September 2016

Key Winter Health Tips by Dr. 911, Robert Glatter, MD

Robert Glatter is an attending physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, New York. He also has a medical house call and wellness practice in the city called Dr. 911, which operate 24/7. Dr. Glatter does medical exams for Manhattan filmed movies, is a doctor on Gossip Girl and other television shows on the CW network. Dr. Glatter is on the editorial board of Medscape Emergency Medicine (WebMD), a contributor of NBC and CBS networks, and an active member of children’s foundations like Stop Caid Now and the Worldwide Children Foundation. Here are some of his key tips for maintaining your health during the chilly winter months.

1. Avoid holiday weight gain. Before you start filling your plate at a party, scan the selections to make healthy choices. Even though it is a holiday, the rules should still apply when selecting your meal. Try to choose low fat turkey (white meat), lightly dressed green salads, and plenty of whole grains. Your attention to portion control will help minimize weight gain during the holidays. Always remember to drink plenty of water prior to eating, which limits the amount of calories you consume. It’s unreasonable to completely avoid all sweets, alcoholic beverages, and fatty foods, but it certainly helps to have a sensible plan for eating in a smart, portion controlled, and responsible fashion.

2. Take a vitamin D supplement. Up to 80% of people do not get enough vitamin D, especially due to reduced sunlight during winter days. Studies have demonstrated that if patients increase their intake of vitamin D, they can reduce their risk of cancer and heart disease by up to 25%. Vitamin D specifically helps to reduce risk of breast and colon cancer. When you can’t enough sun, you can also eat foods which are known to be rich in vitamin D. This includes oily fish such as salmon and sardines, or vitamin D fortified foods such as milk, oranges and cereal. The main issue is that it’s difficult to obtain enough vitamin D from these foods to fulfill daily requirements so a supplement of 1,000 units per day would be highly recommended. If you are already taking a multivitamin, you may want to reduce your dose accordingly.

3. Make sure you exercise- even indoors during winter. Walking, using an elliptical trainer or treadmill for at least 30 minutes a day will help to promote blood flow and boost your metabolism during the winter days. Other alternatives can be to practice yoga, utilize resistance bands or routine stretching, to elevate your heart rate and break a sweat.

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