9 Healthy Habits Doctors Recommend

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Doctors who follow healthy habits themselves may be better at advising patients to make positive changes like losing weight or exercising, according to a 2010 study in the journal Preventive Cardiology. It is like they are not just talking the talk but they are actually walking the walk.

Here are some important health rules that doctors won’t break and that we can benefit from knowing about:

Dermatologist: Check for moles

Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, clinical instructor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Washington, D.C. recommends that you do a full self-skin exam monthly and report any changes to your doctor right away. Although one American dies of melanoma every hour, it’s almost 100 percent curable when detected early.”

Psychologists: Think Positive Thoughts

Stress hormones can do very bad things to your mental and physical state, and take away your ability to cope. There are all kinds of stress management techniques that work wonders — eat healthy, remember to breathe, get enough sleep, exercise cites Marian Stuart, PhD, author of The Fifteen Minute Hour: Therapeutic Talk in Primary Care. She adds that focusing on small, happy things helps cultivate positive thoughts, which release stress-lowering chemicals, such as dopamine, into your brain.”

ER Doctor: Buckle Up!

“Seatbelts save lives and can prevent serious injuries.” Richard O’Brien, MD, spokesperson for American College of Emergency Physicians says even when you just pull out of a parking space, it’s possible to lose control and hit a pole or collide with unexpected traffic.

Ob/Gyn: Get Busy

Andrew Scheinfeld, MD, clinical instructor at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City says “The benefits of sex are similar to those of eating well and working out frequently. A fulfilling sex life can bolster your immune system, improve blood flow, help with sleep problems, and even decrease migraine headaches.

Neurologists: Keep up with your meds

“It’s important to have an accurate list in the event of an emergency so hospital staff can help treat you optimally. A written list helps doctors take care of you better and reduces errors.” according to Orly Avitzur, MD, MBA, editor-in-chief of the American Academy of Neurology Web Site.

Radiologists: Know your breast density

Stacey Vitiello, MD, breast imaging radiologist at Regional Radiology in Staten Island, N.Y. says “Annual mammograms starting at age 40, or earlier, if you have a personal or family history, are important. But dense breast tissue is another risk factor for cancer (some studies indicate as much as a five-fold increase in risk), so always ask about your breast density after your mammogram.”

Chiropractor: Eat breakfast

“Research shows that breakfast eaters have an easier time losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight” cites William Barrett, DC, chief clinical officer of ChiroCare in Shoreview, MN. Excess weight around the middle is especially bad because it can affect your posture and lead to pain.

Cardiologists: Daily Exercise

Why exercise? Larry Santora, MD, interventional and preventive cardiology medical director at the Heart and Vascular Wellness Center at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange County, CA says “From a total health perspective, exercise is the single most important thing you can do, with more health benefits than any medicine. It relaxes the arteries; lowers levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisone; reduces blood sugar; raises good HDL cholesterol; helps prevent abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks and strokes; lowers risk of obesity and related cancers; improves bone density; and boosts testosterone levels in men.

Dentist: Floss before bed

Saliva flow slows at night while you sleep, which increases the risk of gum and tooth decay. That’s why it’s especially important to floss and then brush before bed, after you’ve finished eating for the day. “I ask my patients to floss once a day, and I abide by that as well.” adds Byron Wall, DDS, a cosmetic dentist and past president of the Albuquerque District Dental Society.

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