Healthy Living - 10 (Slightly Blunt) Tips
By Sarah Villafranco, MD
Posted in Blog, on July 15, 2012
As I was preparing to switch computers, I was looking through my documents and came across this one: “Dr. Villafranco’s Tips on Healthy Living”. I used to hand this out to select patients in the ER – the ones I thought could handle these ten simple, unedited (and, yes, a little blunt) truths. And here they are:
- Drink water. Spring water is better than filtered water, but any clean water is better than no water.
- Exercise 5-6 days a week. Period. No excuses. If you are new to exercise, just walk briskly for 15 minutes a day. Not to the store, or to your car, or around the mall. Walk just for the sake of walking. You should be breathing hard during those 15 minutes. Awesome music with a fast beat helps. You might be surprised how much you like the way you feel afterwards.
- Michael Pollan sums it up (author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma): “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Ask yourself if the food you are eating is really efficient fuel for your body, or whether it is mostly trash. Don’t eat trash. If you want to read a very short book to help you keep it all straight, read “Food Rules” by M. Pollan.
- 1-2 alcoholic drinks per day. That’s enough. It really is. And if it isn’t, you may need some help.
- If you smoke, stop. You have to stop smoking. There is NO EXCUSE for smoking – NOT A SINGLE ONE!! I DON’T CARE IF YOUR DOG DIED AND YOUR KID RAN AWAY AND YOUR HOUSE BURNED DOWN AND YOU HAVE MORE STRESS IN YOUR LIFE THAN ANYONE ELSE IN HISTORY – THERE IS NO REASON TO SMOKE CIGARETTES IF YOU WANT TO KEEP LIVING!!!!! If you want to quit, ask me about my two little secrets.
- If you don’t have a primary care physician, get one. Don’t you want to have a doctor who knows you, has all your records, and wants to keep you healthy and happy?? Who wouldn’t?
- Remember that all the power you need in your life resides within you. Corny? Maybe. True? Definitely. YOU must take responsibility for your own health. YOU must CHOOSE to be healthy. You can’t GET healthy if you are always looking for someone to blame, or a pill to pop, or a quick, easy fix.
- Laugh more.
- Be outside often – see the mountains, the rivers, the wildlife. Try not to forget this beautiful world, and help try to keep it beautiful.
- Take 5 minutes every day to sit quietly and breathe deeply. Think about nothing at all, or think positive thoughts about yourself and those you love. Just those five little minutes can have an awfully big effect.