Diet and Exercise – As Simple As Possible…but not Simpler

If you knew exactly how long you were going to live and had no choice to change it, would you still follow a ‘healthy’ lifestyle?

After all, what is the point of health foods, healthy lifestyle choices, exercising, dieting anyway? If you engage in any of this you must have some sort of end game in mind.

My assumption is that your goal is to live as vigorously as possible for as long as possible. A more poetic way to say it would be:

“To die young…as old as possible”

No matter what you believe, there is one fact we all must face: We are all going to die.

And unless something miraculous happens in the next 30-50 years in modern medicine we’re all going to have to accept this fact.

So, given that you simply cannot live forever, all you have left is a choice of how you would like to spend the time that you do have.

This is where the concept of living a ‘healthy’ lifestyle comes into question.

Can you prove that the things you do and the way you choose to live will actually enhance the quality of your life (if not the length)?

Will eating raw foods do this? will eating low carb do this? Is interval training required for this? what about functional training?

Is stressing about all of this actually going to be worse for your overall quality and length of your life more than any benefit a diet or exercise routine could have had?

I went to a conference on aging a back in september and the 2 take home messages I got were as follows:

1. If there is going to be anything that can extend the length of our life beyond the current average, it’s not going to be a new style of diet or exercise. (we already know what to do as far as diet and exercise is concerned)

2.  The oldest people on record have only one thing in common…a low stress/laid back outlook on life.

I’m sure there are some risk factors you can reduce with your diet and exercise habits. But in general there is no proof that they will ever help you live longer than what we would expect based on current population data.

So the next step is living vigorously for as long as you can. And that is precisely what I am trying to do. One of the major keys to this is balancing the effort put into diet/exercise/lifestyle with the stress that these choices bring.

I’ll add in what is necessary but nothing more.

From what I can gather, simplicity is one of the basic tenets of achieving vigorous health for a lifetime. If I can simplify the things I need to do then I’m doing a good job

For example: with food it is just calories in vs calories out + variety. Any rules beyond this add unnecessary stress with no proof of benefit.

(The only caveat I will add is that intermittent fasting might very well be the most beneficial way to reduce calories)

If I’m making things too complicated then I’m not only adding unnecessary effort and work but I’m also adding unnecessary stress.

I’ll have to borrow another quote from Einstein because he said it so well:

“make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler”

This is my basic philosophy on health and wellness.

So what is your end game?