Our lifestyle can lead to early death or a great, long, healthy life.

I use the word ‘stride’ as my reminder for each of the ways a disease starts in the body. Each letter stands for a different pathway. Our bodies fight off the invaders, but sometimes we allow things in our control to overpower our immune system.

S is for Stress

Stress is something everyone faces daily. We react to the same event differently. It is not the event that causes stress, but our reaction to that stressor that can create a health problem.
The first thing you should do is to remove yourself from the stressful situation or person. If it is your boss, you might not have that opportunity. If it is an annoying sound, aroma, or the car in front of you, then you have options.

In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 1, Page 2, Lady Macbeth shouts “Out, damned spot”. She was not referring to her dog. She was trying to wash the invisible blood from her hands. The same is true with our stressors. “Out Stress Out!” Let it go. Do not hang on to the emotion coming from the stressor.

By hanging on to the stress, our bodies produce cortisol and other hormones. Over time, these can add weight, disrupt our immune system, and eventually DNA damage which allows the beginning of disease to start. It will start at the cellular level and continue to grow over the years.

Learn to destress daily – several times a day. It will help you in more ways than you know.

T is for Toxins

Toxins abound in our foods and personal care products. Toxins are in the clothes we wear, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and more. Europe has banned many of the toxins that companies continue to use in the products manufactured in the United States.

I buy organic as often as I can. I read labels on nearly everything I buy. Awareness of toxins is the first place to start. Your immune system is degraded by toxins. The liver processes toxins and many times the toxin is stored in your fat cells if they cannot be eliminated from the body immediately.

Our DNA is broken by many toxins. The body can repair the damage, but a continual assault by toxins opens the door for future disease.

Check labels and buy accordingly to reduce the risk of future disease.

R is for Radiation

Radiation surrounds us like the air we breathe. An electromagnetic field emanates from the wiring in your home, your computers, and any electronic appliances. This field is electromagnetic radiation. Your cell phone emits its own radiofrequency radiation.

Radiation is dependent on the frequency, the length of exposure, and the nearness to the emitter. A cellphone next to your ear is much nearer than the television set several feet away.

X-rays and gamma rays cause free radicals that break bonds in our DNA and cause mutations. For most of us, x-rays and gamma rays are not something we have exposure to daily. Long-term duration (sitting in front of your computer screen for hours and hours) can begin long-term radiation issues.

Some authorities claim that cell phones can disrupt DNA and the beginning of a disease, cancer in many cases, is a potential. It is not the one or two times that we answer the phone, in this case, but the hours we spend with the phone next to our ear.

Beware of radiation hazards and take appropriate action.

I is for Inflammation

Inflammation lives in our bodies 24/7. Free radicals from breathing, exercising, digesting, eating, and more attack stable atoms and molecules and cause a chain reaction of disruption and stability.

The body has natural repair programs to counter the daily onslaught. Antioxidants from the foods we eat provide a temporary army to fight inflammation. However, chronic low-level inflammation left unchecked is the genesis of disease. This is not inflammation that occurs for days or weeks, but inflammation left unchecked for months and years.

Choosing the right foods to eat is a good start for fresh replacements of antioxidants in the body. Not every free radical is the same and not every location of inflammation can be tamed by generic free radicals. You must have a diversity of antioxidants to fight a battle effectively at the cellular level.

D is for Diet

Diet in this terminology is not the restriction of foods, but the selection of foods. The foods we eat either provide the nutrients we need daily, or they do not. Nutrient deficiency, again over time, provides the key that opens the door for future disease.

We need omega-6 fatty acids. Our bodies cannot make them. However, if we ingest too many, then they become inflammatory. An ideal ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids is 1:1. Anything above 4:1 becomes inflammatory. The Standard American Diet can easily approach 50:1.

Food choice is key. Awareness of foods containing omega-fatty acids is a good place to start.

E is for Expectations

If your grandfather died of a heart attack before the age of 50 and your father died of a stroke before he reached 55 years of age, you might expect that your family history might doom you. Expectations talk to our subconscious mind. It is the way we achieve our goals – expectations!

If we live in our lives expecting to never make 60 years of age, the body will respond accordingly. Giving up is not an option for a long, healthy life. Control your emotions and do your due diligence as to what your genes will bring you down the road.

Genetics has about a 5% impact on our future. Epigenetics is our lifestyle. The genes in our bodies can be turned off and on like a light switch. Genes that predict future disease can be disabled.

Lifestyle is critical to your future quality of life.


I wrote a bestselling book last year called, The Joy of Ageless Health. It lists these six pathways – stress, toxins, radiation, inflammation, diet, and expectations – and a few more.

This article provides awareness. Education will begin the process of knowing what to do and, in

many cases, what not to do. Choices have consequences. Our bodies provide adequate protection and can repair themselves if not for the constant assault from several pathways in our lifestyle.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com


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