The Road To Lasting Health
Travis Stork, MD, has thrown his back out.
He's stoic about it, but he's in pain. I know this because the man who bikes to work, as well as everywhere else in Los Angeles, has actually rented a car (a notably unglamorous Chevy Impala sedan), into which he is throwing a bag so he can go on a post-interview stroll. "I feel silly," says the cohost of the Emmy Award-winning The Doctors. "I'm doing a 100-mile mountain bike race this summer. I went for a 5-hour ride last weekend, and when you're biking, you're bent over, so your hip flexors get real tight and your back overcompensates. I overdid it. No matter who you are, even if you know better, the weekend warrior part of us never dies. I feel so old right now," he says ruefully.
But he's not, of course, and the minor back blowout is noticeable mainly because he is in such spectacular shape. In fact, the 40-year-old ER physician and author of the best-selling The Lean Belly Prescription (leanbellyrxbook.com/pv) is starting a new chapter: He just married Nashville pediatrician Charlotte Brown, MD, and they're planning an eventual move to Colorado from Tennessee, so his commute to Los Angeles, where The Doctors shoots, will be shorter.
"It's the simple things that make me the happiest," Dr. Stork says. "To me, the perfect day is having time to spend with Charlotte, doing things we enjoy and adding that health benefit. We have a healthy, great dinner, grab our dog, Nala [a 12-year-old Lab/husky rescue], and go for a walk. It's a really good way to decompress.
"Good health is about the simple stuff," he continues. "You don't want to have too many days when you're not getting enough sleep or not treating yourself well, just like you don't want to have too many days when you're so obsessed with some health idea that you're not enjoying life. The message is: You are in control, and you have the ability to improve your health, starting today."
Here's how Dr. Stork does it--and how you can too.
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Be In Sync with Your Spouse
"It's the old cliche: 'Couples who play together, stay together.' Charlotte and I don't work out--we play together. Since we've been together, Charlotte has gotten into one of my hobbies--biking--and I've started running again because she's a runner. Sometimes before we make dinner we might go for a quick 2-miler. It takes me 30 minutes; it takes her 10. When I'm doing things with her that are active, it's fun. I don't ever want it not to be fun. We're a very good fit. It's really important that you get buy-in from your spouse or your significant other. Having a supportive spouse is probably as important as getting the right medicine."
Eat Very Local
"You can't predict what you're eating at a restaurant, but when you make it yourself, you can. Plus, it tastes better. I'm from the Midwest, so growing up, I ate meat and potatoes--vegetables were always on one side of the plate. But now I eat more of them because they're loaded with fiber and water content. Charlotte and I are vegetarian-centric, but we have fish, chicken, and lean red meat too. And you know, it's the little things: Charlotte knows that in the morning, I'm not going to take time to chop up strawberries and put them on my cereal. So sometimes when I get up, I'll find that she has cut up a bowl of strawberries for me. It's hilarious." (Go to prevention.com/veggie-pizza-recipe for Charlotte's whole wheat veggie pizza recipe.)
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