It’s a common contributor of our biggest health problems: stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancer.
What do the nation’s top physicians recommend to keep your heart, mind, and body in optimally good health?
1. Daily exercise.
To work your heart, it’s got to be aerobic exercise. You’ve got lots of options: walking, jogging, biking, rowing machine, elliptical machine, swimming. But don’t feel like you have to be an athlete. Walking is great exercise. Get 10 minutes here and there during the day. It all counts.
2. Healthy diet.
Quit eating junk food and high-fat fast food. Your heart, brain, and overall health are harmed by foods high in saturated fats, salt, and cholesterol. There’s no getting around it.
3. Weight loss.
Too much body weight puts your health at great risk. When you take in more calories than you burn, you get fat — it’s that simple. You’ve got to eat less. You’ve got to exercise more. You’ve got to push yourself to make these lifestyle changes — but you’ve got to do it to help avoid serious health problems like heart disease, diabetes, or stroke.
4. Regular physical exams.
Tell your doctor your family medical history. Learn your personal risk factors, and the screening tests you need.
5. Less stress.
When a person says they’re too busy to exercise, it tells me other things are crowding out what’s important in life: They don’t spend time with family and friends; don’t exercise enough; don’t eat right; don’t sleep properly.
This is important advice, too, for people who take care of elderly parents or young children. Make sure you’re getting proper exercise and sleep —
and that you’re not trying to do too much.