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William Sears, MD with Martha Sears, RN

Health books with recommendations come and go through the years. What is interesting is that many recommendations, based on science, are timeless. Recently, I spent 6 weeks reading and exploring the information and recommendations given by Dr. Sears in Prime Time Health. Dr. Sears, a well-known family practitioner, was diagnosed with cancer a decade ago and realized that he needed to take control of his life. He created the Prime Time Health plan and is sharing it with others. What I found in reading this book was a reconfirmation and new awareness of research, science and applications for health and wellbeing. I also found this book extremely user friendly.

Dr. Sears explores the science around living a long and healthful life which he terms – longevity.
He breaks longevity down to four factors which he uses the acronym LEAN:

Lifestyle: how we live
Exercise: how we move
Attitude: how we think
Nutrition: how we eat

For so many of us working in the areas of human services, education and health care system, we do such a great job of assisting others that we sometimes run out of energy and time to take care of ourselves. Here are a few thoughts to get us started in focusing on small and basic steps we can add for our OWN health and wellbeing:

Pick blueberries: These could be called the body’s “repair berry.” They contain more anti-inflammatory nutrients that most other fruits. Most of these nutrients are found in the dark blue skin of the blueberry which is full of phytos called flavonoids, specially anthocyanin, an antirust antioxidant that helps keep the brain healthy.

Laughter: Provides an inner workout for the heart, lungs and diaphragm muscles. Laughter also enhances the immune system. Stress hormones epinephrine and cortisol decrease during and following laughter. Exhale out the tension of the moment and breath in the cleansing breath for our muscles and our brain. Focus on the light side of situations, find the humor in the stressful moment, watch old shows or movies that make you laugh. Look for the humor and SMILE.

Go green: The value of dark green vegetables cannot be minimized. Variety is key as different vegetables contain different nutrients. A few examples include spinach which is high in brain-vitality vitamin folate and vision-saving carotenoid lutein. Broccoli is high in calcium and vitamin C along with fiber. When in doubt, go DARK GREEN.

Move and stretch: Each hour get up and move, stretch, flex, reach, bend and breathe. Just begin doing something every hour and every day that moves your body in different ways. It can take 10 seconds or 10 minutes: keep moving.

Eat nuts: Different nuts offer different nutrients. Mixing up your nuts is beneficial to get a variety of nutrients. Almonds are a top heart nut; highest in calcium, vitamin E, and lowest in saturated fats. Walnuts are a top brain nut (even looks like a brain); most omega-3s and melatonin. Nuts give us protein, fiber, healthy fats and high satiety factor (fill us up). Eat nuts slowly. Think graze.

Get more restful sleep: Sleep helps our body heal and rejuvenates our body and brain. Begin a bedtime routine. This could include one activity or many: cut down on caffeine earlier in the day, prepare for bedtime earlier, shut down electronics earlier, move phone away from nightstand, move TV out of bedroom, eat less food before bed. It is especially important for our body and brain to repair and refresh.

Practice gratitude: each day think or list three things you are grateful for. The research is very clear how this practice can and does change our perspective on our day and our life. We begin to see what we do have instead of what we don’t. What is going well instead of what is not. What really matters in our lives and what does not.

Prime-Time Health shows us how to live better and enjoy life more fully every day. Awareness is the first step in this process.

Which one are you already doing?
Which one will you begin today?

If you know of others, perhaps your leadership team or a friend, who would be interested in learning more or receiving this and other blog posts, please feel free to forward to those individuals.

If you are interested in bringing me to your organization for a refresh training or coming to a public training, I’d love to hear from you. Send me a comment or email at beckylang@icloud.com.

If you want to follow me on Facebook go to LifeStrategies.

Tranform Conversations. Transform Lives.
Dr. Becky Lang

“Dr. Lang’s training provided me with a better understanding of the motivational interviewing process. The skills I learned from her training have helped me feel more engaged and thoughtful when listening and talking with those around me. Dr. Lang is energetic, knowledgeable, passionate and provides a great learning environment.”

Nancy AdrianseBSDH, Oral Health Manager, Iowa Primary Care Association

“The training I received in Becky’s motivational interviewing class was invaluable. It laid a wonderful foundation for me to effectively empower my patients to develop and implement positive changes for their health. Becky created such a nurturing, nonthreatening environment that allowed me to freely learn and practice. This is certainly a class I can recommend to anyone wanting to learn to assist others with behavior changes.”

Robin GeorgeRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“At the YMCA, we have worked with Dr. Becky Lang for over a decade now to help us shift and shape our culture. As an organization committed to strengthening our community, the coaching and training skills that Dr. Lang has provided have helped us immensely. With her education and guidance she has helped us establish a culture that focuses on building meaningful relationships with our members, focusing on their needs, and coaching them towards success in their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Lang has trained all levels of our staff from our front line Wellness Coaches to our Executive Directors and Leadership Teams. Her on-going support has allowed the coaching-culture to come alive in our organization.”

Kim Stewart Kim Stewart Director of Operations, YMCA of Greater Des Moines

“The training Becky provided has been one of the most rewarding nursing experience I have had in 30 years. The style of interviewing and teaching patients is rewarding and positive. Her techniques drive the sessions to be more personal and patient-centered. Through Becky’s teaching, I was comfortable to practice and get familiar with the motivational interviewing process. Becky is an exceptional trainer and I recommend her training to all health coaches and educators.”

Sandy LovelessRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“The motivational interviewing techniques Becky teaches allow patients to set goals and work toward changes that are important to them. Patients feel in control of their own health and allow me to be in a more supportive roll. Becky has a positive and uplifting spirit that makes her classes extremely enjoyable.”

Tyra CarltonRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“Rebecca Lang was a respected colleague who diligently served as a teacher and mentor to hundreds of students over her long career at Grand View University. I had the distinct pleasure to work with Becky and regularly witness her vocation to Wellness education. She motivates those around her by a strong and genuine commitment to a lifestyle which promotes health and well-being.”

Katharina TumpekPhD, Professor and former Chair, Dept. of Health Promotions, Grand View University

“It has been a pleasure to work with Becky Lang over the last 25 years. Within a variety of contexts in the wellness arena, I have witnessed Dr. Lang’s mastery as a wellness educator, a health coach, a professor, and, most recently, as a health coaching trainer. I could go on at length about Dr. Lang’s passion, enthusiasm, high energy, wisdom, and deep knowledge in health promotion and behavior change. One of the attributes that impresses me most, though, is her ability to create a relaxed, fun, interactive, and content-rich training environment. Her refreshingly supportive, inviting, and empathic style of training and coaching allows learners to take risks, experiment, try on new skills, and participate authentically in role play exercises without feeling awkward and intimidated. Through Dr. Lang’s coaching and training, people learn–often more than they imagined.”

Jill NorrisRN, MPH, PCMH-CCE, Director, Care Management, University of Iowa Health Alliance