– BY ANDREW M CASH, M.D.
We have all seen the challenges our community has faced these past several months. We have also heard stories from colleagues, family, and friends about depression, binging and other unhealthy habits.
Now, more than ever, might be time to reassess our lifestyle habits and explore the practice of mindfulness and meditation.
Eating in Moderation/Eat “Right”
Eating “too little” might lead to low energy throughout your work and play in Vegas and in an extreme case malnutrition. Eating “too much” leads to post-meal lethargy, increased fat storage and wasted nutritional content. This cycle of increased weight, increased lethargy, decreased exercise and increased eating can potentially cascade out of control.
Protein, carbohydrates and fats should be involved in your diet. Many personal trainers and nutritionists that I have encountered indicate that a palm-sized portion of meat and a fist-sized portion of carbohydrates are reasonable. Decrease simple and complex sugars. Breads and processed grains notoriously wreak havoc on your nutritional system. Multiple meals throughout the day might be advantageous to the consumption of one large meal during the day. Keep in the mind the old adage that the most important meal of the day is breakfast. Energy consumption in the morning will provide energy output throughout the day.
Always check with your personal physician for recommendations and guidance before following any widely held beliefs about diet, any particular person’s specific recommendations, including this recommendation or fad diets. Nutritional recommendations will be varied dependent on individuals and their medical composition.
Stay hydrated in Las Vegas, it is a desert after all! The World Health Organization outlines water consumption for hydration during activity and inactivity. Follow your physician’s guidelines prior to any abrupt changes in diet or hydration strategies.
You can always jazz up your “water” experience with lemon, ginger, peppermint, essential oils. There are lots of options out there for you to explore.
Fitness/The Great Outdoors
Again, it is important to seek your personal physician’s recommendations prior to starting, adjusting or continuing your health routine. Activity increases overall energy, self-esteem, motivation and preferred phenotypic appearance.
Find a fitness routine that can be a healthy way of life and that you can maintain for the long run. Excessive exercise to rapidly modify weight, muscle mass or body composition could be medically dangerous.
There are so many options in our community! Cycling, yoga, weight training, kickboxing, circuit training, belly dancing — you name it, Vegas has it. On top of that, we have the Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area and Mt. Charleston. There are world class rock climbing and hiking right in our own backyard. Consult alltrails.com for amazing adventures in Henderson, Boulder City and Lake Mead.
Remember that slow and steady wins the race.
Last, but not the least, you might want to make room for meditation and mindfulness in your daily routine. It just takes a few minutes each morning to calm your mind, practice your breathing technique and disconnect from social media; OMG, disconnect from social media. If you start off with 5 minutes of meditation, try to repeat in the evening and incrementally increase it over time.
We are in this together, stay stronger than ever!!!
Andrew M Cash, MD is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon who began practice in Las Vegas in 2006. Dr. Cash is the founder and director of the Desert Institute of Spine Care and the Minimally Invasive Center of Excellence (MICOE). He studied under Dr. Robert Watkins, a world-renowned spine surgeon who operated on countless professional, collegiate and Olympic athletes. Prior to his Spine Fellowship, Dr. Cash completed a five-year orthopedic surgery residency at the Atlanta Medical Center and received his medical degree from the prestigious University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.