Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments (3)

Six Simple Steps To A Long And Healthy Life -Or- A New Way To Protest Bad Healthcare Legislation

healthcarebillRegular readers know that I’ve been promoting healthy lifestyle choices since this blog’s inception. In fact, I even used to lead a weight loss group called “Lose 20 pounds with Dr. Val.” I’ve often joked that because of the law of the conservation of mass, when someone loses weight, someone else must “find” it. And well, I guess I realized – looking towards 2010 – that I had found some of that weight myself!

If healthcare reform debates teach us one thing, it’s this: the future of healthcare coverage is uncertain for all of us, so the most important thing we can do is avoid needing it (if at all possible)! Time to turn that into a New Year’s resolution… so here’s what we can do:

1. Achieve a healthy weight and maintain it (I suggest a BMI less than 25 as a rough target).

2. Exercise 60 minutes/day most days of the week, or walk at least 10,000 steps a day.

3. Do not smoke.

4. Drink no more alcohol than the equivalent of 1 glass of wine/day.

5. Eat a diet rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein.

6. Get all your preventive health screening tests and vaccines.

Easier said than done – I know. But here’s the deal: we have to do it because it’s our best chance for a healthy, long, hospital-free life. True, there may be unforeseen circumstances outside of our control (accidents, cancer, infectious disease, auto-immune disorders), but for many Americans these six simple steps would bring about significant personal “healthcare reform.”

So if you’re feeling angry about all the legislative shenanigans surrounding healthcare reform, I offer this suggestion – channel that anger into getting yourself as healthy as possible, so that you won’t be dependent on this broken system for your health needs. We each have the power within ourselves to make healthy lifestyle choices – and those choices need to begin now.

Let’s protest bad healthcare reform legislation by getting trim and fit. Send Washington a message: we don’t need your $3 trillion overhaul… we’re doing our own overhaul this New Year’s! Yeah!


You may also like these posts

Read comments »

3 Responses to “Six Simple Steps To A Long And Healthy Life -Or- A New Way To Protest Bad Healthcare Legislation”

  1. Dr Val. Have you been reading my blog? LOL

  2. mike hensgen says:

    I guess that means no more Popeye’s Fried Chicken…oh well, seriously, I find a website like helps keep me on track diet AND exercise-wise.

    Happy New Year to all!

  3. Having watched many of our elected ‘reformers, I think they need to read this blog post as much as the rest of us.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

Caring For Winter Olympians In Sochi: An Interview With Team USA’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Gloria Beim

I am a huge fan of the winter Olympics partly because I grew up in Canada where most kids can ski and skate before they can run and partly because I used to participate in Downhill ski racing. Now that I m a rehab physician with a reconstructed knee I…

Read more »

How Do Hospital Executives Feel About Locum Tenens Agencies And Traveling Physicians?

I recently wrote about my experiences as a traveling physician and how to navigate locum tenens work. Today I want to talk about the client in this case hospital side of the equation. I ve had the chance to speak with several executives some were physicians themselves about the overall…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

Unaccountable: A Book About The Underbelly Of Hospital Care

I met Dr. Marty Makary over lunch at Founding Farmers restaurant in DC about three years ago. We had an animated conversation about hospital safety the potential contribution of checklists to reducing medical errors and his upcoming book about the need for more transparency in the healthcare system. Marty was…

Read more »

See all book reviews »