6+2=your best you

Texarkana Gazette - - SOCIETY / ADVICE - By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Drs. Oz & Roizen

When the Welsh physi­cian Robert Recorde wrote the first mod­ern equa­tion with an equal sign in 1557 (14x + 15 = 17), it sent math­e­mat­ics into a higher or­bit. But we think our equa­tion—6 + 2 = Your Best You—is even more revo­lu­tion­ary. It can, for the record(e), trans­form your life, give you a younger RealAge and pre­vent dis­ease, dis­tress and dis­abil­ity.

The way to achieve all that is to set clear and at­tain­able goals. And then plan on the steps you will take to make you suc­ceed. So let’s get started!


No. 1. Re­gain and main­tain nor­mal blood pres­sure. Your tar­get: 110/75.

No. 2. Re­gain and main­tain a nor­mal level of lousy LDL choles­terol. Your tar­get: 100 mil­ligrams per deciliter or lower if you do not have di­a­betes or vas­cu­lar dis­ease; be­low 70 if you do.

No. 3. Re­gain and main­tain a nor­mal fast­ing blood glu­cose level of 100 mg/dL or be­low, or Hg­bA1c be­low 6.4 mg/dL.

No. 4. Achieve the healthy weight for your height. Search for “What is a healthy body mass in­dex?” to con­sult a Body Mass In­dex chart on­line.

No. 5. Prac­tice on­go­ing stress man­age­ment. Your goals: Sleep well and feel at ease in your own skin.

No. 6. Have no pri­mary, sec­ondary or ter­tiary smoke from tobacco in your body. De­clare your­self a smoke­free zone.

How to do all that? For­tu­nately the steps to No. 1 are much the same for No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4.

You elim­i­nate trans and sat fats from your diet (no red or pro­cessed meats) and ditch added sug­ars and syrups, too. Stick with only 100 per­cent whole grains and eat seven to nine serv­ings daily of fresh fruits and veg­gies. For an­i­mal pro­tein, choose skin­less poul­try and fish like salmon and ocean trout.

You aim to walk 10,000 steps a day or the equiv­a­lent and do two to three 20-minute strength-train­ing ses­sions weekly. Aer­o­bics help you pro­tect your heart, brain and sex life! Strength­train­ing with hand weights, stretch bands or even us­ing your own body weight for re­sis­tance can help in­crease bone strength, reg­u­late glu­cose, in­crease in­sulin sen­si­tiv­ity and re­duce body fat, lousy LDL choles­terol lev­els and blood pres­sure.

Take one 81-mg low­dose as­pirin twice daily— morn­ing and night—with a half a glass of warm wa­ter be­fore and af­ter each dose to help pre­vent heart woes, colon can­cer and at least nine other can­cers. Con­sider a daily mul­ti­vi­ta­min (half in the morn­ing, half at night), 900 mg of DHA omega-3 in al­gal or fish oil and 1,000 IU vi­ta­min D for im­mune sys-- tem, brain and heart health.

No. 5’s stress man­age­ment can evolve in sev­eral ways.

Med­i­tate for 10 min­utes morn­ing and night us­ing yo­gic breath­ing tech­niques, mind­ful­ness or other forms of med­i­ta­tion. Check out the Na­tional Cen­ter for Com­ple­men­tary and In­te­gra­tive Health web­site; search for “Med­i­ta­tion: In depth.”

Dis­con­nect from dig­i­tal de­vices, es­pe­cially be­fore bed­time. Es­tab­lish a healthy sleep rou­tine in a dark, quiet room, aim­ing for seven to eight hours nightly.

Find time to walk, sit or ex­er­cise in na­ture when­ever pos­si­ble.

Get reg­u­lar mas­sages.

Spend time with friends and fam­ily.

Be­come truly smoke-free No. 6 in­volves mak­ing sure your near and dear are not smok­ing, even out­side of the house (they bring par­tic­u­late pol­lu­tion back in with them on their clothes and in their hair); stay clear of peo­ple soaked in sec­ond­hand smoke; and in­sist that your em­ploy­ers cre­ate a smoke­free en­vi­ron­ment.


Then add two more steps:

See your pri­mary care doc for a full-body checkup so you know your numbers, in­clud­ing blood pres­sure, lousy LDL choles­terol, blood glu­cose, the in­flam­ma­tory marker hs-CRP and blood vi­ta­min lev­els.

Make sure your vac­ci­na­tions are up to date. Boost­ers are es­sen­tial to pro­tect you from whoop­ing cough, tetanus and diph­the­ria. Ev­ery­one needs an an­nual flu shot; it de­creases flu and lung prob­lems plus low­ers stroke and heart attack risk. Folks 50-plus need the shin­gles vac­cine and 65-plus need the vac­cine for pneu­mo­nia.

Now that’s a for­mula for great health.

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