Lifestyle Medicine: a new book by Anthony Armstrong

Jun 28, 2024

Date:28 June 2024

Content Sections

  • What to expect
  • On the plus side
  • Being a critical friend…
  • In summary
  • About the Author

By Meleni Aldridge, executive coordinator

 

“Around 25 years ago, a friend suggested I should read a book about lifestyle medicine that led to a transformation of my health. I believe this book can help do the same for anyone who reads it, because a significantly longer, happier and healthier life is possible for most people. I hope you take the “incredible journey”

– Tony Armstrong, Author

 

Lifestyle Medicine by Anthony Armstrong, a metallurgist and musician, is a compelling exploration of a layperson’s transformative journey into the world of lifestyle medicine and the use of nature not drugs to prevent, treat, and manage the largely preventable conditions and diseases that plague our society. What makes this book so special is that it’s written by someone who has not been medically or scientifically trained, yet has spent over 2 decades researching the (dirty!) business with disease, while also experiencing the transformational effects of drug-free, lifestyle and nutritional medicine.

This book is, in our view, great and, for some, will likely be a potentially life-saving, addition to the literature on health and wellness. While the author is a layperson, he demonstrates his passion to inspire others to learn what he learned from leaders in the field, ANH included, on his own journey to health transformation. As such, it’s also full of practical insights into the benefits of lifestyle modifications.

Having said that, there’s also plenty in this book that will be of interest to seasoned health professionals, including, Part 3, which looks at conventional medicine and the drug industry and Part 5, which compares the divergent treatment approaches of conventional and lifestyle medicine.

The top line, unsurprisingly, is the emphasis on the significant role that diet, physical activity, stress management, sleep, and other lifestyle factors play in achieving optimal health and well-being. Something of a welcome surprise is the history of the drug industry and a significant section on the attack on lifestyle medicine, which even drills into specific EU directives and regulations. This book usefully traces the history of the health industry over the past two decades, serving as a helpful repository of information that would be out of reach of most people.

What to expect

The book is no throwaway—it’s a meaty 379 pages, divided into clear and well-organised chapters, that take you on a journey through the more recent history of conventional and lifestyle medicine. The author lays a solid foundation in Part 1 where he addresses the differences between, as well as the strengths and weaknesses, of both conventional and lifestyle medicine.

A real standout for us is the author’s ability, probably because of his lack of formal scientific or medical training, to translate complex concepts into easily digestible language. This makes the book accessible to a broad audience, including those without a medical background. Not only that, many chapters are brought to life with real-life stories and practical tips that readers can apply to their daily lives.

On the plus side

  1. Comprehensive: The author has made a big effort to include the shadowy side of the health industry of which many are appear to be still unaware. This kind of information doesn’t normally appear in most practical lifestyle medicine or wellness books that try to remain apolitical often without justification. In recognising the drive to empower others to make health changes, it’s clear Anthony Armstrong wanted to cover off why so much of the information in the book is not usually shared on a visit to a conventional general practitioner (GP). The book addresses the critical aspects of lifestyle medicine and provides a well-rounded view of how various lifestyle factors interconnect to influence health.
  2. Accessible: The book’s clear and engaging writing style makes it suitable for laypersons, it gives conventionally trained medics a whistle-stop tour of lifestyle and nutritional medicine, and many will find the historic review puts our current predicament with conventional versus alternative medicine into clear context.
  3. Factual: This book is a compilation of literally thousands of facts that the author has amassed through his own research and reading. He’s meticulously represented a vast body of factual information that is current and up-to-date at the time of publication.
  4. Current: On top of the wealth of historical information in this book, Armstrong has also included a very detailed chapter on the covid-19 pandemic and an entire chapter entitled ‘Mankind Faces a Devastating Future’ — a wake-up call for those lulled into a false sense of security that the world hasn’t changed since the pandemic and that democracy isn’t under threat.
  5. Practical guidance: The inclusion of actionable advice and strategies empowers readers to make positive changes in their own lives. This is brought to life even more by the author’s personal story and those of others throughout the book.

