Don’t underestimate your ability to control your health. Dr. Kory Tuominen, who teaches patients tools of self-care, shares his thoughts.
Physician training focuses on treatment OF disease. It wasn’t until over 10 years of practicing I found the best way to treat disease is to prevent it in the first place. If you could take a pill that would reduce your risk of getting diabetes by nearly 60%, would you? What about the fact that mindfulness cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to be as good as medication to prevent depression relapse? These examples and many more have made me put my Prescription pad down and instead prescribe a different type of MEDS.
Recommended Minimum Daily Doses
- Mindfulness: 10 minutes being think-free can save your life!
Often overlooked, but so important, is taking a break from our stress filled life. Just sitting quietly taking deep breaths can significantly lower blood pressure. A 2012 study of those with heart disease who practiced Transcendental Meditation regularly were 48 percent less likely to have a heart attack or stroke or die compared with those who attended a health education class for more than five years.
- Exercise: 22 minutes
150 minutes of exercise a week with healthy diet can PREVENT diabetes and help those with a healthy diet maintain 10-15# weight loss.
- Diet: 5+ servings vegetables
Current research says eating at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day was associated with a 25% decreased chance of dying and 20% decreased chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
- Sleep: 7 hours restful sleep
Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and risk of obesity. A recent study focused on teenagers showed that with each hour of sleep lost, the odds of becoming obese went up. This has been found true for all age groups.
A patient once told me, “Doc! Growing old ain’t for sissys.” Medications are sometimes needed but if the above MEDS were ALWAYS prescribed we would all be healthier and happier. They are free but worth oh so much.
Kory Tuominen, M.D.