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How to Get Control of Your Health

You don't need a health guru -- you can be your own, according to Dr. Travis Stork, host of CBS' "The Doctors."

Stork is the author of the new book "The Doctor is In," in which he explores how people can take control of their health with some simple life changes.

Read an excerpt of "The Doctor is In"

Stork, who has done his dues as a practicing physician in the emergency room, says people often wait too long to seek health help.

He explained, "Say they've had their first heart attack, they always ask, 'What could I have done differently?' I'm trying to teach people how to prevent illness before it happens because you don't want to spend your life in and out of hospital.

He joked, "I go (to the E.R.) for work, but I don't like to go there in my free time."

He says when people don't realize that the time spent between doctor visits is in their hands.

"There's so much misinformation out there," he said. "I see it when people come to the E.R. I see it on ("The Doctors.") So what I've tried to do is think about 20 years ago, when I didn't know a thing about health. This is really the Cliff Notes version. All the things you need to know about health so you can become what I call the CEO of your own health."

To help you start taking control of your health, Stork recommends finding the right information. He says there are plenty of websites out there that have health information, but you have to find the right places to look.

He suggests these websites for viable health information without an agenda:
PubMed.gov - Informational service site by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health
MedlinePlus.gov - Informational service site by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health
AmericanHeart.org - American Heart Association's website
Diabetes.org - American Diabetes Association website

Stork said, "People will come and say, 'Dr. Stork, I read this on the web, but if they got from the wrong source, it could be putting their health in jeopardy."

In his book, Stork recommends giving your body a daily physical vacation. But what does that mean?

Stork said it's all about how you view exercise.

"View your sneakers as something that will put a smile on your face, because let's face it, (there are) a lot of intimidating workouts out there. We don't know what's right for us. But sometimes the best workout for you is a pair of sneakers after a healthy dinner, a brisk 30-minute walk with your spouse. Have a smile on your face. That's a vacation, that's not exercise."

However, Stork admits it is hard to get yourself off the couch, but it's about breaking a cycle of activity. He says in many ways it's about eating in a way that gives energy to live.

He said, "It's really about eating healthy so you can get off the couch, go for those walks with your spouse, with your kids. Because … whether it's the bike, whether swimming, whatever it is, dancing, it does put a smile on your face. But it's easy to get away from it."

Stork also takes on stress in his book. He suggests taking a couple minutes for yourself.

"You take a moment, a nice deep breath. You're at work, you're at school. You're stressed about a big speech, a big exam -- just take a moment for yourself."

He said, "We all deserve a few moments in the day for ourselves. So I practice just deep breathing. Literally. I'll just stop -- count to ten as you're letting your breath out -- and just close your eyes. Even if it's just five quick deep breaths."

Stork said the process gives a person more perspective.

He said, "A lot of studies show that we end up being more productive at work and mind-body connection is indisputable. People who have a good mind, they're healthier."