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A Short Guide to a Long Life

A Short Guide to a Long Life

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by David B. Agus

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The New York Times bestselling book of simple rules everyone should follow in order to live a long, healthy life, featuring illustrations throughout, from the author of The End of Illness.

In his international bestseller, The End of Illness, Dr. David B. Agus shared what he has learned from his work as a pioneering cancer doctor, revealing the


The New York Times bestselling book of simple rules everyone should follow in order to live a long, healthy life, featuring illustrations throughout, from the author of The End of Illness.

In his international bestseller, The End of Illness, Dr. David B. Agus shared what he has learned from his work as a pioneering cancer doctor, revealing the innovative steps he takes to prolong the lives of not only cancer patients, but all those who want to enjoy a vigorous, lengthy life. Now Dr. Agus has turned his research into a practical and concise illustrated handbook for everyday living.

A Short Guide to a Long Life is divided into three sections (What to Do, What to Avoid, and Doctor’s Orders) that provide the definitive answers to many common and not-so-common questions: Who should take a baby aspirin daily? Are flu shots safe? What constitutes “healthy” foods? Are airport scanners hazardous? Dr. Agus believes optimal health begins with our daily routines. His book will help you develop new patterns of personal health care, using inexpensive and widely available tools that are based on the latest and most reliable science.

An accessible and essential handbook for preparing for visits to the doctor and maintaining control of your future, “A Short Guide to a Long Life explores the simple idea that a healthy tomorrow starts with good habits today” (Fortune).

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Taking inspiration from Michael Pollan’s Food Rules, cancer specialist Agus distills advice from his previous book (The End of Illness) into a simple set of rules for living wisely through healthy habits. His series of dos and don’ts advocate cultivating a measure of physical self-awareness in order to quickly note any changes in the body, as a means of preventing and detecting disease; consuming unprocessed, whole foods while avoiding artificial vitamins and supplements; and taking medications like statins and low-dose aspirin prophylactically. Agus also covers commonly accepted practices like maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, getting a flu shot, and complying with your doctor’s advice, while not smoking, getting sunburned, or wearing uncomfortable shoes. The book closes with a checklist of checkups needed in each decade of life—another reminder of the self-knowledge needed for disease prevention. Little line drawings and a conversational, fatherly tone make this guide light and easy to follow, if rather facile, and readers who have already taken Agus as a health guru will love it. Those who still need convincing might do better to read his earlier book, which includes references to the actual research behind his recommendations. 66 b&w line drawings. (Jan.)
“The little volume contains Agus’s starkest, most clear-cut prescriptions yet…in a field rife with caveats, Agus speaks with a ringing clarity.”
Shelf Awareness for Readers
“This little book is full of great reminders.”
Boston Globe
“[Dr. Agus] makes better health feel like an attainable goal.”
“The beauty of Agus’ book is that it is short, comes straight to the point, and is devoid of arcane medical terms. The other sublime effect is that it was written to ‘prevent’ poor health practices, rather than deal with the costly solutions needed to cure you.”
A Short Guide to a Long Life explores the simple idea that a healthy tomorrow starts with good habits today.”
IL) News-Gazette (Champaign
"[A] small but important book… This is a book that could change your life, literally. Even following half the tips can make a huge difference in how you feel each day…If you are going to check out a new book this summer, A Short Guide to a Long Life is a great one to start with.”
Kirkus Reviews
In a follow-up to The End of Illness (2012), which explored how technological advances will transform medicine, Agus (Medicine and Engineering/Univ. of Southern California) restates time-tested but too often overlooked principles for healthy living. The author outlines simple measures that average citizens can take to live healthier lives and extend their life spans by taking advantage of modern technology to develop personalized records. These would include a list of medical tests and recommended treatments. Agus also suggests keeping track of indicators that can be observed at home on a regular basis--e.g., changes in energy, weight, appetite and blood pressure, blood sugar and general appearance. He advises that all of this information be made available online, and it is also helpful to investigate family history and consider DNA testing where indicated. Along with maintaining a healthy weight, Agus emphasizes the importance of eating a balanced diet, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and a minimum of red meat. Avoid packaged vitamins and food supplements, and if possible, grow your own vegetables or buy frozen vegetables, which will generally be fresher than those on supermarket shelves. The author also warns against processed foods that make health claims but contain additives or excessive amounts of sugar or fat. Regular mealtimes and plenty of sleep, frequent hand-washing and oral hygiene are a must; smoking and excessive time in the sun should also be avoided. Agus recommends that adults should consider taking statins and baby aspirin as preventative measures. He concludes with a decade-by-decade checklist of annual medical examinations that should be routine--e.g. blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol screenings, from one's 20s on; colonoscopies, prostate exams and mammograms later--and a variety of top-10 lists (for example, "Top 10 Reasons to Take a Walk"). Useful but disappointingly commonplace tips.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

