Talk with the Doc: Making healthy lifestyle choices
Let me again remind all of us that we are the one who is ultimately responsible for our personal health. It is also very important for each one of us to recall that we live by choice, and not by chance. In this regard, it is very important that we make healthy lifestyle choices that will help us to stay healthy. Following are my five healthy lifestyle choices that start with the letter “S”. By following these five recommendations, we all have the opportunity to positively impact our own personal health.
“S” number 1. Stop smoking. Smoking is the single worst choice anyone can make, as this is guaranteed to ruin your health. For your own health, do whatever it takes to stop smoking. Never, ever smoke around children or others who do not smoke. Second-hand smoke is also deadly. A smoker’s predicted life expectancy is 14 years less than that of a non-smoker. Smoking increases the risk of breast cancer by 16%, increases colorectal cancer by 18%, and increases prostate cancer by 22%. Further, 40% of all bladder cancer is caused by smoking. There are 43 known carcinogens (cancer producing toxins) in every puff of cigarette smoke. Further, chronic lung disease (COPD) is a horrible way for a smoker to spend their later years.
“S” number 2. Screening for cancers can save your life. Be certain to follow the recommended guidelines and your doctor’s advice for screening for the most common adult cancers in the USA. Breast cancer – mammograms, self breast exams, and physician exams are very important. Prostate cancer – PSA blood tests and physician exams are very important. Colorectal cancer – even with no symptoms, have a colonoscopy examination at age 50, or at age 40 if there is a family history of colorectal cancer or polyps. If one has any digestive symptoms at all such as rectal bleeding, change in bowel habits, unexplained anemia or weight loss, or other concerns, then check with your doctor right away.
“S” number 3. Sleep for seven to eight hours per night. The latest research tells us that adults need at least seven hours of sleep every night to keep themselves and their immune system healthy. You cannot make up for lost sleep, so do not think you can catch up on your sleep on the week-end. A good night’s sleep of at least seven hours per night is very important to maintain your personal health. Further, it is now recommended that you get no more than nine hours of sleep, as this may cause weight gain due to less daily activity and possible slowing of our metabolism.
“S” number 4. Start walking. One of the best exercises we all can do is to go for a walk. It is easy on the joints and is great for your heart, lungs, and muscle tone. It can also be a great way to spend some “quality time” with friends and family. Of course, in our great Upper Peninsula, we have to be sure the weather is OK for a walk, and we should not go walking on slippery wet or icy surfaces, or in very cold weather. So, as our personal physical condition and the current weather permits, let’s schedule some time to get off the couch and go for a walk with family and friends.
“S” number 5. Stop Only Sugar. Excess refined sugar in our diet is very unhealthy. The average consumption of refined sugar in the USA today is 150 pounds per year, or 3 pounds per week, or 42 teaspoons every day! All this excess sugar is stored as body fat! Follow my low sugar, high fiber SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet and this will help you to easily lose weight, keep it off and, if needed, lower your cholesterol as well. Become a “label reading detective” and check all food labels for sugar and dietary fiber content. You will be amazed at how much refined sugar you are consuming in your diet, and even more amazed at how you can make this simple lifestyle change. Follow the SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet and easily lose 5 to 8 pounds per month. Join the many 1,000’s of others who have lost all their excess weight, kept it off, and are so much healthier on the SOS Diet!
I wish you a most healthy 2021, and following these healthy lifestyle choices will help you to contribute to your personal health and well being.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of “The ABC’s For Success In All We Do” and the “SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet” books. Contact Dr. Surrell by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.