Not a single day goes by that I don’t think about health and wellness, and how easily just about anyone can improve their life. For many years I have strived to teach and encourage others to live healthier, more energetic lives. It’s really not as difficult as you might think: eat nutritiously, exercise everyday, eliminate junk and toxins from your home and diet, take high-quality supplements and a probiotic every day, and practice meditation. At 61 years of age, I’ve discovered that by taking care of myself I have plenty of energy, feel good, and am able to maintain good to excellent health. Not only have I reached my goals in many areas including personal wellness, but I’m helping others live healthier and reach their goals too. So even though I’m retired from a 33 year teaching career, I’m still doing what I’ve always done: teaching people how to have more success, prosperity, as well as greater health and wellness.

Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness.

Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends.

Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

Mary Ann Radmacher

Just to clear up any confusion of the difference between health and wellness, try this: the word “health” refers to a state of complete physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It’s simply a snapshot of a person’s current condition, in all of these areas. Someone might ask you about your health, and your answer might be that your health is good or even great. Of course your health may very well be good or great because you have adopted a wellness program of eating nutritiously, exercising, and eliminating emotional turmoil in your life. 
Wellness on the other hand, is the state of living a healthy lifestyle, and practicing all of the things that keep a person holistically well. As mentioned earlier, there are eight arenas of wellness, and the ultimate goal of wellness for all of us is good choices, balance and focus, optimum performance, and positive energy in each of these areas. If someone asked me what they could do RIGHT NOW to improve their health, I would simply repeat what I said above: eat nutritiously (Google Rip Esselstyn or Dr. Michael Greger), exercise everyday, eliminate junk from your life, take high quality probiotics and supplements, and practice meditation. Here’s a little more information on each of these…

EAT BETTER

Every morning for breakfast I make a smoothie with Phood, almond milk, fiber, frozen or fresh fruit, olive oil, chia, kale and spinach. Delicious! Plus I eat a lot of fruits and veggies throughout the day.

A few years ago I adopted a mantra that has helped me make better food choices. It goes like this:

Do I want to FEEL better, LOOK better, LIVE better, THINK better, LOVE better, and and BE, DO, HAVE better? Then I will EAT HEALTHY today!

In addition, the following three affirmations (which I review and repeat every week) inspire and drive me to make healthy and delicious food choices:

The taste of food is not as good as the feeling of healthy!

Eating good food moves me towards my goals and dreams of being fit and looking great!

Everything I put in my mouth either supports my wellness goals, or makes them more difficult to reach!

EXERCISE EVERYDAY

Our current lifestyles do not provide the physical activity that our bodies need to stay healthy. Most adults spend the majority of their waking hours sitting at work, at the table, or in front of the TV. What’s the result? Obesity, poor health, low energy levels, and metabolic syndrome.

While incorporating some form of daily exercise into your life might be a challenge at first, the benefits of daily exercise are outstanding: weight loss, increased energy, greater strength, reduced stress, and better mental focus. The good news is you don’t have to pony up the time or money to join a gym; anybody can walk for 30 minutes a day. After a few weeks, bump your daily walking up to 45 minutes or more. You might also try bike riding, swimming, jogging, tennis, or volleyball.

If you can’t find a friend to share your exercise time with, consider trying www.meetup.com or another online source to make connections with other like-minded people.

ELIMINATE JUNK

What would you say if I asked you the difference between STUFF and JUNK? Well it probably doesn’t matter anyway, because most of us have too much of both!

By far the largest contributor to poor health in America is junk food. Junk food is a billion dollar industry, and it’s making us sick! But not only does junk food contribute directly to obesity, it also keeps people from cooking and eating healthily.

But besides junk food, many adults tend to collect junk in their homes as well. Old clothes that don’t fit, magazines, chemicals, boxes of stuff, basements and attics filled with things that we don’t need, won’t use, and store for no good reason. In other words, we indulge in junk food, junk collection, and junk storage.

Removing junk from our diet – and our lives – can be very beneficial. Collecting junk bogs us down; eliminating junk results in freedom. Eating junk causes poor health; keeping junk limits productivity and efficiency.

TAKE PROBIOTICS

You may not know it, and I apologize for being blunt, but you and I are walking containers of bacteria. In fact, about 90% of the cells in our bodies are actually bacteria. Now don’t panic – we need good bacteria to stay alive! Here’s a blog post I wrote about that.

However, there must always be a delicate balance between good and bad bacteria. So poor diet, chemicals, aging, stress and other elements can and do interfere with this balance. Therefore, you should seriously consider taking a probiotic supplement to assist in maintaining this balance, and improve digestion, upper G.I. problems, liver health, and regularity. Healthy Trinity from Natren is an excellent product that I’ve been taking for many years. There are numerous studies about the benefits of good bacteria for everything from the connection between the human brain and the gut, to gastrointestinal diseases in children, to how your gut influences your moods.

Here’s a link to Natren’s Probiotics Newsletters. Remember, knowledge is not only power, it’s the key to better health!

TAKE SUPPLEMENTS

If you asked ten people for their thoughts about vitamins and minerals, you’d get variations on three themes: we don’t need vitamins, I took vitamins and they didn’t do anything for me, or we get all the vitamins we need in the food we eat.

Almost every disease or condition can be traced to one of two problems which all of us face: inflammation and free radicals. Inflammation prevents the body from healing itself, and free radicals destroy the body’s cells by stealing electrons. Interestingly, both of these can be addressed with a daily high quality supplement. I have been taking supplements from North America’s largest online wellness company for many years. I use their Peak Performance Total Health Longevity product. The science supports their products better than any other supplements I know of. You can read about it here. For less than the cost of a cup of coffee per day, I have reduced my cholesterol levels, glucose levels, blood lipid levels, blood pressure, and resting heart rate.

Whatever you believe about vitamins and supplements, you can rest assured that your beliefs will impact both your short term and long term health. I’ve seen enough people with enough medical conditions to know what I don’t want as I move through my 60’s, 70’s and beyond. Being proactive and taking quality supplements daily will help me to enjoy every single day of my journey.

MEDITATE

Learning how to meditate is not difficult at all; between five and ten minutes and a quiet place to sit and relax is all that is necessary. If you’ve never tried it, go to YouTube and search “Deepak Chopra how to meditate.”

New scientific research supports the idea that meditation is more powerful than ever imagined. Studies have shown that when meditation is practiced there is an actual path which begins in the mind, leads to beliefs and emotions, and then to our genes. Signals are sent that modify brain cells, which in turn send signals in the form of neurotransmitters to every cell in the body. The conclusion is that meditation alone can affect cells anywhere in the body towards healing, balance, bodily processes; even to the point of improved focus, reduced stress and personal freedom.

Through meditation, the idea that we are victims of our social or cultural environments fades away. Rather than our genes dictating our lives, meditation promotes the hypothesis that we are in fact the authors and creators of our own lives, and capable of unlimited change, healing, creativity and personal revolution.

I’m currently evaluating a meditation program from Zen12. It uses a technology called “brain-wave entrainment,” mixed with relaxing audio to allow a deepened experience for a shorter time period.