As a TV personality, motivational speaker, author and family man, Dr. Oz is always on the go. Through each of these platforms, his mission is consistent: to help improve people’s health. Whether he’s speaking at events, helping to pen the best-selling O You! book series or hosting a variety of health experts on the Dr. Oz Show, he always discusses the topics he is most passionate about.
Among the many health issues he takes on, obesity is high on his list. Dr. Oz and his wife, Lisa Oz, will host the Annual Garden Gala for HealthCorps in New York City on April 18, 2012. Created to help fight childhood obesity, HealthCorps is a nonprofit organization that trains HealthCorps coordinators to educate others through community programming on topics like nutrition, fitness and mental strength.
“With the rise in obesity and lack of morale in many underserved communities, my wife, Lisa, and I saw a need for an organization that would help our youth take charge of their health,” Dr. Oz explains. “We decided to replicate the PeaceCorps model and train college graduates on how to educate teens about health and mental resilience. They, in turn, share the message with friends, family and neighbors.” Currently the program’s network spans 54 schools in 13 states across the country. “We still have 37 more states to reach, but we’re getting there,” Dr. Oz says.
Childhood obesity is not the only topic about which Dr. Oz is outspoken. During his recent visit to Atlanta on October 15 for O, The Oprah Magazine’s 2011 O You! event, he talked at length about the importance of exercise, decreasing stress in your life and the seven things everyone can do to help improve their health. Dr. Oz was excited to be back in Atlanta and to spread his message.
“I truly love Atlanta. It’s where I spent my formative years while my father was training at Emory,” he says. “Also, our website, doctoroz.com, powered by ShareCare, is based out of Atlanta. I love the people, of course, but also love visiting Buckhead when I’m in town.”
While here, Dr. Oz was full of enthusiasm and no-nonsense advice for the 5,500 attendees of the O You! event. “We’re going to do some fun stuff today!” he exclaimed. “We’re going to declare a war on fat, we’re going to beat back insomnia, take on stress, and address any problems we have with our doctors.” This is all part of a yearlong initiative he has been working on called “Transformation Nation.” The goal is to encourage people to follow his seven basic steps to achieving better health. The person who embodies these seven steps will have a chance to win a million dollars and appear on the Dr. Oz Show.
These seven steps are as follows:
- When you make the choice to lead a healthy lifestyle, Dr. Oz recommends that you tell a friend about your plan. The result is twofold. First, it will keep you honest, and second, they may want to join you, in which case you’ll have someone to help motivate you to stay on track.
- Calculate your BMI (to calculate your BMI visit www.doctoroz.com). Dr. Oz believes that knowledge is key. “As a heart surgeon, the majority of surgeries I perform are results of bad habits, not genetics, so I’m passionate about health education,” he says. “By the time you are age 50, 70 percent of your health is determined by lifestyle. Most of us have the ability to prevent ailments like heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes, just not everyone is aware of it. I hope to encourage people to show up in their own lives and take control of their health.”
- Connect with your doctor. Ask them questions and don’t be afraid to write down what they say.
- Learn about your family’s health history. The more you know, the more you will learn what to look out for.
- Get more sleep. An extra 30 minutes of rest a night can help you drop pounds!
- Assess your stress levels.
- Start new fitness habits.
With these basic steps, Dr. Oz hopes to keep people educated about their lifestyle and health habits. “I wanted Americans to put themselves first and finally take control of their health and their weight once and for all,” he says.
People who want to take on the challenge of “Transformation Nation” can visit www.doctoroz.com to take the Ultimate Health Quiz to get an overview of their health and proceed with the seven steps. The final challenge will be to post the results for the public to vote.
“(This challenge) came about because of the need for America to get healthy,” he explains. “I see it on my show and hear about it all the time – people want to get healthier, but they don’t know how or they feel it’s too complicated. These are seven simple steps to a healthier life, and it’s not just about weight loss; they are life-long tools to overall wellness.”
Whether in front of the camera or a live audience, Dr. Oz’s dedication to health education is evident. His desire and passion to give back is contagious, and he is determined to reach as many people as he can with his positive message of starting and keeping good healthy habits for a lifetime.
More from Dr. Oz
What is your best advice to deal with stress?
I highly recommend meditation, which is how I personally handle stress. I also practice yoga. Both are excellent ways to center yourself and manage the daily stressors that can really take a toll on your health. Sometimes getting up 10 minutes early in the morning is enough to remove the stress of rushing through a commute and give you a sense of control.
Your report on the level of arsenic in apple juice seemed to create a flood of controversy – how can the public become more aware and educate themselves on issues like this?
We need to be smart consumers and demand quality in the food we consume. We vote with our wallets three times a day, so we can demand change by the products we buy. We also can’t be afraid to speak up and be heard.
What is the most common health ailments you find people are concerned about?
People most often ask about the best way to lose weight. I suggest logging at least 10,000 steps every day and cutting out white foods, like white bread, pasta and rice. Getting a pedometer and reaching for 100 percent whole grains are two simple ways to jump start weight loss.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My wife, Lisa. She opened up the world of alternative health, Eastern medicine, mindful eating and taught me to be a better listener. She was also the brains behind me going into television. She conceived the idea for my first program on Discovery Health, Second Opinion, and showed me how to use television to teach.
What is your secret to finding balance in your busy schedule?
Every morning, I take 10 minutes as soon as I wake up to meditate and do my seven minute yoga routine. That way, no matter what happens during the day, I’m sure to center myself and fit in some exercise.
What’s the best way to spend your free time?
I am an avid basketball player and play on the weekends with a group of friends. I go apple picking with the family, and play sports with my son.
What’s left on your “to do” list?
One thing is to visit Morocco. My wife has been after me to schedule a trip there, so hopefully we’ll go next summer. And I already speak Turkish and French, but I also plan to learn Spanish.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Oprah Winfrey told me that people don’t change based on what they know; they change based on how they feel.
When/how did you last surprise yourself?
When I foolishly procrastinated having a polyp examined.
Last book you read?
I just finished “Every Day A Friday” by Joel Osteen in preparation for an upcoming show.
Favorite place/way to spend time with your family?
I love fishing with my son, Oliver. We caught salmon in Alaska this summer. I am addicted to exercise and try to work out with my wife Lisa so we can spend more time together. As a family we love traveling to fun places.