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. Chad Wilson, associate professor in the department of surgery at Baylor and the trauma director at Ben Taub Hospital, shares some of his healthy habits with us.
Q: What health decisions start your day?
A: My first activity of the day is usually exercise unless I have spent the night working at the hospital.
Q: What keeps you motivated during your workout?
A: My workouts are rarely high intensity at this point in my life, so I feel really good when I am exercising. The hardest part (from a motivation standpoint) is waking up early enough to actually start exercising/running.
Q: What activities do you do when you can’t fit in a full workout?
A: I walk or go to the driving range in the evening.
Q: What have you been doing to stay healthy during COVID-19? Do you have any advice for coping with the pandemic?
A: When the gyms closed, I started walking and running more, and using gym equipment and fitness classes a lot less. I have gone back to the gym, but much less. I still wear my mask despite being one of the few at my gym interested in doing so. And obviously, I am vaccinated. At this point the pandemic is a new normal – my only advice is to figure out how to live healthy now and not wait until “this is over” because it might never really return fully to normal.
Q: What do you include in your child’s lunch?
A: I usually let them choose the night before. They vary in their like and dislikes, but apple slices are appreciated by both of them.
Q: How do you make an unhealthy recipe healthy?
A: If I am going to eat something unhealthy, I just do so. I think the key to enjoying unhealthy foods/ drinks is to have them in moderation.
Q: What hobbies do you have to help you relax?
A: I enjoy running, golf, snowboarding, tennis, listening to music and going to concerts.
Q: What is your go-to Houston restaurant for a healthy meal?
A: My mother’s or my aunt’s kitchen. I am a native Houstonian and love the food my family makes. And they actually cook pretty healthy.
Q: Do you use an activity tracker or Fitbit and what is your daily step goal?
A: Yes, I wear an Apple Watch and a Whoop fitness monitor every day.
Q: What is your favorite health tip that you live by?
A: “Pay yourself first.” Just like in personal finance, the first activity of the day should be geared at wellness, and not jumping out of bed to immediately attack activities that cause stress. For me, this means I wake up before 4 a.m. most mornings so that I can practice mindfulness and exercise for 90 minutes before it’s time to shower and head to work.
Q: What do you do to take care of your mental health?
A: I try to practice mindfulness and prayer, recognize when I am under stress, and mitigate it as best I can. Generally speaking, my family life is a big source of support for me, whether it’s my wife and children or my parents and aunts. This is not true for many, and family life can come with its own stressors, so I know that I am very fortunate in this regard.