Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being

by Andrew Weil

Hardcover, 2005

Call number

612.6 W



Knopf (2005), Edition: 1, 304 pages


Spontaneous Healing . . . Eight Weeks to Optimum Health . . . Eating Well for Optimum Health . . . The Healthy Kitchen-in each of his widely acclaimed, best-selling books, Dr. Andrew Weil has been an authoritative and companionable guide through a uniquely effective combination of traditional and nontraditional approaches to health and healthy living. Now he gives us a book about aging that is unlike any other in the breadth and depth of its information and understanding. Hugely informative, practical, and uplifting, it is infused with the engaging candor and common sense that have been the hallmarks of all his books. At the heart of Healthy Aging is Dr. Weil's belief that although aging is an irreversible process, there are myriad things we can do to keep our minds and bodies in good working order through all phases of life. To that end, he draws on the new science of biogerentology (the biology of aging) as well as on the secrets of healthy longevity- diet, activity, and attitude-that he has gathered firsthand from cultures around the world. In Part One-The Science and Philosophy of Healthy Aging-he explains how the body ages, and he explores the impact of gender, genes, environment, and lifestyle on an individual's experience and perception of the process of aging. He describes the various would-be elixirs of life extension-herbs, hormones, and antiaging medicines-separating myth from fact and clearly delineating the difference between the spurious notions of preventing or reversing the process of aging and the real possibilities of inhibiting or delaying the onset of diseases that become more likely as we age. He writes movingly about the ways in which an acceptance of aging can be a significant part of doing it well, and of recognizing and appreciating the great rewards of growing older: depth and richness of experience, complexity of being, serenity, wisdom, and its own kind of power and grace. In Part Two-How to Age Gracefully-Weil details an easy-to-implement Anti-inflammatory Diet that will protect the immune system and aid your body in resisting and adapting to the changes that time brings. And he provides extensive practical advice on exercise; preventive health care; stress management; physical, mental, and emotional flexibility; and spiritual enhancement-all of which can help you achieve and maintain the best health throughout the lifelong process of aging. Healthy Aging-a book for people of all ages-is Andrew Weil's most important and far-reaching book yet. From the Hardcover edition.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member chsbellboy
Dr. Weil sets up an indepth book exploring matters of modern medicine and how that information relates to personal health. His book is full of recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, and one that promotes physical well being.
LibraryThing member pjsullivan
This book aims not to extend life or to reverse the aging process but to “compress the morbidity” of aging. “To keep our bodies and minds in good working order” as we age. It urges acceptance of aging. A blend of science, medicine, philosophy, and psychology, it draws on both Western and Eastern medical and philosophical approaches. It offers a twelve-point program for healthy aging, which includes an anti-inflammatory diet.

A good discussion of the role of inflammation in the body and how to keep it in check. And how to keep the parasympathetic nervous system dominant over the sympathetic.

Interesting, but a mixed bag. Some good ideas to consider, some to argue with. They don’t go deep enough to satisfy me. They are not especially alternative or progressive. Certainly not radical. The author is very much a medical doctor, albeit an unconventional one. He believes in medicine, pills, dietary supplements, vaccines, etc., plus many other things that I consider best avoided (mushrooms, tea, herbs and culinary spices, soy foods, fish and fish oils). This book is too much science and not enough nature. What do I care if scientific research says that nicotine protects smokers from certain diseases? (page 221). That may be true, but so what? And I balk whenever he says that cooked foods are more nutritious than raw foods. Fact is, I trust Mother Nature more than I trust scientists. More than I trust this book.

A book to be read critically.
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