Last month I removed a tumor from the brain of a woman who had smoked for decades. Had she quit a few years earlier, she would have considerably reduced her chances of ever ending up on my operating table. It was a sharp reminder that we all can take steps not just to give up vices, but also to optimize our well-being by striving to be in the best possible health. You already know how effective diet and exercise can be (if all Americans worked out for 30 minutes a day, we could reduce our incidence of heart attacks by as much as 30 to 40 percent), but have you ever considered newer solutions for staying well, like taking probiotics or using a standing desk at work? Ingenious innovations are emerging all the time, and there's now a world of wellness strategies that can help you be happier, healthier, and less stressed.
Here's my challenge to you: Do something different every day to surprise and strengthen both your body and your mind. You may not always get results, but I predict you'll make real progress in the quest to feel your best. Don't get me wrong—if you're sick, you should understand your options, take your medicine, and undergo the appropriate tests and procedures. And, of course, you should never blindly try something simply because your sister's friend's cousin said it worked for her. Do your homework and ask the hard questions, but remember that we're at the frontier of an exciting new era in medicine. And it begins with you.
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