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Health & Exercise Forum

Healthy Mind, Body, Spirit!

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Dec 26, 2011

Dr. Mackarey's Health & Exercise ForumMay the faith, hope and love of this season be the foundation for you to enjoy a healthy mind, body and spirit throughout the year! All major religions promote physical and spiritual health, wellness and respect for life.

To be completely healthy, one must have a healthy mind, which requires intellectual stimulation. Also, one must have a healthy body by eating well and engaging in physical activity. Lastly, one must have a healthy spirit, filled with faith, hope and prayer and meditation. This holiday, consider the following tips to promote a healthy mind, body and spirit throughout the year:

1. Eat Healthy

Beginning your meal with healthy vegetables and salads will fill you up and reduce the temptation to over-indulge in high-fat, high-calorie foods. Drinking plenty of water
throughout the day is also very important for good health.

2. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise Your Body

Physical activity is one of the most important factors in improving a lifestyle in a positive way. But, it does not have to be complicated. A minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity, 3-5 days per week will have many positive effects on your body.

Some simple suggestions for beginning an exercise program are:

  • Get your physicians approval
  • Consult with a physical therapist to set up a program for your needs
      • Buy good running sneakers – not walking shoes
      • Plan to exercise 3-5 times per week for 30-35 minutes
      • Walk for aerobic fitness
      • Begin 5-10 minutes and add 1-2 minutes each session
      • Use light dumbbells, sandbag weights and elastic resistance band 3-5 pounds to start
      • Begin with 5-10 repetitions and add 1-2 reps each session. Continue until 25 reps becomes easy, then increase weight by 1 pound and decrease to 15-20 reps. Over time, increase to 25 reps.
      • Alternate weight training days with walking days.
      • Be specific and compliant! Make a serious commitment. Keep a journal or exercise log. Mark a calendar. 30-45 minutes, 3-5 days per week – NO EXCUSES! Get an exercise buddy you can count on and help keep you compliant!

3. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise Your Mind

One cannot be completely healthy without a healthy mind. Like your body, you must continue to challenge your mind in order for it to remain strong, learn, expand, and grow. Read a good book, do crossword puzzles or try something new...piano lessons!

4. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise Your Spirit

Prayer, meditation, or chanting has been known to reduce your heart rate, blood pressure and stress level. These activities can lead to a sense of peace, serenity, joy, and faith.

5. Be Comfortable in Your Own Skin.

Learn to Love Who You Are Not Who You Want to Be! Those who love themselves are more likely to take care of their bodies. People who are not comfortable in their own skin are never satisfied with their appearance and often attempt to change their body. For example, men use steroids to appear “bigger and better” or women have cosmetic surgery to appear “younger and better.” It is impossible to love others if you don’t love yourself. You must learn to accept and embrace change in your body and life in order to have a healthy mind, body and spirit.

6. Get Adequate Rest

Get the appropriate amount of uninterrupted sleep. A good sleep promotes healing and refueling for your body. When needed, sit, rest, or take a short nap to recharge.

7. Enjoy the Moment

Countless hours are wasted on feelings of anxiety, regret or worry about a past or upcoming event. This can be a waste of precious life time and adds stress to the body, which makes you more susceptible to disease.  Stay focused on the beauty of the present moment!

8. Spend Time With Healthy People

When you associate with healthy people, you take on their healthy habits. You will drink less, eat healthier and exercise more if you are hanging around with those who engage in
these habits...they will have a positive influence on you! Do you know Jane Quinn author and founder of “Essential Eating?” A true role model for a healthy life!

9. Spend Time With Positive People

The camaraderie of good friends is essential for a healthy mind, body and spirit. Make it a priority to associate with people who “celebrate life!” The health benefits from these positive-minded, healthy people who appreciate you for who you are will provide you with the support, love, and respect necessary to survive any challenge. Do you know Bob Knowles? I admire his positive spirit! Do you know Dr. John Mariotti or Dr. Dave Fitzpatrick? I enjoy how they celebrate life!

10. Spend Time With People Who Make You Laugh

Studies show that laughter has health benefits and assist the body in healing. Laughter is contagious, so hanging around with people who are fun and funny, will bring fun and laughter
into your life. Try to look for humor in every situation and keep laughing. Do you know Dr. Ed Malloy and his wife Rosie? You can’t stop laughing when in their company.

Read Dr. Mackarey’s Health & Exercise Forum – Every Monday. This article is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. If you have questions related to your medical condition, please contact your family physician. For further inquires related to this topic email:

Paul J. Mackarey PT, DHSc, OCS is a Doctor  in Health Sciences specializing in orthopaedic and sports physical therapy. Dr. Mackarey is in private practice and is an affiliate faculty member at the University of  Scranton, PT Dept.