The pursuit of health

The pursuit of health

Robert Barnett

The Roman statesman and philosopher Seneca knew where to draw the line. “Keep the body within bounds,” he advised his cousin, Lucullus. A vegetarian and runner, this modern man of the first century A.D. disdained obsessive athletics, particularly bodybuilding.

Instead of ambitious training programs, he suggested a simpler, more targeted strategy. There are short and simple exercises which will tire the body without undue delay and save what needs especially close accounting for time,” he wrote.

Seneca’s philosophy was simple:

One should keep fit to live an active life.

Today, health experts know better than at any time in history exactly what modest changes in exercise and diet and stress control, sustained over time, will most contribute to our well-being. Like Seneca, we want an efficient painless program. changing lifelong habits is never easy.

But the effort is worthwhile. We now know how exercise can retard aging, which foods help prevent major chronic diseases, the best ways to prevent heart disease and how fitness controls stress. And though, for some, the pursuit of health may be a challenge, the truth is that the habits you need to develop are so basic that you don’t have to be a food faddist, a bodybuilder, a Zen master … or even a philosopher to reach your goals and reap the benefits.

COPYRIGHT 1991 All rights reserved.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group