Small Changes 102920

The Power of Small Changes

I can’t believe we are about to end the month of October—this year has flown by. Before we know it, winter will descend upon us; it will get colder and the sun will set earlier. We will have more opportunities to create excuses for being less active.

During the summer months in Florida, I hear complaints that “it is too hot” and soon it will be “too cold” to exercise outside.

In my book The Power of 5: The Ultimate Formula, I discuss evidence that exercising for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week is the minimum! This meets the requirements of the element of SWEAT in my Power of 5 Formula. I am keenly aware that during the COVID pandemic we have new obstacles, but my belief is that for 30 minutes 5 days a week, we can overcome these challenges.

The Benefits of Making Small Changes

Let’s talk about making small changes. I am inspired by an article I read in a medical journal 40 years ago. I was just starting to envision how I would address preventive medicine in my fledgling medical practice.

As a physician, I knew I had to keep the following things in mind:

  1. I had to treat the 5% of patients who had very high cholesterol readings vigorously, offering them medication and dietary recommendations to reduce their risk for heart attacks and strokes.
  2. In doing this, I did not want to overlook the other 95% of my patients who had only mild to moderate cholesterol elevation.
  3. I committed to addressing the remaining 95% of my patients to lower their cholesterol as well, even if it meant just a 5% reduction for them.
  4. I recognized this would make a significant impact on the lives of the remaining 95% of my patients by preventing even more heart attacks, deaths and strokes.

If you do the math in my approach to my patients, you calculate that I addressed or treated cholesterol for 100% of my patients. It is that important.

How This Applies to You

The same is true of SWEAT—demonstrated through exercise and physical activity. I believe it is important for 100% of my patients and for you, my readers, to include physical activity and exercise in your lives, trying for that magical 150-minutes-per-week minimum.

I recently came across this quote reportedly said by Charlie Chaplin. It humbles me to know that the great Charles Chaplin understood the basic premise of The Power of 5 Formula over 100 years ago!

He said,

Six Best Doctors In The World:
1) Sunlight.
2) Rest.
3) Exercise.
4) Good friends.
5) Self confidence.
6) Diet.
Maintain them in all stages of life and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Everyone can benefit from small changes and doing 5% more—more healthy eating, increased exercise, reduced stress, getting more sleep, and strengthening connections with friends and family.

To a Long and Healthy Life,

David Bernstein, MD