With that said, here are Brunk’s secrets to good health:
1. PORTION SIZES. Take a dinner plate and divide it. One half of the plate should be fruits and vegetables. One fourth should be good grains—brown rice, wheat pasta. Nothing white. The remaining fourth should be good protein—boneless, skinless chicken, good cuts of pork such as the tenderloin, turkey and cold water fish. Stay away from fatty meats and deli meats.
2. EXERCISE. The mere mention of exercise sends many people into hibernation, but whether it is cleaning your house or playing your favorite game, you can turn it into an exercise. Brunk said 30 minutes a day—whether it is 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the afternoon and 10 minutes at night, or all at one time—and watching what you eat can amount to a 1 to 2 pounds a week weight loss.
“You can make anything into a workout if you make it intense enough,” she said.
However, exercise comes with a word of caution—get an OK from your physician.
3. BALANCE. Whatever calorie intake you have during the day, you have to burn off.
4. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS, especially over the age of 20. These include blood pressure, weight, body mass index (cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing), or calculate your BMI by dividing weight in pounds by height in inches squared and multiplying by a conversion factor of 703.
Example: Weight = 150 lbs, Height = 5’5”(65”)
Calculation: x 703 = 24.96
5. BODY SIZE. Thin people aren’t necessarily healthy people. Heavy people are not necessarily unhealthy people. A lot depends on the individual’s body mass index.
6. FLUIDS. During the summer especially drink plenty of fluids, preferably water. The average person should drink six to eight glasses daily, more if he or she is working outside, walking or sweating. If you are thirsty, you could be dehydrated.
7. SODIUM. Limit salt to one teaspoon a day total. Remember, there is salt in bread and other foods. It is important to read labels and find out how much salt is in the product.
8. VITAMINS. If you eat and drink healthfully, you don’t need them.
9. STRESS. Find a way to relieve stress. A five-minute walk around the office if you have a desk job often will help. Exercise also is a stress reliever.
10. SLEEP. The body regenerates itself during the night or day while it is at rest. It is important to sleep at least six to eight hours a night/day, without interruption from a cellphone, TV, radio or any other technology.