Linda RebohOctober 2015
By Donna Caruso
Pioneer Woman Bodybuilder
At age 72, Life Extension® customer Linda Reboh is living proof that if you take care of your body, your body will take care of you. After enduring a traumatic accident in 2014 when her 70-pound dog suddenly ran into her from behind, causing a fall that broke three ankle bones, Reboh stunned her doctor when all three bones healed in just seven weeks. She credits her dramatic recovery on her 40 years of bodybuilding and other exercise, a wholesome diet, supplements, and expert advice from Life Extension® advisors. In an exclusive interview, Reboh tells us exactly how she did it.
A Healthy Beginning
Reboh had a great start in life. The trouble was, it took her a while to realize it. Born in New York to immigrants, she lived in Morocco between the ages of 6 and 10, and then returned to California with her parents and sister.
“My parents were into yoga and my father was a vegetarian, so I thought they were weird,” Reboh recalls. “Nobody else’s parents were like that: ‘Eat your vegetables,’ when I was saying, ‘Give me some meat.’”
Reboh’s mother and sister were both asthmatics and she says she grew up in a very sick home. “I wanted to be healthy,” she remembers. But it was only many years later that she began to discover what that meant—and altered her lifestyle.
Earning a degree in psychology, Reboh decided it wasn’t her field after all and later went back to school for a law degree. Then at 32, her life took a dramatic turn. She met a businessman and bodybuilder who introduced her to Joe Gold’s Gym and she quickly became one of the first women allowed to train there. She has never stopped.
Reboh also met her husband at Gold’s and eventually ran his business, doing all the legal work. Currently a licensed real estate agent in Arizona, she maintains her fitness routines.
A Life-Changing Accident
In May 2014, Reboh was walking her 7-month-old, 70-pound Doberman puppy. Removing his leash when they reached the dog park, she was talking to a friend when the dog suddenly ran into her at full speed from behind, knocking her up in the air, then hard onto the ground.
“I think he was playing,” she says, but she nevertheless sustained three severely broken bones in her ankle. Nine days later, when the swelling had gone down, Reboh underwent surgery. “I thought I knew it all,” she comments, “but I had never been injured before. I’d always been healthy, but not always consistent about taking my vitamins.”
A longtime Life Extension® customer, Reboh called a health advisor and was given a list of vitamins that helped her quickly heal. “Every time I went to the doctor for x-rays, he’d say ‘You’re coming along really well,’ and after seven weeks, he said, ‘You’re healed, you’re healed!’”
Reboh adds that she now takes her supplements “religiously,” and she is determined to get back to where she was before the accident. She knows several people who have had the same surgery and have required four or five additional operations, simply because their bones didn’t heal properly.
The World of Women’s Bodybuilding
Reboh once questioned why some people started to look old in their 40s and 50s—and a few in their 30s. “At Gold’s Gym,” she explains, “I was surrounded by people who didn’t look like that, though there weren’t a lot were women at the beginning.” Although she had been working out at that point, she had never used weights. “If a woman used weights,” she says, “she was a ‘weirdo.’ The women would say, ‘What are you doing? You want to build muscle?’ Back then, it was very new for a woman to be into bodybuilding.”
She soon discovered that many of those early women bodybuilders were taking steroids, testosterone, and other drugs, which she fortunately recognized were dangerous. “They were growing beards, they had to shave,” she recalls.
Reboh was determined to stay away from any of these substances. “Professional bodybuilding is not about health,” she states. “When you take all those drugs, it can’t be about health.”
After first starting bodybuilding at age 32, Reboh has never stopped training. A glance at her photographs reveals that, unlike professional women bodybuilders, Reboh doesn’t have the bulging muscles and masculine bodies developed by most of those women. What she does have is a well-toned physique and the appearance of strength, youth, and vibrant good health.
“For me, it was definitely about my health,” says Reboh. “Yes, you look good and you can look good for a long time, but my ultimate goal was to be healthy. So food was really important, too.”
A Nutritious Diet
Early family life provided a foundation for healthful eating, even though it took Reboh years to adopt it. “My parents didn’t allow salt on the table and when I was a child, I’d open the refrigerator and find spinach and carrot juice in there. I wanted to be normal and they were not normal!”