Being a critical friend…

But what you read here is a critique of the book, and we owe it to Anthony Armstrong and to you, our readers and supporters, to be a critical friend. So here goes:

  1. Limited depth in some areas: While the book offers a broad overview, some readers may find certain sections lacking in depth. For instance, if the reader was looking for more detailed discussions on specific dietary plans or guidance on exercise protocols, look elsewhere. That said, Mr Armstrong has, to his credit, stuck to his remit of sharing a large body of experts’ wisdom from his own research and stayed away from areas that would have required a health qualification.
  2. Referencing:  It would have been wonderful to have had in-text citations, footnotes or endnote references to allow readers to get to the material Mr Armstrong had used as his own sources. But knowing how dedicated we are at ANH at referencing sources of information, it was very reassuring to get an explanation from the author when he sent us a copy of the book for review. Anthony explained to us that the book was initially intended to be a much smaller read that was compiled just for his friends and family. In time, like so many good projects, it grew. He shared the following with us; “When I wrote the prequel, I had no idea that it would ever be published and given that very few people ever read hundreds of references, I simply did not bother to do so. When I read the thousands of articles and nearly a hundred books that have helped develop the book, I simply wrote down a few key facts from each of them. I then rewrote them in a way that suited the aim of the book. I really am as certain as I can be that every fact in the book is correct”. However, many, if not all, of the experts, (such as Dr Peter Gotzsche, Dr Malcolm Kendrick, Marcia Angell M.D, Robert F Kennedy Jr, Dr James Le Fanu, Children’s Health Defence, and of course ANH) are mentioned by name within the pages.   
  3. Format and pitch size: I used the adjective ‘meaty’ to describe this book for good reason as it has a font size and format that leaves you in no doubt that you’re getting a book packed with information. I hope this won’t deter readers from purchasing this book as it really is worth a read. Perhaps in time, Mr Armstrong will consider an audio recording of his book? 

In summary

I found Lifestyle Medicine by Anthony Armstrong to be an enlightening and practical guide that underscores the critical role of lifestyle choices in maintaining and improving health. His ability to distil complex information into an engaging and easily digestible format makes this book a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding some of the forces at play today in the health industry. It makes it crystal clear why top-down approaches to health exclude certain ‘no brainers’ in terms of nutrition and lifestyle interventions that are required to pursue a healthy and regenerative lifestyle.

I’m sure the general public who prefer not to be bogged down in a multitude of references, will appreciate the straightforward advice, true life stories and practical tips littered throughout this book. Mr Armstrong may not be a health professional, but sometimes it takes a passionate lay person to take a step back and collate a large body of information that has come from a wide array of scientists and clinicians. In this book, his work not only educates, but also inspires readers to take proactive steps towards better health.

Overall, Lifestyle Medicine is a testament to the profound impact that simple nutrition and lifestyle changes can have on individual and public health, which in my view, offers hope and practical solutions to combat the exponential rise in chronic diseases. More importantly it sets out a case for why you should take your health into your own hands.

About the Author

Anthony Armstrong hails from near Wigan in the Greater Manchester area of the UK. Although he favoured chemistry at school, he chose a different, more specialised, career in metallurgy for his working career in the steel wire industry. A keen musician since early childhood, neither are pursuits you’d associate with writing a book about lifestyle medicine.

Yet, 25 years ago, Anthony began to learn about how to manage your health naturally and very quickly mild interest turned to passion when he discovered how it could transform his health and life expectancy. This book is the culmination of 25 years of reading and research — thousands of articles and nearly 100 related books to be precise. His driving force initially was just to share the positive health message with as many friends and relatives as possible, but when many of them found it difficult to believe, he knew he had to write this book.

Anthony’s passion for lifestyle medicine is undimmed and he attests to being healthier now than he was four decades ago. Twenty-five years on, ably supported by his wonderful wife Joyce, he’s still a keen runner and a stranger to his doctor!

>>> Purchase your copy of Lifestyle Medicine: A journey that can transform your health and life expectancy by Anthony Armstrong, published December 2023.

 

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