Q: What are some of your recommended resources?
Clarence Bass~ Why Age is no barrier!
Carol and I subscribe to several newsletters that are available to everyone. Two of my favorites are the Tufts
University Health & Nutrition Letter www.healthletter.tufts.edu
and the University of California, Berkeley Wellness
. We also subscribe to The Wall Street Journal, which frequently carries wonderfully
detailed articles on fitness and health issues, and read our local newspaper every day, looking for items on health and
nutrition. The Internet, of course, provides a constant stream of health news. Unfortunately, the emphasis is often on
bad news. The trick is to separate the wheat from the chaff, an ability which comes with constant reading and
Q: Why do you feel people are so inclined to accept aging poorly as inevitable?
Sad to say, that’s often what we’re led to believe. Athletes over 30 (40 for sure) are presented as “over the hill.” Look
around you and old people look, well, old. Many (perhaps most) doctors are too busy to talk to patients about the
benefits of healthy eating and regular exercise; regrettably, clinical experience teaches them that most people won’t (or
can’t) change even if faced with life or death options.
Fortunately, more and more of the good news is getting through. As an example, the city of Albuquerque just
celebrated the opening of its 3rd state-of-the-art fitness center for people over 50. The Mayor was there to speak and cut
the ribbon. They invited me to make the keynote talk about the benefits of exercise.
Q: What are the key things to understand about aging that would help open their minds?
In my talk at the opening of the new senior fitness center, I quoted my doctor, a preventive medicine specialist, who
says: “Health is 50% lifestyle, 10% medicine, and the rest is genetics and luck.” I told them that means they can do five
times as much for themselves as any doctor can do for them. Most of them had probably never thought of it that way
before. I believe they were inspired to learn how much control they actually have over the quantity and quality of their
Q: Where is a good place to start for someone previously uninspired and inexperienced in regular exercise?
Walking is almost always a good place to start. The key is to start slowing, experience success, and then add more
exercise as your vigor and fitness improves. Nothing motives like success. Success breeds success.
Q: The book also explores nutrition and discusses what a fallacy deprivation is. How important is this element of
your philosophy to making a lifestyle adaptation?
When people realize they don’t have to starve themselves, that deprivation is actually counterproductive, they are
relieved and tremendously encouraged. Like walking, the key is to adopt a diet and exercise program you’re actually
willing and able to continue indefinitely. Again, start slowly and keep going. That’s the only way that really works—for
both diet and exercise.
Q: What keeps you motivated and committed to your health on a daily basis?
Past success. I’ve benefited so much from living a healthy lifestyle that I wouldn’t dream of living any other way.
Q: What do you look forward to as you grow older?
It is certainly true that aging is not for sissies (a chapter in my new book is devoted problems I’ve had to overcome),
but my experience so far gives me no reason to expect anything but the best. As I say in Great Expectations, if you
expect and work for the best, that’s what you’re likely to get.
Q: How do you measure success, and progress?
On a day to day basis. Before each workout, I sit down with my training diary and review what I did the last time and
then look for ways to improve. In short, I plan for success and almost always find a way to make it happen. It’s
important, of course, to be realistic in your expectations.
Q: What’s a typical day involve for you?
Like everyone my days vary, but I usually read several newspapers during breakfast, answer emails after breakfast,
workout or walk late in the morning, have lunch, and them spend the afternoon reading (books, research reports,
newsletters and the like) and/or writing. Telephone consultations are usually scheduled in the late afternoon. Carol
and I relax in the evening after dinner.
Q: Finally, can we look forward to another book in the future, what is on the horizon for Clarence Bass?
Yes, I hope so. A friend has suggested that I do a memoir, and I may do that. Like my other books, I won’t start until I
have something new and meaningful to write about something that excites me.
PO Box 51236
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87181-1236
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