But as an adult, Reboh began to read books by Adele Davis and Paavo Airola, which soon influenced her food choices. “I realized how lucky I was that I came from a healthy diet.” Today, Reboh eats lots of vegetables—and no red meat.
“I stopped eating red meat about 30 years ago,” she explains. While she eats free-range organic chicken and wild salmon, she primarily eats vegetables.
A typical breakfast might be a shake of frozen kale, spinach, banana, spaghetti squash and a little chai, with different ingredients on other days. “When I look at food I ask, ‘Is this healthy and does it taste good?’ Because you can eat only so many calories a day.” Reboh also measures her food and has been calculating the calories in everything she eats since the age of 12, noting that items such as nuts and wine are very high in calories.
At 12, her mother took her to a doctor because she had gained weight. “He was very wise and told me, ‘If you keep gaining 25 pounds a year, by the time you’re 25 years old, you’re going to weigh four thousand pounds.’ I believed him and was scared. He showed me how to count my calories and I’ve been doing it ever since.” Reboh says she eats about 2,000 calories daily and weighs a steady 120 pounds.
Reboh sees maintaining youth as both physical and mental. “I never thought about age,” she states. “I feel we are in control of that and you can change your mindset. People who read Life Extension® magazine and take vitamins think that way; they get it.”
The keys are eating right, taking supplements, and exercising. Reboh is also an advocate of mindfulness and living in the present. “You go into the past, you go into depression. You go into the future, you go into anxiety. The only thing we have is right now.” She meditates, listens to audio tapes, including those from Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, and believes in a higher protective power.
Reboh also takes responsibility for her own health and never waits until a doctor tells her something is wrong. “Prevent it,” she advises, “don’t wait until you’re sick.”
Additionally, she stays mentally active by learning something new as often as possible. Here she quotes Gandhi: “Learn like you’re going to live forever and live like you’re going to die tomorrow.”
Creating goals for yourself is vital to health and longevity, says Reboh. “My day-to-day goal is to walk 15,000 to 20,000 steps a day, which is about eight miles.” It sounds like a lot, but she has a calculator to count her steps and says when you factor in daily routines such as walking around your home, it really isn’t that much. She adds that if you sit a lot for work or relaxation, it’s important to get up every hour and take a walk.
Having had many different professions in her lifetime, Reboh is once again considering a change—this time to being a personal trainer, using her large home gym. “I could train people starting slowly. The privacy of my home is an advantage because a lot of people who haven’t worked out are embarrassed and don’t want to go to a gym.”
Advice For Others
Reboh is also seriously considering writing a book on how to be healthy at any age. She offers the following advice in her own words:
- There’s no such thing as dieting. There’s only healthy eating or unhealthy eating. People who diet reach their goal, and then gain back the weight.
- Clean up your diet. Look at food as fuel, not recreation.
- Take supplements. Your food alone can’t provide all the nutrients you need. Get advice to find out what you need individually.
- Start now. It’s best to start eating, exercising, and weight training when you’re young, but you can start at any age and in any condition. Find the right trainer to teach you what to do. If you can’t afford a gym, do your exercises at home. Don’t forget walking and don’t sit for hours in front of a television.
- If you don’t feel like working out, do it anyway. “I don’t allow that side of me to dictate what I’m going to do.”
- You can build muscle after 50. Remember that doctors once said you couldn’t and that diet had nothing to do with disease.
- Make the most of every day and focus on the present.
Life Extension’s Importance
Linda Reboh credits Life Extension® for consistently supporting her and teaching her about health and longevity. “When people tell me about some health problem, I urge them to call a Life Extension® advisor. They did so much for me.” She says she has often read about a scientific advance in nutrition or health care in Life Extension® magazine— such as the importance of vitamin D—and then hears about it from her doctor five or more years later.
“I was in Whole Foods before my accident,” Reboh says, “and this woman came up to me and said I was in great shape. I told her my age and she said, ‘Wow, you’re like those people in Life Extension®.’ The medical profession is so far behind and that’s why I feel fortunate I found Life Extension®. I’m reading important information that the medical profession doesn’t even know yet.”
If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Health Advisor at 1-866-864-3027.
You can contact Linda Reboh at: firstname.lastname@example.org