Health Tips: Exercise and you

Published 11:18 am Thursday, November 7, 2013

Every day, many times a day, patients ask me how to lose weight. Well, my first reply is “you chose the fattest doctor in the practice for advice on weight loss? That was your first mistake.”

Stephen C. Miller DO, ACOFP; Cassopolis Family Clinic

Stephen C. Miller DO, ACOFP
Cassopolis Family Clinic

After we laugh, I usually discuss diet and …  sigh, exercise. Let me assure you, there is not a pill made that will allow you to lose weight for more than a few months. The country looks towards gastric bypass surgery as the great panacea, but I see more failures than successes.

This stems not from having enough of your stomach removed or tied off, but the return to bad eating habits and lack of … exercise. Many patients have their saturated fats and carbohydrates under better control then they knew. But almost every patient could stand to be more active.

What are the recommendations for exercise to induce weight loss? At least 30 minutes (preferably one hour) five to six times a week. I tell people to shoot for seven days and they will meet their quota of five to six. What constitutes exercise? That will vary from person to person, but most successful studies focus on walking two to four miles a day being a goal. And add that to weekly weigh ins, watchful intake of saturated fats and carbohydrates with a food diary, while consuming adequate water, and voila, weight loss.

Excuse time right? I work too much, I have too many responsibilities, my knees, back, (fill in the blank), are already too damaged. Trust me, I have heard them all and experience the same time crunch and aches too. I myself, try to concentrate on flexion exercises and brief treadmill time for 10 to 15 minutes in the morning, a brisk walk at lunch (30 minutes, rain or snow) and then the remainder 30 minutes in the evening with jogging, weight lifting, Taekwondo (Hong’s USA — my plug). Do I meet the required hour? not every day, but I always surpass the 30 minute mark.

My weakness is sweets and breads, but I know my enemy. Learn to know yours.

Accept responsibility now, and get active.  No one is going to give a hard working mom, exhausted dad, or stressed out college student the time or encouragement to exercise. You have to take it yourself.

Remember, a child with one obese parent is at a 50 percent risk of being obese themselves and over 80 percent if both are. So serve as an example, and maybe take them with you on your journey to healthy living.


Stephen C. Miller DO, ACOFP

Cassopolis Family Clinic