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Healthy for Good: For Your Life and Our Planet

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Healthy for Good: For Your Life and Our Planet

Blog written by:Michael D. Parkinson, MD, MPH, FACPM. Dr. Parkinson serves on the GRA Health Strategies Committee and is a past member [2011-2015] of the GRA Board of Directors. Read his bio here.

Imagine extending years of vitality for you and your loved ones while improving the health of the planet.

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You can, based on major recent studies. Just take three simple — and important — steps:

  1. Go plant-forward. The standard American diet (SAD) is just that — sad! Most of us fall way short on fiber, whole grains and other beneficial nutrients while overdoing it on salt, sugar and saturated fat. Loading up on heavily processed foods or building a every meal around an animal-based protein can lead to health problems for you and, research increasingly shows, the planet. On the flip side, food from plants such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes are high in disease-fighting fiber, nutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds, plus support a healthy water supply and clean air. 

  2. Just move. Any activity is better than none. Physical activities, whether aerobic (such as walking, cycling and swimming) or strength-building (such as push-ups or weight lifting), fight disease and help prevent death and disability. Find the path of “greater” resistance and just take it. Park farther away, take the steps instead of the elevator, or find a longer route to walk or bike to your destination. And starting at any age is beneficial. Even if you’ve been a couch potato for 60 years, just taking a walk can lead to better health and well-being.

  3. Connect with others. We release chemicals called endorphins while laughing, conversing or connecting with others in a positive way. When was the last time you had a conversation — not a text — with a friend or loved one? How about doing it outdoors while enjoying nature (and an improving environment) with birds singing and bright sunshine (making your bones stronger through vitamin D activation), all of which relieve stress, improve your focus, thinking and ability to listen? 
    Making these healthy choices for you, your family and the planet really DO matter — each and every day! 

Are you ready to make your life and planet healthy for good?

Blog written by:Michael D. Parkinson, MD, MPH, FACPM. Dr. Parkinson serves on the GRA Health Strategies Committee and is a past member [2011-2015] of the GRA Board of Directors Read his bio here.