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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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The Secret to Better Health

H. Robert Silverstein: The main thing is there are five basic activities that people do right or wrong.  They do them right, they get health.  They do them wrong, they run the risk of developing disease.  It’s not an all or none phenomenon.  Not every cigarette smoker gets lung cancer, or emphysema, or bronchitis.  Some people can get away with it, but it’s very, very few.  So you take a look at what I call the five basic activities, which are breathing; drinking; eating; exercise; and you can call the last one the psychological, but I call it “unrealistic expectations”.  So you educate people in those directions and you end up preventing diabetes; high blood pressure; high cholesterol; high triglycerides; gout; predisposition to infections; cancer of the breast, uterus, colon, prostate.  All those diseases sort of have the same common denominators, risk factors for their occurrence.  And so if you are right in all those areas, then you sort of don’t break down in any of those areas.

Question: What are the fundamentals of preventative care?

H. Robert Silverstein: It’s actually fairly simple, but in our society it’s very difficult.  The idea is to make the individual self-reliant so that they need not have medical care . . . costly medical care, undergo surgeries, take expensive medications, develop side effects.  So what you do is you arm people with the information that they need so they don’t require that.  Generally it’s about reduce percent of body fat; an organic, whole foods diet; drinking water and weaker tea; having a positive attitude; smoking rarely, or if at all; and exercising adequately to the point where you have what I like the new acronym of – CLODD – Clear Lines of Definition/Demarcation.  When you have an absence of fat under your skin, like on your abdomen, you can see where the muscles meet the muscles.  And that’s not a six pack ab that’s been ripped because you’ve done a thousand sit ups a day.  That’s just because you have an absence of fat and you have decent muscle development.  So yes it requires some kind of abdominal exercise.  But if you’re going to do abdominal exercise, you’re probably going to do arms, legs, neck, back and so on.  So you need some exercise, but you need all the other things not to get ill.

The Medical Director of the Preventative Medicine Center in Hartford, Connecticut, H. Robert Silverstein describes the five basic activities that can make or break an individual's health.

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