Tuesday, April 15, 2014

4. Eat Well.

No, I'm not gonna get all vegetarian, organic, macrobiotic, live on brown rice...and I'm not going to get all paleo, atkins, no carbs on you either.

I'm just going to say you could eat better.  You know it, I know it and your mother knows it too.

The closer you can eat to the source, the better off you are.  Food created in factories isn't really food.  

Sometimes, even when it looks like food, it's not food.  You probably heard that Subway just vowed to quit putting azodicarbonamide into their bread.  That's right...the same stuff they make those yoga mats out of....Subway's going to stop putting it in their bread.  There are about 500 other food products that use it, but Subway is quitting.

Check the bread you bought at the store, does it contain azodicarbonamide?  I don't care if the FDA says its not a health concern, I don't think eating a yoga mat is something I want to do. 

I won't caution you, though, to simply stay away from things you can't pronounce.  Here's a link where a chemistry professor shows you what a food label on common fruits and vegetables would look like. 

Sometimes, frozen foods can even be more nutritious than fresh produce.  Cheaper too.

So that's our 4th guideline to good health.  Eat well: stay away from the crap, eat lots of different fruits and vegetables, ignore fad diets. 

You can thank me later.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

3. Exercise

You don't have to run a marathon and you don't have to join a gym.

But good health requires exercise....getting your heart rate up, optimally, for a minimum of 30 minutes a day.  Don't look at me that way: no matter what your age or lifestyle or health condition, you can do something.

And yes, simply walking briskly counts.

Exercise will make you happier, make you smarter and give you more energy.

Exercise is good for younger folks but it's particularly important as we age.

Lastly...I understand that many of us think that we don't have 30 minutes a day to radically increase the quality of our lives.  So let's shoot for something more manageable, like 10.  Can you spend 10 minutes a day to feel better, get smarter, get more energy, be happier?  10 minutes?  Come on, sure you can.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2. Treat underlying medical conditions.

It stands to reason that you're not going to have optimal health if you let some chronic disease go untreated.

I'd like, though, to suggest that you do more than simply treat a chronic medical condition. I'd like to suggest that you take some time and understand it.   What causes that disease, what is done about it, why does that work? 

Don't just turn your situation over to a doctor: take responsibility for understanding what's going on with your body.

If you have atrial fibrillation....what is it?  What's going on with your body?  What are the symptoms?  What is the risk of not treating it?  What's the difference between a beta blocker and a calcium channel blocker?  What are the side effects of those medications?

Every possible condition, disease or illness has a website.  The CDC is an excellent source of information.  Ask your doctor questions.

All the pharmaceutical companies have websites where you can review their drugs, what they do, side effects...usually in pretty simple to understand language.

Whether it's AF, hypertension, diabetes, thyroid imbalances, whatever your particular chronic condition: make yourself an expert.  It's your body, it's your life.   

Your doctor understands medicine, but they'll never understand your body as well as you do...you've lived in it forever.  So get involved, educate yourself, show an interest.