Dr. Oz: We Control Over 70% of How Long and Well We Live 2

(Photo: Samantha Chang/TheImproper)

Renowned cardiac surgeon and TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz says people shouldn’t resign themselves to getting flabby and feeble as the years pass, because over 70% of our quality (and quantity) of life is within our control.

Speaking at the Food for Your Whole Life Health Symposium at the New York Hilton on June 3, 2012, Dr. Oz told a capacity crowd that daily rigorous exercise and a healthy, balanced diet can ensure we remain fit, toned and vigorous well into middle age and beyond.

According to Oz, the problem most people make is waiting until their health starts to decline (usually in their fifties) before making a change to eat better or begin working out. The optimal approach is to embrace a healthy, active lifestyle while we’re still young and vibrant to ward off the ravages of aging before problems occur.

“Shift gears (health-wise) when you’re still accelerating,” said Oz, host of the “Dr. Oz Show.” If we all take small steps to do the following, we can ensure continuous good health and fitness:

  •     Maintain a healthy blood pressure (ideal is 115/75);
  •     Don’t smoke;
  •     Exercise 30 minutes daily (strength-training and cardio);
  •     Follow a healthy diet that is enjoyable and easy to follow;
  •     Control stress.

Dr. Oz also discussed how being obese can severely damage our health, and underscored the importance of “waist management” over weight management. “Your waist size should not be more than half your height,” he says.

While most fitness experts focus on the numbers on the scale, Oz says a trim waist is a better barometer of health and fitness because of the damage extra fat around the stomach (called the omentum) can wreak.

“The problem with the omentum is when you’ve got a lot of belly fat, that fat does three things: It puts pressure on your kidneys, which generates high blood pressure. It poisons your liver, which causes your blood to look like it’s got cream in it. And it gets your cholesterol up off the wall. And that fat ultimately paralyzes insulin, and you get diabetes.”

However, starvation diets and deprivation don’t work in the long haul because they depend on will power, which in the end will always lose out to the “biology of blubber.”

“Biology always beats will power,” said Oz, who says the best diet features fresh, whole foods, lots of fiber and lean proteins.