Total health also requires that you be physically active. Since most people lead relatively sedentary lives, an exercise program is essential. Begin an aerobic fitness program, such as brisk walking, cycling or running, with some stretching or yoga. Try to participate in these activities for at least 30 to 40 minutes, no fewer than three or four times per week. It is a good idea to work up a mild sweat but not to get out of breath (if you get out of breath, the exercise is not aerobic).
Coping with stress is another essential part of total health. In addition to other problems of modern life (and, I suspect, life throughout history), most people are under some degree of stress. Stress is our level of reactivity to variations from a perfect environment, whether internal or external. Stressors are the environmental variables that lead us to experience stress. A stress management program of visualization, breathing or meditation, self-regulation, biofeedback or any of a number of relaxation methods will contribute to both disease prevention and treatment. (Preventive medicine is great, but if you haven't managed to prevent everything bad, it is good to know that preventive medicine also works in the treatment of many medical conditions.)
Health and Life Extension
Both treatment and prevention of disease are the goals of these comprehensive health program recommendations. One of the side benefits of taking such good care of yourself is the likelihood of enhanced longevity. The desire for a long life is a sign of the love you have for the moment in which you are living and a sign of your love for yourself. Until you develop that self love, it is very difficult to start on the road to better health or implement the programs that will take you there.
Many people who seek health counseling come with the particular goal of extending their healthy years. There are many components to comprehensive life-extension programs, and stress reduction is a significant contributor to them. Proper diet and exercise are essential to enhanced longevity, and specific dietary supplements are also powerful contributors to achieving this goal. To be positively healthy into advanced years requires that you combine as many good health practices as possible into your personal action plan.
Having said all this, the purpose of this book is to give you the information you need to start your own dietary supplement program, usually using relatively large yet safe and effective doses, for preventing and treating both symptoms and diseases and enhancing longevity.
Diagnoses Versus Optimal Health
A diagnosis is just a name given to a recognized collection of symptoms. If your particular collection of symptoms does not fit a known pattern, they cannot be diagnosed (but that does not mean that you do not have health problems). Many doctors assume that if you do not have a clear diagnosis your symptoms are not real or that they are "all in your head." Or they may think the situation is not serious enough to require treatment. ("Come back when it gets worse, and we'll see what we can do.") This was the case with Premenstrual Syndrome before it was a recognized pattern, and it is the case today with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which has only recently become accepted by physicians as a "legitimate" health problem. The lack of a diagnosis does not mean you are in optimal health.
If you look hard enough, most symptoms have an underlying cause rooted in altered biochemistry and physiology. Often, these causes are related to lifestyle choices that have metabolic consequences. There are many estimates that up to 85% of such problems are the result of these choices, and many of them are related to nutrients. Most of these symptoms can be relieved without drugs or surgery, but not all of them. Knowing the difference is an important part of holistic medicine.