Pursuing health before there is a crisis is the best way to avoid unnecessary medical intervention, says Dr. Andrews.
Millions of people turn to medication to help them manage all kinds of physical and mental health problems. Dr. Sunny Andrews is a licensed physician who works at a hospital while also pursuing her career as a professional bodybuilder. She is concerned people don’t understand the importance of preventative health solutions. She wants patients to pursue better health and wellness to avoid health emergencies in the first place.
“There are so many people who would benefit from regular exercise, strength training, smaller portions, or focusing on nutritional foods,” Dr. Sunny Andrews says. “This isn’t a judgment—it’s just science. If you believe the science, then you know that your body needs movement and food to sustain a healthy balance. While diet and exercise isn’t the only factor, it is a huge one, and it gets ignored frequently.”
She wants to make sure people are provided with preventative medical solutions before they are offered invasive options. She says physicians typically get cases that are beyond simple solutions of fitness and nutrition. Plus, it’s difficult to prescribe preventative medicine when a patient is in a hurry to end their discomfort.
“The hard part is: we really need to get the message out before we ever see the patients,” she says. “It’s kind of like we are trying to keep ourselves from a career by reducing the number of sick people in this world. But, so many cases could be avoided if people changed their lifestyles. Research has found that regular exercise makes your body and cells act years younger than they really are.”
She points out that Type 2 diabetes is often caused by food choices and can lead to terrible things, like gout and the need for amputation. Dr. Sunny Andrews explains how obesity can be extremely hard on the joints and bones, increasing the risk for arthritis and osteoporosis.
“Research has shown over and over that our daily habits directly impact our short-term and long-term health,” she explains. “Some call this lifestyle medicine. I was always into sports, but I didn’t start focusing on weight training until I was in med school. It made me feel powerful and gave me more energy, so I kept pushing. I started helping others as a fitness and nutrition coach during the time I was doing clinical rotations. This is one way I can share my medical knowledge in a way that truly helps people avoid bad situations from the start. I’m very passionate about bodybuilding. I think it’s a great way for people to heal their relationship with food and learn to love their physique.”
Dr. Andrews recommends people pursue different kinds of activities and workouts throughout the week to help build well-rounded strength and avoid boredom. When it comes to food, she says to take small steps, “Work on portion control and incorporate larger portions of green things. But go slow. Typically, rushing into an extreme change is going to result in a short-term spurt. You want to focus on making life changes that stick with you.”