WEDNESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Adam Dougherty is laying the groundwork for a long and healthy life.
Dougherty, 25, is a health policy analyst living in Los Angeles with a master's degree in public health from the University of Southern California. He's applying the lessons learned for his career to his own health. He's in pretty good shape, 5-feet-9 and 160 pounds, and he wants to maintain his shape and his health.
"Coming from my public-health background, I'm a really strong believer in prevention and wellness," Dougherty said.
That means keeping both the mind and the body healthy. "I really think physical health and mental health are important counterbalances for the stresses we endure during the week," he explained.
Part of Dougherty's wellness routine includes taking some time each day to do something that relaxes him. "I play guitar," he said. "That's a good way to decompress and detach and calm my nerves."
Dougherty also eats a balanced diet, eating complete meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner. But he's aware of total calorie intake, adding that a person needs to burn as many calories as they eat in a day if they hope to maintain their weight, and burn more and eat less for weight loss.
"I'll try not to keep a lot of snack foods around, and limit my food intake to meals only," he added.
That's helped him maintain a healthy weight. "I've shed a few pounds since my college days, and that's associated to my beer intake," he said, laughing. "Liquid calories are definitely ones you should stay away from."
Sleep is another health factor that Dougherty pays attention to, trying to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. "It's really important to get enough sleep on a night-to-night basis," he pointed out. "Sleeplessness contributes to stress, which is a major factor in many health problems."
Exercise is another key component to pursuin
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