The Doctor Is In!

The Doctor Is In!

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In his new book, The Doctor Is In, ER physician Dr. Travis Stork, teaches you how to put an end to bad habits and take control of your health!

Seven Steps to Optimal Wellness
Seven simple steps that you take today may help save your life tomorrow.

1. Become Your Own Health Guru
2. Eat to Savor Life
3. Give Your Body a Daily Vacation
4. Nail Your Health Stats
5. Master the Medical Process
6. Open Your Mind to Alternatives
7. Make the Mind-Body Connection

1. Become Your Own Health Guru
Decide that you are the CEO of your own health. Commit to leading a healthy lifestyle and become the master of your medical destiny.

2. Eat to Savor Life
When it comes to food, Dr. Travis is the first to admit that he doesn’t like diets. “Over 90 percent of people will put the weight back on,” he says. “Diets don’t work. Diets are not the answer. It’s about a lifestyle.”

Ask yourself four simple questions before you choose the food on your plate:
1. Is it delicious?
2. Is it healthy?
3. How will I feel 30 minutes from now?
4. Will a steady diet of this make me healthy 10 years from now?

If you answer no to any of these, don’t eat it! Indulge in healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish and whole grains. Avoid excess sodium, sugars, fats and processed foods. 

3. Give Your Body a Daily Vacation
Pamper your body and soul with a vacation every day! Just 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity every day can act as a physical vacation. It’s easy, and it’s exhilarating!

“It shouldn’t feel like punishment when you’re out there exercising,” Dr. Travis says. “It has to be fun.”

Dr. Travis demonstrates simple ways to get moving

4. Nail Your Health Stats
When it comes to health statistics, there are five numbers you must know about your body:
1. Body Mass Index
2. Blood pressure
3. Total cholesterol
4. Blood glucose
5. Personal calorie target

Body Mass Index
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height to determine the overall fitness of an individual. BMI does not measure body fat directly, but is used as a diagnostic tool to identify potential obesity problems.

Calculate your BMI 

Blood Pressure
Blood pressure is created by two forces: the force of blood pushing against arterial walls as the heart pumps and circulates blood throughout the body, and the other is the force of the arteries as they resist the blood flow.

Blood pressure is measured in milligrams of mercury and ideally should be 120/80 or lower. The higher, or systolic, reading represents the pressure while the heart contracts to pump blood to the body. The lower, or diastolic, reading represents the pressure when the heart relaxes between beats.

One in three American adults has high blood pressure, or hypertension, but many don’t even know it. High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because it rarely has any signs or symptoms, so regular check ups with your doctor are imperative.

Must-Know Info about Blood Pressure

Dr. Travis Bikes!

Check out Dr. Travis in Bicycling magazine!

Go behind the scenes of Dr. Travis' Bicycling magazine photo shoot.

Total Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in the bloodstream and is an important and necessary part of cellular function in the body. It helps cell membranes produce bile, hormones and vitamin D. Cholesterol is made in the liver and also found in foods derived from animal products, such as meat, dairy and eggs.

There are two types of cholesterol: low density lipoproteins (LDLs), known as bad cholesterol, and high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), known as good cholesterol. While small amounts of cholesterol are necessary, too much causes plaque buildup in arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

LDL levels should be below 100 in men and women.
HDL levels should be above 50 in women and 40 in men.
Triglycerides, a type of fat found in blood, should be below 150 for men and women.

Total Cholesterol Levels:
Acceptable: less than 170 mg
Borderline: 170-199mg
High: 200mg or greater

Eating a healthy diet, avoiding foods high in saturated fats, exercising regularly and maintaining an ideal weight are easy ways to keep cholesterol levels in check. 

Blood Glucose
Blood glucose indicates the amount of glucose, a type of sugar, present in your blood. Glucose is derived from the foods we eat and drink and is a primary source of energy for the body. When any form of carbohydrate is consumed, blood glucose levels rise, and the pancreas releases insulin to help break down the glucose.

If a person consumes large quantities of high-carbohydrate foods over an extended period of time, the resulting higher levels of insulin present for a sustained period of time can lead to diabetes, blindness, kidney failure and other life-threatening conditions. 

Personal Calorie Target
The formula for obtaining and maintaining your ideal body weight comes down to two vital numbers: calories in and calories out. If you consume more calories than you expend, you will gain weight. If you expend more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. If the amount of calories you consume and expend is the same, your weight will stay the same.

Dr. Travis outlines the best food pyramid to follow.

Find out your personal calorie target

5. Master the Medical Process
The best advocate for your health and well-being that you will ever have is you. Start thinking like a doctor and prevent problems before they start. Get regular check ups and tests, and make the most of your time with your health care provider.

• Keep copies of your medical records
• Send your medical records to the doctor ahead of time
• Write down your questions before your appointment
• Bring a list of your current medications
• Carry a list of your medications and allergies with you at all times
• Keep your medical records with you with a product like the 911 Medical ID Card  *enter promo code 911thedoctors for a 10 percent discount!
• Research your new doctor and his or her practice and/or affiliations
• Consult the doctor's references

In addition, simple actions can save lives:
• Wear a helmet while on a bicycle or motorcycle
• Wear your seatbelt
• Wash your hands

Learn more about what you must tell your doctor.

Learn more about your rights as a patient

6. Open Your Mind to Alternatives
There are many benefits to utilizing alternative approaches to wellness. Acupuncture, massage and other modalities have proven health benefits. However, before undertaking any alternative treatments, do your research. Find out if the methodology is proven, safe and worth the money.

“You need to have an open mind to alternative treatments, but also be ruthlessly skeptical,” Dr. Travis says. 

7. Make the Mind-Body Connection
The connection between the mind and the body is one of the most powerful and least understood forces in medicine today. A person’s emotional health and general outlook on life can have profound effects on his or her health.

“A healthy mind equals a healthy body, and a healthy body equals a healthy mind,” Dr. Travis says.

Take steps to reduce your stress and increase the quality of exercise, sleep and happiness in your life. Join The Doctors 2010 Health Challenge!