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Healthy Living 101: Essential Habits for Living Longer

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Donna L. Hamilton, MD

Did you know 80% of all premature deaths highly correlate with three lifestyle factors? Yes, lifestyle factors, not genetics.  Your habits with tobacco use, what you eat, and your physical activity play a significant role in whether or not you die from common preventable diseases and illness. Hopefully this news excites you rather than frightens you. Why excitement? Because you can control all of these factors!

Making healthy lifestyle choices not only prevents many illnesses but can also treat or reverse them when done under the care of a trained physician.   Medical evidence shows us that appropriate lifestyle modification prevents, treats, and even reverses heart disease, cancer, and strokes.  These three killers top the list of lethal diseases in the United States.  Healthy lifestyle changes can also address other common diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol.

Here’s even better news: making a few changes can lead to improvement in a variety of health condition. Evidence shows us that adding the following habits to your personal wellness plan can help improve personal longevity.



1)     Kick the habit:

Whether you chew tobacco, smoke cigarettes, savor cigars, puff a pipe or use tobacco in another form, research is clear: tobacco use increases your risk of disease.  Kicking the habit can be difficult, especially if you’ve used it for a long time. Contact your doctor if you need assistance. You can also get a few ideas in here.


2)     Start moving:

Approximately 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least 5 times a week helps improve many different diseases including diabetes. If the idea of doing 30 minutes at one time seems daunting start with smaller activity bursts a few times a day. For example, take three ten minute walks or even do six 5 minutes bursts like dancing to your favorite song throughout the day.


3)     Eat well:

Though one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to eating well, we do know what generally works to help improve health. A large body of medical evidence shows eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and fewer processed foods with preservatives helps treat or prevent a variety of illnesses including heart disease.


4)     Reduce stress:

Our body has a natural stress response meant to keep us safe and healthy. Constantly using this stress response, however, can lead to disease. It’s meant to help us adapt to short term stressors not to chronically stay on overdrive. Effectively managing stress not only helps improve mental health but also physical health by preventing disease processes that can occur from chronically activating your stress response.

Introducing even one of these healthy lifestyle habits into your personal wellness routine can help significantly improve your health. Which one will you choose?


The Ultimate Health and Wellness Guide Dr. Donna Hamilton, MD has a mission to help everyone live the healthy, satisfying lives they’re meant to lead. Dr. Hamilton passionately teaches what being healthy really means and how to do it in a way that fits your unique needs. Her easy, practical tips assist you with assessing the entire wellness landscape and appropriately planning your personal wellness journey. Her book Wellness Your Way combines health coaching skills with her primary care medicine wisdom to assist readers on this journey.  For more information or to book Dr. Hamilton for speaking engagements visit www.ManifestExcellence.com or www.DonnaHamiltonMD.com