How to get and stay healthy

There's an old saying: you don't wait until you're thirsty to start digging a well. Likewise, you don't wait until you get sick or hurt to start taking care of yourself. Health is not merely the absence of disease, so don't "settle."

We spent a lot of time trying to think of a framework for discussing health maintenance. Here's one we stole/borrowed from SAR (search and rescue) training: priorities for wilderness survival. Here it is, priorities in descending order of importance:

Priority #1 Will to live
Priority #2 Air
Priority #3 Shelter
Priority #4 Rest
Priority #5 Water
Priority #6 Food

You may notice that exercise is not on the list. In the context of wilderness survival, exercise is unavoidable: you would be required to exert yourself to find and gather food, water and shelter materials. At the very least, then, you should incorporate more physical activity into your everyday life. Choose to climb stairs instead of taking the elevator or escalator. Don't cruise the parking lot for a space closest to the store. Walk or bike to places whenever you can. Start a garden, or pick some other pastime that requires some physical exertion - if it's fun, you won't have to force yourself.