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Healthy Resolutions: The KIS(S) IT! Approach
Let's Talk HeartIt is never too late to start practicing a healthy lifestyle. In this article, Dr. Fischer talks about his favorite approach to making those "healthier you" resolutions a reality.

Healthy Resolutions: The KIS(S) IT! Approach

Special Feature by Stuart Fischer, MD, FACC, FACP, FSCAI, CCDS

Dr. Stuart FischerWhether born for the New Year or hatched somewhere in between, most resolutions involve losing weight, dieting and getting more exercise—all of which happily contribute to better heart health. Unfortunately, a few months after making those “new you” promises, many of us are left wondering what went wrong. Though medical interventions abound, the personal steps we take toward our own cardiovascular well-being can be key to living longer and healthier lives. That’s why making those resolutions a reality is so important to us all and our loved ones. Oddly enough, what seems to work best in helping my patients get the right results from their fitness resolutions is not something I learned in medical school, but rather out on the baseball field.

Many of you know me as a general and interventional cardiologist. In my practice I frequently see patients who are overweight with significant hypertension not controlled by standard medications. Often, those patients are also very sedentary. To a great degree, improvements to their health are contingent upon personal resolve and an understanding that their poorly controlled hypertension is related to controllable environmental factors such as overeating and lack of exercise. In counseling them, I use an approach given to me by former Brooklyn-LA Dodger, Duke Snyder.

A few years ago my wife enrolled me in Dodger fantasy camp, and Duke was my coach. During batting practice he would yell out, "Fischer KISS the ball. KISS IT!" Since I was hitting the ball, I did not completely understand what he meant by "KISS IT!" He finally explained, "Just Keep It Simple Stupid." Coach Snyder wanted me to simplify my approach to hitting, and, of course, he was correct. As it turns out, the "KISS IT" approach (minus the last "S") works extremely well for a lot of life’s challenges—like one’s health, diet and exercise. By combining the goals of weight loss, healthy eating and exercise into one resolution, it’s much easier for any one of us to achieve a satisfying measure of success.

In working with those overweight, hypertensive patients, we Keep It Simple, by not discussing diets or exercise programs, but by focusing on living a healthy lifestyle. We frequently discuss modes of exercise and changes in eating habits that should lead to weight loss. When those patients begin to “move their bodies,” lose weight and eat healthier, we often see their blood pressure comes under better control. Consequently, the patient may be able to lower and possibly discontinue their medications, entirely. We discuss moving their bodies by walking, swimming, and, yes, if possible, joining a gym. We talk about healthy eating, not dieting. It is a slightly different approach, but one that I have seen work many times, and as a physician, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a patient take responsibility for their healthcare by living a healthier life.

So, with new resolutions comes new hope. It is never to late to start practicing a healthy lifestyle. Just keep your approach simple…
arrow Don't diet: Change the way you eat by making healthier choices and decreasing the total volume of food consumption.
arrow Move your bodies: Park away from mall entrances, take daily walks, join a gym.

It takes work to live a healthier lifestyle, but the rewards are great: Your good health! And, remember, just "KIS(S) IT!"

This article was written by Stuart Fischer, MD, FACC, FACP, FSCAI. Dr. Fischer is board certified in Interventional Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine. He also holds a special certification in Cardiac Pacing. Dr. Fischer is a co-founder of Los Alamitos Cardiovascular and its senior partner. During his career, Dr. Fischer has held numerous chair and director positions at Los Alamitos Medical Center and at Long Beach Memorial Center where he is a Founding Fellow of the Memorial Heart Institute. Since 1989, Dr. Fischer has been serving as Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at University of California Irvine (UCI). Learn more about Dr. Fischer.

Let's Talk! Library

In addition to frequently participating as guest lecturers throughout the community, our cardiologists write articles for local and regional print and e-publications as well as for this website. We regulary update the list below with new health-related content, so check back often.

What's the Deal with Sugar and My Heart?/ Dr. Bret Witter/ March 2015

FEATURED! Healthy Resolutions: The KIS(S) IT! Approach/ Dr. Stuart Fischer/ August 2014

Heart Attack / Dr. Robert S. Lee / January 2014

Stroke Prevention / Dr. Bret A. Witter / May 2013

Women and Heart Disease / Dr. Steven T. Forman / February 2013

Caring for a Family Member with Heart Failure / Dr. Bret A. Witter / August 2013

Finding the Fountain of Youth / Dr. Steven T. Forman / September 2012

Exercise and Your Health / Dr. Steven T. Forman / December 2012

Making the Most Out of Your Office Visit / Staff / March 2012