Categories: Physical health, Mental health, Spiritual health
In this episode, Dr. G is joined by Steven Lome, DO, double board-certified cardiovascular specialist, and Todd Fink, CADC, certified alcohol and drug counselor at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health, to discuss the fundamentals of healthy living.
What is the secret of a healthy life? Good health has many facets, and they’re all important. Regular exercise, food choices, mindfulness and spirituality are just the tip of the iceberg. The first step to better health? Making the choice to start the transformation.
But where (and how) to begin pursuit of a healthy lifestyle? Start small. No one can transform their health overnight, and that’s okay. It’s a lifelong process that involves failure, learning and commitment.
How can we boost our immune system? How much exercise do we really need? How can we tell whether we’re stressed? Is spirituality the same as religion (and why is it relevant to health)? Dr. G’s experts tackle these questions and share some tips to help you set yourself up for success.
Are you ready to transform your body, mind and spirit?
Myths vs. Facts
“Older individuals should strive to get 150 minutes of exercise per week.” - Fact
150 mins of moderate intensity aerobic exercise is the minimum we should strive for. There’s even more benefit if you go up to 300 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise and add some simple strength training two days per week.
“There are no harms seen in adults who get less than 7 hours of sleep each night.” - Myth
We need to get a full night’s sleep, which is generally 7-9 hours for adults. This can be challenging, especially since the invention of the smartphone. As a society, compared to 100 years ago, we sleep 1.5-2 hours less now.
“I can actively boost my immune system to avoid contracting disease with immediate effect.” - Depends
It depends what you’re talking about. It doesn’t matter what you do in regard to healthy eating, exercising, taking supplements—if you’re exposed to something like the coronavirus, you’re going to be at significant risk and you’re not going to avoid it. But when it comes to chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, eating the right foods and taking other healthy steps can help us avoid illness.
“Self-care is not necessarily being selfish.” - Fact
Self-care is important. It’s easy to take care of others and neglect your own needs. Self-care is about prioritizing your own wellbeing so you can be the compassionate person you aspire to be. There’s a lot of shame in compassion fatigue and occupational burnout, because as people motivated to help we think we’re always supposed to be on and ready to serve. We need to reduce that stigma with self-care and have people prioritize their own wellbeing, just like the analogy of putting your oxygen mask on first on a plane before helping others.
“Mindfulness can be practiced daily and in many ways.” - Fact
Mindfulness needs to be a habit. It can be as simple as closing your eyes and meditating while you’re on the train to work. Studies have shown that mindfulness can lower blood pressure, lower cardiovascular disease risk.
“To be spiritual, one must follow a guru.” - Myth
It’s not necessary to have a guru or be part of any religion. However, just like anything else you want to grow in, it can be helpful to have a guide with experience to give you some tips on how to get started.
“People who are spiritual can use their beliefs to cope with illness, pain or life stressors.” - Fact
Being spiritual—being connected with your mind, your emotions, your mental wellbeing—will help when a stressful event occurs. You’re going to have a better mental capacity to cope. You’ll have mental techniques ready to handle that stressful situation.
Listener healthy OH-YEAH!
"Making my depression and anxiety a priority in 2020. Not that I had much of a choice when I started 2020 in Intensive outpatient treatment. But I have kept going, even when all I wanted to do was give up and stop battling them everyday. There have been many mental ups and downs this year. Many times I thought I was improving and on my way to a depression free life, only to be knocked back down. There have been twists and turns and shifts in focus during my treatment, but I have pressed on. I am also proud that I have decided to be open and not hide that I have depression and anxiety. I would like to see the stigma surrounding mental illness gone. Being open and sharing my experience is one way I am trying to normalize it for others, especially for my kids who have had their own anxiety struggles." – K.B.