Take Charge of Your Health: Five Tips from a Physician-Athlete

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 23, 2016

Healthy food and fitness background concept

Wellness includes healthy eating, exercise, and mindfulness.

Dr. Claire Twark is a third-year resident in the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Psychiatry and a seasoned triathlete. In this post, she offers some valuable wellness strategies that she uses in her own work and training.

I believe that wellness is a lifestyle. It includes healthy eating and exercise, as well as mindfulness and wellness within relationships. I recommend proactively thinking about your own wellness and setting improvement goals for yourself. I often advise patients to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals, such as going to the gym for 30 minutes twice in the next week or increasing their daily step count by a few thousand steps.

Here are five tips to consider:

  • Wellness opportunities are all around you. We are all busy, so use the wellness opportunities that are readily available. Try walking to work, taking the stairs, and choosing healthy food options.

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High-Intensity Interval Training: Your Guide to Fast, Effective Exercise

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 4, 2016

High-intensity interval training (HITT) is a form of exercise in which short periods of intense exercise are alternated with less intense recovery periods.

High-intensity interval training (HITT) is a form of exercise in which short periods of intense exercise are alternated with less intense recovery periods.

What is high-intensity interval training?

High-intensity interval training (HITT) is a form of exercise in which short periods of intense exercise are alternated with less intense recovery periods. It also may be called high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE), sprint interval training (SIT), or Tabata (after the professor who studied this type of training in Olympic speed skaters).

Any form of cardiovascular exercise can be used to develop a HIIT program. A session usually lasts from five to 30 minutes, and intervals can range from five seconds to eight minutes. The high-intensity interval should be performed at 80 to 95 percent of your maximal heart rate. Recovery periods should be performed at 40 to 50 percent of your maximal heart rate. The workout then continues with alternating high-intensity and recovery periods until completion.

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Small Changes Reap Big Health Benefits

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 3, 2013

Adding a short walk to your day can go a long way.

When it comes to health and wellness, Barbara Ferreira and Yvonne Allen, employees at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), understand the power of small lifestyle changes, dedication, and consistency.

Allen, an admitting officer for Patient Access Services, decided that it was time to make a change around her 46th birthday in July 2011.

“I wanted to make myself a healthy person,” said Allen, noting that her primary care physician had been concerned about her weight. “I wasn’t going to join a gym, but I wanted to find out what I could do in one year’s time. So I started walking.”

During her morning commute, Allen began walking the second leg of her trip to BWH, which was a half-mile, instead taking the bus. She repeated this every day for several weeks.  Though she didn’t see or feel any changes, she forced herself to keep moving and set a weight loss goal of 10 to 30 pounds in a year.

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