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“Mobility Doctor” Vonda Wright, M.D.: Empowering People to Take Charge of Their Health and Aging
Dr. Vonda Wright

Dr. Vonda Wright

Women make 80% of the health-related decisions in the U.S. and control the healthcare expenditures for themselves and their families. That’s a powerful position for women to be in, says Vonda Wright, M.D., and women need to claim this power and put it to effective use. When women become empowered in this way, it will ignite healthcare across the country, she believes. But first, women need to take charge of their own health and aging.

Wright, a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon with UPMC Sports Medicine, has gained national prominence for her expertise in fitness, nutrition and healthy aging. In the operating room, she repairs musculoskeletal injuries and replaces arthritic joints. But she is also an author, educator, keynote speaker and entrepreneur, known as the “The Mobility Doctor.” Wright has a passion for helping people live active, joyful lives – at any age. “The key to health is mobility,” she says. “If you are not mobile, you are a bystander. And who wants to live life as a bystander? There is a myth in this country that life ends at 40 and you begin to deteriorate, eventually becoming frail. It isn’t true. You can live a healthy and blissful life because you control 70% of your aging; only 30% is genetically predetermined. People should not look at the future with dread, expecting to be frail and sick. That future is not inevitable.”

Lack of activity is linked to many diseases including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. According to the National Institutes of Health, there are 33 chronic diseases that can be lumped together as “sedentary death syndrome.” Wright says that there is a single factor that positively impacts every one of those diseases and can alter one’s life – and that factor is mobility. “If you’re not active, or have never been active, you can change that. You can resume an active life or begin one. It’s never too late. Changing your mindset and tell yourself, ‘I’m worth this investment.’ Activity reduces your risk of sedentary lifestyle diseases.”

Many people in the U.S. have what Wright calls “a genuine disconnect” between their present self and future self. “What you do today tells you what your future is. You should be kind to that future you. When you neglect your health, you’re being mean to your future self.” She recommends that people make time for 30 minutes of daily exercise – what she calls “an investment in mobility.” For those who claim they are too busy, her response is simple: “We make time for what is important to us. You don’t have to join a gym or buy equipment. Just push back from the table after dinner and go for a walk, preferably up a hill.” Mobility, she explains, improves the health of the body and the brain, and makes us happier. “It gets our endorphins flowing. We need to do everything we can to fortify ourselves, to build a strong body and brain. When you strengthen your body, you automatically strengthen your brain. It’s actually possible to build a new brain.”

For those who struggle with excess weight, Wright suggests a simple program of five rules:

  • Don’t eat any fried food;
  • Eat naked food, without sauces, dressings and gravies;
  • Drink regular coffee, not fancy coffee concoctions;
  • Eat dessert – but only three bites of it;
  • Avoid juices, as they are high calorie

These simple rules will reduce calorie consumption significantly, and in combination with attention to portion size, can lead to weight loss without having to follow a rigid or complicated “diet.”

Wright began her healthcare career as an oncology nurse in Chicago and decided to go to medical school. She says that her approach to her surgery practice is rooted in her nursing experience, which taught her to view the patient as a whole person and to cultivate a relationship with that person. “I’m a better doctor because I was a nurse first. When you come to see me, we’ll talk about everything: your health, family, work – in depth. All of it matters.”

As she travels the country, making guest appearances on television and giving inspirational keynote presentations, Wright delivers an energetic and energizing message: women are in a position of power, to improve their own health, the health of their loved ones, and the health of the nation, through mobility, fitness and nutrition. The power is there, she states; women simply have to claim it.

Dr. Wright has an online magazine at www.umuvu.com and a new App at iTunes UmuvU. To learn more about Vonda Wright, or to contact her, visit her website www.vondawright.com.



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