For most of history, viruses, bacteria, or injuries were mankind’s main causes of death. This is called the “first age,” and it continued well into the 20th century. But with the discovery of vaccines, antibiotics, and general medical knowledge regarding how to fix a broken body, we began to control many killer diseases and repair what once would have been fatal injuries. And as a result, this “first age” ended, and average life spans began to rise incredibly fast in modern countries over the past 100 years.
This newfound expertise in combating disease and injury was a huge leap forward. What was still ignored or misunderstood, however, was the science of good health. Many of us – including doctors – smoked, overindulged in alcohol, ate fatty foods, embraced the emerging comforts of modern life (such as television), and didn’t think at all about exercise. The result was the “second age” spanning much of the past 60 years, in which heart disease and cancer rates grew to epidemic proportions and replaced viruses and bacteria as the leading causes of death in modern nations.
But something amazing has happened in just the past two decades. Researchers figured out what makes a heart go wrong, and how to fix it. We even began to understand and successfully treat cancer. Today, a diagnosis of either condition carries with it a greater measure of hope and recovery than ever before. And along the way we how nutrition, exercise, stress, and compulsive habits like smoking and drinking affect our bodies and cause disease.
Welcome then to the “Third Age,” in which we are living longer and healthier than ever before. Just because you are living longer doesn’t mean that you are destined to suffer from these diseases and conditions of aging. For one component of the “third age” of health is an unprecedented understanding of the underlying cause of good health. Fifteen years ago, issues like chronic inflammation weren’t understood. Today, we know that a perpetually on-attack immune system is a major cause of age-related disease. We also didn’t know the subtleties of “good” cholesterol or the complex chemistry changes in your body that is caused by stress and relaxation of the power of micronutrients in our food to fight age-related disease and decline.
With all this new understanding, we are on the verge of achieving not just long life, but long health. But- and this is a major but – it’s up to you. Doctors and the health-care system cannot deliver long health. It doesn’t come in a pill. Only you can make it happen. Are you up for the challenge?
Come back on Wednesday in my next blog when I give you advise on what you can and need to do to take this challenge. It may not be easy. It may cause you some discomfort, but It’s time to take back your health today! The results are worth the work.
Giving you the most current and up to date advice on living a longer and active life.
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