Friday, January 1, 2010


It is the beginning of a new year with a lot to look forward to in 2010. So why are we already soooo stressed out? Well guess what?? Stress is a part of who we are and without it we can't live. So like it or not stress is here to stay. Yeah I said it, stress is something we can't live without.

I once sat through a lecture in an undergraduate class and a professor put up an EKG of a normal heart beat. It consisted of peaks as the line rose and fell and if you closed your eyes you could imagine the lub-dub sound. He pointed to it and said, "that is what stress looks like on a normal beating heart muscle." He then showed us a slide with an EKG that was flat and stated that this is what a heart muscle looks like when there isn't any stress. The heart muscle was lifeless and you could almost hear the blaring sound of the EKG machine in a hospital as the ER doc yells "we've got a flat line!" Got the picture?

We need stress. Good stress. To not only survive but to thrive. Want to have better cardio health, you need to stress that system. Want to have fantastic muscle tone, you need to stress that system. Want to make your wife or girlfriend think your smarter than Einstein, you gotta stress that system. I could go on and on about the ways we need good stress in our lives to help us grow but for now I'll just list a few quick tips to help us out in 2010.

1. Breathe. Breathe with your diaphragm not your chest. To do this, the action will feel like you are using your tummy. Rounding it out and sucking it back in. You will increase your O2 intake and it will take less effort by breathing correctly.

2. Sleep. Get enough sleep. Turn off the TV and don't stay up all night watching infomercials on products that will help you get better sleep. Remember when you were a kid and your parents put you to bed? More than likely they had a routine. Brush your teeth, get a drink, read a story and then lights out. The same rules apply. Find a routine that helps you wind down at the end of the day and you will find that you'll be getting better sleep.

3. Exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of daily exercise. Join a group of friends to help motivate you and keep you on track. My favorite form of exercise is a "Boot Camp" regime. Check out for more info on this type of exercise.

Use these three tips to help you with your stress levels and I wish all of you a very prosperous and healthy new year.


  1. What do you suggest for hydration?

  2. I suggest half your body weight in ounces per day. This is just water. Don't include tea, coffee, gatorade, etc in this count. If you are exercising or are more active then usual then drink even more.

    Example: If you weigh 160 lbs. You should be drinking atleast 80 ounces of water per day, which is 10 cups.

    Thanks for your question!!!

    Dr. Russell