When we began planning this publication last year, we started by firing off e-mails and making calls to a handful of doctors, health practitioners, fitness buffs, nutrition gurus and educators in Southern Oregon, asking for input.

The most common response we heard, time and again, was, “It’s about time!”

The list of suggested story ideas that came flooding in was overwhelming, but not surprising. All you have to do to realize what a health-conscious community we have is drive around on a weekend morning and see all of the joggers, bikers and walkers greeting the day.

Health isn’t a fad in Southern Oregon, it’s a way of life with deep roots and a very broad reach.

One thing we learned through our early research is that health is a diverse and fast-evolving realm, with incredible advances in medical technology, nutritional research, exercise physiology and understanding of the human brain. Yet in many ways, health hasn’t changed much at all. The “experts” we’ve talked with have hammered us with the same fundamentals that Jack LaLanne used back in the 1950s to motivate America: move, breathe, drink a lot of water and eat well. Many of the story ideas suggested to us are not just old, they’re ancient, going back thousands of years, such as Tai Chi, Ayurveda, acupuncture and Oriental medicine.

At the same time, much of what we’ve been told is brand new. In the last decade, incredible advances have been made in medical technology, diagnostics and treatment, along with an explosive growth in the study of herbs, supplements and foods. We have more health information at our disposal than ever before, and presenting that information is the mission of this magazine and our related Web site (OregonHealthyLiving.com).

We will present you with a broad array of stories on the newest research, and we will deliver it from as many perspectives as we can find. We will introduce you to doctors, nurses, hospitals, clinics, nutritionists, chiropractors, massage therapists, fitness buffs, health-foods advocates, health-related entrepreneurs and many others.

We will stress the same fundamentals stressed to us — get off the couch, move your body, drink lots of water, eat good food — and we’ll weave it together with suggestions on how to incorporate the latest information into your busy life.

Through it all we will depend on you for feedback, to let us know what you’d like to see. Because the number one goal of Oregon Healthy Living magazine is to help all of us find our path toward health.