Lifelong Health: Achieving Optimum Well-Being at Any Age

This was one of The Great Courses on Audible delivered by Anthony A. Goodman, an American breast cancer surgeon and author, and it was long.  To be precise, 18 hours and 16 minutes long.  Here’s what I found interesting and worth remembering.  

1 Degree Change

Small changes can make a big difference. A one-degree course change for a ship makes a significant difference in a long time. In the same way, if you start with small positive changes, over time, your efforts will culminate in a substantial positive effect on your health.  This is a great advice in all aspects.  James Clear also talked about the 1% improvement. 


Moderation is key. Just as your body is designed to achieve homeostasis, it’s important for you to find balance when making choices regarding food, exercise, and other areas that affect your health and wellbeing.  The professor doesn’t believe in any specific diets including keto, low carb and etc. based on his study and understanding about the diet in Blue Zones (people who live much longer than average in certain places such as Okinawa in Japan).  He encourages listeners to take carbs and breakfast as well which conflicts with the method recommended by Genius Foods that’s based on Keto.  

Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature 

There are no magical places, times, pills, or potions that can keep you eternally young but there are many things you can do to improve how you feel and how you live your life.  Most of products on the market are just too good to be true.  Even if it can reduce your weight significantly in weeks, you might rebound or even worse, you might get sick.  If you gain 30% weight in 1 year, you might spend the same to reduce it while being healthy.  

Two Medical Advices

1. Don’t accept advice from anybody just because he or she is wearing a white coat. 

2. Be sure that the source of your information is not receiving money by selling you the product or service in question.

Absolute/Relative Risk

Let’s say an article title says “XYZ substance will increase 50% risk to get breast cancer” so you think that applies to every female but often, it only applies to certain group of people.  The statistical data could be 2 out of 700,000 and with that increased risk, the number will be 3 out of 700,000.  The first “50%” is the relative risk and the latter is the absolute risk.  I’ve seen this in product marketing all the time.  For example, a soup promotes that is 100% plant based or it contains 100% whatever essence and you know they’re playing the word game. It often only contains 0.5% of 100% plant based ingredient or 0.1% of 100% whatever essence.  

Evidence-Based Medicine

David Sackett is known as one of the fathers of Evidence-Based Medicine and he said:

  1. Half of what you learn in medical school will be shown to be either dead wrong or out-of-date within 5 years of your graduation; the trouble is that nobody can tell you which half.
  2. The most important thing to learn is how to learn on your own.
  3. Remember that your teachers are as full of bullshit as your parents.

Double Blind Experiment: Triple-blind studies are randomized experiments in which the treatment or intervention is unknown to (a) the research participant, (b) the individual(s) who administer the treatment or intervention, and (c) the individual(s) who assess the outcomes. The purpose of triple-blinding procedures is to reduce assessment bias and to increase the accuracy and objectivity of clinical outcomes.

Blue Zones 

They are regions of the world where, it is claimed, a higher than usual number people live much longer than average. Five “Blue Zones” have been posited: Okinawa (Japan); Sardinia(Italy); Nicoya (Costa Rica); Icaria (Greece); and among the Seventh-day Adventists in Loma Linda, California.

Info that might be outdated

Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation (RICE) is recommended in the lecture but Gabe Mirkin who introduced RICE in 1978 has since recanted his support for the regimen. Instead, other doctors suggest MOVE an injury not RICE

  • Movement, not rest.
  • Options: offer other options for cross training.
  • Vary rehabilitation with strength, balance and agility drills.
  • Ease back to activity early for emotional strength.

About Dan Zen Learning

This is provided by Dan who’s a serial tech entrepreneur, IT sales & marketing professional with 12 year working experiences in Japan, 10 years in Taiwan, 6 years in Beijing and learning something everyday. Blog / Podcast / YouTube でサイトを作成