By Dr. Jeffrey Spencer, M.A., D.C.Wellness Chiropractor to the “world’s greatest” athletes andperforming artists including Lance Armstrong and the U.S. Postal and Discovery Cycling Teams.   Most people aren’t living even close to their optimalpotential. The insidious slow slide from youthful vitalityand enthusiasm to diminished health is pandemic. A few pounds here, a little less activity there and 10-20 yearsdown the line there’s a completely transformed person barely resembling the former self in looks, performance,and optimism.It’s a shock to confront that reality butthe good news is, it is 100 percent reversible. What’sinspiring to know is that, in most cases, a person’s bestwork is always on the other side of life’s worst moments. For example, Lance Armstrong’s spectacular Tourde France victories came after his near-death encounterwith metastatic cancer. None of us are any different thanLance in that respect. Our lowest moments give us theopportunity to decide that we want to create a better lifeand provide empowerment to overcome great adversity. Everyone at some point in their life will confronta period of long, sustained hardship, which in myexperience has proven to be an essential rite of passagein developing the commitment, persistence, and passionnecessary to express our birthright talents to the fullestand to appreciate life’s gifts.Lance said it best when he said,“When you get a second chance, go all the way.”Each of us has our own “second chance”: everysecond of our lives. Nobody in their right mind wants tolive an ordinary, boring, and mediocre life when we havethe ability to create an extraordinary life experience. Inreality, it’s next to impossible to make the commitmentto “go all the way” in life or to manifest our highesttalents before ill health or tragedy takes it from us, for itis the loss of health that creates the intimate knowledgethat health is a gift.Without our health, we are not capable of living afull life, let alone contributing constructively to others.Getting well is an individual process dependent on aperson’s state of health at the point of realization thatlife’s present course doesn’t have a future. It is by therealization that one’s present state of life and health is nolonger acceptable, that one finds the commitment to dowhat it takes to create a better life.Discover Wellness Today It Is Your Second ChanceAs the wellness chiropractor to some of the world’sgreatest athletes, I have had the good fortune of seeingthe amazing results of what a wellness lifestyle can do to enhance a person’s health and performance.Thousandsof chiropractors practice across America. They are allfocused on providing great wellness care to people intheir community; people who are seeking to improvetheir own health and well-being and live their very bestlife.Please know that you don’t have to want to be theworld’s greatest athlete to benefit from living a wellnesslifestyle.Discover Wellness RecommendsThe following list is a summary of the key items I’ve found that produce the best long-term results for mypatients and myself:1) It is of the utmost importance to ensure that thephysical structure of your body is in proper alignment.Your spine and joints are the foundation of your bodyand are, by definition, the backbone of your body’sability to function properly. I recommend that all ofmy top performing athletes, celebrities, and superstarsreceive consistent spinal care to ensure their optimalalignment and therefore their best health, performance,and well-being.2) Do some form of cardiovascular training fourto six days a week at low to moderate intensity for 30-60 minutes. Never overdo it, as this can lead to illness,injury, burnout, and increased inflammation in thebody, which health experts agree is the gateway to alldisease. If possible, the body prefers doing a few typesof cardiovascular exercise throughout the week such asswimming, cycling, jogging, rowing, or walking.3) Set the tone of the day by doing active strengtheningand stretching exercises first thing in the morning,such as yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong, because they combinediaphragmatic breathing with movement. Doing thisupon rising clears the mind and prepares the body for theday. People who do this have better attitudes than thosewho don’t. Keep in mind that the body wasn’t designedto exercise hard first thing in the morning.4) The brain needs its own health and wellnessprogram as much as the body does. It is well documentedin scientific research that people who use their brainsregularly doing mental exercises are more productive thanthose who do not, and they are less prone to debilitatingbrain degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s. Chess,checkers, crossword puzzles, reading, and all forms ofstrategic planning and problem solving encourage brainfitness. Only a few minutes a day can do wonders.5) The body is 70 percent water and this is wherethe chemical reactions that sustain life take place. Waterplays