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.
Why didnt someone tell me that when you get in your 30's that getting off the couch after a long day at work could be a big deal. I want to go to the gym in my head but, I end up watching the Situation Room, Larry King, AC 360 and by the time that ends, I want a 4 pack of butter tarts, wash that down with some ginger ale and than go to bed.
It's not a surprise that Dr. Satcher exercise. It would be a surprise if he wouldn't. He knows it's good for him. He is also a physician, likely a very wealthy man. And wealthy men do exercise much more than poor man do. For many reasons that media doesn't like to discuss: they have more time, money, more feeling of control of their destiny, fewer bosses to report to, more money to buy better food, etc.

It's about time that we begin to realise that our environment (in a broad sence) has a huge impact on our health. Its impact is likely much bigger than our will power. There is lots of evidece to show that. For example a neutral unbiased site for Claude, who is from Canada: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ph-sp/phdd/determinants/determinants.html

When media, like CNN, will get exited about these issues, when these issues will become "sexy" to them - then the real change in health of people will come...
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