We have all heard the old adage, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Is that really true? All we have to do is eat an apple a day and be well? Now if it is that easy and doable why aren’t we all living forever. So what’s the catch and are apples really the way to being healthy?
Well, as a doctor, I can tell you that while apples are good for us, we need to do a little bit more than that to keep the doctor away.
What can we be doing right now to prevent illnesses and diseases? Here I have listed 10 things that are relatively easy to do that we can all be doing right now to prevent illnesses and diseases?
1- Eat healthy. Try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal. Choose cooking at home over fast food or take out. Make a choice to Broil or bake over frying your food. And finally, a plant based diet has been shown to be superior to meat based diet in cancer risk reduction. If you can’t go plant based just try to increase to ratio of vegetables to meat on your plate gradually.
2- Exercise. The recommendation is for 30 minutes a day of moderate activity at least 5 days a week. If you are able to join a gym then great but exercise is about being active. There are many ways to do it without joining a gym. Get yourself a Fitbit or any step counter. Set a step goal for yourself – 10,000 steps a day is ideal. You can walk with your dog or walk laps around a mall. Play with the grandkids and jump on the trampoline with them. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or the escalator. Pick the furthest parking spot from the entrance and walk those extra steps.
3- Hydrate. We humans are made up of 60% water so water is very important to our bodily functions. Eight 8 ounces glasses on the average is recommended daily. Get yourself a water bottle and drink up
4- Sleep. We should get 7-8 hours of sleep each night if we can. Our body needs this time to recharge. Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain and illnesses.
5- Sunscreen, seat belt and helmets. These save lives. Period. There are lots of data proving the benefits of these things. I don’t think I need to say more about this.
6- Health maintenance. It is important to see your doctor annually or more frequently if you are having problems. Be aware of chronic illnesses that you have and stay up to date with medicines that are prescribed for you.
7- Stress. Avoid stress at all costs. Yes, this is sometimes unavoidable. But do try as stress can break down our immunity making us more prone to diseases.
8 –Health screening. Screening for breast, cervical and colon cancer is very important. Women age 40 and up should get mammograms yearly. Women who are sexually active should get Pap smears every 3 years or more frequently depending on previous results. Men and women 50 years old and over should get a colonoscopy to screen for colon cancer.
9- Meditate. Take a few minutes everyday for yourself. Take several deep breaths and clear your mind. This is a great way to recharge and de stress
10- Be honest. Always choose to tell the truth to yourself and others when you can. Lying or holding things in can lead to emotional and physical stress. And we all know that stress is not good for our body.
These are all relatively easy and doable ways to jumpstart a healthy you and keep the doctor at bay. And as always, before embarking on any new exercise or physical activity consult with your doctor to make sure it is okay for you
If you have comments, questions or want elaboration about anything I have mentioned in this blog, please feel free to comment below or email me.
Again thanks for reading,