a vital role in how cells talk to each other to orchestratefull body movement, overall health, and wellbeing.Most people are chronically dehydrated from notdrinking enough pure water, not having enough mineralsin the body, drinking too much coffee, and eating toomany processed foods. As a general rule, eight glassesof pure water should be consumed per day. Wateralso helps detoxify disease-producing toxins from theenvironment such as air pollution, solvents, pesticides,paints, and home cleaners.6) Take a multivitamin and mineral supplementdaily to provide the micronutrients needed to supportthe body in today’s rush-rush culture. Vitamins andminerals, however, are not a substitute for a diet richin whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and non-farm raisedfish and non-hormone or antibiotic-fed fowl or beef.Vitamins and minerals do not directly give us energy butwork with the food we eat for that purpose and should beviewed as a nutritional insurance policy.7) Take an antioxidant supplement every day.Antioxidants are the vitamins A, C, E, and selenium, andare important for neutralizing the effects of moleculescalled free radicals that produce inflammation and accelerateaging in the body.8 ) Every morning before going to work or interactingwith people, invest a few deliberate minutesrecommitting to your life’s purpose. This anchors thespirit to the principles that will govern how you react tolife and how you interact with other people.9) Be charitable. People who help others seem to behappier and more optimistic than those who don’t. Thereis something healthy about giving to others.10) Mentors help shortcut life’s learning curve andcan make a powerful difference in a person’s life. Givingback to humanity by mentoring empowers individualsand society. Be a mentor.11) Always get enough rest. Refilling the energystores from day to day is pivotal to being a long-termproductive enthusiastic person. Excess fatigue createsmental dullness and burnout. Being overly tired canmake a person do and say things they deeply regret.12) Never go too long without eating. Those who eatbefore getting hungry never deplete their energy storesthat otherwise open the door for mental errors, injuries,and illness. Wellness depends on having a steady flowand regular supply of nutrients in the body to keep it andthe mind strong and vital.13) Resolve personal conflicts immediately. Beingconflict-free allows the mind to explore more constructivelife pursuits. It is well known that pent-up emotions aredetrimental to health.14) Building purposeful pause into daily life notonly recharges the body, but the mind as well. Moreeffort is not always better. Those who do not providetime for regular reflection are most often those who burnout the fastest and are least productive. A 15-20 minutebreak in the afternoon seems to be the magic formula togive the body that breather necessary to keep the brainand body moving at peak capacity.15) Hobbies are a great way to keep passion in life,keep the mind alert and engaged, build another career,and free the mind from daily stresses and strains. Allof the most successful people I know do several thingsin life and never spend too much time at one thing toooften, as that’s what puts monotony in life. For example,I know a very successful doctor who also writes books,and an accountant whose passion is woodworking. Bothof these people are some of the most vital people I’veever met.16) Get enough sleep. It is the only way to recoverfrom life’s daily stresses and strains. Lack of sleep leadsto poor recovery and eventually breaks the body down,resulting in needless injury or illness. A minimum ofseven hours of sleep each night is recommended.17) Staying well depends on breathing good air.Oxygen is the spark plug that generates our energy. Toget the best quality air, spend time outdoors on a regularbasis and use a high-quality air filter indoors.18) Avoid exposure to air pollution, pesticides,moldy places, chemical sprays, and solvents, as they arepoison to our bodies. The energy required to detoxifythe body of toxins takes away from our productivity andincreases our risk of illness by adding to the total bodyburden.19) People living quality wellness lives cultivateand nourish meaningful relationships. Make it a priorityto spend time with people who enrich your life and areof like mind. Having fun with your self, family, andfriends, and being social are important in being well,and help make the world a better place.Dr. Jeffery Spencer is, as described by Lance Armstrongin his book Every Second Counts,

“part doctor, part guru,part medicine man…. While he fixed us physically he also fixed us mentally … we believed Jeff could fix anything … judging bythe people in and out of his room the most important personon the team might have been Jeff.”    

Dr. Spencer was Lance Armstrong’s personal chiropractorat all seven of his Tour de France victories.dw-front-cover-best.jpg

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