Want to get healthy, even erase years of damage you've done to your body?
Here's how, according to Dr. Michael Roizen, bestselling author of The Real Age Makeover book series and the 's nationally known wellness expert:
1. If you smoke, stop.
2. Walk 10,000 steps a day.
3. Spend 15 minutes every morning and night meditating to relieve stress.
4. Eliminatie five foods from your diet.
Do that and you can reverse coronary disease, get rid of diabetes and lower your blood pressure.
And if your employees do that, you can also lower your heath insurance costs, Roizen told a group of local business people Thursday morning.
The 4 Causes of Illness
Roizen, the featured speaker at the city's quarterly Business Networking Breakfast, said four things -- tobacco, food choices and portions, physical inactivity and stress -- lead to 81 percent of hospital admissions, 91 percent of prescriptions and 76 percent of doctor visits.
The costs associated with those mean an extra $6,032 per person every year.
Here's an example: Non-smokers, he said, live an average of 10 years longer than smokers.
"If all the smokers did was drop dead, it wouldn't be that big a deal. It's their choice," Roizen said. "But they have an average of 18 years of disability first, and that's the real cost."
So it makes sense for employers to follow the Cleveland Clinic's lead and invoke a culture of fitness to start cutting down on workers' illness, and ultimately costs, he said.
Mayor Tom Perciak said Strongsville has launched an employee wellness program aimed at helping city workers lose weight and get more fit.
Even Stave Off Cancer
Roizen has authored five No. 1 best-selling books in the Real Age and YOU series -- including YOU on a Diet and YOU: The Owner's Manual -- collaborating on the latter books with Dr. Mehmet Oz.
The five foods you should eliminate from your diet? Added sugars, syrups, grains other than whole grains, saturated fat and trans fat.
"Most people think we hit a peak (of health) around 25 or 30 and it's all downhill from there. And it is," Roizen said, drawing a big laugh from the crowds of several hundred people.
But while genetics call the shots for the younger set, older people can manipulate their genes to make them work for them through diet and exercise -- shutting down the genes and promote cancer cells to grow and turning on the ones that inhibit it.
"You get to control your genes," he said. "You can turn them on and off."