Leaderboard Banner

Stress Less, Get Healthy in the New Year

by Nicole Dorsey Straff

Everyone I know has more on her plate than ever before: demanding jobs, growing families, smaller paychecks. It's easy to stress these days. But it's certainly not good for your health. At all.

In his new book, Yale University medical researcher David Katz MD, MPH, says, "We have literal decades of evidence showing us decisively what it takes to reduce the risk of all chronic disease by some 80 percent and what it takes to add years to life, and life to years. We know what but so few people know how [to prevent it]."

Just look around to see the consequences everywhere: Higher risks of heart attack and stroke, and higher rates of disease risk for caregivers too. Dr. Katz says, "Stress increases the level of the hormone cortisol in our bodies, which in turn makes our bodies crave carbohydrates, specifically high sugar carbohydrates, and store fat around the mid-section. So, even if you don’t eat more due to stress, you can still gain weight due to stress."

To make matters worse, stress also causes an increase in appetite… We all know what that does.

How can you combat these daily stressors? Make time in your day to unwind and reset. Take five minutes to sit quietly and practice deep breathing or go for a walk outside for a breath of fresh air.

Katz says most evidence shows that four simple things—not smoking, eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy weight—play an enormous role in health. Drawing upon the latest scientific evidence and decades of clinical experience, Dr. Katz arms us with the skills to make lasting changes in each of these areas. Disease-Proof equips readers with the knowledge to manage weight, improve immune function, reprogram our genes, and prevent and reverse life-altering illnesses.

Besides reading Dr. Katz's new book cuddled in bed with my family this New Year, I will do yoga, take long walks with my kid and avoid commuting for a few days, and that will definitely help me unwind and unspool my stress.

Please pay it forward to anyone you care about who needs help losing weight, finding health and gaining confidence.

You may also like