Dr. Travis Stork is a practicing emergency medicine physical and and co-host of the award-winning talk show The Doctors.
His motto for health is simple: It’s not about the gym or a deprivation diet. Health is achieved by focusing on the seemingly inconsequential 200-plus choices people make throughout the day. Dr. Travis himself commits to making healthy choices, one being riding his bike to work every day, rain or shine.
Next month, Dr. Travis and his colleagues on The Doctors are kicking off Get Moving May in support of National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. What they’re encouraging people everywhere to do is jump start a healthier lifestyle by getting active every single day.
Throughout May, participants should simply try to be active every single day, whether it’s a family walk, yoga in the park, or a vigorous house cleaning session. The goal is to get those little extra activities in to burn more calories and get healthier.
To kick off the event, Dr. Travis held a press conference that Diets In Review participated in. We got to listen in on the doctor’s personal health and fitness advice, as well as ask him our own questions as to how we can encourage others to get moving in May.
When it comes to diet and exercise for the whole family, Dr. Travis recommends creating an enjoyable new lifestyle, not a new job for the family. ‘Make a plan, even if it’s every night after dinner we’re going to take a walk. Just play more with your family,’ he explained. ‘If you are actively engaged with your kids, you can burn hundreds of calories per hour – and it’s good for everyone’s health.’
Dr. Travis also recommended cutting back on TV time, replacing sugary beverages with ice water at meal times, and getting rid of processed, refined grains in your home, and swapping to whole grains instead.
When we asked Dr. Travis how to make lifestyle changes enjoyable for our family – whether it’s getting more active or eating more vegetables – he told Diets In Review that we are genetically programmed to desire activity. But the problem is that many of us have socially shut that out of a lot of our lives. So, it really is a matter of finding activities that we love.
“There is some activity out there that we love, we just have to find that,” he said. “For me, it’s biking. But whatever the activity is, don’t stop once you start. And if you can find one that you [and your spouse, kids] both love, then all the better.”
When it comes to diet, Dr. Travis pointed out it’s important to realize a lot of people don’t like vegetables by themselves. He himself grew up in the Midwest where dinner was meat, potatoes and a vegetable off to the side – and that didn’t work for him. So he found new ways to incorporate veggies into his meals.
One of he and his fiancee, Charlotte’s, favorites tricks is to blend up vegetables in their marinara sauce, and they don’t even realize they’re there. So the key to eating more vegetables is simply finding creative ways to make them taste good.
For people looking to kick-start their weight loss in May, Dr. Travis said the easiest way to lose weight is to increase our lean muscle mass-to-fat ratio, and that resistance work is the best exercise for that. “Resistance training not only builds muscle, but also strengthens the bone underneath those muscles,” he said. “And for every pound of muscle we gain, we’re upping our base metabolic rate.”
Another simple tip Dr. Travis shared about getting more active is the simple act of standing. “I always stand when I’m working at my computer. I’m standing right now. And just standing burns 50 calories in an hour,” he explained. “And not only are you burning calories, you’re also getting better posture and engaging your core.”
As a final note concerning Get Moving May, Travis reminded us that as spring rolls around, people want to get active, but there may be a medical problem prohibiting them from doing that. But that exercise really is the best medicine out there. So if a person suffering from something that prevents them from getting active, they should talk to their doctor and get that taken care of so they can get out and enjoy this beautiful weather, because the benefits of emotional and mental health should never be underestimated.
If you’d like to participate in Get Moving May, visit thedoctorstv.com for tips, videos, nutrition guides and other helpful resources to get motivated to move in May, and beyond. We hope to pitch in next month and make the commitment ourselves, and hope you’ll join us, too.
April 27th, 2012