When it comes to taking care of your body, there are many different things that Dr. Ali Ghahary suggests doing to improve your quality of life. Below, Dr. Ghahary has compiled some simple and easy-to-follow health tips that everyone should know.
• Always eat 3 hwell-balanced meals per day – that means breakfast, lunch and dinner.
• Avoid foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates.
• Add a few teaspoons of flax seeds to yogurt or smoothies; flax seeds are great for the heart and have many other added health benefits.
• Include garlic in your diet. It is effective against colds, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and even some forms of cancer.
• Replace coffee with green tea. Green tea can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.
• Avoid drinking soda. Instead, combine unsweetened juice with sparkling water. You’ll not only cut back on the calories, but you’ll still get that bubbly beverage.
• Make sure you add more sources of fibre (such as whole grains) to your diet.
• If you’re looking to maintain or lose weight, keep a food journal.
• Drink at least 8 cups of water each day.
• Get at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day. Exercise improves your health as it decreases your risk of heart disease, as well as helps you lose and maintain body weight.
• Start slow. Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous, especially if it’s not something you’re used to. Over time you will be able to increase your fitness level.
• Stretch before and after workouts. This will help you elongate your muscles, give you better range of motion, and decrease the risk of injury.
• Don’t like working out? Find an exercise buddy! Fitness can be much more fun when it’s with a friend.
• Take medications exactly as prescribed by your physician.
• Do not share your medication with anyone else.
• Be aware of any potential drug and food interactions. For example, two medications, when combined, may increase or decrease the amount of medication that gets released/absorbed into the body. Certain foods, such as grapefruit, may also interact with certain medications. Always ask your pharmacist about interactions.
• If you are on various medications, keep them in a pill case separated by days of the week or AM/PM so that you can keep better track of what you need to take and when.
• Keep all medications out of reach of children.
• Reduce stress and anxiety by avoiding any known triggers. Stress and anxiety have both been linked to things like high blood pressure, as well as an increase in pain and inflammation.
• Practice different relaxation techniques such as different breathing exercises as well as yoga and medication. This can often help to relax the mind.
• If you’re feeling down or depressed, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
• If you’re ever feeling suicidal, it’s important that you seek out immediate medical attention by calling 911 or going to the nearest emergency room.
To ensure your health is where it needs to be, it’s important to see your family physician for annual check-ups. Make sure you also report any abnormalities or concerns with your health to him/her. If you do not have a family physician, there are many walk-in clinics across British Columbia. Dr. Ali Ghahary is also available to see patients on a walk-in basis at Brentwood Medical Clinic in Burnaby.