By Scott D. Miller, MD
Everyone loves a great deal. It seems as though there is a sale for every season and every occasion. At some point, these falling prices create a new normal, and thereby a new expectation. But does a good price necessarily mean a good value? Of course not. But we often approach our health the same way.
We are inundated with ways of measuring our health. Here are several examples:
-Lower weight or body mass index
-Lower calorie intake
All of these measurements focus on the elimination of a problem. However, the absence of disease is not the same as a picture of good health. Here are some of the questions that you should be asking yourself:
-Do I feel rested in the morning?
-Do I have the stamina to make it through a typical day without feeling totally drained in the evening?
-How many times per week do I feel stressed to a point that it takes me significant time and/or energy to return to a minimal stress level?
-What is my exercise tolerance?
Too many times in life we focus on the negative. For instance, if we feel that we are eating too many calories, we might reach for the 100-calorie packaged snack. In reality, a 250-calorie portion of fruit, cheese, and nuts would serve our health better, especially when we want to fuel our workout for the day. As a result, we focus on a positive—healthy eating rather than calorie reduction.
Study after study has shown that when we focus more on maximizing our strengths rather than minimizing our weaknesses, we boost our performance more effectively. Of course, making small decisions every day is the best way to form a good habit. So stop being your own worst critic. Stock up on a healthy item for your diet. Increase a physical activity that you already do every day. Go to sleep 30 minutes earlier (sleeping is most people’s strength).
Although all those numbers that your physician measures are important to keep in line, that should not be your daily motivation. Building on your strengths regarding healthy living is the best way to earn a good report in the doctor’s office. When it comes to measuring our health, rather than shopping for the best sale, we should look for everyday low prices.
Look for my article on “Chapter 11 Medicine” in the next issue.
Scott D. Miller, MD, is the Medical Director of Robotic Surgery at WellStar North Fulton Hospital. He is a urologist with WellStar Urology in Roswell and has practiced in Atlanta for over 20 years.
WellStar North Fulton Hospital offers the Know Your Heart Screening that can determine your risk of heart disease, stroke and other serious conditions. Call 770-956-STAR (7827) to learn more or schedule an appointment.
Scott D. Miller, MD • WellStar North Fulton Hospital • 470-956-4230 • ScottDMillerMD.com