Healthy Habits: Dr. Everton Edmondson enjoys tai chi and brisk walks

Taking care of your health is a priority and nobody knows that more than physicians and healthcare providers.

It can sometimes be difficult to find ways to stay healthy, so we’ve asked members of our Baylor College of Medicine community to share what they do in their daily lives to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Dr. Everton Edmondson, associate professor of neurology at Baylor, shares some of his healthy habits with us.

Q: What health decisions start your day?
A: The beginning of my day always starts with a spiritual and emotional status check. I start with a prayer. During this prayer, I may discover my most pressing needs as well as measures to maintain emotional equilibrium. This also involve harnessing experience and memories that are uplifting.

Next, I decide to sway away from my impulse to get the sweetest thing I can eat and find a healthier compromise. As a compromise, it may not be the absolute healthiest but it is the best offset, favoring a healthier diet.

Thirdly, I decide to exercise or find a way to get enough physical activity during the day. If it’s not possible to start the day with tai chi or other exercise, I will make sure I get enough steps in.

Q: What is your go to healthy breakfast?
A: Since I am allergic to oats, barley, and several multi-grain products, I will have an egg white, a lean piece of meat (ham for instance), and a fruit. Breakfast is the only time in the day I drink a caffeinated drink like coffee or caffeinated tea.

Q: What is your favorite type of exercise?
A: I have two equal favorites – tai chi and brisk walking. If I have a busy day, I will definitely get 12,000 to 18,000 steps in that day. I will deny myself an excuse and find the versatility to make an optimal compromise that benefits my health.

Q: Do you use a pedometer or Fitbit? What’s your daily goal?
A: My daily goal is 12,000 to 18,000 steps. I easily get to 12,000 daily, but without early morning exercise the goal would be 18,000 to offset.

Q: What activities do you do when you can’t fit in a full workout?
A: As mentioned above, I try to get 12 to 18 thousand steps per day. That’s my compromise.

Q: What’s your favorite healthful snack?
A: Having a few almonds and a glass of water works half the time. The other half the time, sweets win! However, I am cognizant that I should find the best minimum and apply an off-set plan to stay healthy.

Q: Do you take vitamins and if so, which ones?
A: Generally studies show that a multivitamin is not necessary if you eat well. However, vitamin D deficiency is a common problem, especially with less sun exposure or medications impairing vitamin D absorption. So I take vitamin D and have my levels checked one to two times per year.

Q: What do you include in your child’s lunch?
A: For this, I have to go to my memory since my sons are grown up now. My wife and I generally made sure there was a fruit, a relatively lean piece of meat, a slice or two of wheat bread and a fruit drink. No carbonated drink. No candy bar. We instilled the concept of healthy eating. So much so, they are more health conscious about healthy eating than we are.  We are delighted to see that.

Q: How do you make an unhealthy recipe healthy?
A: Ditch the recipe! If you have to modify it a lot, then you have a totally different recipe. Just gravitate to healthier recipes.

Q: What’s your night time skin regimen?
A: As a physician, I am cognizant that excessive sun exposure is not good. Keep skin moist – day or night. Excessive washing without applying lotion can lead to dry skin and less healthy skin. This is most visible in the face.

Q: What hobbies do you have that makes you relax?
A: Karate and tai chi.

Q: What is your go-to restaurant in Houston for a healthy meal?
A: Snap Kitchen actually to pick-up and go for breakfast or lunch. Perfect for a busy person on the move. There are many fine restaurants in town with healthy meal options. So, for sit-down restaurants for dinner, I think there are a vast set of options.

Q: What’s your favorite tip that you live by?
A: Pretty much what I tell my patients. If you are striving to be as healthy as you can be, then you have to embrace a holistic view. You should not ignore the emotional and spiritual dimensions that are also requisite for good health. Many people just think about diet and exercise. If you are stressed out, then you may become even more stressed thinking about your diet or how many steps you made. The opposite from what you are trying to achieve will happen because of an imbalance in your daily life.

Strive for equilibrium of mind, body and spirit. Minimize worry, face stress without distress, don’t dismiss factors that can cause emotional strain. Don’t ignore your spiritual need. Eat well. Don’t be a couch potato. Be kind to others and kindness will be yours to receive. Embrace the fullness of life even at times when bleak circumstances try to intrude.

Additional Resources

Basketball, taking stairs keep Dr. Jacob Mandel active

Dr. David Muigai practices mindfulness, swims to stay fit

See how Baylor stays fit with more healthy habits from members of our community

See how Baylor promotes a culture of healthy living and wellness

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