After a summer of parties, barbecues, and vacations, it's easy to find yourself in the post-summer slump. Your clothes are a little tighter than they were at Memorial Day and you haven't been to spin class in well over a month. Yesterday on "Morning Living," Dr. Jonathan Whiteson, medical director for cardiac and pulmonary wellness and rehabilitation at the Rusk Institute at the NYU Langone Medical Center and host of his own show on Doctor Radio (SiriusXM 81), joined us to share some tips for getting back into a healthy lifestyle.
- Recognize the need to change. Allow yourself some self reflection to know where you are, and set goals for where you should be.
- See your doctor at least once a year for a checkup and if you haven’t been recently, GO NOW! Be pro-active. Check for diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.
- Become active. It’s all relative compared to what you do now, but the goal is to do more each and every week, with a goal of 60 minutes of aerobic exercise at moderate intensity most days of the week.
- Eat healthy. Get back to the basics. Investigate your local supermarket and familiarize yourself with the fresh produce aisle. In terms of fruits and veggies, always go seasonal. Fresh fish and meats should be prepared simply and easily. Cook delicious and healthy meals, but do it family style (not FAMILY SIZE). Getting everyone involved makes it more fun.
- Lose weight through better eating and increased activity. In addition to eating healthier, be mindful of portion size. Downsize, don’t supersize. Use smaller plates and fill at least half your plate with veggies. Don't eat in front of the television but do it around the table so you get the chance to talk.
- Chose your beverage wisely. Go for tap water or skim milk. A little pure fruit juice is also good. Avoid sports drinks and soda (too much sugar/calories). Alcohol, which contains a high amount of calories and no medicinal value, often leads to overeating.
- Don't smoke and make sure your kids don't smoke. Join a smoking cessation program. Talk about smoking with your kids -– most start as teenagers or even younger.
- Sleep. Get at least 7 hours a night.
- Relaxation is key. Meditation, music, laughter, and charity work are all great ways to force you to chill out a bit. Enrich yourself and society.