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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

Roseville Paying 20 Percent More for ThisRoseville, CA, - Roseville gas prices dipped again slightly this past week offering motorists a slight reprieve since the gas tax went into effect on November 1

263,000 Acres Already Torched in Southern California FiresCalifornia Fire Updates 2017: Over 9,000 firefighters remain on the line, successfully making progress in containment of several of the fires that sparked last week in southern California

WinterWonderGrass Music and Brew Festival Tickets On SaleOlympic Valley, Calif., - Silhouetted against the snowy Sierra Nevada, WinterWonderGrass Festival returns for its 4th year at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows with headlining artists

TobyMac Tour Coming to Sacramento and RenoSacramento,CA, - Seven-time GRAMMY winner TobyMac will once again bring his dynamic "HITS DEEP Tour" to 29 markets next year, alongside a talent-packed line up

Gold Country Wildlife Rescue Seeks Volunteers and InternsAUBURN - Gold Country Wildlife Rescue is seeking the assistance of dedicated individuals to help support animals in need.

All-new Volkswagen Atlas a roomy SUVRoseville, CA,- Looking to fill what it considered a void in its sport utility vehicle offerings, Volkswagen developed the 2018 Atlas.

Lower Cost Electricity Anticipated for Some Placer County ResidentsPLACER COUNTY, CA - In December, residents and businesses will receive the first of several notices informing them about the coming change in their electric energy supply

Groundbreaking for Interstate 80 / Highway-65 Interchange ImprovementsRoseville, CA, - The Placer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA), in partnership with Caltrans, the South Placer Regional Transportation Authority, the Federal Highway Administration

Merry Days & Holly Nights at Squaw Valley Alpine MeadowsOlympic Valley, Calif.- Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is celebrating its second annual Merry Days & Holly Nights, two weeks of spirited events and activities December 16-31.

Southern California Fires Fueled by WindsCalifornia Fire Updates 2017: Over 8,500 firefighters have made significant progress on the wildfires burning in southern California. As containment lines continue to be reinforced, many evacuations have been lifted

$111 Million Budget Adopted by PCWA BoardAUBURN, Calif. , - At its December 7 meeting, the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors adopted the Agency's 2018 budget

Woman Found Dead in the American River CanyonAuburn, CA,- The Placer County Sheriff's Coroner's Office has confirmed the identity of the woman found in the American River canyon Wednesday as Yin Wong, 33, of Sacramento.


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