Sunday, March 23, 2008

Expert on exercise and wellness says fat and fit is possible

This is a must-read for doctors and health care professionals. (ETA: I got the link from one of my google alerts and didn't have to register the first time to read the article, but you'll have to register to read it. Registration is free.)
If I started quoting the parts of this that I think are great, I'd be quoting the whole damn thing. But the part I like the best is this:
Q. What are you going to tell the doctors and staff at the UND medical school about fitness?

A. Let me start with the doctors. What I tell them is that when you see a patient and measure that patient’s height and weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and sugar, you’re not finished with your assessment to determine whether they’re healthy. You also need to know about their activity and fitness.
Physicians need to pay more attention. Patients come in, they measure their blood pressure and say that’s good, cholesterol is good, your normal weight is fine, so good for you. Well, they’re unfit; they’re at risk of dying in the next several years is double those who are fit. It’s all of the things that need to be measured, monitored and taken into account.
Physicians need to pay more attention to activity and fitness. Of course, the same advice applies to the general public. It is important not to smoke, and as your grandmother told you, it’s important to eat your vegetables and fruit. It is also important to be physically active.
I’ll tell the public to get moderate-intensity exercise 30 minutes a day for five days a week. You can do that in three 10-minute walks a day. Three 10-minute walks provides substantial benefits.

The only part of this I have a problem with is the 30 minutes of walking 5 days a week. Now, if he had said 30 minutes a day of whatever kind of movement you enjoy doing (like dancing, riding a bike, swimming, yoga, whatever), that would have been better, and probably more do-able for a lot of people. Personally, I like riding my recumbent bike, and it's something I can do (and will do), unlike walking (sorry, I'm not into pain, and I have severe back pain if I try to walk for more than a couple of minutes at a time, unless I have something to lean on while I'm walking, like a shopping cart).
All in all, a very good article about being fit and fat and the benefits thereof. Now, if only doctors would listen, and the government, and insurance companies, and all the asshats who think they know it all when it comes to weight and health (they don't, obviously).


  1. Actually, I don't think this person is specifically saying you MUST walk. The text you quoted says 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week. It then goes on to say that this is possible by doing 3 ten minute walks a day, probably to show how easy it is to get in this activity.

  2. anonymous - I don't have a problem with walking as exercise if that's what floats someone's boat. I just thought it would have been better if he had said that 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise, whatever kind a person likes to do, would have been better. Examples other than walking would have been good for people who can't walk a lot (diabetics can be people who can't/shouldn't walk like that because of the possibility of Charcot (sp?) incidents with feet and legs).

  3. I can't read the actual article because I'd have to subscribe to the whole newspaper to do so. :(

  4. jen - I didn't know you had to register to read the article, I got it from one of my gmail google alerts. When I followed the link from that, I went right to the article. I usually register anyway, if it's free (I have a passwords folder in my email account where I keep that kind of thing, just in case I want to read anything in that particular paper again).

  5. If it's a free registration you can go to and get a name and password for many free sites.

  6. I'm disappointed I couldn't read the whole article, not least because it's from my home town newspaper.

    I went ahead and registered (it's free), but couldn't get a working link to any articles. The error message suggested I turn off my cookies - but when I did that, it wouldn't let me log in with my username and password. Which you need to read the paper.

    I may email them about this...if I can figure out how to get a message through.


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