Forever Young

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Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rage at close of day;
Rage, rage, against the dying of the light.
—Dylan Thomas

Q.I’m tired of taking this sitting down. What can I do to fight the aging process?
A:
There’s nothing that will stop aging, but you know that. The most you can hope for is longevity with health. Here are some pointers from health professionals for a high quality of life. You may find these boring, but they work:

• Eat a varied diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables

• Maintain a healthy weight

• Exercise daily

• Go to the doctor when you’re sick

• Go to the doctor when you’re well to get screened for disease

• Don’t smoke

• Use sunscreen

• Stay close to your friends and family

Now let’s get into some of the potions that are being marketed through drugstores. We’ll start with antioxidants.

As your body processes food, it makes substances called “free radicals,” which are believed to contribute to aging and certain diseases. To neutralize free radicals, your body uses antioxidants that come from your food. Proponents believe that antioxidants can prevent chronic diseases.

The following are some antioxidants: vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, folic acid and selenium.

The best way to give your body the antioxidants it needs is to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. There’s no proof that antioxidants in pill form can improve your general health or extend your life.

Because some hormone levels drop with age, there’s a theory that this decline causes us to age. But can you reverse aging by restoring your hormones?

DHEA, testosterone, melatonin and HGH are some popular hormone supplements.

Your body converts DHEA into the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. Proponents say it also slows aging, increases muscle and bone strength, burns fat, improves cognition, bolsters immunity and protects against chronic diseases.

Declining levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone, have been linked with decreased energy and sex drive, muscle weakness and osteoporosis.

Melatonin is produced in your brain. It helps regulate sleep. Some claim it can slow or reverse aging, fight cancer and enhance sexuality.

Human growth hormone (HGH) is responsible for growth spurts in children. Advocates say injections of prescription-only HGH can burn fat, build muscle and renew energy.

There is no convincing medical evidence to support claims about these hormone supplements. And they are risky. For instance, even short-term use of DHEA or testosterone may cause liver damage.

Don’t believe advertisements that tell you supplements are “natural” remedies, implying that they can’t hurt you. Some people try supplements, such as coral calcium, ginseng and Echinacea, to stop aging. There isn’t any evidence to support the claims for these supplements either.

Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement. Ingredients in supplements can cause harmful interactions with your medications and serious side effects.


If you have a question, please write to fred@healthygeezer.com.

All Rights Reserved © 2008 by Fred Cicetti

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Forever Young

Written by None - Do not Delete on . Posted in Posts.


Songwriter and professional eccentric Jonathan Richman—with or without his Modern Lovers—has always been a sort of poster child for arrested development. Sure, his ’70s garage-rock outings and Velvet Underground affiliations have earned “JoJo” the dubious “Godfather of Punk” moniker, even though his persona is more akin to children’s crooner Raffi than, say, Darby Crash.



Despite the gritty beginning, he became the troubadour who wants to play nice. With his slight stature, unruly curls and baggy suit jackets, Richman has always looked like a little boy wearing his dad’s clothes, which is exactly how a middle-aged guy who’s known to crawl around a stage while singing about little dinosaurs should look. That is, of course, when he’s not dropping his guitar to scissor kick like he’s a proto-punk Pee Wee Herman.



Despite being in his late fifties and sporting a salt-and-pepper goatee, Richman’s Peter Pan persona might be more relevant than ever: These days cultural critics are giving youngsters endless grief for refusing to drop their videogame controllers long enough to take up adult activities like getting saddled with a sub-prime mortgage and squeezing out a few pink monkeys. In a recent column published in The Dallas Morning News, writer Kay Hymowitz dealt young, single men the most recent blow, dubbing them the “child man” whose emotional development stalled somewhere during eighth grade gym class— while women are taking over the world. Interestingly enough, a few months prior to Hymowitz’s piece, Details writer Simon Dumenco chastised men for dating the surplus of women flagrantly shunning maturity by subscribing to Teen Vogue, relying on the excessive employment of emoticons and using the word “like” as a verbal placeholder.



Richman is kind of an unspoken advocate for those pushing 30 and beyond who eschew PTA meetings and

Neighborhood Watch for weekly pickup games of kickball and appointments to visit our favorite comic book store. His discography is also the perfect soundtrack for the frustrations, pratfalls and histrionics of eternal teenagers’ emotionally retarded attempts at love. Given his gentle demeanor, in the 1998 track “I’m So Confused” he makes an overwhelming fear of commitment and intimacy sound pretty damn endearing. On “Abdul and Cleopatra,” off 1979’s Back in Your Life, Richman chronicles the emotional unavailability resulting from idealizing the unattainable: The Abdul character spends a year cleaning his humble tent in the hopes that the most famous and desired woman in the world will come to nest. Or, in JoJo’s words, “Abdul yearns for Cleopatra…Abdul takes her or he takes none.” Delusion is only romantic when you’re too young to know better.

On the track “True Love Is Not Nice,” JoJo pretty much sums up the quiet pathos of his 30-plus-year career, lamenting that “…it brings up pain from when you were 5 years old.”



That it does, JoJo. That it does.



March 4 & 5 (with Vic Chesnutt), Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. 6th St. (betw. Kent & Wythe Aves.), B’klyn, 212-260-4700; 9, $15.

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