Cameron Diaz has just written a book that every woman should know about – The Longevity Book: The Science of Aging, the Biology of Strength, and the Privilege of Time. Diaz, now 43, spoke about her new book to a sold-out crowd in Santa Monica at a Live Talks LA event on April 11. She was interviewed by noted film director and writer Nancy Meyer, who directed Diaz in The Holiday.
The Longevity Book is a personal, practical, and authoritative guide that examines the art and science of growing older and offers concrete steps women can take to create abundant health and resilience as they age. She shares the latest scientific research on how and why we age, synthesizing insights from top medical experts and with her own thoughts, opinions, and experiences.
When asked why she wrote this book, Diaz said, “When I turned 39, people kept asking me if I was worried about turning 40. It made me realize how frightened we are of getting older, and that there’s this sense that women over 40 are somehow less viable, particularly in Hollywood. My reaction was to say, ‘You can’t tell me that I’m not viable because I’m not 25! This is who I am and what I have to offer.’”
While the questions about getting older made her defiant, they also made her determined to learn more about the process of aging. Diaz and her writing partner, Sandra Bart, went to work interviewing top experts in the field of aging and gerontology.
“I wrote this book because I wanted to peek into my future. I wanted to get a sense of what might happen and what I could do for myself to enjoy the journey as long as possible,” said Diaz. “In the years that come I may grow weaker, but it is my hope that I will grow wiser, warmer and more resilient.”
According to Diaz, the book is not intended to be an anti-aging book, but one that helps all women understand what their bodies are going through as they age, and how we can all become better caretakers of ourselves. As she and Bart were researching and writing the book, they realized that there are over 30 million women between the ages of 35 and 50 in the U.S. and they wanted all of these women to know that they are not alone.
Diaz recommends that women see their doctors regularly so they can track their health and be aware of any changes. Diaz added, “The best things we can do for ourselves as we grow older also happen to be some of our favorite things to do. Eating good food, developing our muscles, getting a good night’s rest, loving other people, laughing, relaxing, finding joy in the world.”
By paying attention to our bodies and taking care of ourselves, we can build resistance and resilience to age-related diseases like osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, dementia, diabetes and renal failure. Diaz is also a strong believer in the healing power of meditation. “I’m a big advocate for Transcendental Meditation (TM), which I try to do once a day. It has been transformational for me.”
Meditation can help reduce stress and even lengthen your telomeres, the section of DNA that occurs at the ends of a chromosome. Your telomeres “fray” at the ends as you age and their breakdown makes your body more vulnerable to disease.
Having a deeper understanding of how our bodies function on a cellular level and what we can do to improve the process of aging is at the heart of The Longevity Book. “I don’t want women to live in fear of aging. . . I want to reframe the way that we talk about aging,” Diaz commented.
“To age well is to live well,” she concluded.
Diaz is also the author of The Body Book, which was written to help educate young women about how their bodies function.