Monday, August 31, 2015


Taking action steps toward better health

"Stick to taking physical action and getting things done instead of just talking about what you plan to do." This was my horoscope for the day and it really hit home. I cut it out and taped it to my computer.

My husband often reminds me that I have to practice what I preach. I write health columns and try to write about the common health problems we all face, and of course, remedies we can attain. Decreasing stress, eating healthy, and getting the proper amount of exercise are three of the issues we all struggle with continuously.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) seven of the top 10 deadly diseases are chronic lifestyle diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

My friend and colleague, Setu Vora, MD, is a pulmonologist with Pulmonary Physicians of Norwich and the Medical Director of Critical Care and Performance Improvement at Backus Hospital. He has addressed these key issues as the founder of Health Transformers, Inc. This is a program that helps fight stress and unhealthy habits such as lack of exercise and poor eating habits that are at the root of these killer diseases.

According to Dr. Vora, you are a health transformer, if you believe in the lifestyle prescription of
"MENU-MIND-MOVE." It doesn't require a lot of time, effort, or money to take action and work on those three areas.

MENU: Instead of focusing on what we can't eat, we should all think positively and plan the daily menu and eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

MIND: Mindfulness is a buzzword these days, but sitting quietly with eyes closed for 15 minutes and focusing on your breathing is an easy stress-buster that will help improve sleep, heart, and the brain. We can all find 15 minutes to spare to do this.

MOVE: Taking the stairs instead of elevators is an easy way to incorporate exercise. Selecting a parking space far from the entrance and then walking into the store, church or work is another easy one. Move at least 30 minutes a day, whether it’s walking, jogging, lifting, swimming, or even dancing. Be a happy mover.

Dr. Vora generously agreed to share his "MENU-MIND-MOVE" concept as the theme of the Healthy Living Festival on Sept. 12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the Norwich Free Academy campus. It's free and open to the community. There will be interactive mindfulness exercises, healthy food samples with recipes, Yoga, Zumba and Jazzercise demos, and more. Dr. Vora will be giving a motivational talk at noon, and this year's theme is Community: Healthy Together.

As my horoscope advised, I won't just talk about it; I'll be joining the fun at the festival, taking action and working towards my goal of living healthier.

Alice Facente is a community health nurse for the Backus Health System. This advice should not replace the advice of your personal health care provider. To comment on this column or others, visit the Healthy Living blog at or e-mail Ms. Facente or any of the Healthy Living columnists at

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