published Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Author Dr. Henry Lodge says exercise and emotion are the keys to good health

IF YOU GO

What: Alexian Brothers Living Well Luncheon featuring Dr. Harry Lodge.

When: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Friday.

Where: The Chattanoogan Hotel, 1201 Broad St.

Admission: $45.

Phone: 886-0646.

HARRY'S RULES

Dr. Henry "Harry" Lodge's rules for aging:

* Exercise six days a week.

* Do aerobic exercise four days a week.

* Do strength training with weights two days a week.

* Spend less than you make.

* Quit eating poorly.

* Care.

* Connect and commit.

Best-selling author Dr. Henry Lodge said his advice on aging isn't any better than anything anyone might have said for the past 2,000 years.

However, he said, the biology behind it makes it worth heeding.

"Exercise and emotion are the two great biological keys," said Lodge, who will speak at Alexian Brothers' inaugural Living Well Luncheon at The Chattanoogan on Friday, "with diet coming in third."

The public is invited to the event, which will be emceed by Alison Lebovitz, a local talk-show host, author and nonprofit executive.

Lodge, the author of "Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit and Sexy -- Until You're 80 and Beyond" and "Younger Next Year for Women," will speak on "Younger Next Year: The New Science of Aging."

He will discuss how to enjoy a long, healthy life through actions such as staying active, changing daily habits and eating well.

The cost, including a specially designed healthy lunch, is $45.

Dawn Weber, foundation director for Alexian Brothers, said Lodge's aspects of holistic wellness in his approach to aging fall in line with the agency's holism values.

"He talks about the substance behind how the muscles work," she said. "He talks about scientific things in layman's terms. He gives the logic to the intellectual things behind why we do what we do and how we age."

Lodge, a board-certified internist on the faculty of Columbia Medical School and the former head of the New York Clinical Society, said while obesity is one of today's favorite catchphrases, obesity is an outgrowth of "not moving and not being fit."

Movement doesn't necessarily lead to weight loss, he said, "but it does lead to health."

While Lodge said his advice on aging resonates best with people from 45 to 80, it wouldn't hurt people as young as 30 to heed it.

"They still think they're immortal," he said of the younger set, "but they're wrong."

Exercise, according to Lodge, offers two immediate plusses -- "an enormous bump in mood and energy." But he said it goes further in reducing the mortality from ailments such as heart disease and stroke.

Studies, he said, have shown it even lowers the risk of Alzheimer's disease by 40 percent to 50 percent. Indeed, he said, MRIs have shown that new brain tissue can be grown through exercise.

"The results are stunning and far-ranging," Lodge said, "and you can't get it in a pill.

"We all know exercise is good for us. The numbers are nice. But it's remarkably nice to prevent the cognitive decline of aging."

No less important, said Lodge, is one's emotion.

Emotions can change the body through a chemical pathway, he said. If you can engage with friends, with family, with faith, you can change yourself. "Your [risk of ill health] drops with the number of emotional connections you have."

It's never too late to start changing your habits, Lodge said, and it doesn't matter "how rotten you were along the way."

While the challenges may increase with aging, he said, there are "remarkable benefits" to keeping an active body and mind.

Lodge's advice, said Weber, "dispels the myths that once you hit your 40s, it's all downhill from there."

about Clint Cooper...

Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...

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