As Oprah’s Best Life week continues, she welcomed Dr. Oz, a.k.a. America’s doctor, to the show once again. In the second day of her campaign to get healthy alongside the rest of us, she asked Dr. Oz to share the most important things about our health that we need to be aware of and proactive in doing. He calls it the Ultimate Health Checklist, and says that as long as we’re able to keep to the list, which really isn’t that overwhelming, we can live long, happy lives.
Here are the 10 things on Dr. Oz’s Ultimate Health Checklist that all men and women should make a point of following.
1. Schedule a Check-Up. Dr. Oz told Oprah’s audience that people who have a family doctor are healthier, and pointed out that while many do not have health insurance, you can find free and government-funded access to quality health care providers.
2. Know the Five Ingredients to Avoid. Check food labels for this simple list of ingredients, and pass on foods that include them in the first five ingredients listed (meaning they are highest in concentration).
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Trans-fat (may be indicated by the word “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated”)
- Saturated Fat
3. Add Healthy Foods to your Diet. Make an effort to meet these nutritional goals each day and week.
- 3 grams Omega-3 daily. Sources for this healthy fat are fish, soybeans, nuts, flaxseed and others.
- 5-7 servings of Antioxidants daily. Sources for this cancer-fighting agent are blueberries, red beans, pomegranates and pecans.
- 25 grams Fiber daily. You’ll want to chose whole-grain options, like brown rice and whole grain cereals and pastas.
- 1 Tbs. Olive Oil daily. Extra-virgin or regular olive oil both work. Dr. Oz suggests this is why the Mediterranean Diet is praised for working so well.
4. Take a Multi-Vitamin. This should be part of your daily routine. Here are Dr. Oz’s vitamin tips.
5. Know Your Numbers. At your check-up, learn these numbers, and make it a goal to optimize them.
- Waist size – measure at belly button, total inches should be less than half your height.
- Blood pressure – optimal is 115/75
- Cholesterol – LDL (bad) should be <100; HDL (good) should be >40
- Resting heart rate – <83 beats per minute (athletes average about 40)
- Blood sugar
- Vitamin D – find out if you have a deficiency. Darker skinned people are more susceptible.
- C-reactive protein
- Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)
6. Find a Health Advocate. Always bring a relative or a friend with you to the doctor to better understand your treatment.
7. Get Organized with Your Health Information. Keep updated copies of insurance, medical records, allergies, etc. so that you can play a more active role in your care and treatment.
8. Know the Medical Tests You Should Have. These will vary for men, women and by age, but talk with your doctor to learn if you need:
- Pap Smear and Pelvic Exam
- Dental check-up (2x/year)
- Vision check-up (1x/2 years)
- Bone Density
9. Exercise. Dr. Oz wants us to keep our bodies actively moving, and recommends the following:
- Start walking. Aim for 10,000 steps per day, start with 30 minutes/day (about 3k steps)
- Elevate your heart rate for 60 minutes every week
- Flexibility 5 minutes/day
- Strength training 30 minutes/week
10. Sleep! Your body requires the rest that comes from a good night’s sleep. Practice these tips to catch your Zs:
- Get 7-8 hours sleep each night
- Keep the room dark and cool
- Create a routine
- Make the bedroom for sleep and sex only
- No caffeine four hours prior to bed
- Do not keep a TV in your bedroom
- Take a calcium and magnesium supplement
January 7th, 2009