have accumulated, predisposing people to contract diseases as they grow old, then die.

      Another well-known evolutionary theory is called the antagonistic pleiotropy theory. Its central idea is that some genes may be beneficial to us in our early lives but detrimental to us as we grow older. For instance, genes that increase a woman's ability to reproduce may also ultimately lead to menopause and all the health hazards (among them, bone loss and an increased risk of heart disease) that go with it. According to the antagonistic pleiotropy theory, evolution may select for genes that favor youth because the chances that humans and other organisms will survive accidents, predators and disease to live long lives are slim (or at least they were before modern medicine).

      The other major theories on why we age have less to do with evolution and more to do with the cumulative effects of damage to the body. Over the years, injury from simple wear and tear, sun damage, a poor diet, smoking, pollution, even the body's own metabolic processes, add up to promote aging and eventual death. One of the most prominent of these theories focuses on oxidative stress. Oxidative stress refers to the injury done to DNA, cells and tissues in the body by free radicals, molecules with unpaired electrons that are produced when the body metabolizes oxygen. Free radicals also become present in the body through all the injurious means I just mentioned (poor diet, etc.). In their incomplete state, free radicals become thieves, stealing electrons from other molecules and wreaking havoc along the way. The damage they leave in their wake is often compared to the rusting of metal. The body has the ability to absorb free radicals and repair the damage they do, but its defense system tends to weaken over time, leaving it vulnerable to disease.

      Like all theories about the cause of aging, the oxidative stress theory is just that, theory. We don't know for sure if unbound free radicals are the main cause of aging; however, we do know that free radicals cause harm and that oxidative damage can certainly age your body, decrease your quality of life and even shorten your life span. More specifically, by damaging a cell's DNA, oxidative stress can be the first step to transforming a healthy cell into a cancer cell (cancer also has other causes, such as inherited genetic mutations).

      Free radicals influence LDL (bad) cholesterol as well, making it even more prone to sticking to the walls of arteries and increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, erectile dysfunction and other conditions. Many of the strategies you'll read about in this book are aimed at preventing and repairing free radical damage. I'll be recommending many foods that contain antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C and certain phytonutrients that disarm and disable free radicals. These dietary watchdogs also boost the body's own free radical defense system.

      Likewise, the exercise program will help turn up your body's own free radical-fighting capabilities. A lot of Dr. Lancer's skincare recommendations also focus on quenching free radicals that degrade collagen and elastin, the proteins that give skin its structure and bounce. In addition to free radicals, inflammation has been implicated in aging because of the role it plays in so many age-related diseases. (They're actually related—free radicals can cause inflammation.) Short-lived inflammation is a good thing; it's the body's defense against a flu virus, bacteria, a wound, a chemical irritant and other kinds of trauma. Inflammation occurs when, triggered by damage, immune cells rush into the injured area, releasing compounds that destroy bacteria or promote wound healing. When the condition resolves, the immune response goes away. At least, most of the time. Sometimes, for a number of reasons, inflammation persists. That's called chronic inflammation, and it's been linked to everything from cancer and heart disease to diabetes, dementia and even wrinkles. While it's far from certain that inflammation is the major culprit in aging, anything you can do to reduce inflammation—such as exercise regularly—will reduce the cumulative effects of aging.

      In the evolutionary theory of aging, genes determine aging and, ultimately, death. In the damage theory of aging, factors such as unhealthy food, stress and even the body's own metabolic processes are the primary agents. However, many people, including me, believe that aging is a combination of both. All the recommendations in this book, in fact, are predicated on the idea that you are working both with your own genetic predispositions and with the things in life that you can control, such as what you eat and how much you exercise.
      PAGE 1 of 6
      FROM: Turn Back the Clock: Look and Feel 20 Years Younger
      Published on April 27, 2011

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        Bob Greene: Lisa Oz on Diet and Exercise
        Bob Greene
        She is a mother of four, a yoga fanatic and married to Oprah Radio host Dr. Mehmet Oz. Lisa Oz joins Bob to talk about life as the wife of America's Doctor, as well as her own approach to diet and exercise.

        As a cardiac surgeon and author of numerous books on nutrition, one would think Dr. Oz was always a healthy eater. But Lisa says it was actually her influence that nudged him down the road to good health. Lisa says Dr. Oz grew up eating typical American fare, including foods like fluffer-nutter sandwiches, whereas she grew up in a household where healthy eating was a top priority.

        Despite Bob's best attempts to find out if Dr. Oz ever slips up on his diet today, Lisa says he truly does practice what he preaches. "There's lots of dirt, but none of it's nutritional," she jokes. "He doesn't like bad food! Even if I had some [candies] and offered him one, he wouldn't take them. He doesn't like it."

