Sugar Matters
December 30, 2009

A New Year, A new Outlook – Let’s kick deadly Sin #2 (slothfulness)

Happy New Year, Fellow Vincies! It soon will be 2010. Another decade. Wow! How many of you will make new year resolutions? Well, I have made one so far, and I think that unless you are an avid athlete or have some major disability, it should land on your list as well: pledge to be more active. I am not talking yet about a true exercise plan, which is also very important. I am talking about just being active in normal everyday living.{{more}}

Think about the last time you hitched a ride instead of walking the fifteen minutes to get somewhere. Now, I know the roads are a hazard and all you need is one wayward van driver to bounce you off the road and into a gutter. I have jumped into many a gutter while walking to get to the beach myself. Almost everyone and his or her neighbor has a car, so why not just take a ride, right?

I encourage you to try to incorporate more daily activity into your life: it may be walking to the shop or to work when you can, or simply walking that extra 200 yards when the van stops before you planned to get off. Patients ask me all the time about how they can incorporate more activity and I tell them it is as simple as getting things DONE-housework is being active, mopping, sweeping, washing etc. Gardening, tending the yard, picking peas, definitely climbing the nearest mango tree. Life is full of ways to stay active even without heading to the gym or running the roads at 5 in the morning.

Now I do also want to encourage development of a true exercise plan. The current goals set by the American Heart Association are to aim for AT LEAST 150 minutes a week of increased physical activity. That comes down to about 30 minutes a day for 5 days a week. I am not talking about a slow walk to lime down at the corner. You need to get your heart rate up a bit! For some, that target of 150 minutes a week is quite easy. For others, like those who drive to work and sit all day then drive back home, it may be more of a challenge to reach that target. Here is where an exercise plan comes into place, and that may or may not include the gym. Get to the park and walk, jog or run. Get to the beach and walk there, swim if you can, thread water. You don’t need to join the cadets to get a structured workout; you can certainly do it on your own. A buddy system is even better: gather a friend or two and all of you hit the road or meet at the park for an evening walk.

And yes, I know that finding time can be difficult. Remember you are talking to a mom of two children, who works and takes care of the house as well. For a long time it seemed like there was NO time for myself. But I found it in small amounts, and in between cleaning the house (which gave me some activity), running after my children (which also counts) and taking the stairs most of the time at work, I even managed to squeeze in a few workouts on my own a few times a week. The point is you must try. At least give yourself a shot at making that heart and those muscles healthy.

Until next week stay safe and ACTIVE Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD

Medical Director Endocrine Care Group

Tel: 843-798-4227