Eight ways to live longer
This new book by Dr. Edward Creagen How NOT to be my Patient has some wonderful advice for living a long and healthy life. His 8 Commandments are listed here with my comments following.
Eight Commandments for Living Long and Living Well
1. Form Stable long-term relationships. Friends, families, colleagues,
even pets, are clearly buffers against stress. Rarely does the isolated marginalized person go the distance.
2. Maintain Ideal Bodyweight. many of us struggle with obesity, and the health fallout is significant in terms of high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis and stroke. Ideal bodyweight doesn’t mean starving yourself to be something out of hard-body magazines, but it means eating sensible considering your height, heredity and lifestyle.
3. Eat a plant based diet with an emphasis on green leafy vegetables, four to six servings of fruit each day, fish and poultry rather than red meat (in moderation, if you must), and attention to unsaturated fats such as canola and olive oil. You don’t have to be a brown rice a tofu vegetarian. Again being sensible makes sense here.
4. Engage in regular physical activity. Let the experts debate about whether thirty minutes is best or sixty minutes is better. Just get active doing what you do every day and throw in a walk four or five times a week.
5. Longevity does not allow for smoking. Enough said.
6. Use alcohol in moderation, if at all. Although there is some evidence that a glass of red wine may be protective against certain types of heart disease, alcohol consumption can be harmful to many other conditions.
7. Foster a sense of Spirituality, a sense of connectedness to nature or your higher power or some force or factor over and above yourself.
8. Find meaning and purpose in life. This is your reason to push on even in the face of adversity.
I just needed to throw my professional insight into this discussion because it seems some docs still can’t quite get a few things right especially in the exercise department.
When he says “starving yourself to be something out of hard-body magazines” he is contributing to a sense that most people have that starving your self is somehow a viable option for losing weight. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The hard bodies that you see in magazines are predominantly born that way. I know an editor on a popular Men’s Fitness magazine and he told me that the dirty secret of his business is that the models they use couldn’t handle most of the workouts they are posing for!
They use those models because they look good, and they always look good. Yes they exercise, but thanks to good genes they are born that way and basically stay that way all the time.
The models that do have to work to stay that way eat constantly and workout very hard. If you want to have a hard body (and why else would you be reading this?) you are going to have to feed your body a LOT. A well fed body is a body that is capable of performing at a very high level. And if you want to be fit and healthy you are going to have to nourish your body constantly to perform at that high level.
That is the premise behind The Rhythm System and eating in a manner that is harmonious with your body’s design. That is what is discussed in The Holiday Weight Loss Guide. Please don’t think that you have to starve yourself to be thin (you could but it wouldn’t be healthy).
What you do have to do is nourish your body with a steady supply of similar size meals, with a similar nutrient profile, at regular and predictable intervals. eating a plant based diet will never deliver the amount of protein your body needs to recover from quality resistance workouts. You should have crunchy green vegetables in every meal in addition to protein and quality complex carbohydrates.
Getting active and walking every day fall into what I like to call the “constitutional” from the Victorian England era. Back then it was considered exercise to ride a horse. Being active and wallking are good things to to and should be embraced every day.
But they are not exercise!
In order to qualify as exercise you have to challenge your body at its deepest levels. This means both short term challenges and longer duration challenges. In other words: cardio and weights.
I am truly constantly amazed that a progressive resistance program is not the number 1 priority on any physician’s list of way’s to get my patient healthy. Resistance training when done with the proper supervision will develop a powerful strong healthy body that not only looks good but lasts and lasts.
Maintaining your ideal weight is really all about learning to influence your body’s natural responses to stress and mete out enough stress in the right doses so that you get the adaptation you desire.
If you can do that ion addition to these recommendations I bet you can live as long as you want to.
Check out his book here: