DR. WENDY CUNNINGHAM: Five things that healthy people do every day

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1. They believe daily movement is mandatory. Healthy people exercise at least 20 minutes per day, giving them better heart health and increased blood flow for good health all around. Exercise releases worry and tension and it lifts your mood. A recent study showed that fit people, those that exercised regularly, added at least two to six more years to their lives. Exercise also helps brain health. It increases cognitive flexibility, helps nerve cells communicate better, and helps minimize the decline in brain function that begins to occur in our late 20s. Better yet, we all know that exercise burns calories, which helps with weight control. Healthy people use any and all opportunity to move their bodies. Apart from regularly scheduled exercise, such as walking during lunch hour, healthy people park their car at the end of the parking lot or use the stairs instead of the elevator.

2. Healthy people love food. Healthy people do not “diet.” They eat unprocessed, organic, whole food for nourishment, not entertainment. They avoid foods that harm their bodies. They use exercise, not food, to reduce stress and get through emotional difficulties. They aren’t eating processed, sugar-filled, chemical-filled foods. Instead, they opt for superfoods that pack a powerful punch when it comes to the density and diversity of nutrients. Examples of superfoods include: quinoa, walnuts, tart cherries, avocados, wild blueberries, pastured eggs, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, fermented foods, raw dairy, olive oil, dark chocolate, green tea, lentils, pumpkin seeds, spinach and sweet potatoes. They see food costs as an investment in “health care” because it is truly the best medicine.

3. Healthy people sleep. Lack of sleep wreaks havoc on your metabolism, your mood and your ability to think. Because fit people exercise, they burn off the stress that can keep us up at night. If they’ve had a rough day, they practice self-care and take a bath or go to a yoga class to decompress. They understand that rest is just as important as movement and use effective strategies to promote deep sleep.

4. Healthy people unplug. Healthy people limit their screen time. Research supports that the over-use of technology makes stress levels soar. Your best bet is to limit your screen time each day outside of work time to one hour, and give yourself one tech-free day per week.

5. Healthy people monitor their health and listen to their body. Healthy people have an attitude of prevention. If something doesn’t feel right they pay attention and address it in a timely fashion to help prevent the situation from getting worse. To that end, they develop their own “wellness team” that focuses on health proactively and includes health care providers such as a chiropractor, acupuncturist, naturopath, and massage therapist in addition to their medical doctor.

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Wendy Cunningham is a Doctor of Chiropractic, Certified Acupuncturist and Master of Nutrition. For more information, email her at haydenhealth@gmail.com.

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