Health is the ability to live your dreams…Moshe Feldenkrais
Live Now, Thrive Later is my investigation into how to live a long, healthy, happy and fulfilling life.
I analyse and deconstruct popular fitness trends, diet fads and lifestyle hacks with a skeptical and philosophical eye.
“Suffer now, to avoid suffering later” – This is the standard prescription for health and longevity: Trudge away on the treadmill, pound away in the gym, and if you work hard enough hopefully in 50 years you won’t be too decrepit to enjoy your retirement.
But suffering and sacrifice really are not necessary – In fact the science shows that they are more likely to be counter productive!
The best healthy behaviours are those that are rewarding in themselves: Those that can be enjoyed in the moment and provide pleasure in the here and now, not those that must be followed begrudgingly in the hope of staving off old age.
What is Health?
The dictionary defines health as the absence of illness or injury, but I don’t find this definition adequate.
“Health is the ability to live your dreams” – Moshe Feldenkrais
That’s more like it! For me, health is the capacity to:
- Live life to the full, right here, right now.
- Have the strength, fitness and energy to go anywhere, and do anything that you desire.
- Enjoy Freedom – freedom of movement, freedom from pain and illness, freedom from stress and anxiety, freedom of expression.
- Maximise LIFE expectancy, not just longevity – Maintain all of the above right until the end.
What went wrong?
I am very happy to be alive today – society has made great progress and we are in many ways the luckiest humans to have ever lived.
There is trouble in paradise however, with industrialised countries facing epidemics of obesity, diabetes, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, addiction and suicide.
The evidence indicates that much of today’s ill-health and unhappiness results from the divergence of our diets and lifestyles from our evolutionary heritage.
This does not mean that we should eschew all aspects of modern life and go live in a cave as a hunter-gatherer. Rather that we must identify the elements of industrialised society that detract from our health and happiness, and adopt alternatives.
- Reducing our consumption of high calorie, low nutrient junk food
- Breaking free from our sedentary indoor lives
- Eliminating needless stress from worrying about things that really don’t matter
- Stopping chasing after extrinsic and ultimately unsatisfying goals
These changes are not best achieved via abstinence, will-power and discipline, however, but rather by focusing on positive, active behaviours:
- Learning to cook tasty, nutritious and delicious food from real ingredients
- Discovering fun and stimulating physical activities that are challenging but rewarding
- Building strong social connections and making time for yourself
- Developing and maintaining strength, fitness and confidence that will serve you now, and for the rest of your life
These lifestyle, attitude and belief changes, though not always easy to implement, will pay their dividends immediately, not in thirty or forty years time when you retire and it’s already too late!
This is just a brief outline to the Live Now, Thrive Later lifestyle and philosophy. Browse the links at the top of the page, Eat, Move, Train and Live for some easy to follow introductory guides on how to start living life to the full, both now, and later.