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HEAL

Five tips for a long and healthy life

Whenever I meet with a new patient, no matter their age, I like to share with them my favorite five health tips to live a longer and healthier life. And by that I mean that if they follow these tips they will reduce their risk of:

  • high blood pressure by 78%
  • heart attack by 83%
  • diabetes by 93%
  • heart failure by 47%
  • stroke by 79%
  • cancer by 36-64%
  • overall chance of dying each year by 40-65%

As you read my tips below, if you don't do these things already, I challenge you to start. If it seems daunting to start all of these at once, try incorporating one in your lifestyle and when you feel comfortable with that one, move on to the next. The key is the five numbers of health:

  • Make regular aerobic exercise part of your lifestyle. I recommend 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week, which is 30 minutes, five days a week. Or try getting 10,000 steps a day as measured by a pedometer. Get extra steps by parking further away from the store or taking walking breaks during the day.
  • Try eating a Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and replacing butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil. Or as a starting point try to get 5 servings of fruit or vegetables daily.
  • Keep a healthy weight, which means make sure your body mass index (BMI) is below 30. You can learn more about how to calculate your BMI below.
  • Spend 10 minutes of your day in silence, relaxation or meditation.
  • Don't smoke. Have zero cigarettes every day.

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