16 Personal Health Secrets from Top Doctors

The famous docs REDBOOK spoke to coughed up 25 great tips you won't find on a prescription pad - including things they do every day.

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1. I press to stop headaches. "Here's a great remedy I use: Take your thumbs and place them under your brows, and just above the middle of your eye socket. Push in and up, like you're giving a thumbs-up; hold for a few seconds. This pressure on the orbital nerve can make stress-related headaches disappear." -Sanjay Gupta, M.D., chief medical correspondent for CNN and associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta

2. I stretch away my tense spots. "I have long used yoga poses called the Cat and Cow for the occasional mild backache. Begin on all fours, with your arms straight and hands placed directly below your shoulders. Slowly alternate between gently rounding your back as you tuck your chin in toward your chest on an inhale ("cat"), and then letting your stomach drop toward the ground as you lift your chest and arch your back ("cow") on an exhale. After a few minutes of this, I usually find relief." -Andrew Weil, M.D., founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

3. I safely treat a cut. "A lot of people don't know you should spread a wound open when you clean it to get as much germy junk out as possible. I'll run to the nearest sink instead of slapping on a bandage, which could trap bacteria inside." -Michael Roizen, M.D., chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic and coauthor of You: Staying Young

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4. I declare war! "When I get a scratchy throat, I gargle with warm salt water and eat more fruits and veggies; my body needs extra vitamins and nutrients to fight off a cold. I keep exercising, but I don't overdo it, and I get plenty of rest. I also rinse my nasal passages with saline mist when I feel stuffy, once in the morning and once before bed. It's like washing away the cold virus." -Travis Stork, M.D., emergency medicine physician at Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville and cohost of The Doctors

5. I listen to my body. "I believe that negative thoughts and worry deplete the body and allow things like colds to take hold much more easily. That's one of the reasons I meditate every morning for 20 minutes. I think of it as 'taking out the garbage' in my life, mind, and body. I'm also very conscious of asking myself a simple question many times a day: What do I need? Is it food? Relaxation? Exercise? Listening to what my body tells me means I can make healthy choices, day in, day out." -Susan B. Lord, M.D., integrative physician in Great Barrington, MA, and teacher at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, MA

6. I say no to antibacterial soap. "Washing hands is key to keeping away cold germs, but I avoid using antibacterial soaps that contain triclosan, a chemical that may lead to antibiotic resistance. I use alcohol-based hand sanitizers and, when I'm near a sink, good old-fashioned soap and water-it kills 99.9 percent of germs." -Gina M. Solomon, M.D., associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco

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7. I go herbal. "To prevent colds, I'm a fan of North American ginseng, a botanical supplement you can find at health food stores. You have to take two doses of it every day during flu season, but the payoff is worth it: You can count on an approximate 30 percent reduction in the incidence of catching colds, which is pretty great. I also recommend zinc. Take it at the start of your symptoms-30 mg per day-and it will shorten the duration of your cold by half." -David Katz, M.D., ABC News medical consultant and director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center in New Haven, CT

8. I gorge on greens. "The best foods you can eat to fuel your immune response are green vegetables-they're loaded with antioxidants that keep free radicals in your body under control. A refrigerator stocked with lettuce, kale, and broccoli is my secret weapon during flu season." -Joel Fuhrman, M.D., author of Super Immunity



9. I make exercising fun. "I've brought the gym home and started jumping rope, hula hooping, and boxing. I still love to surf and play tennis, but it's nice to have things I can do anytime, anywhere. You have to keep exercise fun, easy, and cheap." -Lisa Masterson, M.D., an ob/gyn in Santa Monica, CA, and cohost of The Doctors

10. I squeeze in workouts at work. "I struggle with consistent exercise, even though I see the effects of the lack of it in my patients and in myself. So I do what I tell them to do: Plan it into your workday. Take a brisk walk during lunch, for instance. I've actually put a mini trampoline in my office to get moving when the mood strikes. But the thing that motivates me the most is watching movies when I'm on the elliptical at home. I'll get back on the machine just to finish the movie!" -Hilary Tindle, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, division of general internal medicine, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

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11. I milk my diet. "I have a 12-ounce skim latte every day. I also snack on low-fat cheese sticks and treat myself to frozen yogurt at night-it's cool and calcium-packed, which is key for muscle function and bone health." -Sharon Phelan, M.D., professor, department of ob/gyn, at the School of Medicine Health Science Center, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

12. I zoom around airports. "Instead of plunking down at the gate, I keep moving. By the time I get onto the plane, I've gotten in 30 minutes of walking. That can easily burn off a couple hundred calories." -Travis Stork, M.D.

13. I give baked goods a boost. "I use white whole-wheat flour in all recipes that call for flour. It tastes like regular flour, but because it's made with whole grains, I get the added heart-healthy, belly-filling benefits of fiber." -Christine Gerbstadt, M.D., R.D., author of The Doctor's Detox Diet: The Ultimate Weight Loss RX

14. I get needled.
"I regularly schedule acupuncture appointments. I find that acupuncture reduces both stress and physical pain, two things that can deplete the body of energy." -Lisa Airan, M.D., an aesthetic cosmetic dermatologist in New York City and former National of Institutes of Health fellow

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15. I hug it out. "Nothing rejuvenates me faster than sharing my love with the people who matter most to me. My wife and I make a point of hugging for a full 30 seconds as often as we can; research has shown that it can help reduce the physical and emotional stress that can build up and zap your energy." -David Katz, M.D.

16. I get light therapy. "Here's one way I recharge my internal battery daily: I dim the lights one hour before bedtime and sleep in a pitch-black room. In the morning I make sure I get some sunshine; I'll sit near a window or take a walk outside. Bright light turns off secretion of melatonin, a sleep neurotransmitter, and stimulates the production of serotonin, which helps you feel energized." -Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

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