Posted by Divya Sathyanarayanan
According to recent studies and reports1, number of women (aged 18 years and above) who do not engage in the recommended amount of physical activity is high and this number continues to grow. Change in lifestyle does not have to be drastic or immediate, but small steps towards a healthy life can make a positive impact and protect you from diseases.
In recognition of National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, Marisa Schor, CHA HPMC clinical dietitian, shares the importance of healthy living. With keen interest in fitness and nutrition, she spends most of her spare time reading articles and studies on healthy living to expand her knowledge. We interviewed Marisa for tips on healthy living and how it impacts patient care at CHA HPMC.
What does health and nutrition mean to you?
Health and nutrition make me who I am—an individual and as a professional. I don’t recall how I became interested in this field, but I remember loving to eat a lot of tomatoes as a little girl. I was always drawn to physical activities and spent time outdoors walking, swimming, or biking. Life took me in a different direction when I decided to pursue a career in tourism management in the early days, but nutrition was always my calling. So I went back to school to get my degree as a Registered Dietitian.
How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle and incorporate physical activity into your daily life?
I make sure to incorporate fitness both at work and outside. At work, I take the stairs instead of the elevator and try brisk walking in the hallways between my meetings. After work, I go for a run in my neighborhood. I also go for hikes during the weekend. Another passion of mine is dance which also helps me stay active. 10 years ago, I started teaching Zumba fitness classes in gyms around LA. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, gyms were shut down which made me start online classes. I teach Zumba classes via Zoom three times a week and it helps me stay fit.
Why do you think health and fitness are important for women?
I value healthy lifestyle. I think women, by nature, are ‘nurturers’ and, at times, may tend to neglect their own underlying health conditions. I come across a lot of female patients and educate them on the importance of good nutrition and physical activities to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, and promote overall health and wellbeing. I believe that by educating patients, I can impact their life for the better and bring a positive change. National Women’s Health and Fitness Day on Sept. 30 is a good reminder for women to prioritize their health and take steps towards a healthy lifestyle.
How does this passion impact your work at CHA HPMC?
Good nutrition is an important part my lifestyle and physical activity helps me recharge my batteries. The energy motivates me and expands my curiosity to learn more about how both aspects impact our health. I use this knowledge in my medical nutrition therapy with the patients at CHA HPMC.
1World Health Organization. Prevalence of insufficient physical activity. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/physical_activity_text/en/
Science Daily. Number of women who aren’t physically active enough is high and growing. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190423133701.htm