Dr. Oz Gives GMA Viewers Six Step Plan for Long Life
Because of the many demands placed on us today, many people find it difficult to take the necessary time to exercise and plan for healthy meals. But Dr. Mehmet Oz, physician, talk show host and author, told AARP Magazine and Good Morning America Viewers to “stop making excuses”. Poor diet and lack of exercise can be more harmful than a disease.
Dr. Oz says that it is never too late to start following a better lifestyle, and one of the best ways to go about making major changes is to do them in a step-wise fashion, incorporating them slowly so that they become habits and not burdens.
Step One is to “Eat Less Each Day”. Notice that Dr. Oz is not giving a set calorie number that you should be following. That is an individual process that takes into account a lot of factors, such as gender, age, and activity level, and cannot be generalized to the public as a whole. Take the time this week to write down everything you eat (yes, everything – and do not censor the results or you will not achieve the full benefit of the exercise). Next week, find simple ways to cut out about 250 calories, such as not taking extra portions, skipping the bread basket before dinner, and substituting calorie free beverages for sugary sodas.
Step Two is to take an hour or two out of your life and see a doctor to learn the most important “Health Numbers”. Yes, you should know your weight, waist size, and BMI (Body Mass Index). You should also know your blood pressure, cholesterol levels (LDL, HDL, and Triglycerides, as well as total cholesterol), thyroid function (the level of a hormone called TSH), and fasting blood sugar. After all, you need a baseline so that you can see at the end of six months how far you’ve come.
Step Three is honestly a tough one for most people – Exercise at least 30 minutes a day. In the comment section of the ABC News article, a lady wrote “What if all I can do is walk?” This is okay – walking is a great exercise and has been associated with many health benefits, including a reduction in heart disease and stroke risk factors. Think about it – 30 minutes out of a day that has a total of 1140 minutes is not so much. Perhaps just juggling a couple of unnecessary tasks, learning to be more time efficient with the tasks you have, or delegating some tasks to others can give you 30 minutes of “me time”.
Step Four – Manage Your Stress. Stress contributes to poor health in many ways. Excess cortisol, the hormone released during stressful times, contributes to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Stress that leads to insomnia also has health risk factors, including fatigue, poor judgment, and decreased immune function. Dr. Oz recommends learning more about the “NUTS” in your life, the Nagging, Unfinished Tasks that leave you anxious and worried and finding ways to resolve the problems.
Find a purpose is step number five. Almost everyone has a “Bucket List” or a passion for something that they are not currently doing. We feel stuck in the day-to-day grind and feel unfulfilled and regretful of things left undone. Find out what obstacles are in your way for what brings you happiness. There are almost always ways to bring that happiness and fulfillment into your life now, with a little effort and a little patience.
Step six is when you bring it all together. Hopefully, you will see that doing a little for yourself in terms of taking care of your health can go a long way to making your life more fulfilling and satisfying, and does not have to take you away from your home or work obligations. Be sure to include your family into the efforts for a healthy lifestyle, and everyone will enjoy a long and happy life.