Bill Toomey on Health, Well Being and Anti-Aging
   

 
 
  

Q. What's your definition of "well being"?
Toomey: "WELL BEING is the physiological and psychological state of being centered. This is not euphoria or anxiety, but a blending of energies that provides an individual with appropriate ability to be pensive or physically active. It is a wonderful state of balance and awareness that comes with good habits. Nutrition and exercise are important tools to gain WELL BEING."

Q. What's your approach to maintaining a healthy body?
Toomey: "As I mentioned previously, the tools that allow for optimum health are diet and exercise. Exercise seems to be a lost art in America today."

Q. How important is physical exercise?
Toomey: "People are now realizing that our genes can be better expressed through exercise. We have to know that our genes have been in development for millions of years. During the last 10,000 years, our genetic make-up has remained 99.9% the same as our ancestors. To quote my friend, Boyd Eaton, M.D.: 'Our genetic adaptation has been unable to keep pace with cultural change so that our genetically determined biology and the circumstances of our lives are out of alignment. A logical extension -- that the resulting mismatch fosters chronic degenerative afflictions of affluence -- could serve as the unifying hypothesis for prevention research in multiple disciplines, including those related to diet and exercise.'

"A long period of inactivity can lead to weakness, stiffness, fatigue, poor appetite, high blood pressure, obesity, osteoporosis, constipation, increased sensitivity to pain, anxiety, and depression."

Q. Is there a type of exercise you advocate in particular?
Toomey: "How many reasons do we need to start an exercise program? One of my favorite forms of exercise is found in a swimming pool. I can do all types of exercise in the water, including resistance, cardiovascular and flexibility exercises.

Q. What about diet and nutritional supplements? How have your views and practices changed?
Toomey: "I was a victim of the 'fat free' fad. I literally ripped out all foods containing fat. I now realize the importance of fats and the fact that some of them are essential. Balance is critical when deciding a diet for life. A good source for this type of information can be found in THE SCHWARZBEIN PRINCIPLE, by Diana Schwarzbein, M.D.

"I also believe in nutritional supplements for a variety of reasons. A good book to have in your household is the PDR FOR NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS. All of the most current science informs the public just what can be achieved through nutritional supplementation, and also what is pure hype. I highly recommend this book by Sheldon Hendler, M.D."

Q. Do you alter your diet or sleep patterns when you begin a new exercise program?

Toomey: "I think that if you begin exercise moderately, you should not need too much additional sleep. One has to be careful when assessing stress. Too often certain activities and events take their toll and add stress, but we don't factor them in the equation. Stress comes in many forms and we must adjust our rest to accommodate heavy and unusual stress."

Q. Do you see a relationship between mind, body, and spirit and overall well-being?
Toomey: "There is no doubt that the integration of these areas is important. If there is any deficiency within the circle of these influences, the imbalance can alter the status of the remaining. It is sound philosophically and physically to pay attention to those areas that comprise our body and soul. Philosophers from the beginning have recognized the powers that inhabit the mind. Mystical insight or spiritual capacity allows for a higher and more enlightened state."

Q. How do you prefer to neutralize the effects of stress on your own well-being?
Toomey: "I have found that exercise or training can alleviate or even expunge stress and its deadly effects. There are moments of pure perfection that are found subsequent to thoughtful exercise. It is a state of relaxation that is accompanied by physical and mental well-being. Music may do this for some. The important aspect of well-being is that it is a biochemically-derived state. The body has an amazing chemistry set that produces neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine that can alter the anxiety and stress that is prevalent in our lives."

Q. How do you see the basics of well-being change as people age?
Toomey: "As we age, it is important to understand that we do have the ability to slow the aging process. It is clear that there are two ages. There is a chronological and a physical age. The important age is the physical age. Many bad habits or practices seem to have no deleterious effect when we are young. Aging changes the way we react to bad habits. Our recovery from excess drinking and smoking begin to manifest in later years and before we know it, the bottom drops out. It is wise to eliminate bad habits and substitute positive and healthy ones."

Q. What's your advice to mature people interested in adopting an anti-aging regimen?
Toomey: "My advice would include exercise and diet. Begin exercise slowly. You got out of shape slowly, and you should stage your comeback with thought and resolution. Until you understand the principle of adaptation, it might be difficult for you. Too many people are impatient and rush their exercise program. Begin slowly and learn about diet. Don't concentrate on losing weight, rather get informed about your food choices and begin to stop the clock!"

Q. What's your advice to people who simply want to lose weight?
Toomey: "My advice is to not begin your program of healthy living by cutting valuable calories. We have been suffering from decades of weight loss preoccupation. Its time to learn about the real value food has to your future. If you hear someone talking about diet, they just haven't got it!"

  

 

 

 



Toomey's hydrotherapy helped rebuild muscles and strength following back surgery.

 




Toomey advocates water-based exercises with proper resistence equipment.





"Every move you make gives you some benefit."






 
 


Photos of Toomey in pool courtesy of Life Extension Magazine, Wilton Manors, FA.

 
   
 

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