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Duke Medicine: How doctors stay healthy year-round and how you can too

Posted March 18, 2013

Nobody likes being around people coughing and sneezing from colds and flu yet that’s what doctors do. Every day they are on the front lines, listening compassionately to complaints ranging from aches and pain to fever and persistent coughs.

Yet they rarely get sick. How do they do it?

Here, Matt Hayes, DO, at Duke Primary Care Waverly Place, reviews the top ways he and his colleagues stay healthy throughout the year, and how you can too:

  • Wash hands frequently. “It’s the most effective preventive measure,” says Hayes. Use hand sanitizer or soap and water frequently during the day.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth. They are gateways that allow bacteria and viruses access to your body.
  • Sanitize surfaces. Disinfectant is used continually at Duke Primary Care Waverly Place to wipe down everything from exam surfaces to computer keyboards. He suggests patients do the same with high traffic areas in their homes or offices. “Wipe down your desk, your phone, any common areas, and where you eat at least once a day.”
  • Exercise regularly. Hayes, a triathlete, works out six days per week. Brisk walking will also do the trick if you can’t get to the gym. Research shows regular exercise – 30-45 minutes per day, 4–5 days per week, boosts the immune system and helps maintain good health.

For six more tips on how to stay healthy all year, check the full post at Duke Medicine, Go Ask Mom's sponsor, offers health tips and information every Tuesday.


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  • briandukepeds Mar 19, 2013

    Cushion Critter- I guess we're damned if we do, damned if we don't. When physicians used to smoke, the criticism is "Why don't they practice what they preach"? Now that physicians are trying to set a good example in our communities, why attack us for that?
    The DNR issue is a separate issue. I value life as something to be cherished and I value my family's feelings as well. As such, I would hate to put them in a predicament of having to guess under which circumstances (typically reversible ones) I would want any means necessary taken to keep me alive and which ones I would not (typically irreversible ones, where all I would be is a burden to my loved ones). Why would I be so selfish to make my family decide that??? Most of us have seen these things TEAR FAMILIES APART; that's why so many of us have DNR's, living wills, etc- we've seen what happens when patients thought "it could never happen to them" or felt morbid discussing it. I urge you to reconsider your view- your family may than

  • cushioncritter Mar 19, 2013

    Studies show doctors don't want to be subjected to the treatment they dish out as they age -- they are always inquiring about patient's "code status" as they have already signed their own DNR's, perhaps as early as age 40, shortly after beginning their so-called "careers". They are always shocked that people do still want to live beyond age 75, even reduced to a maimed, disfigured shell by so-called "evidence based" and "cost effective" medical treatment, where looming illnesses are ignored as "insurance won't pay for that (yet), or, the patient came in with back pain, they shouldn't leave with heart/lung disease Dx". Odd that these graduates of "allopathic medical schools" are preaching "lifestyle changes" of diet and exercise, previously derided as "quackery" by their profession. So it is fear of the very "care" that they provide on a daily basis that would drive them to run 50 miles a day, 7 days a week.

  • piety409 Mar 18, 2013

    Hey Hayes it's your cousin good job. Kelli Hayes