Extending your FAA medical
I have seen many posts on flying forums with people unhappy loosing their FAA medical.
Sport aviation may be a solution for some with bigger pockets, but not for me. I already have my experimental plane that I spent lots of time and money on and am not about to plonk $100K+ on a sport plane. When I get really decrepit in my golden years I should not be flying or driving anyway.
If you are still younger and healthier its better to plan ahead to save your golden flying years. And even during your golden years there is something you can do.
One answer is lifestyle changes which can accomplish relative health "miracles" both for younger and older flyers. Currently we are slaves of current culture that has trained us on 1. junk food and commercially prepared food with all the bad stuff in it 2. sedentary lifestyle - watching internet or TV (or...) and running to the fridge during commercials.
Extending your FAA medical through lifestyle changes.
It may not be popular, but many individuals could extend their FAA medical into older age by lifestyle changes. A significant number of heart conditions are actually reversible by changing to a vegetarian diet. See the video http://www.hulu.com/watch/172558/chow-down showing cardiovascular disease reversals. More exercise, giving up: alcohol, smoking, those juicy steaks, excessive salt, sugar, fat may be a sacrifice you could trade for flying years - and your spouse would probably appreciate having you around longer and your health expenses could decrease, and your could help the national budget, and.....
There is numerous irrefutable data that nutrition and exercise can vastly improve health and even reverse some results of bad lifestyle habits. For example check out some reports of group studies like Adventists, a number of whom are vegetarian http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventist_Health_Studies
There are some lifestyle clinics that offer two
or three week crash course on bad health reversal.
How to beat FAA bad cardiovascular records.
Suppose you improve your health with factors discussed above but FAA has records of heart problems already and they are not likely to change their minds. One golden rule they go by is angiogram results. An angiogram costs typically about $15,000 in US and your family doctor is not likely to recommend it as an requirement when you are not having dire problems. But you can go outside of US as a medical tourist and pay for an angiogram at a fraction of what it costs in US. For example Clinica Biblica hospital in San Jose, Costa Rica charges about $1200 for an angiogram. Just add air fare and a few hotel days and have a tropical holiday at same time. If the angiogram tests are favorable just send it to FAA for reconsideration.
If you are overweight
Exercise is good for you and it will help to reduce weight. Exercise is very necessary for your health to keep your blood circulation going and help prevent diseases. But don't dream that exercise alone will reduce all that extra weight. There is no way regular needed exercise will get rid of those 50, 100, whatever pounds. You need to put less food into your body. Exercise will only get rid of a fraction of fat that can be eliminated with simple food reduction. Its just simple physics.
I will be adding more information - so come back to check for more.