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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

Placer County Republican Party To Hold 2014 ConventionLOOMIS - The Placer County Republican Party will hold its endorsement convention on Aug. 23 to select which candidates to support for local offices in Placer County.

Job Fair in Roseville August 22ndRoseville, CA -- Multiple community agencies including Brandman University, The City of Roseville Libraries, Placer, Sacramento and El Dorado Counties, Golden Sierra Job Training, and Sacramento Works

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California Limits Full Contact Football for StudentsGovernor Jerry Brown signed into law AB2127 which limits, but does not eliminate full contact football practices for middle and high school students.

Beware of Deceptive Home Improvement OffersThe California Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is urging consumers to be aware of home improvement offers by individuals who use unethical business practices to gain entry into their homes

Continuous Improvement Network: August 6th & 20thSierra College CACT provides Value Stream Mapping Training in Sacramento on August 6 & 20 for the Continuous Improvement Network

Alternative Transportation Programs in Placer CountyPlacer County Transportation Planning Agency (PCTPA) is your resource for information about alternative transportation services in Placer County.

Auburn Woman Attacked Inside HomePlacer County sheriff's detectives are looking for a man who attacked a woman at her north Auburn home early this morning.

Western Nationals Softball Tournament in Roseville and LincolnASA Softball is bringing the Western Nationals for the Girls B 10U & 12U divisions to the Placer Valley Area. The event is six days long, taking place from July 28-August 3.

Tahoe Public Projects Garner AttentionTahoe Transportation District has been recognized nationally and by the state of Nevada for its positive impacts, collaborative initiatives, environmental enhancement, and service to the community's

Rocklin National Night Out Events August 5thEach community member is invited to join their neighborhood watch group and the Rocklin Police Department for National Night Out on Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

Recovery Plan for California Salmon and SteelheadNOAA Fisheries and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) jointly released two plans to restore populations of salmon and steelhead in California's Central Valley


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