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  • Writer's pictureDr. Shawn A. Weiss, PT, DPT, CDP, CADDCT

Taking Charge of Your Six Pillars of Health

Dr. Shawn Weiss joins Suzanne on the Answers for Elders radio show to talk about taking charge of the six pillars of health — nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, substance use, and personal connections — so that we can achieve optimal health in our later years.

Shawn says, "Health is not a one-size-fits-all for everybody, especially in the age where we're in now, with social media, where we're getting bombarded on a daily basis with contradictory advice. I deal with the six main pillars of health. And that for me is so easy to organize, because each one affects the other. I have everything in balance, which is the key. You have to be able to hit all of those pillars of health. One little off-balance system will exponentially affect the rest.

"I start off with exercise — of course, near and dear to my heart as a physical therapist, but confusion over 50 is OK. What type of exercise? How much do I do? How long do I exercise? Am I allowed to get my heart rate up high enough? So that's one of the main ones, and then we look at nutrition how to fuel your body properly. Gut health is the third one. Gut health and inflammation, inflammatory conditions, inflammatory foods go hand in hand. Then we look at stress, and stress is huge. You cannot remove all the stresses, and all the daily stressors that we have, but how do we learn to manage our daily stress? Sleep, that's the fifth one. And the last one is emotional health. And that's been huge, especially since COVID. So we include all of those when I talk with clients and coach them."

Shawn’s proactive approach to physical therapy focuses on wellness and prevention strategies for all of her clients, with an emphasis on fall management programs for the elderly in the assisted living setting. She currently serves on the Ohio Fall Coalition and Ohio Injury Prevention Partnership. She is also is an Instructor for Summit Professional Education where teaches nationwide for Continuing Education courses on Home Health Policy and Rehabilitation and has been a contributing member of Answers for Elders for more than a decade.

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