San Diego Health - Spring 2024



Five ways to make getting and staying healthy more fun Radiating Health


BRING A BUDDY Everything’s more fun with a friend or family member by your side. If you’re working on fitness, try creating an obstacle course for you and your kids, taking a group class or setting your smart watch to participate in a group challenge. “By linking up, you keep each other on track and challenge each other,” Dr. Urbina says. “Friendly competition brings out a lot of good change in people.” Another suggestion: The next time a friend asks you out to dinner, spend the evening cooking together instead. Cooking for yourself is a much healthier option than eating out, Dr. Urbina says. Plus, cooking with others means more hands on deck when it’s time for dishes. SQUEEZE SOME HEALTH INTO DOWNTIME If you like listening to music or podcasts to relax, try doing so while going for a run or chopping vegetables. “You can even stream a show while prepping food,” Dr. Urbina says. “You’re still able to mentally shut off, but you’re also cooking, or doing something good for your body.” MAKE IT MANAGEABLE Deciding to transform your life overnight can be overwhelming.

 DOCTORS HAVE LONG KNOWN about the physical and mental health benefits of having fun. Things like laughing, playing and taking part in activities you enjoy have been linked to better heart health, lower stress levels, reduced risk of illnesses, better sleep and improved mood and energy levels. But what about the not-so-fun activities we do to stay healthy, like exercise or eating our veggies? Is it possible to up the fun factor and make these more enjoyable? Katherine “Kati” Urbina, DO, internal medicine physician, Scripps Coastal Medical Center, Hillcrest, says yes. “It’s not always easy to change your lifestyle, especially when it comes to being healthier. It can upend your schedules and routines and leave you really uncomfortable, but it is possible to improve your health and have some fun while doing it,” she says. These tips from Dr. Urbina will help make healthy activities more fun. BUY NEW GYM CLOTHES Looking good can help you feel good, too. Invest in workout clothes that you love. And while you’re at it, go take that gym selfie. “Why not show off a little bit? That’s going to help form the positive reinforcement that makes you want to go back to the gym again,” says Dr. Urbina.






And, according to Dr. Urbina, it also can be ineffective. “I recommend making one or two small changes every two weeks, and giving those new habits some time to get really locked in,” she says. “Over time, those small changes add up, and you’ll have made long- lasting improvements.”

If the gym isn’t your scene, you’ve come to the right city. “In San Diego, it’s so easy to get outside,” Dr. Urbina says. “Any activity that gets your heart rate up is a great option.” That could be running, biking, dancing or playing catch with friends. Adding ankle weights or moving at a quicker speed makes something as simple as walking also a great option.


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