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Natural Awakenings Naples and Fort Myers

Feeling Young at Any Age

May 31, 2024 09:59AM ● By Sharon Bruckman

Welcome to our annual Graceful Aging issue, with a special focus on Men’s Health, honoring fathers and the men in our lives.

After reading Sandra Yeyati’s interview with leading longevity trailblazer Dr. Jeffrey Gladden, I was left wanting more and immediately ordered his book 100 is the New 30 and listened to a few online interviews, furiously jotting notes along the way. Ideally, Dr. Gladden would become a new member of my health team, which would be a costly investment, but fortunately, I can make some changes and improvements right now, free of charge.

At the top of Gladden’s to-do list is recognizing how much our culture normalizes aging, prompting us to challenge everything we think we know about the process of getting older. Loss of abilities and robust health does not automatically have to come with advanced age. Noting that people often decline after retirement, Gladden champions the idea of transitioning to doing something we love to do, including activities that contribute to others and make the world a better place. 

Gladden also encourages us to nurture a “longevity mindset” and tune into feeling the age we were when we felt our best. Chronologically 70 years young, he wakes up each morning asserting that he is 27, which is the age he felt his healthiest. Maybe I will start reclaiming my 42 year old body, not because that is when I necessarily felt my best, but because it might be easier for my mind to accept for now. For more on lowering your biological age and the latest breakthroughs in regenerative medicine see page 26.

Mental health is key to Gladden’s longevity plan and the topic of our feature story, “Solving Mental Health Issues in Men” by Dr. Reef Karim. I was happy to see Dr. Gabor Maté’s contributions to this article, because I’ve been listening to many of his interviews about his latest New York Times bestseller The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture. On page 25, Maté suggests that instead of being ashamed of their vulnerability, men need to accept it and work through it until they are able to let it go.

You’ll find plenty of other insights and recommendations in this month’s issue—from prostate cancer prevention strategies (p. 20) and building quality skeletal muscle (p. 32), to summer activities for kids (p. 34) and creating a greener home (p. 18). 

As we head into our summer season here in Southwest Florida, I hope you relish the longer, lazier days of June by doing things you love. Dr. Gladden says we have to be motivated by joy to stay younger, and I think we can all agree that one of the biggest keys to being healthy is having a positive, nourishing state of mind. Breathe in peace and let go of what is out of your control, while paying attention to the everyday miracles that surround you. Here’s to staying young! 

Happy Summering,