Before you say, “Oh no, not more health tips”, let me assure that my approach towards healthy living is as far from the current media approach as the sun is from the moon. If you are like me and are tired of hearing or reading about the next “super secret way” to lose weight and live a happy life, I encourage you to read on.
In today’s media focused, light speed approach to handing out information we are bombarded by the new rules that will make us healthy and happy. Unfortunately, with this quick, first to get information out approach scientific method and common sense is somehow forgotten. Being interested in health and well being as well as a good food first lifestyle, I am honestly tired and shocked by what I read and hear each day in the media. Without belaboring this point further, here are a few observations that I find absurd.
In medicine information is distributed through the use of journals. These monthly “magazines” give doctors and health professionals the latest studies in the medical field. Not too long ago, this information was distributed to doctors who read, then digested, the information (using their expertise, experience and other possibly conflicting information) before disseminating it to the public. Sometimes the study received 5 stars and was well received and other times it was not. Today, this same information is on your local news before a doctor actually receives the monthly journal in the mail. That’s right, before they ever get to read, digest, and dissect the information distributed. What occurs then is a distribution of any study that is news-worthy but perhaps not medically significant. So why would people, who are interested in educating us about the latest information that may “save our lives,” distribute this information before it has the traveled the traditional road of medical peer review and discussion? I know you know the answer to this……….because the media is focused on being the FIRST to distribute information, not the first to distribute the RIGHT INFORMATION.
The bottom line, don’t believe that eating 5 almonds a day will ward off heart disease, or that taking 10,000 IU of vitamin C will prevent you from catching bird flu. All scientific medical information has to be taken in context. It must be thoroughly reviewed and tested on thousands of people over many years of time before it becomes truly useful to us. I could go on about this forever, but in fairness to you, I will step off my soap box and give you sound advice. Be forewarned, however, my information is not as catchy, fantastic, or news worthy as you are used to. It is simply solid information that all of us can benefit from. Furthermore, it is my belief that if you are not doing these simple things to improve your health, no “latest and greatest” supplement is going to prove to help you in the long run.
TIP NUMBER ONE
If you smoke, stop. Nothing will increase your lifespan or your quality of life more than this. Nothing else needs to be said.
TIP NUMBER THREE
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, get up off the couch. The human body was built to move not just watch people move. Our eyesight is far inferior to the rest of this magnificent machine we take for granted every day. This does not mean that you have to become a gym rat or an Olympic athlete. What I mean is this - if you are not already exercising 30-60 minutes per day, start small. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park a little further away from the entrance to a store (or walk there if possible), or walk the dog a little further. The idea is to get the body moving. Once you begin, you may find that the body craves even more movement. If this occurs, I highly recommend a morning or evening walk and encourage you to it do it every day. More on this later.
TIP NUMBER TWO
If you tend to go out for meals, especially at fast food joints, eat at home. You already know my focus on a healthy lifestyle starts with eating a home prepared meal that includes fresh fruits, vegetables and meats - the novel balanced diet.