Labor Day is behind us, the kids have gone back to school, and with the end of summer and change of seasons comes fall cleanup at home and some schedule changes. As a “new school year” begins, let’s also talk about some “life cleanup” and get committed or recommitted to our own health and wellness.
Recommitting to Wellness
As a sports medicine physician and orthopedic knee specialist, I am happy to have been asked to be a leader for Springfield Clinic health, wellness and prevention. My goal has always been to guide my patients, colleagues and community to a culture of living life better and enjoying the “sport of life!” Health care should not just be about taking care of the sick or injured, but should be dedicated to total health and wellness and chronic disease prevention through our own lifestyle choices, so that we can effectively counsel and mentor our patients and others around us.
My monthly health and wellness features will incorporate a variety of topics related to nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and chronic disease prevention. For this inaugural issue, let’s start with a couple of basic rules:
- Get off the simple carbs
- Get off the couch!
Why it Works
Specifically, it is not just calories in and calories burned that determine our destiny. Simple sugars and processed foods are not only inflammatory, but give a high glycemic load. These foods lead to insulin surges and ultimately contribute to insulin resistance, which is at the root of our obesity and type 2 diabetes tsunamis.
In addition to eating right, exercise must be consistent, have variety and provide a degree of intensity in order to reap the benefits not only to our cardiovascular system but to our nervous system through brain-derived neurotropic factors. (Meaning, we actually improve cognitive function via neurogenesis when we exercise!)
My Challenge to You
This month’s challenge:
- Consume absolutely no added sugars, no highly processed simple carbs and especially nothing with high fructose corn syrup.
- Eat nothing white (bread, potatoes, rice).
- Exercise at least five days a week for 20 minutes each day, while incorporating 3-7 minutes into this routine with some added high intensity intervals.
Follow these steps, and you will see measurable improvement! In future health and wellness articles, we will delve into nutrition, physiology, measurement and exercise specifics. Let’s not wait with the rest of the world for a “New Year’s resolution”—Let’s do it NOW!