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7 more years of life: How to gain control of your body in a modern world

Do you know that at the turn of the 19th Century heart disease and cancer were rare? Diabetes and dementia were not even talked about. One hundred years later and these conditions are our worst nightmare. While they tear us apart, modern medical advancements can’t keep up. As occurrences keep growing, so do the costs of care, now topping the trillion dollar mark each year.

We are fat, sick and tired and we don’t seem to have an answer. How are we handling this? We are choosing to throw fuel on the fire. You see, all of the above diseases are related to modern lifestyle choices. High sugar, high fat, overly processed food … too many drugs, sedentary lifestyles, medical models that choose sick care over health care … All leading us, literally, to a “dead end.”

So what’s the answer?

How can I get everyone to get their heads out of their rear ends? How can I get you to eat clean, exercise, listen to your pain? (Please listen to your pain.) How can I get you to fight the battle, putting down the social media and getting away from hours of CNN and Fox News? How can I get you to choose a more righteous path and to put “Health First”?

A start

While I know that a 500-word article won’t lead anyone to the Promised Land, I can introduce you to a simple strategy that takes a split second to do and, as simple as it is, research says that it could in fact change your entire life (and it costs nothing).

What is it?

Hint: “On average, children do it 400 times a day and while happy adults continue to do it 40-50 times a day, the average number of us only does it 20 times a day.” It is a 5 letter word. It is contagious. It has been shown to lower stress markers not only in you, but also in those around you. Researchers at Wayne State University concluded that a good one could predict increased life span by a whopping 7 years!

Did you guess it?

Turns out a great smile has the ability to enhance mood, reduce anxiety, and can decrease the hormones that cause disease in your body. While forcing a smile is said to be not as good as a genuine smile, researchers say that you should fake it to make it. Forcing a smile in time will become a natural reflex, and for best results make it a smile that creates “crow’s feet” at the corner of your eyes – stop reading and try it now!

Too often we feel it is too late, or too complicated, or maybe even too simple. None of this is true. Literally every second of life holds an opportunity to step up or step back. This is just another movement that proves your life is worth it. So smile and make today your day!

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