In Exercise

WHO HAS YOUR BACK WHEN YOU VISIT THE DOCTOR?

You may have an amazing doctor. I hope you do. Too frequently this happens: a reader or client tells me about an experience at her doctor’s office that makes the hair on my neck stand up.

She’s gone to the doctor for routine reasons or for undue fatigue and hot flashes that are interfering with life. Sleep patterns have changed and weight is coming on.

The doctor runs tests. The doctor interprets the tests. Hormones are out of balance (aka: out of normal levels). The prescription pad does out.

This past week the exact scenario above happened. Three hundred dollars worth of prescriptions later and an indication that 3-6 months of taking them would help the patient was out the door. She was told a special multi-vitamin (available only through the doctor’s office) after that would be all she’d need once she was back in balance.

I’m not knocking doctors in general. I too still think many of them are wonderful and have a whole-person approach. I’ve had some great docs. No question. From my own family practice doctor to my son’s pediatrician our family has had some great experiences. But like you I’ve also had bad ones.

I had a rough transition time a couple years ago and at my annual obgyn appointment my PA did take the time to ask and catch up – always appreciated. But based on my response she suggested I needed to talk to a therapist if not accept the script she wanted to write. Odd, I thought. Pride maybe, but I felt my emotional response was pretty normal give it was a 12 year investment of love, time and energy and was over. I wouldn’t have expected to take that nonchalantly and move on without a few tears. I’d changed the direction of my career and invested my heart. Not something I took lightly when both parts disappeared.

Never-the-less… (I tell you this to demonstrate doctors are not perfect either!)… I did decide to see someone to sort through my options and thoughts for moving forward. On my second visit she started with, “I have a few questions to ask that I didn’t get to last time… are you suicidal? ”

I LMAO (laughed my buns off) on the way home and wondered what kind of liability that was?! Do you think that could have been important? Thank goodness for her the answer was “no.” She was ready to retire. Not a newbie.

In the instance of the woman I began to tell you about who saw her doc for menopause symptoms that were bothering her? Never once was a question asked about lifestyle habits. No question about her stress level or stressors. No question about sleep habits that might help or hurt. No question about nutrition or exercise habits.

There, in other words was no effort to effect change with change. Medication was the first answer.

Whether you’re talking menopause or your talking depression and anxiety there are a growing number of research studies to prove the positive influence on lifestyle habits. Yes, a medication is sometimes necessary. However, yes absolutely the improvements could either be drastically improved with the right lifestyle habits or medications might be avoided or you could reduce amount or shorten the time needed to be on them.

I do believe in testing as opposed to guessing. I also believe in the power of living with habits that will work based on what’s going on right now with you helping to affect positive change. My first line of defense will always be assessing habits.

  • Am I exercising enough? Too much?
  • Am I eating the highest quality foods? Minimizing the rest?
  • Am I sleeping with the right volume (quality and quantity) for me?
  • Am I ahead of stress, knowing I’ll have it, working on strategies in my toolbox for dealing when it shows up?
  • Am I spending enough time recovering from mental and physical fatigue?
  • Am I surrounded by an environment that supports all those things and asking for it?
  • Am I feeling in charge of my destiny?

Like you fill out the forms when you get to the doctor’s office, I encourage you to take your own personal assessment regularly. More regularly than an annual exam.

Share your experience with doctors – I’d love to hear the good or the bad.

~Debra

P.S. If you haven’t taken the assessment (checklist) that helps you look at habits that help your fitness after 50 here it is.

INTERVAL TRAINING Tuesday…the last installment. (this includes the beginner I-just-started-intervals and the more advanced I’ve-got-experience) Check the past Tuesday blogs this June for the entire progression.

BEGINNERS PROGRESSION:

Warm up 10 minutes>>>ALWAYS!

:30 work and :30 seconds recovery x 15

Cool down 5 minutes easy movement

*short intervals but equally short recovery mean the progression will get harder! Heart rate can’t catch up …go by your “feel” but don’t hold out! For instance at interval 5 or 6 don’t pre-meditate that you have to do 10 more. Work as hard as you can each time even if speed or resistance has to decrease.

MORE INTERVAL EXPERIENCE Progression:

Warm up 10 minutes>>>Yep! ALWAYS!

2:00 work and 1:30 recovery x 10

Cool down 5 minutes easy movement

*this longer interval and shorter recovery will be a challenge. You could use heart rate for this interval. If you do, increase your heart rate during the first minute and then sustain it during the second minute. Going by “feel” just be sure not to let yourself off the hook in that second minute: stay focused! All the good tunes on the iPod help! 


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