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Developing a Healthy Lifestyle - Family Medicine

For years Arnold Facklam, a nurse practitioner with Lee Health, lived with asthma and high blood pressure. “I realized I had to do something. In the hospital, I would go up a flight of stairs, and I would be dragging by the time I got up there.” But when he started developing symptoms of arthritis, he knew it was time to make some lifestyle changes. “As a healthcare provider, here I am telling people to have a healthy lifestyle and eat less and exercise more, but I wasn’t walking that walk,” said Facklam. He started by cutting out unhealthy sugars and carbs and adding more fruits and vegetables. “It all comes down to that feeling of hunger. Am I hungry or am I thirsty,” said Facklam. In addition to drinking more water, adding physical activity and cutting calories, Arnold also minimized his portion sizes, documented what he ate and limited how many times he would weigh himself. “Initially it was walking, then riding a bike. There’s a fitness center where I live, and I started going there,” said Facklam. Arnold was determined that he would no longer make excuses for skipping a workout. “We can all come up with excuses why we shouldn’t do it. I could have easily said I’m too old to do it now or I’m too busy, but once you’ve made the decision to do it look at it as a long-term thing,” said Facklam. In six months, Arnold lost a total of 65 pounds, and he no longer needs his medication. “Now I go up the stairs, and I won’t say I run, but it almost feels like running because I’m hopping up the stairs and at the end of the day I don’t feel exhausted,” said Facklam. Proof that a healthy lifestyle can improve how you think and feel. View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/ Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit LeeHealth.org