Elaine Doll-Dunn, Psy.D.

Yup, three’s a crowd and a good crowd. Three series of three are explored as benefits of health and fitness.
Check and see if these ‘crowds’ are a part of your life, if not, see about inviting them in. The more the merrier.


1. Diet
: We really are what we eat. Think portions, processed, and pace. Most of us eat too large of portions, too many highly processed foods, and we eat it all too fast. We’re so acclimated to ‘super size’ that many of us aren’t aware of what is a proper portion anymore. Rule of thumb (or hip?); protein the size of the palm of your hand, carbohydrate the size of your closed fist, and green vegetables to fill the rest of the plate. And…one helping is enough.

Processed food is so much quicker, but so not good for you. It’s easier to peel a Snicker than to munch an apple, but there is no comparison nutritionally. Fast food is tempting in our frantic world, but you’re likely to live longer and better if you take the time to prepare a healthy meal and then sit down to eat it at a leisurely pace. A glass of wine helps; the French got that part right, they do not rush through their meals. Start with one or two glasses of water, sip your wine, chew slowly, and talk lots. Putting your fork down between bites is also a good idea; eating is not a timed event.

2. Exercise
: A consistent exercise regimen is essential to create and sustain a healthy body and to keep all components of this great machine functioning optimally for as long as possible. “Use it or lose it” is a reality. An aerobic activity for thirty minutes a day at least three times a week and a weight lifting session at least twice a week is the bare minimum. Choose an activity that involves the large muscle groups…biking, running, walking, swimming, dancing; pick what you like so you’ll hang in there, and make it a habit. If exercise were a pill, it would be the best selling medication in the world.

The latest research shows that even a little bit of regular physical activity holds surprising benefits for just about every cross section of the population: women; seniors; the young; and people concerned about arthritis, breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colon cancer, osteoporosis, depression, and Alzheimer’s …that should get you off the couch! It comes the closest to a magic bullet that modern health care has to offer.

3. Attitude: A positive attitude is the key to alleviating stress, coping with life, and dealing with whatever can possibly happen. If you aren’t one of the lucky ones with innate ‘joie de vivre’; fake it, surround yourself with up-beat people, find one positive thing about everything that happens, or just smile. You can’t feel sad while you’re smiling, it doesn’t work. Those endorphins escape through a smile and you start to feel better immediately.


1. Family: Family is paramount. Enjoying and celebrating and valuing our families
is the antidote for creeping loneliness, agoraphobia, lingering malaise, and probably even warts. They drive us crazy sometimes, but they’re always there, they constitute a bond that’s stronger than any differences, and they love us even when we screw up. Getting together for the holidays in our family is always hysterical. We laugh so hard our jaws hurt at tales we’ve heard a dozen times, some I suspect follow my father’s credo, “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story!”

2. Friends :Friends are the greatest. Having someone with whom to share
incidents, accidents, attitudes is what makes our jobs, our lives and our play worth doing. Sometimes just having someone to complain to takes care of the problem, a good listener is better than a tranquilizer. Getting it safely off your chest often makes the situation go away or at least become manageable.

3. Fellowship: Belonging to a group of like-minded people is a third component of
this trilogy. If it’s your job, your church, or a benevolent organization you’re a part of, the fellowship within is a bonding, unifying facet of life that contributes not only to the community but to the individuals as well. Being a part of something good gives purpose and meaning. Alone is good sometimes, but we are meant to work together.


1. Living: Living isn’t just existing from day to day; living is meeting life head on
and making good things happen. There is so much to do and so much to see and so many adventures to have! Never be afraid to try new things, and to dare yourself in different arenas. They don’t always work out, but each is an experience and growth opportunity. The only things I regret are the things I haven’t done. So many mountains; so little time.
2. Laughing
: Way high priority! Laughter is jogging on the inside. Laughter
releases endorphins that make you feel good, obliterate pain, and relax you. A good belly laugh increases blood flow to the body, oxygen to the brain, and happy to the heart. Healthy people laugh from 100 to 400 times a day. Little children routinely laugh or chuckle 400 times a day! Become more child-like; funny stuff is everywhere. I attended a humor seminar yesterday, and had reinforced that one of the most health related exercises one can do is to laugh long and hard. Whatever it takes; sometimes just an early morning peek in the mirror….
3. Loving
: Loving is a giving activity that comes back a hundred fold. Whether it’s
your spouse, your children, your neighbor or your dog; loving actively or passively is a positive gift you give and receive at the same time. In fact, tonight might be a good time to surprise someone with a hidden ‘happy note’ or a spontaneous back rub or a memorized special poem just for the heck of it. We’re here such a short time; crowd these threes in to your life. They’re good company.

Fitness by the Numbers
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25

Alphabet of Fitness
| B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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