Leaving the dinner table may well be one of the best "exercises," but that may be just half the battle in leading a healthy lifestyle, one local doctor said.

"Invest in your mobility each day," said Vonda J. Wright, MD, chief of Northside Hospital Sports Medicine, which has locations in Buckhead, Cumming and Sandy Springs. "After pushing away from the table, don't immediately think of washing the dishes or loading them into the dishwasher, but take a walk around the block or go work some in your yard. I assure you, the dishes will be right there when you get back."

That was some of the healthy lifestyle insight Wright gave about 250 members and guests attending the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber’s monthly lunch meeting June 13 at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North hotel.

Wright, who also serves as the physician of the Georgia State University football team and previously held that position with the University of Pittsburgh athletic program, said people must "get up and start moving."

In her address, she mentioned a study done concerning the importance of being mobile, and it involved men in their 90s.

"All the study called for was for these men to lift themselves off their chairs several times a day using only their arms," she said. "When the study was concluded, these men, despite their age, had increased their motion ability by more than 150 percent."

Wright also touched on diet, saying if there was one element in one's diet one should look at changing, it is to not just reduce, but eliminate, sugar from it.

"If you are a sugarholic as I am, it means no sugar in your coffee and no packaged fruit juices, as they contain large amounts of sugar," she said.

Wright also encouraged chamber members to be more mindful of the ingredients in prepackaged foods or drinks, which is usually listed on the back of the containers.

Chamber member Bud Otto said his sugar intake and reading the ingredients on food labels are two things he will now "push to the next level."

"One of the things I thought about as she was speaking was sugar intake and, like a lot of people, I usually didn't look to hard at labels that showed the ingredients, but I started paying more attention to that recently and will certainly continue to do so."

Otto described Wright's address as very interesting "because I try to do a lot of the things the doctor recommended as far as keeping healthy and working out.”

"I try to watch my diet as much as possible. I am in that group that is somewhat older and, as such, I try to live a healthful lifestyle,” he said.

In concluding her remarks, Wright said leading a healthy lifestyle "is a game that is played between ears."

"The decisions you make today about your own health will go down through generations of your family as your children will teach their children and so on." she said. "If we really want to improve our health, we need to invest in healthy behavior."


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