Sit less. The advice is so simple that it sounds silly: A recent study of 63,000 middle-aged men found those who sat four hours or less daily were much less likely to have a chronic condition (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure) than those who sat more. Men who sat at least six hours day? They had greater risk for diabetes. If you have a desk job, make the effort to move more — pace while you’re on the phone or walk to the farthest deli to buy lunch.
Don’t drive drowsy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 1 in 24 adult drivers admit they recently fell asleep while driving. Drowsy driving causes more than 100,000 crashes a year; car crashes are the leading cause of fatal accidents among men; and up to 33 percent of deadly crashes involve drowsy drivers. Solution: Take a pit stop.
Eat fewer chips, more potatoes. Chips are super-salty; fresh spuds are packed with potassium: Three new studies show that reducing sodium while increasing potassium can significantly lower blood pressure and help prevent deaths from heart disease and stroke. Americans, on average, eat more than twice the sodium recommended by the American Heart Association. Surprisingly high in sodium: bread and rolls, cold cuts and cured meats, pizza and canned soups. Potassium sources: potatoes with skin, sweet potatoes, peas, spinach, tomatoes, lima beans, citrus fruits, bananas and cantaloupe.
Stop smoking and drink less alcohol. Men do both more than women. These habits contribute to heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, stroke. So quit.
Make a fist for memory. Need to remember your hardware-store shopping list? Clench your right fist for about 90 seconds before memorizing it; then when you get to the store, clench your left fist to recall the items. It may sound wacky, but a new study out of Montclair State University in New Jersey suggests fist-clenching activates brain regions associated with memory formation, and a right-left sequence worked best.
“The Doctors” is an Emmy-winning daytime TV show with pediatrician Jim Sears, OB-GYN Lisa Masterson, ER physician Travis Stork and plastic surgeon Andrew Ordon. Check www.thedoctors tv.com for local listings.