Dr. Michelle Martz last week shared “wellness wisdom” in the first presentation of the New Year to help Rotarians start 2023 on the right foot, when it comes to healthy living.
Although most people think first and foremost about diet and exercise for their New Year's resolutions, stress is one of the primary factors affecting our health, Dr. Martz noted. Stress can be either positive—such as a healthy rush of adrenaline that can motivate you—or negative. Structural and physical stressors, like working a night shift or doing hours of yard work, can be taxing on the body and increase the chance of injury, she said. A lack of sleep also can place stress on the body, because it does not have time to fully detox and regenerate new cells and blood before waking up, Dr. Martz explained.
Similarly, chemical stressors can have a negative impact on our health. These can include everything from cleaning products to makeup, dry cleaning products, food additives, and even paints and solvents used for hobbies. Pollution in the air and from water sources, as well as fertilizers and pesticides, likewise can tax the lungs, liver, and other major organs. 
“The more we burden our body, the more it can break down,” Dr. Martz said. Most diseases are related to toxicity, she added, and by eliminating those burdens, the body is more apt to heal.
She also touched on mental and emotional stressors, ranging from social media influences to political strife, challenging relationships, and negative self-talk. Doing mental or emotional activities, like playing an instrument, doing crossword puzzles, journaling, or doing crafts can help calm the nervous system and reduce feelings of anxiety, frustration and overwhelm.
Another form of stress few people consider is the effect on the body of our continual exposure to electronics and Wifi signals, especially in smart homes. “Some people are actually electromagnetic sensitive and get seriously ill, even when they’re exposed to small amounts,” she said. “I encourage people to be as earth-based as possible” and use things like EMF shields on laptops and smartphones, as well as reduce the use of electronics in the home (e.g., televisions, microwaves, Bluetooth devices, etc.).
Overall, a healthy diet low in processed foods and high in organic meats and produce, and incorporating raw foods into your diet, is an excellent preventative against physical infirmity. Likewise, regular daily physical activity can strengthen organ function and benefit the immune system, and lessen the effect of mental and emotional stressors. Even taking a 20-30 minute walk once a day can dramatically improve heart health, regulate hormones, and reduce mental stress and anxiety.
“Hydration is key to many of our problems, too,” said Dr. Martz, noting that drinking enough water also improves lymphatic flow and boosts your immune system. Cold and allergy medications can dry you out—including drying out your skin, heart, and blood vessels—so people should limit those types of drugs to short-term use and look for natural alternatives to manage a stuffy nose or the impact of allergens. Enhancing hydration also counteracts chemical stressors by helping the body flush out toxins and promote digestive health, she said. 
For more wellness wisdom and guidance to improve your health in the New Year, reach out to Dr. Martz via email or schedule an appointment with her at Trinity Wellness Center