Secondary Story

A Short Guide to a Long Life

A Book Review
Paula Torgeson
Director of the Fox Lake Public Library

It was Thomas Paine who in 1776 wrote in a pamphlet: “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Whether or not this quote is true for you today, it can be said that much of what happens on the world stage is beyond our control. However taking steps to prevent illness and therefore aiming to live a healthy life is well within our reach. Dr. David Agus’ book A Short Guide to a Long Life is filled with health tips that if followed, can assure we can become change agents. That is, when we take care of our health, he claims, the need for health care goes down, bringing down the demand, which brings down the cost.

Dr. Agus stresses that while health information is a moving target, the tips in his book stand true based on current data obtained from multiple studies. While all the health tips are important, some of the more meaningful ones include alleviating stress by establishing daily routines: eating, sleeping, and rising in the morning at the same times, in order to maintain our body’s balanced state of being (homeostasis); eating whole foods, that do not come with nutrition labels and are not in juice form; getting familiar with the diseases in our bloodlines; devising health goals for the next several years, and designing a plan to succeed; and figuring out what our own personal definition of health is.

He ends his book with a series of lists: 10 Actions to Reduce Your Risk for Illness; Popular Weight Loss Myths; Top 10 Most Sugary Foods; and Top 10 Reasons to Go to the ER.

If you want a quick read, packed with a great deal of health information, you will not be disappointed with A Short Guide to a Long Life.

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