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  • Dr. Dane Donohue

The 5 Things That All Healthy People Do

Some might ask where health begins. In my almost 30 years as a chiropractor, I've noticed patterns and habits that contribute to overall health. There are commonalities in health and I've whittled it down to 5 major things.

1. Have a Healthy Mindset about Health- Healthy people are proactive in their thinking, they recognize and appreciate that their health is their most valuable asset for which only they themselves can be responsible. Like any asset, its value only increases when you invest in it.

Think self-constructively in terms of creating health abundance versus a self-destructive mindset of believing that great health is scarce and that we have no control over our health because it has already been predetermined by bad luck and our genes. Have faith and believe that “the power that made the body can heal the body”. God created us to be healthy, not sick.

2. Move with Great Posture- It is said that movement follows posture like a shadow. Healthy people, young and old engage in regular challenging exercise and activities that keep their bodies strong, fit, and healthy. This helps them to stay active, independent and living a life full of energy and vitality. Remember, loss of muscle is the #1 indicator of aging in the human body. Also, scientific research now shows us that exercise doesn't just benefit our heart and muscles but also keeps our brain and minds young and healthy. Just like muscle cells, the brain cells need stimulation and the release of neurotransmitters to signal the development and maintenance of healthy brain cells. Scientists have also discovered that 90% of the stimulation of the brain comes from nerve signals firing from the movement of your spine. So, it’s critical we take care of and move our spines, maintaining a healthy posture. My saying to patients is “the closer your head is to the ground, the sooner you may be in the ground”!

3. Eat a Paleo-Terranean Diet- Hippocrates said that “All Disease Begins in the Gut”. Research shows us that the healthiest and oldest people living in the world today enjoy eating a blend of the Paleolithic Diet (Hunter-Gatherer) and the Mediterranean Diet. These two diets focus on a wide variety of fresh natural whole food ingredients rich in plants and vegetables, fiber, good quality meat, and plenty of healthy fats from meats, nuts, oily fish, and oils such as olive oil. The magic of a healthy diet is in the variety, vary your meal ingredients to ensure you consume a wide variety of essential nutrients. Many foods found in our grocery stores and probably already in our cupboards promote inflammation in the body contributing to chronic health conditions. Food acts as more than just calories and energy, food is also information. The building blocks of food act to help regulate healthy biological function in the body, coordinating hormonal signaling and all the different metabolic pathways such as energy production and detoxification. The wrong foods lead to the wrong signaling causing organ dysfunction and over time leads to disease. Foods to avoid: All processed foods (foods typically with more than 2 ingredients), grains, and gluten-containing foods such as bread, cereals, and pasta. Dairy products, milk and cheeses, refined sugars and artificial sweeteners, bad fats such as margarine, spreadable kinds of butter, and vegetable oils. All of these foods drive inflammation in the body leading to disease.

4. Supplement Intelligently- If I eat a healthy diet, don't I get enough nutrients from my food? Why do I need to take extra supplements? Healthy people choose to supplement because they know that our bodies need a little extra help. The nutrient value of our food has steadily reduced over time due to stress on the soils from changes in farming practice and the overuse of pesticides and herbicides to supply the extra demand from an ever-increasing population. Being over-fed and under-nourished is a big problem. Deficiencies in our diet of 3 key nutrients are associated with some of the most common chronic health conditions and diseases. The 3 Essential Supplements I recommend are:

1. Vitamin D3- 5,000 IU’s per day but you should have your levels checked.

2. Probiotics- Pick a good brand that is multi-strain and refrigerated.

3. Omega 3 Fat (Fish Oil/EPA/DHA)- 2,000-3,000 mg per day of a GOOD pure distilled oil.

5. Manage Stress Well- Healthy people schedule a time to manage the effects of stress Is all stress bad? Stress can be defined as "anything our body has to adapt or respond to" and it does this constantly as it adapts and responds to changes in the environment such as temperature, sound, and light. Not all stress is bad. For example, the stress of exercise causes our body to adapt by increasing muscle mass and cardiovascular efficiency, improving our strength and fitness. The fight-flight response to stress can help us to focus and overcome challenges and fears, helping us to reach our goals and achieve our dreams. So, when is stress bad? The problem arises when any stress we encounter or perceive becomes chronic. The stress response should naturally cycle between a pattern of Fight-Flight and Rest & Digest, a time for action and a time for healing and repair. A prolonged stress response causes an un-coupling of this natural cycle and the foot gets left on the accelerator pedal and the body's own adaptive reserves get burned out, leading to adrenal insufficiency and dysfunction. This causes a negative cascading effect on all the other organ systems in the body. If the stress is left untreated, unresolved, or ignored, symptoms will begin to appear as the body continues to lose its normal function. So, it’s critical to minimize and manage our exposure to too much of the wrong kind of stress to stay healthy. Common symptoms of stress include tiredness, fatigue, low energy, thyroid issues, poor sleep, digestive issues, anxiety, feelings of depression, weight gain, food cravings, recurring colds & infections.

Meditation has changed the way I manage stress, my thoughts, and my emotions. It helps me reboot my nervous system and “empty” my stress bucket. My favorite app for meditation is called “Calm”. Try it and let me know if it changes your life like it has mine.

Some of you might already be doing these things. Some of you might need a little assistance and that's where we come in. We'd love to have you come in and talk with us about your health goals. If you're struggling with nutrition, we have a nutrition coach here and supplements on the shelves. If your spine needs adjustment, we're here too. Come talk with us about your health!

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