Local Experts Provide Tips for a Healthier Life

Assume Positive Intent. Those three words–also referred to as API–have likely saved the day many a time. They come from Dr. Amit Sood, a world-renowned Mayo Clinic specialist in stress and resiliency.

If you feel angry or frustrated with the actions of a co-worker, family member or even a clerk at a store, assume that person’s intent was good: positive. While it won’t alter the situation, it may help you feel less stressful and calm the emotional waters.

Often, we are so busy and preoccupied in the cocoon of our lives that we find it easier to react and move to a negative space, rather than seek positivity. And that has us asking: What are some simple steps that we can take to help ourselves act more positively and feel healthier and happier? We reached out to local experts for advice in the areas they know best. Perhaps you will find a few nuggets of wisdom that may help turn your day around.

Just start.

“The first change in living a healthier lifestyle is to start,” says Mitchell Banke, of Vital Roots Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Chanhassen. “Make that conscious decision to start living a healthier life and to achieve the power needed to reach your goals and to increase your quality of life.”

Banke is passionate about helping people and loves to think outside the box to find solutions. People come to him for varying issues, including Lyme disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, autoimmune diseases, thyroid conditions, anxiety/depression and structural issues. “I believe that when you get your health back, you get your power back,” he says. “Our health can be a journey.” Vital Roots Chiropractic and Wellness Center.

Get enough sleep.

Katy Keeler, owner of Bring It! Studios and CrossFit in Chanhassen, is a health and fitness expert who believes feeling better begins with rest. “It's incredibly important to get enough sleep to function at your best, both physically and mentally,” she says.

Rest begets energy, which needs to be released. “Add physical activity,” Keeler says. “Accomplishing a workout can empower you physically and mentally and will likely influence your other healthy habits, too. First, the sense of accomplishment is incredible. Second, the resulting endorphin boost can contribute to everything from better food choices to more positive social interactions.” She also points to increased water intake after a solid sweat. “And a good workout will tire you out, meaning you're likely to sleep better, too,” she says. Bring It! Studios & CrossFit Chanhassen.

Focus on preventative care.

It’s not just the kids who need their vaccinations, says Laurie Townsend, M.D., a family medicine physician with Ridgeview Clinics in Chaska. Adults need a tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine booster every 10 years.

Townsend often sees patients suffering from seasonal allergies or living with chronic hypertension. She recommends a healthy diet, exercise and plenty of sleep (at least 8 hours a night). A better life starts with preventative care by striving for work/life balance and finding joy every day, Townsend says. Ridgeview Clinics.

Get your house in order.

Kristin Campbell, owner of Chaska’s Organized Homes and Staging, says organization can lead to a healthier and happier life. “If you are constantly on the go, and your house is a complete disaster, then perhaps some things need to be done differently,” she says.

Overwhelmed? “Pick one small project or area to work on at a time,” Campbell says. “Set a timer for 30 or 60 minutes, and don't allow yourself to be side-tracked. Go through and sort items into trash, recycle, donate, belongs in another room, not sure.” She recommends committing to a regular organizing and cleaning time. “You will start to see progress quickly,” she says. Organized Homes and Staging.

Exercise regularly.

Kurt Hartmann, a personal fitness trainer at Pro Fitness Training in Eden Prairie, says people give up on themselves too quickly and become discouraged. “We are all capable of doing so much more,” he says.

Hartmann advises making exercise a regular part of life, scheduling it into daily routines and staying consistent. “You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to live a healthier life,” he says. Pro Fitness Training.

Conserve your energy.

Monitor energy highs and lows, says Chere Bork, a registered dietician and life coach in Eden Prairie. “Everyone has their own energy clock,” she says. Notice when you are bursting with energy. Notice when you are overeating.”

Bork recommends taking a 10-minute walk or going up and down stairs for a quick energy boost. “The foundation of a purpose-filled life is energy and habits. Good or helpful, bad or hurtful, all are an investment in your energy,” she says. Chere Bork.

Find balance.

“Find balance in your career, your relationship or your passions,” says Rachael Peterson, of Peterson Counseling & Consulting in Victoria. “Setting limits and boundaries teaches others how to respect your needs, while also teaching others healthy limits.” Peterson Counseling & Consulting.