        Lisa says her mother was a nutritional consultant among other things, and her father is a cardiac surgeon. When Lisa was in her teens, she says her mother decided that the entire family would switch to a vegetarian diet, which Lisa says she has followed ever since. Whole grains and organic foods were a part of their everyday diet. "That was always emphasized in our house—healthy, healthy," Lisa says.

        Lisa says exercise was always an important part of her life, too. Growing up, she says she was involved in sports and was the captain of her college tennis team. These days, Lisa says she and Dr. Oz have a gym in their home where she tries to work out for an hour each day. She says her current regimen includes yoga and Pilates, as well as some cardio and weight training.

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        The One Way to Boost Your Mood, Sleep Better and Look Great
        Oprah's trainer, Bob Greene, helps you scrap the excuses for good.
        Woman being ejected from sofa
        Photo: Levi Brown
        Terane Weatherly's church buddies kept trying to coax her to join them at the gym, but she always turned them down because of her size.

        "A gym is very intimidating when you've never been into physical fitness," says the 48-year-old insurance associate from Connecticut, who weighed 285 pounds in 2005. Then one day at work, Terane had a seizure and was rushed to the emergency room—but she was too heavy to fit into a closed MRI machine.

        Although the episode convinced Terane to start exercising, she still hadn't found her lasting motivation. The real turning point wouldn't come until several months later, when she ran across a picture of herself. "I thought I was looking real good that day, but when I saw the photo, I felt horrible," she says. "I said to myself that I'd better take this seriously. I joined a weight loss program with my sister and committed to hitting the gym twice a week." She also started walking three miles every weekend, and doing the little things that add up, like taking the stairs and parking at the farthest end of the lot. Terane had finally decided to start her new life as an active person.

        So many people can relate to Terane's initial resistance to physical activity. Although the reasons may be different—I don't have time; I'm too tired—the result is the same: a sedentary lifestyle. But while exercise aversion is rampant, the simple truth is this: As human beings, we were meant to move. When we don't, we increase our risk of virtually every known ailment, from diabetes to coronary heart disease to osteoporosis to stroke. And it's not just that a lack of exercise promotes disease; a commitment to exercise can actually prevent it. We now know, for instance, that exercise strengthens the immune system and may help guard against cancers associated with body fat, including cancers of the esophagus, pancreas, colon, kidney, and breast. Exercise also boosts metabolism, helps you sleep, improves your mood, and gives you more energy.

        All this should be enough to get anyone in their right mind to the gym, but lots of otherwise sane men and women don't even own a pair of workout shoes. The number one reason is that many people simply hate exercise. But if you're one of those people, let me state it plainly: You need to do it. Even if you don't care about all the health benefits, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, there's no way around it. You have to exercise. People who have long-term weight management success are physically active.

        The challenge is to get past your resistance to activity. It's time to think about the reasons you might be reluctant to exercise, as well as ways to motivate yourself and overcome obstacles. You may never learn to love exercise (though a lot of former exercise haters do), but you will learn to love what it does for you.

        That's certainly true for Terane, who now maintains her weight at about 140 pounds. She's setting a great example for her three kids and has more energy to devote to her passion: volunteering for her church, which includes helping at homeless shelters, attending conferences, "and basically anything my pastors need me to do that I now have enough strength, energy, and determination for."

        Terane's story shows that what motivates someone to transform herself can be as big as a health scare or as small as a photograph. Whatever your turning point, the new perspective it provides will help you look at your life, your weight, and your priorities in a totally different light—and when that revelation hits you, you'll know it.
        *****
        Until you have a reason to be physically active—a reason that matters, and matters deeply—then you are not going to stick with exercise. The importance of a significant motivating factor is something I've seen again and again among my clients. And the research backs me up. One study from Portugal divided overweight women into two groups. Both received standard advice on diet and exercise, but one group was also encouraged to develop a personal, emotional incentive for staying active. After a year, the group that had incorporated the psychological component had lost an average of 12 pounds of body fat, compared to just under three pounds for the other volunteers. What I find especially interesting about this research is that it shows that inner motivation can be acquired.

        With this in mind, I'm offering you ten reasons to exercise. Some you'll read and think, "Yeah, I guess so." That's not the reaction I'm going for. I want you to find the one that inspires you to say, "That is what I care about!" Then you'll know you're on the right track.

        Next: 10 reasons to exercise (pick at least one)
        PAGE 1 of 4

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          1 Comment
          Jacqueline Hoskie
          2 days ago
          I love own, thanks for all the great info.

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