DRHOOK- Staying young: Avoid smoking, eating, inertia
Facebook is pretty amazing to me– and a lot of fun! I was resistant for years to use this Internet site because I have too many things to do. However, it has connected me to long-lost friends as well as led me to make new associations for my growing media empire.
Connecting with long-lost friends has been very interesting. It's like going to my 25th class reunion. It's either, "Wow, you haven't aged a day!" or "Wow– ooo, ah– wow!"
Is there a Fountain of Youth?
I don't mean to be mean, but some folks I have known in the past have become as big as King Kong– with Godzilla wrapped around the abdomen. One of my classmates was smoking and drinking beer, and frankly, I couldn't tell who he was anymore. (It was worse than Matthew Perry before rehab.)
I kept thinking he must have diabetes and a heart attack just around the corner. That saddens me.
I know genetics plays a large part in how we age, but if you drag your body through gravel every day, nothing is going to save you from the physical damage.
Have you noticed that people who are consistent with yoga or Pilates tend to look great? Folks who care about regular exercise, stress reduction, and good diet usually look like a million bucks. When my Pilates instructor told me she was 51, I immediately looked for plastic surgery scars because she looks 30.
Staying active, especially physically active, is crucial to being healthy.
Did you see the world's heaviest man get married— lying in his bed? That reminded me of the four grandparents confined to bed in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. But they could only eat cabbage soup every day, so they didn't weigh 700 pounds.
Eva Longoria on Desperate Housewives has been made to look like she let herself go (which I think is an Emmy move– go girl!). Things change in all our lives, and sometimes the first thing to go is taking care of ourselves.
Sun worshippers want to look good now. Some dude on Project Runway said he was addicted to tanning, and he felt like his powers were being drained as his skin slowly turned pale. Kind of Samson and Delilah, no? I think he was only 26 years old, but to me his skin already looked 35. If he doesn't die from melanoma, his skin will soon look like an un-ironed potato sack.
Smoking makes people age like bananas in paper bag in the sun. All the chemicals in the tobacco damage almost everything: arteries, skin, lungs, gums. Smoking has been shown over and over by medical studies to be bad, bad, bad; but many kids get started and addicted to tobacco because they think it's cool. And it is– as cool as sucking your car's exhaust.
Low amounts of alcohol do show benefits, but some people like to party. Remember that Eddie Murphy song, "My girl wants to party all the time"? Ooh, so ‘80s. Too much alcohol pickles the brain and liver, and puts a strain on the heart. Plus a lot of violence and accidents are related to intoxication.
Harrison Ford said it best when critics said he looks old in his last Indiana Jones movie: they are older too! But Harrison looks great for his age and seems to be pretty fit– as was Paul Newman. I just hope I stay fit and healthy as I get older, or I'm going to have to change from Facebook to Faceliftbook.
Dr. Hook cracks a joke or two, but he's a renowned physician with a local practice. Email him with your questions.