Unlike any other book Martha Stewart has written.
Reviewed in the United States on 3 May 2013
When I saw Martha Stewart on a morning news show talking about this new book, Living the Good Long Life, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from it. As with all of her books, I expected this one to contain good information regarding healthy eating, exercise, and other useful suggestions on making our lives better. I expected organizational ideas, decorating suggestions, and maybe some good recipes. I had no idea that she had compiled such a wealth of information regarding virtually every aspect of life for those of us approaching our "older" years. I am in my 50s, and I am grateful to be reading this "early", but this contains vital information for people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s as well.
Martha states several times that it's never too late to start a healthy living regimen...not just physically but also mentally. She has established the Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai Medical Center in honor of her mother, and its purpose is geriatric research and development. This book is filled with great information regarding all aspects of life as we age. I started reading and couldn't put it down.
In the foreword written by Dr. Audrey Chang, she states that "While nobody can expect to live forever, the goal is to live the time we have with the best health and physical/mental capacity possible." This is so true! But this book is about so much more than that. Martha compares growing old gracefully to the life of a bonsai tree...always changing...growing more interesting through the years. I like that thought.
The book is written in larger than usual print, which I really appreciated. The layout is easy to read. You can find the topic you're looking for by following the Table of Contents or Index. Each chapter lists the topics that are in that chapter, so you can go right to the information you want to reference. There's a good listing of resource material at the end, as well as suggested reading material. The chapters are divided into two parts. I'll briefly mention (not by any means a complete listing) what the chapters contain in order for you to get an idea of what's in the book.
PART ONE: Healthy Living Today
Chapter 1: Healthy Eating
The importance of eating "real food", vitamins and minerals and their natural sources, stocking your pantry, mindful eating, samples of easy and basic healthy meals (including photos).
Chapter 2: Healthy Fitness (lots of illustrations)
Importance of being active every day; benefits of walking, yoga, stretching; improving balance; strength training.
Chapter 3: Healthy Brain
Creativity, healthy eating, mental exercises, effects of medications on the brain/memory.
Chapter 4: Healthy Outlook ("...age really comes down to spirit___the age you feel you are inside, no matter how old you are outside)
Being optimistic, changing negative thoughts to positive thoughts, having a purpose for your life, doing something new, what role pets play in our lives, social connections, laughter.
Chapter 5: Healthy Living Every Day
Maintaining your health through proper care of your body, immunizations, screenings, and sleep; building up your immune system; eye, oral, bladder, sexual health.
Chapter 6: Healthy Looks
Caring for and protecting your skin, identifying cancer, makeup, healthy hair.
Chapter 7: Healthy Home (pictures)
House design, safety issues, organizing, decluttering, lighting, plants, cleaning.
PART TWO: Healthy Living Into Tomorrow
Chapter 8: Healthy Living Into the Future
How to proactively prepare for your older years, choosing your physicians, reducing your risks of health problems, preparing for a hospital stay.
Chapter 9: Healthy Caring
Understanding the options when it comes time to decide on how to care for your elderly family member, financial considerations, insurance, end-of-life decisions, how to make your loved one's final days comfortable and enjoyable, and preparing for the end.
I have to emphasize again that this is a very abbreviated list of the huge amount of information you'll find in this book. I especially think the last few chapters on caring for the elderly and making end-of-life decisions is so important. This book covers so much territory.
The book is appropriate for men and women alike. It would be good reading for anyone approaching middle age...or older...and will inspire them to take control of the rest of their lives. It would also be good reading for anyone who has aging parents or is a caretaker of the elderly. This is one I'll be keeping for future reference.
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