Dr. Marla E. Jirak Q&A

Dr. Marla E. Jirak, Owner, Coachsmart Consulting, LLC

How do you define a healthy lifestyle?
One in which you feel energetic and reduce the risk of illness or disease. To accomplish that, keep in mind — healthy eating, exercise, sleep patterns. Avoid harmful use of alcohol and drugs; don’t smoke.

What type of exercise (weights, cardio, yoga, Pilates, etc.) do you prefer; why?
I go to a gym at least three times a week. Planks, hard foam rollers and a stretching bar are good ways to stretch and build your core. I add a combination of cardio on a stationary bike, an elliptical machine or treadmill for 20 to 30 minutes. I end with free weights and machines to build muscle strength. When I don’t get to the gym, I walk at least 20 minutes or aim for 10,000 steps a day.

What are your practices to keep yourself healthy, your family healthy?
Establishing and maintaining a relationship with a primary care provider to help you understand specific medical risks and assess your family’s state of health annually. Talk with your physician about medications, vaccines and other treatment options. Raise concerns if you have issues with nails, skin, eyes and hair — they can indicate signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies and sometimes reflect poor organ health.

How do you define self-care; what is your go-to way of practicing it?
Good self-care makes you happier, feeling healthier and gives you more energy to better manage stress. I try to reduce sugar, exercise daily and manage what I take on in a day so as not to get too many things on my plate at once. I take time to maintain my relationship with my partner with a weekly date night and engage in outings with other friends.

What is your favorite healthy meal?
Some kind of fish over a salad or a side of vegetables. I limit the amount of red meat to no more than twice a week. I also have baked or grilled foods over deep-fried foods. I drink at least 32 ounces of water or more daily.

What is your biggest health, wellness tip?
Take care of your physical and emotional well-being. Getting into a daily routine of healthy eating, exercise, and good sleep patterns enables us to reach our health and wellness goals.