4 Mantras for Healthy Lifestyle

Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Ashish Mathur, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the South Asian Heart Center at El Camino Hospital: Wow. That’s amazing. I really appreciate you sharing your inspirational insights with us, Ashish.

I’m wondering if there are any last thoughts or a take-home message you’d like to share with our listeners before we give our listeners the opportunity to ask you questions.



Ashish Mathur

It’s come out of a lot of research and 18 years of being here.

We look at the four lifestyle factors, meditation, exercise, diet and sleep.

We have built some small mantras for them. This is good for everyone, although our AIM to Prevent program is very personalized.

We look at your risks and what you need to do, how diet is going to affect you and what exercise program you should have. It’s very personalized.

These are four mantras that, if anyone wants to take away and implement them, they’ll benefit from it.


4 Mantras for Healthy Lifestyle: Meditation

On the meditation side, our mantra is to get into a routine of meditation daily.

By meditation, I don’t mean listening to music or reading a book.

Meditation is the practice of putting everything aside and, at a minimum, sitting with your eyes closed and doing that for at least five minutes. Twenty minutes twice a day is what we recommend.

Even if you get to five minutes of quiet time just by yourself, with eyes closed, that’s the start of meditation practice.


4 Mantras for Healthy Lifestyle: Exercise

The exercise mantra is regular, varied and vigorous.

You want to be regular with your exercise, which is more than the weekend. You want to do it on multiple days of the week or preferably seven.

You also want to vary your exercise. If you do the same thing over and over again, it is less beneficial to you. It will reach its plateau. You want to vary and give other things for your body to assimilate.


4 Mantras for Healthy Lifestyle: Exercise Regularly

Then the period of aspect of it is vigorous so if you’re able to get to regularity, if you’re able to vary your exercise, then get to being vigorous, don’t start your exercise program by becoming a marathon runner.

Start by doing that walk first. When you’re comfortable with that and you’re able to tolerate that, and you’re able to vary your exercise, maybe you’ll add a bicycling day, a swimming day or tennis.

Then and only then you become vigorous and get to a point where you’re sweating, you’re out of breath and those sorts of things that accompany exercise.


4 Mantras for Healthy Lifestyle: Diet

On the food front and the diet front, the “D” is for “diet.” The mantra is more greens than grains. If that is reflective in the plate in a mindful way that you fill your plate up every time, that 50% of the plate is greens or vegetable.


4 Mantras for Healthy Lifestyle: Balanced Diet

Any color of the vegetable will do. We equate greens to vegetable. Potato is not a vegetable.

Then the other half of the plate is filled with your protein source.

If you’re a meat eater, you add some meat or fish. You add tofu. You add beans. That’s the protein section of your plate.

Then the remaining quarter is where you actually end up putting your grains. That is the constitution of your plate.

You’ve done well to add some more greens and grains. We also have goals around diet, which is two fistfuls of vegetables per day, one fistful of fruit, 12 nuts, almonds or walnuts if you’re not allergic and no sugar drinks.


4 Mantras for Healthy Lifestyle: Diet Goals

That’s the goal you can set for yourself. Zero sugar drinks is very hard for people who put sugar in their teas or drink a glass of Coke every day. There are so many sugar drinks out there. Those are the goals that we get our participants towards for diet.


4 Mantras for Healthy Lifestyle: Sleep Soundly

Then the fourth is sleep. Sleep is very under-rated. There’s not enough talk about sleep and getting your six to eight hours of sleep per day.

It’s very hard for people to achieve it, not in the Silicon Valley with all the pressures of work and personal life.

The thing is that it plays a really important role in your heart health and in preventing high blood pressure.

With six to eight hours of sleep, we want to help you practice a sleep routine and sleep wellness. Those of the things I leave with.


Tell Us:

Will you apply these 4 mantras for healthy lifestyle into your routine? Do you have any mantras you can share with us? Leave us those mantras in the comments section below.


The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Ashish Mathur

The entire interview transcript is at: Ashish Mathur NetIP (Network of Indian Professionals) Interview – Heart Diseases and their Prevention Tools for South Asians

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: NetIP