Since we are at the beginning of a new year, I wanted to remind myself why I feel such a passion about the word prevention.  It truly motivates me.

Although I do take a blood pressure medicine now after experiencing a bout with hypertension, I feel grateful that as I approach my 78th year I feel as healthy as I do.  I attribute that to a decision I made several  years ago to literally take control of my health myself.  When I read Dr. Frank Lipman’s statement about what it takes to prevent those familiar deadly chronic diseases such as diabetes 2 and heart disease, I realized what a wise decision that was.   I truly had become a “master of my own health,” simply by making a few lifestyle changes.

Dr. Frank Lipman, Integrative Physician, states, “In a true health care system, we must use modern western medicine for what it is good at –

(1)  crisis care

(2)  acute medical

(3)  surgical emergencies

and natural, non-toxic and non-invasive therapies whenever possible.

He further states that the most effective ways of preventing and treating most chronic diseases are:

(1)  Diet

(2)  Supplements

(3)  Exercise

(4)  Stress management and other benign modalities.

And herein lies the rub. Although guidance may be helpful, lifestyle changes can’t be imposed from above – they have to come from us.   There is no greater reward than being the master of our own health.”

With Americans spending more on health care every year than we do educating our children, building roads, even feeding ourselves, (an estimated $2.6 trillion in 2009, or around $8,300 per person), we need to begin taking personal responsibility for our own health and well-being, particularly when over 45 million Americans have no health insurance whatsoever.

Even the National Institutes of Health is advocating prevention. It has research that shows that type 2 diabetes..the most common kind of diabetes…is 100% preventable!  “It’s absolutely related to diet and lifestyle,” says Holly Lucille, ND, RN, a West Hollywood, California-based naturopathic physician.  “In fact, there have been clinical studies showing that diet alone can often be effective as a sole factor in treating and reversing diabetes.”

Losing a pound per week, a healthy, attainable goal, eating smaller meals throughout the day packed with dietary fiber (shown to slow the release of dietary glucose and increases tissue sensitivity to insulin) and walking just 30 minutes per day, five days per week, can reduce your chance of diabetes by 58%.  (57 million Americans have pre-diabetes, meaning their blood sugar is above normal and they’re at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes).

Another tip towards prevention is to watch your anxiety level.  Yoga, meditation, a nice long bath, or just a stroll out in nature can help eliminate unwanted stress.  When we get stressed our blood pressure may rise,  and/or our body may release hormones that can increase insulin resistance, thus restricting the functioning of our pancreas.

I now look at prevention as my life insurance policy. I love spending time with my extended family and look forward to many more productive years.  When I was approaching my 50’s that was not the case.  I was not treating my body wisely.   Fortunately, I took the time to educate myself about proper supplementation, diet and exercise and have never looked back.  Ask me about Meology ~ a brand new program that finds out through a personal assessment what supplements would be best for you in your journey to health.

I would love to see your comments on how practicing prevention is working for you.

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