I've always tried to live in a healthy way. I tried to eat a healthy diet, but I've been confused by well meant, but wrong nutritional advice, about what a healthy diet is. I've tried to keep fit, in mid-life, to the extent of running marathons for a few years. Generally, I've been able to say, "I'm healthy."
However, I've been challenged to take a new interest in health, and I'm amazed at how much I've been able to learn since December 2012. At 70+, I'm a least as healthy now as I was 10 years ago, perhaps as healthy now as I've ever been in my life. Part of the secret of that, is just in becoming more mindful about my own health. That is what I suggest that you do. Make an effort to learn more. Take an interest.
If you suffer from poor health, a key reason is likely to be misleading information. There is misleading information on supermarket shelves, your mother gave you misleading information; your friends give you misleading information; the news media is full of misleading information. When you go to your doctor, the most likely thing he/she will give you, "the accepted professional advice" which sometimes is even more misleading information. (If you press your doctor, by asking informed questions, if you have your own knowledge, you might also get better information. Doctors try to keep it simple. They try to keep it simple and to protect their own position. They don't like to say, "I don't know.") In public anyway, they don't like to go against the recommendations of the Heart Foundation, or the Diabetes Association, even if they believe that the recommendations of those organisations might be outdated and wrong.
The whole health field is in a state of rapid change. It used to take 20 and often 30 years for new medical research to get into general knowledge and use. Today that can happen in less than 10 years. Institutions and governments and professional bodies are struggling to keep up. It's not that the Heart Foundation, or the Diabetes Association, or your doctor intended to be caught behind the science. Change takes time and in big organisations, it can take a long time.
My intent in this site is to make some developing new scientific knowledge, good information, easily available to you. I seek to offer reliable advice. It's important that you know, understand, and use basic health knowledge. Very few people have that knowledge. Most of us live in ways that are directly or indirectly causing the lack of health we experience. Probably the most important thing you can do is begin to adjust your lifestyle. But to do that you need a good reason for making changes, reasons you believe, not something I or someone else told you. Change is only possible when YOU believe it. That's one good reason to keep a personal health journal.
There's no money to be made in preventative medicine. Advice on how to live well; is everywhere, but GOOD advice is hard to find, and confusing. Most of the disability's people face later in life, are caused by poor lifestyle choices extended over many years. Those choices are often the response to bad information that you believed was "good." People believe they are doing the healthy thing, when in fact, the opposite is true. 50 years ago, before modern scientific knowledge of body metabolism and how food is processed in the body was developed, bad information was the best anyone knew. Sadly, the bad medical information that killed President Eisenhower, is still being offered by many doctors today, with the same result. Even today, much is unknown about how food is used within the body. Historically, nutrition has roots in "domestic science," often including home economics, cooking and home management practice. Nutrition has only recently become more scientific, with a stronger understanding of biochemistry.
There is good news. Everyone gets older, but it's possible to get older and not become unhealthy. Today, many people are doing exactly that. Modern scientific evidence about the sensible ways to improve your health is available to you. Search for it. The problem is; you've been so thoroughly indoctrinated all your life, that you'll find some of the new science is utterly unbelievable. For instance, vegetarian diets are now considered a second-rate means of nutrition. (The largest specialist nutrition forum on the Internet has banned letters from people advocating a vegetarian diet. Nutrition science, in the last couple of years (Actually that may be 10 years), strongly recommends that meat is essential in the human diet.) Besides, saturated fats in your diet are necessary and good for you, and we should seek to eat more of them. All that less fat promotion on the supermarket shelves is nonsense. Saturated fat is not bad for you, does not clog your arteries, and does not cause heart disease. Some of this new science is so contrary to what we've always been told, that you won't be able to accept it, at first. Continue your research with an open mind. There is better health at the end of the journey. You won't believe what I have to say, (there's no-good reason why you should), and I expect it will take you two years of work to discover your own truth.
The time it takes you to do your own research, is time you must invest. There is no other way forward, the problem is "inside the fortress." Get started, go as fast as you can. In "Triumphs of Experience" (2014) the author George E Vaillant, explains that the few people who die before age 55, usually die because of things they have no control over. Almost all of those who die between 55 and 80 suffer ill health for many years, and often die, because of lifestyle choices over which they have significant control." You don't want to be in this group. You need not be. Find other people who are fellow health searchers to talk to. Some of them will have good ideas that make sense to you.
In "Triumphs of Experience" George E Vaillant, explains that for people over 80, having good genes helps. 55% of the people Vaillant studied who were still alive at 85, were in good health and fully functional. Vascular risk factors, were the main problem for people over 85. (Not dementia as expected.) For most of us, there are many years of successful life ahead.
My own research over two years has allowed me to develop some useful writing. I'm also following several forums where the latest research is being discussed, and reading new books as recommended to me.
You should know the health basics, but let me repeat them using George Vaillant's thinking. Good self-care is the answer, stop smoking, use alcohol sparingly, be careful about your weight, control your blood pressure, and get a good education. (Including a good health education.)
There is also a Better Personal Health discussion forum that anyone can join
at Online Groups.
A small group, mostly invited people. $10.00 a year opening special. No advertising permitted. You'll be sent an invitation.