David B. Agus, MD, author of the New York Times and international bestsellers The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life, is a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California and heads USC’s Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. He is one of the world’s leading physicians and pioneering biomedical researchers, and is a CBS News contributor. He lives in Beverly Hills, California.

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A Short Guide to a Long Life 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
NY_writer_222 More than 1 year ago
I was uncertain about the book when I bought it, but absolutely love it.  It is now with my children who don't want to give it back.  The to-dos and not to-dos all are data driven, and have already made a big difference in my life!!
Mitton More than 1 year ago
It’s a shame that good health care advice is not more sexy. Advice like ‘Strengthen your Core and Maintain Good Posture’ or ‘Be Positive’ pale in the face of bright orange books with covers that shout “IF YOU BUY ME I WILL GUARANTEE THAT IN ONLY TEN DAYS YOU WILL BE A SKINNY RICH MOVIE STAR WHO POOPS GOLDEN EGGS!” But since most purveyors of health are really just collecting cash good advice can be hard to find. A Short Guide to a Long Life by David Agus is just about as good as advice gets. The book can be easily read in a few hours but can truly change the rest of your life. He lists sixty-five tidbits under three headings: What to Do, What to Avoid, and Doctor’s Orders. I’m sorry but there is nothing new, novel, or earth-shattering here. No magic pills or unknown secret Chinese bulbs that will keep you in perfect health until age 150. What you will find is very excellent advice in all areas of health and well being. Advice that is time tested and accurate. Advice that actually will help you live longer and happier. And keep more of your money. There is a good bit of Grandma’s advice here – grow a garden, don’t skip breakfast, have children (!) – but lots of new stuff, too, like scheduling your life on computer or getting a DNA screen. I especially liked the What to Avoid section where he slays a host of health myths: forget juicing (“Does your body really like consuming ten carrots all at once?”), ignore ‘detoxes’, and no, GMOs are not going to kill you and your children. I think this is a wonderfully handy little guide that makes a useful reference. Two thumbs way up. Read it all the way through or read a chapter and then work on it for a week. Either way will lead you to better health.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not much of a reader but this book kept my interest. Great tips and full of information.
Jim_Capp More than 1 year ago
I heard Dr. Agus interviewed on Howard Stern. Howard is at the top of his game with the interviews. It was so interesting that I immediately purchased the book. I was not disappointed. There is a lot of information in this small book. Words to live by I would say. I am going to try to live by most of these "rules". Read this book. If people would just follow a small portion of this advice we would be better off.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very disappointed to find that Dr Agus supported GMO food. That killed it for me as I believe Monsanto is pure evil and that the food that they are growing laced with pesticides are poisoning us.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read Hector's Juice
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like soap.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"he pinpoints the advice in three easy-to-read, easy-to-understand sections: Who to Do, What to Avoid, Doctor's Orders. "....don't you mean "WHAT to do", not "WHO to do"??