Friday, November 29, 2013

Secret to Good Health

As I read this information from John’s Hopkins on how to maintain good eyesight, it occurred to me that products advertised as the secret to good health must be a scam.

This article from a group of medical experts tells that other than regular checkups, to maintain good eyesight “many lifestyle factors that protect our heart health may also help keep our eyes healthy, including being active; getting enough sleep; controlling blood pressure and diabetes; not smoking; maintaining a healthy weight; and eating a diet rich in fish and leafy, green vegetables like spinach and kale.  Wow, that’s almost the same advice for every other health concern, not only heart health, but also improving the effects of arthritis, preventing chronic illness  and promoting memory and general mental health.

The real secret to good health is that there is no secret.  Health authorities have not been trying to hide anything from us.  There is no big secret "doctors don't want you to know."  In fact they have been shouting from the rooftops at every opportunity.  We are told over and over on a number of issues that if we want to avoid problems and just generally feel better we should:  get enough sleep, eat healthy, drink alcohol in moderation, stop smoking, get plenty of exercise, get enough liquids, use sunscreen, wear work gloves or protective eyewear as appropriate, learn relaxation techniques to reduce stress, brush and floss, wash your hands and get a flu shot.  This should come as a surprise to no one.  We have heard all this advice or subsets of it many times for many years.

The problem with advice like this is that no one wants to hear it.  Americans are looking for the easy way, one that requires little discipline.  So every time a new diet book is published or the doctors on TV tell us about a miracle cure or another health secret, people want to sign up for the program (and send in their money).  They can’t hold an audience by saying the same things over and over, especially when we are so desperate for secrets, so the authors and television personalities must give us secrets.

The real secret is the boring truth – that there is no secret.  Like every other endeavor in life, staying healthy requires a little luck and a lot of discipline to stick to the best course of action.  The rest is distraction.

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