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Live a healthy life by choice, not chance



In contemplating this month's column near the March 17 celebration date, we thought of the word 'luck,' and that getting and staying healthy is anything but luck.

Being optimally healthy is a result of tens of thousands of deliberate and intentional decisions made throughout a lifetime. While genes also play a significant role, it is lifestyle and attitude that determine our level of health more than our genes. All of us have some 'bad' genes that puts at risk for certain diseases.

We don't know what genes the fitness guru, 95-years-young Jack LaLanne has, but according to his own story, as a youngster he was addicted to sugar and was headed for disaster. He said:

'When I was young, I had blinding headaches and an uncontrollable temper. I had a mastoid [a bony structure behind the ear] so painful that I tried to kill my brother. I tried to burn down the house. I felt I was psycho when I was a kid, but then I started exercising and eating right, and it saved my life. So now I want to save everyone's life.'

A healthy lifestyle and attitude can trump 'bad' genes. Like a light switch, by choosing healthy lifestyle choices, we can turn 'off' these poor genetic tendencies and steer ourselves away from disease.

The most effective and least expensive solution to life's challenges, including poor health, is to adjust our attitudes. Life is filled with things we can't control, like our past mistakes, but everybody has 100 percent control of their attitude. Emotions such as bitterness, vindictiveness, resentment, anger, regret, jealousy and dozens of others are choices, can be toxic, and do lead to just about any medical condition.

Dr. Viktor Frankl - losing his entire family to the Nazis, constantly being under the threat of execution and starvation for three years of terror in a concentration camp, and even having the manuscript of his life's work destroyed - did not despair. He even chose not to become bitter, or to hate his enemy. If he could choose such an attitude in such horrible conditions, we certainly can do the same.

Frankl said, 'Everything can be taken from a person but ... the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.'

'Superman' actor Christopher Reeve, who went from physical vitality to barely breathing could have chosen bitterness, but instead said, 'I am a lucky man!'

Exercise is not a luxury. It is absolutely essential for optimal health. The American Amish, who walk an average 16,000 steps in their daily lives (compared to the average American's 2,000 steps), are rarely diabetic or overweight. Since most of us don't have physically demanding jobs, it is critical to schedule exercise time and make it a priority. If it is not scheduled, it will usually not happen.

Although we often speed through life without consciously realizing the decisions that affect our health, let us remember that our health is in our hands, not in our 'luck.'

- Reach Meghan O'Hara, a certified holistic health counselor, at Dietitian Meghan@SacND.com. Contact Dr. Godby at DrGodby@SacND.com, (916) 446-2591 or http://www.SacND.com


Dr. Dennis Godby, Doctor of Naturopathy, Sutter Medical Foundation.
He may be reached online or at his Sacramento Office (916) 446-2591.




Placer County News Headlines

Drexel to Shutter Sacramento ProgramsDrexel University's board of trustees has decided to begin the process of phasing out Drexel's undergraduate and graduate programs in Sacramento

Sutter Roseville Addresses Patient Care During CNA PicketThe California Nurses Association (CNA) has informed Sutter Roseville Medical Center (SRMC) it will hold an informational picket in front of the medical center on Thursday, March 5

Placer SPCA Reduced Adoption FeesThroughout the month of March, all Lucky St. Catrick's cats have waived adoption fees and all St. Pitty's Day pit bulls have a reduced adoption fee

Lake Tahoe Ski Resorts Get Boost with SnowstormTahoe South launches into spring with more than a foot of fresh powder falling on area ski resorts: Heavenly, Sierra-at-Tahoe and Kirkwood this past weekend

Local Women Recognized at Soroptomist Awards CeremonySoroptimist International of Loomis Basin (SILB) recently presented nearly $5,000 in community awards

50 Days of the Dead: Mission in the RainThe Jerry Garcia Band ripping through a powerful Mission in the Rain from one of our favorite shows.

Roseville Crime Report Digest Update (3.3.15)The Roseville, CA weekly police crime report update for March 3, 2015.

Roseville Thieves Targeting Mail and Catalytic ConvertersRoseville police are reporting an increase in both mail and catalytic converter thefts.

Led Zeppelin in Roseville on March 30thRoseville area residents have the opportunity to see Led Zeppelin on the big screen March 30th at Century Roseville

Vertical Express for Can Do MS Squaw ValleyVertical Express for Can Do MS at Squaw Valley March 14- 15.

California Nut Festival Tickets on Sale March 6thTickets for the 2015 California Nut Festival held in Chico go on sale March 6th.

Ophir Gardens: Safe Water Flows AgainResidents of Ophir Gardens no longer have to worry about having a safe, reliable water supply.


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