Book review: You’re Too Old To Die Young

Dan Zeman in his book “You’re Too Old To Die Young” points out to us baby boomers that medicine and technology has prolonged our lives but has maybe given us a false hope of prolonged quality of life.

Dan sheds a new light on the importance of physical activity. By the way, the book was written for us male baby boomers and at age 73 I could relate. 

Exercise, of lack thereof, seems to be the missing ingredient. As in the past, just living does not require much physical activity. Dan gives many examples of daily activities that we no longer have to do that us boomers will remember.  Yesteryear’s generations worked physically hard and easily exceeded today’s guideline for physical activity.

Today, as a replacement, just exercising three days a week does not do the job of replacing those activities we no longer do.  

Why is physical activity important if we don’t have to do it anymore? Because we live longer and we need to keep physically active to maintain good health and quality of life. If you thought exercise was just to live longer, you should reconsider.  It’s to help us remain healthy and able to perform the activities of daily living while living a longer life.

Dan suggests new ways of looking at exercise saying a key point is to realize the fun will not be found in the daily preparation, but with the smile that comes from the memory of completing the event. Being the leader of our community’s WALKING FOR FITNESS group I can totally relate to that observation.

Chapter 5 presents Dan’s Healthy Dirty Dozen which provides a clear picture of 14 choices you can still make to improve your health. I particularly like number 4 “Safety Measures Aren’t Just for Kids” with ideas to make us more anti-fragile.

I liked the reminder that we need both cardio and strength exercises.  In fact becoming more well-rounded in my exercise activities was advice I needed to hear. Walking is great and I do plenty of it, but doing some resistance and weights would do me good.

Dan reminds us to have fun with our exercise and gives some examples of how to do that.  We are likely to be more active if we are having fun.

Speaking about the aging male, it is pointed out that we can deal with the idea of death better than we can of living longer but not being able to take care of ourselves. Nobody wants to be totally dependent on others, especially us.  

How to remain flexible, mobile and maintaining our strength is our goal at this stage of life.  Dan tells us how to do that by redefining exercise to be fun, not boring, and at the right intensity, frequency and duration that you need.

Even if you are an exercise buff, Dan’s book will help you take a look at what you are doing now to see if it’s the best program for you at this stage of life.

Some of the best takeaways for me as a Race Walker were covered in topics like “Is it worth it?”, “How much is too much exercise?” and “Consider your exercise goals”.  

I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to my fellow male baby boomers and think you will find it interesting and benefit as well.

Robert Fowler
Retirement Media Inc.

Dan Zeman is an Exercise Physiologist with forty years of experience in the health, wellness, fitness and sports medicine arenas. More about Dan Zeman

By Robert Fowler

Robert Fowler is President of Retirement Media Inc. and publisher of Robert and his wife Mary Ann live at Village at Deaton Creek, a Del Webb Community in North Georgia. Robert has visited many 55+ Active Adult Communities and blogs about Active Adult Community Living.