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The RealAge(R) Workout

Maximum Health, Minimum Work

The RealAge(R) Workout by Michael F. Roizen
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Dr. Michael F. Roizen has empowered thousands of Americans to take control of their own destinies. How? His best-selling books, RealAge®, The RealAge® Makeover, and YOU: The Owner's Manual, have helped people reverse their chronological aging by ten, fifteen, and up to twenty-nine years by revealing simple lifestyle changes that have profound effects that control their genes -- and thus control their health and the aging process.

Chances are you picked up this book because you, too, want to be healthier and younger. The RealAge® Workout explains the importance of gradually phasing exercise into your everyday routine, because even the smallest changes in behavior can make you feel, look, and be younger. No matter how busy your schedule, Dr. Michael Roizen will show you how to gain the maximum age-reduction benefits from a minimum amount of time and effort.

Before you take your first step, The RealAge® Workout offers a series of calculations that factor in age, genetics, and lifestyle so you can determine your overall status of health and create a program to help you plan and execute your goals. The RealAge® Workout then begins with a simple, yet life-changing premise -- just by walking 30 minutes a day, every day, you can roll back the years, significantly improve the status of your overall health, and have more energy to work and do the things you love.

After you've adjusted to this change in your lifestyle, The RealAge® Workout will guide you through a series of training phases during which you will steadily develop your foundation muscles and eventually add a stamina-building program to help you maintain improved health. You will learn how to lift weights safely and effectively through step-by-step instructions with photographs and easy-to-understand explanations. Additionally, there are charts that help you determine the RealAge effect -- the number of biological years younger you become with each change you make.

Along the way, The RealAge® Workout dis-cusses common myths, addresses frequently asked questions pertaining to age and lifestyle choices, and offers tips to actually enjoy, yes, even love, exercise. So get ready to achieve optimal health and be as young as you can be!

HarperCollins; July 2009
240 pages; ISBN 9780061957741
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: The RealAge(R) Workout
Author: Michael F. Roizen; Tracy Hafen

Chapter One

The RealAge® Promise

Lazy? No, Just Time-Challenged

"Tell me the truth, Mike. What's the MINIMUM amount of physical activity I must do to produce the MAXIMUM health benefit?" This is a great question I'm often asked by my patients who -- busy with careers or family, with little free time to spare -- still want to safeguard their health and their futures. Perhaps you have wondered this, too. Well, the answer is now in your hands. Whether you want to regain the vigorous health of your youth, stay feeling as good as you do today in the years to come, or get into even better shape than ever while slowing your rate of aging, The RealAge® Workout will show you how.

What is the program based on? The RealAge Scientific Advisory Board has reviewed over 35,000 scientific studies on aging, over 5,000 alone on the effects of exercise on health, and has culled the wheat from the chaff. The kernels have been tested and proven (and reproven time and time again) on my patients, and now I'm going to give them to you. I will help you create a goal of how young you want to be, and design a concrete plan that will help you to achieve your goal.

The wonderful truth is that aging is a process that you can control. There are literally hundreds of steps you can take -- things you can do -- that will enable you to play golf, relish conversations or crossword puzzles, travel to faraway places, dance the night away, and even climb mountains until near the day you die. That, in a nutshell, is what the RealAge concept is all about.

The RealAge system:

  • Allows you to know how old you really are -- in biological, not chronological, terms. (To determine your RealAge, take the test at
  • Enables and motivates you to change your RealAge and develop the health profile of someone who is chronologically many years younger. (Today, a 75-year-old man can make his RealAge 27 years younger than his calendar age and a 75-year-old woman can make her RealAge 29 years younger than her calendar age.)
  • Views health not as the prevention of disease but as the prevention of aging.
  • Is based on scientific data that you can slow the pace of aging and actually reverse it. You can control which of your genes are turned on or off -- all genes do is make proteins or regulate other genes, and which of your genes are turned on is in your control.

Research has demonstrated that lifestyle choices and behavior have a far greater impact on longevity and health than heredity. And choosing to be physically active is one of the most important lifestyle choices. Unfortunately, many people think they don't have enough time to devote to exercise to really make a difference. Luckily, they're wrong. I wrote this book because I want you to benefit from what the hundreds of RealAge–Partnership Medicine patients and the millions of RealAge members taught me about the minimum exercise we need to achieve the maximum health benefit. And the good news is small amounts of time can make a huge difference to your health, your well-being, and your RealAge.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn't it? I thought so, too, until I saw the amazing transformations of patients -- and some strangers -- who followed the RealAge Workout plan, some for only 10 minutes at a time. (Most of the strangers became friends.)

So what is the RealAge Workout, exactly? It's simple -- a program broken into four 30-day phases that build one upon the other, slowly getting you to the physical activity that will ensure the optimal level of health for you (with the minimum necessary time commitment). Once you've completed the four 30-day phases, you will be at your best possible level of health facilitated by exercise. You'll feel great and have the energy to do all the things you love and the peace of mind to know you're taking great care of your health. Best of all, the plan is easy and fun.

Overview of the Plan

Phase 1 (Days 1–30): Walk 30 minutes every day -- either all at once or 10 minutes or more at a time.

  • Phase 2 (Days 31–60): Increase your level of activity by adding 7–10 minutes of strength training of your foundation muscles every other day.
  • Phase 3 (Days 61–90): Increase your level of activity by adding 8–10 minutes of strength training of your non-foundation muscles* every other day.
  • Phase 4 (Days 91 Onward): Increase your level of activity with 21† minutes of stamina or aerobic exercises, 3 times a week.

Sound simple? It is. But don't let the simplicity of the plan fool you into thinking you can jump a phase, or shorten a phase to 15 days instead of 30. For important scientific and medical reasons, success is more likely if you follow the gradual buildup, order, and time frame of the plan.

For example, even if you're excited to get started and feel you could do more, don't skip Phase 1 to start strength-building exercises right away. Your muscles must undergo two specific changes to regain youth and strength. As your muscle ages, it loses the contractile proteins (that give a muscle strength) and the proteins that make the energy factory of your cells (mitochondrial -- these give your muscle stamina). To regain strength, you need to rebuild (or build) contractile proteins; to regain stamina, you need to recondition your mitochondrial functions.

By simply walking, you start doing both. If you walk 30 minutes a day for 30 days, you rebuild enough of the energy factories in your muscles to progress to safely building strength proteins. And you have to rebuild enough strength proteins so your first attempt at resistance exercise will not rip a joint or muscle apart. Therefore, Phase 1 is a necessary step. Best of all, by simply walking for 30 minutes every day, you can make your RealAge younger by 2.2 years.