Embrace 3 simple rules for better health

DEC 09, 2015
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Ready to make a positive change? Try these 3 simple rules for better health from Todd Weitzenberg, MD, chief of the Sports Medicine Program at our Santa Rosa Medical Center.

 

1. Physical activity is the best medicine. Studies show that regular physical activity can help reduce depression, risk of heart attack, type 2 diabetes, cholesterol, hot flashes, and cancers ranging from breast to prostate.

 

It can increase bone density, muscle mass, heart circulation, mobility in senior years, and overall energy. If all of these health benefits came in a pill, many people would go anywhere and pay anything to get it. But all of us can have this at no cost.

 

Find something you love, making it easy and fun to work out. Walk the dog, bike to your office, or take yoga with your friends

 

2. Understand what — and how — you are eating. A little muffin can seem like a reasonable reward for your tough workout, right? But consider this: To burn off those 360 calories, you would need to jog 33 minutes, bicycle 77 minutes, or lift weights 115 minutes.

 

Instead, reach for a rainbow of health foods, from green peppers to purple plums. Watch your carbs and get enough protein. Don’t skip breakfast; you need that fuel to start your day. Choose healthy fats by swapping an avocado for that muffin. Overall, steer away from sugar, salt, and alcohol.

 

3. Chart your course, and stick with it. No one likes the scale. But studies show that people who weigh themselves even once a week are more successful in keeping off those extra pounds. The quest is health, not perfection.

 

Where do you begin? First, set small goals. It might be to fit into your jeans again. Try tricks such as reminders on your computer monitor or fridge. Then tell friends and family about your goal, so they support you. Aim for good foods and daily physical activity. A little a lot is better than a lot a little.

 

Try eating a mostly healthful diet and exercising a minimum of 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Make it a priority. You are worth it!

TOPICSExercise & Weight LossNutrition