Tweaking It Up: Part 2

Dr. Cindy Haines Health Guide
  • In a follow-up to my previous post and quiz, let's break it down now:


    What I Eat


    1. I eat out more than I eat foods specially prepared by me or for me. T/F


    When you eat out, chances are your calorie (and other things you don't want, like saturated fat and sodium) consumption increases. When you prepare your own food, you control what goes in it (and what then goes in you).


    2. Cost of food is a concern for me. T/F


    Recent headlines proclaim that inexpensive food is fueling our obesity epidemic. This is true when talking about fast and processed food - but it doesn't mean that only unhealthy foods are less expensive. My advice is to shop the perimeter and the bulk bin aisles - this is where the real food is anyway - and it's often less expensive than the processed stuff.

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    3. There are good foods and there are bad foods. T/F


    Actually a trick question: yes, there are foods that are healthier than others but no food is "bad," defined as you are never allowed to have it, ever. Moderation is key. I also believe that the more you feed your body what it needs, the less you want stuff it doesn’t.


    How I Move


    1. If I exercise at least three times a week, I am doing well. T/F


    Three times a week is good - but you can do better. Aim for physical activity daily.


    2. If I exercise for at least 30 minutes each day, the rest of the day doesn't matter. T/F


    Metabolic consequences of sedentary behavior set in after sitting for about 60 to 90 minutes. So even if you exercise daily, if you are sitting for the rest of the day - again, you can do better!


    3. Gyms are not an option for me. T/F


    Whatever your answer, it's OK. Gyms are not the only place to move. Make everyday activities into movement adventures. Walk more, use stairs more, take more stretch breaks - just do more. You were made for that!


    My Sleep Patterns


    1. Insomnia is the only major sleep concern when it comes to health. T/F


    Quality sleep can be hampered by a long list of conditions, including sleep apnea which carries its own set of health risks.


    2. My partner snores - but that's just his/her problem, not mine. T/F


    If the noise doesn't wake you up, cool. But that doesn't mean it's not affecting your cycles of sleep - we move through lighter and deeper segments and disturbances can disturb this.


    3. Sleep becomes less important the older you get. T/F


    It is just as important, at every age.


    My Medications


    1. I know all of the medications I am taking. T/F


    Know them, and know the brand and the generic names, as well as why you take them and for how long they are intended to be part of your repertoire.


    2. My medications only include what doctors have prescribed me. T/F


    Not so - anything you take in counts, including over-the-counter drugs and herbal supplements.


    3. All of the medications I currently take, I will need to take for the rest of my life. T/F


    No, no, no, no, no. A word of caution: don't change or stop any meds without talking to your doctor but many medications CAN be weaned or stopped, with the right strategy.


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    What Stresses Me Out


    1. Cost of health care is a concern for me. T/F


    If not now, at some point it may be. One of the factors in your control is learning how to use the system more efficiently and needing it less.


    2. My health stresses me out. T/F


    Developing strategies to empower yourself is key.


    3. I know that stress can damage my quality of life, but stress itself can't damage my health. T/F


    Stress is a killer. Literally. It creates a cascade of inflammation that can lead to both acute and chronic health ills. It's time to take stress seriously - the quality of your health and the quality of your life depend on it.


    For even more tips on how to get better health and need the health care system less, check out: The New Prescription: How to Get the Best Health Care in a Broken System by Dr. Cynthia D. Haines, M.D. (Dr. Cindy Haines) and Eric Metcalf, M.P.H. This is a book about getting what you really want: better health on your own terms. More medical care doesn’t mean better health. Dr. Haines and Metcalf reveal some of the most egregious problems with a medical system gone awry, opening readers’ eyes to how to better navigate the changes underway. Using solid research, insiders’ insights, and patient anecdotes, they offer cost-effective and potentially life-saving ways to get more out of health care while using less of it.

Published On: May 23, 2014