Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Surgeon General's Warning: Exercise... I Do!
The U.S. surgeon general recommends that everyone get at least 30 minutes of activity a day... but do the surgeons general really follow their own advice?
Former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher does. During a recent interview for a "Fit Nation" segment for House Call, I learned that Dr. Satcher gets up before 5:30 a.m. every day and exercises. His morning ritual in Atlanta includes rowing on the lake behind his home.
"It doesn't matter what the temperature is and it doesn't matter if it's dark or light," Dr. Satcher says. "I'm out there. To be out there when the sun comes up... that's one of my favorite times of the day."
The 65-year-old travels frequently as director of the Center of Excellence on Health Disparities at the Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Satcher takes a brisk morning walk - in China, Kenya or Washington.
"When you live the kind of life I live and you are working all day with people, answering the phone and making speeches... I like having a part of the day that's quiet," he says. "I even make meditation part of my physical activity."
Dr. Satcher says he plans to work out every day, so that not exercising becomes the exception. A knee injury forced him to stop jogging so he rows. He also does strengthening exercises using his body weight, push-ups, sit-ups and straight leg raises. He will do these exercises at home or in a hotel.
He has a saying: "If you have enough time to eat and enough time to sleep, you have enough time to exercise."
So, are you following the surgeon general's advice? Dr. Satcher sure is.
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