For at least 50 years, the conce
pt of how to be healthy has been recognized: exercise and eat less. Perhaps more recently, 30 years ago, the concept of eating healthy foods has been added in, and more and more over the last 30 years the concept of minimizing doing unhealthy things (smoking, more recently the opiate addiction).
Is there anything more that is unique that I or anyone else can add to that. Probably not, but many things are worth emphasizing, and perhaps with some newer themes.
One newer theme I want to emphasize is to be more relaxed about approaches/strategies, because being zealous about following certain paths likely does more harm than good.
To me perhaps the classic more-harm-than-good is the account of Emperor Chin of China, the first emperor of a unified China. He wanted to live a very long time, his doctors gave him mercury pills (wondrous liquid metal - has got to be good for you) so the end result is he died young and crazed from mercury poisoning in his 50s.
On a related front there is a tragi-comedic aspect to some of the health gurus and their fates: one of the pioneers of the 'health bar' died in his mid 50s from a heart attack, one of the proponents of max exercising and jogging died jogging in the mid 50s, and one of the proponents of starvation as a means to longevity died in the mid 50s as well.
It may also be that they had a strong family history of early death due to cardiac disease as the original inspiration for developing extreme methods of life-preservation, so their early death may have been a function of poor genetic make-up in addition or more important than a base-line high adrenaline level.
For those of us who do not exercise much or eat especially healthy it does seem somehow to be dark humor. On the surface it could suggest that their ideas were fundamentally wrong, and mercury pills, but I don't necessarily think so, and without studying their family history there are to things I consider that likely were responsible for their early deaths:
1. and probably most importantly, their genes: they may have been driven to go all in for a health concept because their parents died young from a heart attack, and they wanted to avoid a similar fate. Unfortunately to a very great extent this is unavoidable. In a similar vein, most people famous for their work in diseases: breast cancer, colon cancer, come to mind, have been interested and devoted to the disease because of their own personal family history. Genetic predisposition can't be controlled much.
2. the manic approach to health generated such a continuous high adrenaline level in them that they eventually created in themselves an adrenalin-caused ventricular arrhythmia that result in ventricular fibrillation (v fib) and death. Excess mania and excess anxiety can be controlled.
So I worry with current health preservation gurus who are pumped up about getting certain kinds of vegetables from certain areas of the world, that their adrenaline level is so high to be healthy that they are a set-up for v fib. It would be interesting if autopsies were done on the above 3 health gurus I mentioned, and also their family history. Were their heart deaths related to atherosclerotic disease with a strong family history, or was their heart death a rhythm-based demise. Probably both I suspect.
So chilling out is critical to health, about things you can be chilled out about:
The first rule: be Zen in your approach to diet, exercise, and health. Follow the general principle of eating less and exercising, but don't be manic about it. If you are sick from autoimmune disease or GDD, eat healthy foods. If a packaged food has on its label 20 ingredients and 15 of them are chemical names you don't recognize, don't buy it. Eat as much as possible health fresh foods, few added chemicals. But don't drive yourself crazy with this search for health, because you may as well be taking mercury pills.