Roy Buchinsky, MD, director of wellness at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and the Robert and Susan Hurwitz Master Clinician in Wellness, has these 10 tips to help maximize your chances of a long, strong and resilient life.
#1 “If the food is white, it’s probably not right.” Avoid processed white carbohydrates such as white bread, bagels, rice, pasta and pizza. Replace with whole-grain products such as whole-grain bread, brown rice – or try pasta made from quinoa or brown rice.
#2 “Don’t drink your fruit when you can eat your fruit.” Fruit in its natural form is healthiest. It is filled with fiber and antioxidants with their inherent benefits. When fruit is liquefied, you lose much of the fiber and increase the concentrated sugar load on your body. An apple a day will keep the doctor away, but a glass of apple juice might not.
#3 “Sitting is the new smoking.” Increase your daily physical activity by moving more every day. Aim for 10,000 steps per day – no ifs, ands or buts.
#4 “Don’t skimp on sleep.” Aim for seven to eight hours per day. This will allow you to function at your best and ward off many illnesses that are associated with sleep deprivation.
#5 “Maintain a gratitude attitude every day.” Looking at life with a positive attitude can help you deal better with everyday hassles. Remind yourself that from challenges, come opportunities.
#6 “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Don’t get upset over minutia in life and focus on the big-ticket items – health, family, work, religion.
#7 Avoid toxins such as tobacco, excess alcohol and BPA. Take care of the environment and the environment will take care of you.
#8 “Prevention is the best intervention.” Vaccinations might not be foolproof, but they are very powerful in preventing common illnesses such as influenza, pneumonia, HPV, hepatitis, shingles, diphtheria, etc. Remember these ‘bugs’ are devilishly clever.
#9 “Control the controllable.” So much energy is spent worrying about things that are out of our control. If you focus predominantly on items that are actually within your control, you will be able use your energy productively.
#10 “Take your work seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.” As the inimitable Charlie Chaplin said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”