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Natural Awakenings SW PA, Greater Pittsburgh

Five Basic Principles to Overcome Ill Health

Health boils down to just a few basic and actionable things, and three of them are free. The five basic principles involve sun, water, movement, food and sleep.

  1. Get sun and fresh air whenever possible, but don’t get burned. Consider taking vitamin D3, especially in the fall through spring. Only 15 to 30 minutes of sun exposure is needed to make Vitamin D, but we must expose at least 40 percent of our body. It is very important to have a doctor check vitamin D levels every year.

    2. Drink fresh pure water. Our body weight divided by two equals the amount of ounces every day. Foe a 200-pound man, that equals 100 ounces. Consider investing in a water purifier at home, not just a water filter. Install a shower filter that removes chlorine from the water. 

    3. Move and exercise at least three to five times per week, even if only for 15 minutes a day. Pick something at the appropriate level of fitness and something we’ll enjoy. Try walking the dog or with the kids. Start with walking down the street to a particular landmark and back. The next time, try to go a little further, and then choose some inclines and steps.

    4. Eat single-ingredient foods such as apple or carrot or fish. Don't eat prepackaged food. Cooking is the most cost-effective thing we can do for our health. Involve the kids or grandkids to teach them that food doesn't come out of a box. Buy local and organic if possible, especially animal products. Try visiting local farmers’ markets and invest in the community.

    5. Sleep at least seven to nine hours a night in a dark room at a cool temperature. We produce anticancer hormones while we sleep; if we’re not sleeping well, then we’re not producing them in enough amounts. Sleep is a critical key to our longevity and is anti-aging in the right amounts. If we need to sleep in an extra hour or two on weekends, do it. If we don’t feel refreshed after we sleep and are feeling abnormally fatigued, talk to a functional medicine practitioner.

If something is wrong with our health, then something is wrong with these five things. It is as simple and reliable as that. No matter what our genetics are, our genes are just waiting for signals from these vive things. Make sure we are sending the right signals to your genes.

Dr. William Howrilla, DC, CFMP, is the clinic director of

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