Tag Archives: Exercise


theracaneWhy do I say Exercise twice……because the first two lessons taught in Medical School at Hopkins were:#1 ….Never be afraid to repeat yourself….and #2 …Never by afraid to repeat yourself.

As you all know, my number one recommendation for good health is exercise.  In my book THE KEYS, I make exercise my first and number one priority.  In fact, rather than have 8 KEYS to health, I was going to make it 10 KEYS….with exercise being #1, #2, and #3….just to show how much I believe in exercise as the moar important of all habits for health.

Read the latest article in the Wall Street Journal showing that the latest prescription is for  exercise and that more doctors are turning to as a way to help their patients get healthier.

PS–Thanks Nancy for bringing this article to my attention.

PPS–Need help getting started with a safe exercise program….get in touch with Kelley Aungst…a super trainer for our older patients.  




muscles flexAs we age, we are more prone to falling, and preventing such falls is a key to maintaining good health.

A recent series of articles in the NY TIMES Health Section, discussed the various contributors to falling as we get older, with the most important being weaker legs and poorer balance (medications….that lower blood pressure too much…or ones that make us ‘less sharp’ are the other major concern.)

The best way to prevent falling is to strengthen your legs and work on balance.

Just a few simple daily exercises will make a big difference.  Take a look >>>>>HERE for BALANCE EXERCISES.   Standing on one foot for a few seconds, while you hold onto the kitchen table with one hand, is just one of the simple ways to make a big difference in your balance.

As for building muscles up, HERE ARE SIMPLE EXERCISES that you can do each day, and these will strengthen both arms and legs and keep you fit and out of the Emergency Room.




air1-2Everyone loves a quickie!  OK….focus here…I’m talking about quick exercises.

When I was a kid, my dad, being a Canadian, gave me a copy of the Royal Canadian Airforce Exercise Program.  It was an ideal and quick way to get yourself in shape.

No longer available in book form, you can get this information on the 11 minute exercise sessions at this website>>>>>>HERE

Take a few minutes to check out the exercise program.  It is simple and quick and you can make time for getting a bit more exercise into your daily regimen…give it a try.


muscles flexI’m a big fan of exercise and feel very strongly that it is the single most important effort you should make to stay healthy.  A patient recently sent me this article on a study from the LIFE trial (Standing for Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders).

In a study of over 1,500 patients, it showed that ‘at risk’ older patients benefited from a directed walking and exercise program to reduce their risks of debilitation and need of assistance.

So don’t delay your plans to become more active.  There are benefits to be had, and in particular it is one of your keys to maintaining an independent lifestyle.



dreamstime_l_374131The Nike advertising phrase still holds true.   We call need to “do it”…as in exercise.

I happen to like to do elliptical at the gym, but have wondered about the pro’s and con’s of such exercise.  Is it better, as good, or not as good as more traditional types of exercise like treadmill.

A nice NY TIMES article summarizes the Pro’s and Con’s.   Read more >>>>>>HERE


wink of chihuahuaPhysical activity is the #1 Key to health….just check out THE KEYS, and you’ll find it right there at the top.   You can take inactivity to a new high (or should I say low), and be so inactive that you actually get  SITTING DISEASE.

We are sitting too much and this is making us weak and prone to illness, so say researchers in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.   Sitting too much can lead to illness, included heart disease and diabetes, and also leads to disability and lack of independence later in life.

What can you do to prevent this from happening to you?  One of the researchers offers these suggestions for replacing some sitting time with light activity:

• If you are watching TV, get up and walk around the house when a commercial comes on.

• When you are working in front of a computer, get up and walk around every hour.

• When you go to grocery store or mall, park in a space that is far away.

• When you get up to have glass of water or for a meal, walk around the house or office.

• Take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you are able.

Read   more HERE


CLOSE APPLESThe # 1 Key to good health is exercise and as we get older, options for exercise can be more limited due to health issues; arthritis is the most common limiter, but heart conditions or lung conditions are close second.

Despite this, no excuses will be allowed, as there is always something you can do to stay active.  If you have limitations that are significant, then try watching SIT AND BE FIT.   You can find them on-line, or at 6AM on our local PBS Affiliate, Channel 8.




6am  CHANNEL 8


heartstethatscopeThe other day my patient Mr. T, was having his physical and I asked him about his health habits.  I asked about his exercise, and he explained to me that he did aerobic exercise three days a week for 30 minutes, doing treadmill and cross-training and bicycling, and he said something to me that was very accurate and worth sharing:  “I know I could do more, but I am exercising to make sure my heart can ‘take it’ if something were to happen.  Perhaps it won’t prevent me from having a heart attack, but it’s enough to help me get extra flow to my heart so that my heart will make it through.”

You know…. I 100% agree with Mr. T, and this is something I have found over the past 25 years of practice; that exercise keeps you in shape, helps prevent heart issues ‘to a degree’, but more importantly, makes your heart more capable of withstanding the stresses to your body under extreme health issues or in the event of a heart attack.

This is exemplified by the results I see on treadmill testing in the office.  I still do the standard Bruce Protocol treadmill testing as I find it very predictive of a person’s heart-health.  The old-fashioned treadmill test have been around since the late 60’s, and is often considered too ‘old-fashioned’ or not ‘sexy’ as a medical test, and thus it is overlooked.  But, the treadmill is an excellent test for prognosing….predicting the future.  A person’s performance on the treadmill has two facets:  Diagnosis & Prognosis.

Diagnosis:    The diagnostic side of the treadmill is good, but imperfect.  Based on the changes in the blood pressure, heart rate, and EKG (electrical tracing) we can see that the heart is healthy or that there are issues with blood flow in one of the coronary arteries (one of the three major arteries to the heart muscle).  Sometimes the tracing changes are very specific and very diagnostic, but this type of test is not as accurate as say a Nuclear Stress Test done by the cardiologist, which uses  both the treadmill portion to look exercise capacity and at the heart function and imaging based on blood flow of radioactive tracer dye in the heart.  That said, it is much simpler and much less expensive.

Prognosis:  The prognostic side of the treadmill is it’s strong suit.  Based on comparing data of the patient’s specific performance with millions of others who did the same test protocol, one can generally predict their longevity based on the heart’s capacity, heart rate response to exercise and  to recovery.  I’ve performed thousands of treadmill tests and have seen that exercise capacity has a direct correlation with patient survival through stressful events, even survival in the setting of the rare heart attack occurring despite reassuring diagnostic features of a treadmill test.

So, although exercise is not a perfect preventive approach to one’s health, it ranks as #1 on my list of the 8 Keys to health (See the entire list in my book:   THE KEYS  )

Do:  Exercise at least 3 days per week

Do:  Exercise for at least 30 minutes.

Do:  Perform aerobic exercise (bike, run/treadmill, fast walk, swim, cross-train)

Do:  Get you heart-rate up during exercise and get a ‘sweat’ going.



main-productWhen I go to the gym, I’ve seen a large fridge full of boxes of cool coconut water and have wondered ‘What’s the deal here?”.  Am I nuts (Coconuts?)

Turns out that coconut water is a good source of carbohydrate (simple sugar), potassium, and sodium for replenishing liquids lost during strenuous exercise. It contains a little less sugar and a little more potassium that general sport drinks, so it’s touted as being superior and more natural.

I suppose that is true, if you like the taste of it!  I’ve not tried it, so I don’t know….but I’m not sure that a cool, refresshing thin watery coconut fluid is my idea of ‘delicious & nutritious’.

Next time I’m at the gym, I may give it a try, but for now, you should know that sports drinks, or just plain water and likely as good for the general athlete.

For more information, check out this WebMD article that is quite good.