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Your Best Six Doctors. Who Are They?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mahmoud Abudeif, Dec 20, 2019.

  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

    Mar 5, 2019
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    Practicing medicine in:

    “The best six doctors anywhere

    And no one can deny it

    Are sunshine, water, rest, and air

    Exercise and diet.

    These six will gladly you attend

    If only you are willing

    Your mind they'll ease

    Your will they'll mend

    And charge you not a shilling.”

    The best six doctors, according to the old nursery rhyme, are: “sunshine, water, rest and air, exercise and diet.” Let’s dig deeper and see how to incorporate them into our habits to live a healthier and happier life.

    1. Sunshine. About 10-15 minutes of daily sunlight is a natural way for your body to produce needed vitamin D. Sunshine results in release of the body’s natural melatonin which improves sleep. In addition, a little daily sunshine boosts serotonin levels, which improves mood, helps keep you calm, and improves focus. Vitamin D is not only important for keeping your bones strong and healthy, but also has been shown to reduce cancer, cardiovascular diseases, Parkinson’s disease, boost your immune system, and reduce cardiac risk factors including high blood pressure and diabetes.

    2. Water. Drinking about 1 gallon of water each day is what most adults should target. Consuming enough water improves both mental and physical performance, as well as reduces headaches and kidney stones. In addition, being well-hydrated boosts your energy levels, skin, digestion, and weight maintenance. Because you wake up a little dehydrated, I recommend you start the day with a glass of water, and also have a glass before each meal too.

    3. Rest. Most adults should target seven to nine hours of sleep a day. Shorter sleep of less than six hours a day or poor quality sleep are associated with elevated blood pressure, increased stress levels, inflammation and blood sugar levels, and reduce your immune system. Moreover, tired people are cranky too, and that makes them unable to focus well at work, less concentrated on the road, and make poor decisions. Measurement is the first step of improvement. Most activity trackers now monitor your sleep quality and quantity, and you can use them to monitor both. To reduce stress, consider activities like meditation, yoga, progressive muscle relaxation, warm baths, a glass of wine, or reading your favorite book.

    4. Air. We breathe about 2,000 gallons of air each day. Inhaled air has about 21% oxygen, and oxygen helps improve the efficiency of your body systems, and improves metabolism, sleep and reduces certain cancers. Importantly, avoid air fresheners, do not leave damp/smelly clothes out, and open your windows for at least five minutes every day. In addition, you should get outdoors to have fun in the fresh air daily no matter what the season is. Practicing different types of breathing can also help your happiness level as well as reduce stress, e.g. the 4-7-8 breathing technique has been shown to relax and lower blood pressure: completely exhale, then breathe in through your nose while you count to four, then hold your breath for seven seconds, then slowly exhale for eight seconds. Do this for five minutes every day. In addition, meditation, yoga and Pilates can complement breathing exercises.

    5. Exercise. The current recommendations are to do at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, that means exercise that makes you break a sweat and breathe harder. The recommended types of exercise include three to five days aerobic, two to three days resistance, and one day of flexibility and balance exercise per week. Do you want to get motivated? Consider joining a class at a gym, or a dance class. It appears that doing exercise in a fasting state results in more benefits, but the most important thing is to do daily exercise, whenever you can. If you cannot do one 30- to 60-minute session, you can break it up into smaller manageable chunks and get the same benefit. An activity tracker can track your activity and remind you to get up and walk, as well as making sure you meet your daily activity targets. Most adults should be targeting 10,000 to 15,000 steps per day. Exercise reduces stress, blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, anxiety/depression, and weight. It also improves bone and muscle health, strengthens the immune system, boosts metabolism, helps you multitask better, and improves mental performance, memory and sleep.

    6. Diet. The best diets emphasize the following daily items: five to 10 servings of fruits/vegetables, two to three servings of organic lean protein such as fish or chicken, one cup of beans, one cup of nuts/seeds, legumes, and whole grains. Avoid processed/refined/artificial foods, especially those high in saturated/trans-fats, refined sugars and red meat. Use smaller dinner plates to serve food on, and strive to have breakfast be the most substantial meal of the day. Stop eating when you are 80% full, and chew more while eating slowly. Coffee and tea are heart healthy, and a little red wine with dinner helps, too. I favor a Mediterranean based diet because of its cardiovascular benefits.

    Now that you know these six best doctors, bring them into your daily life. They are readily available for you. All it takes is awareness and action, and you are on your way to better health and wellness.


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