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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

Writing Your Life Story Workshop September 13thBud Gardner, co-author of Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul, part of the New York Times best-selling series, will conduct a workshop, How to Write Your Life Story, on Saturday, Sept. 13th

Jessup Gala to Celebrate 75th Anniversary on September 20thROCKLIN, Calif., - William Jessup University will host the Jessup Gala on Saturday, September 20 from 6-9 p.m. The dinner and program festivities raise funds for student scholarships.

Brandman University Adding Roseville LocationRoseville,CA -- Brandman University will be locating at 400 Sunrise Blvd. The 9,182 square foot tenant improvement is valued at over $300,000.

Roseville California Crime Brief (8.31.14)Roseville, CA - Roseville California crime brief update report for August 31, 2014.

Acura ILX: Luxury Vehicle, Reasonable PriceFor car shoppers looking for an upscale luxury sedan that doesn't arrive with a luxurious price tag, Acura debuted the ILX a year ago and its back for 2014 virtually unchanged

People with Autism Especially VulnerablePerhaps like you, recently I read of an incident in Okeechobee, Florida, in which an 18-year-old man was recorded on video beating, choking, kicking, and holding a knife to the throat of a 16-year-old boy with autism.

54 Year Old Roseville Woman Killed with Own VehicleRoseville- 54-year-old Bernadette Ann Richardson was killed when her SUV rolled backwards as she was retrieving a bicycle from her 1997 Ford Explorer.

Photos: Napa Earthquake DamageWe recently had the opportunity to tour Napa following the magnitude 6.0 earthquake. The downtown area of Napa which contains many older buildings was hit especially hard.

California Senate Passes New Gun Violence BillCalifornia's state today passed the "Gun Violence Restraining Order (AB 1014)," legislation that would allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court

Laura's Law Implementation in Placer CountyPlacer County became the sixth county in California Tuesday to implement Laura's Law - a state statute that authorizes court-ordered assisted outpatient treatment of residents with severe

$22 Million Animal Services Center in Auburn Moves ForwardThe Placer County Board of Supervisors awarded a design-build contract on Tuesday that paves the way for construction of a long-planned Animal Services Center in North Auburn that

Autism in Girls Study Launched in CaliforniaAutism is far more common in boys than girls - affecting 1 in 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls - but little is known about biological differences between boys and girls with autism.


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