« A NYC Night | Main | Change of Shift Celebrates an Anniverary »

June 11, 2007

People Do Exercise!

Julieorfirer272x721 Julie - I joined a gym.  It’s probably been close to 10 years since I’ve been in a gym but I’d been thinking about it as I train for my upcoming black belt test in Tae Kwon Do.  And then I went and injured my foot, which keeps me from practicing or walking, and I needed more exercise without stressing my probably stress-fractured foot.  Since my physical therapist has been encouraging me to do more strengthening I’m doing Nautilus and I’m riding a recumbent bicycle for foot sparing cardio.

Back when I was doing primary care work in the town that the gym is located this place was generally known as the one that the overweight, the out of shape, the shy, and the old didn’t want to go to.  “That place is filled with skinny girls in spandex and muscle men.  I’m not going there.”  So, the other day while I was riding the bicycle I was watching the Nautilus area (it’s all computerized now, did you know that?) and I was struck by the people I saw.  Only one of them was a late 20’s skinny girl in spandex and only one of them was a muscle guy well into his 40’s.  The rest of them were older and a bit baggy in all the places that get baggy, or were young and fluffy in the way that the young carry extra weight.  Some were normal weight with a ring around the middle like me and some had some years on them and looked like they had maintained pretty good fitness.

I was so happy to see these people in a gym.  Not only did it make me feel more comfortable being there with all my current disabilities, but it made me feel better about my patients.  Because there they were.  Not my actual patients but people just like them.  All my young women with PCOS, people with diabetes, women with osteoporosis.  Every single one of my patients gets a prescription for exercise.  Some of them do it.  Some of them, I fear, just tell me they do it.  Some of them just plain don’t.  Some days I wonder if anyone does anything but go from sedentary job to television to bed.  But now I know that they do.  I’ll just bet that a lot of the folks I see at the gym have a healthcare provider that asks them about exercise at every visit.  And they honestly say, “I spend about an hour at the gym and I do nautilus and then I do the bicycle or the treadmill or the elliptical.” And I feel like vouching for them.

Thursday I saw one of my young women with PCOS.  She really isn’t much of an exerciser – sedentary job, grabs dinner at a fast food place, and goes home to TV.  She has a dog though and says that maybe once a week she takes the dog for a walk.  I went to the gym after work and on the way home I passed her – walking her dog! We’re always taught to talk to smokers at every visit about quitting smoking – that it really does eventually work for some people.  I think the same is true for exercise and now I feel a little less dread when I ask, “So whatcha doin’ for exercise these days?”

June 11, 2007 in Julie | Permalink


Hi. I'm hoping against hope that you can help me. I had a radical mastectomy (Stage IV cancer) 5-1/2 years ago. Surgery was so severe I couldn't get reconstruction, so I'm very happy for you. Really.
Anyway, I am addicted to Tae Kwon Do. I didn't want to ask my doctor if I could do Tae Kwon Do after a mastectomy because I think he'd probably say no. I was told the usual...no lifting over 6 pounds on that side (right side), no blood pressure or IV's on that side, etc. I think also in there would be no punching, rolling, etc., on that side, so I was afraid to ask. Is it ok to practice Tae Kwon Do after a mastectomy (of over 5 years)???? PLEASE tell me yes (unless it really is an emphatic no). Thank you and God Bless (and I thank God, too....He led me to your wonderful blog!)

Posted by: Bernadette | Jul 25, 2007 11:48:57 AM

Julie, I've been looking forward to your next post!

Posted by: Angie | Jul 19, 2007 8:51:04 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.