“Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.” -Jim Rohn
I love this sentiment. Our body is our home and deserves proper maintenance and support. In this country we do a lot of ‘sick care’. I want to see this paradigm shift to a true ‘health care’ model. Healthcare starts with prevention. In my clinic, Wellness Minneapolis, we see people who have been ill and seeking answers for years. It is my hope that with education around prevention we can stave off many chronic illnesses. Here are some important ways to keep your body healthy:
• Give your body the proper fuel. Very few of us consume enough vegetables or water on a daily basis. Aim for vegetables at every meal and at least 5 servings per day. Aim for 50-100 ounces of water daily.
• Regular exercise that includes cardiovascular work, strength building and balance.
• Proper sleep is critical. If you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep investigate hormonal disturbances (cortisol, melatonin) and make sure to practice good sleep habits.
• In our culture reducing stress can be challenging. Make sure that you have established stress outlets. At some point in your day make time to switch from the standard ‘fight or flight’ mode in to a parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ mode.
• Maintain adequate vitamin D levels. We must supplement with vitamin D from November through February in Minnesota. Be sure to have your levels checked!
• Keep your chemical exposures minimal. Studies have shown that cord blood from newborns contain around 200 chemicals. We are living on a very toxic planet so do your best to minimize what you can control.
• Check in with your doctor yearly for basic screening blood work and a physical to ensure everything is running smoothly. We have great screening markers for inflammation and blood sugar that can catch conditions early.
Dr. Sara Jean Barrett is the co-founder of Wellness Minneapolis, a holistic health center in the Kingfield neighborhood where she treats patients with a variety of health concerns. She is particularly passionate about autoimmune disease, digestive health, metabolic syndrome and endocrinology. Learn more about Wellness Minneapolis on their website.