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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Ageing Well is a non-fiction health and fitness book written by James Middleton Murray. Murray is 69 years old in chronological terms, but he estimates his biological age to be about 40. While he had participated in athletic activities when he was younger, damage to his knees combined with less-than-optimal lifestyle choices led to his gaining weight, depression, elevated blood pressure and concerns about type 2 diabetes. In February, 2014, Murray met with a surgeon who agreed to replace both of his knees in a single operation. For Murray, new knees meant an opportunity for a healthy and fit lifestyle. He exceeded medical expectations in getting used to the new implants, and began a consistent and dedicated regimen of diet and exercise. His doctor was astonished by the changes Murray was able to achieve when he came in for his 12-month follow-up appointment. Murray no longer needs the medications he had been prescribed in the past, and he remains a motivated and avid fitness enthusiast. Murray likes having a hard body and gets a kick out of the attention he receives, but he's especially keen on the fact that ageing well is infinitely preferable to ending up in a nursing home as one gets older. Murray shares his motivational mantras, gives guidelines for consumption of fats, fiber and dairy for crafting a healthy and nutritious diet and shares his fitness regimen. He also discusses the benefits of hiring a personal trainer and trying yoga and meditation. The book concludes with a section written by his wife that offers healthy recipes and a list of recommended readings.
What exactly is ageing well and how does one go about doing it? James Middleton Murray sets out right away in sharing what he considers as ageing well and what he doesn’t. And I’m fairly sure most will agree that languishing in a nursing home is nowhere as comforting an end as dying at home after a fully lived life. Murray’s enthusiasm for his subject shines out on every page of this well-written and inspirational book. While much of what he shares is not rocket science, he manages to put together a coherent and easily adaptable plan that will have just about any motivated reader excited about finally getting back into shape again. Murray is an intuitive writer who communicates beautifully; he’s frank, honest and has a sense of humor -- and he did his homework before writing this book that offers an holistic approach to ageing gracefully, dynamically and well. I’m planning on trying some of the recipes included in the back of the book -- the Thai recipes look particularly interesting. I’ve also placed holds at my library for several of the books he’s listed in his appendix. Ageing Well is highly recommended.