Exercise and Physical Activity
“Exercise” is a terrible word. After years of humiliating gym classes and the incessant drumbeat of buff fitness instructors telling us to “train harder,” you may hate the idea of exercise even more than you hate exercising itself.
But your body doesn’t care how you exercise. You can play with the dog, dance at a nightclub, go for a hike or coach your kid’s football game — so long as you are elevating your heart rate, breathing deeply and moving, you’re decreasing your risk of heart disease. Strive for two to three hours a week; you’ll be surprised how fast the time goes when you’re enjoying yourself.
The key is simple: figure out what you love to do. Once you’ve created a regular habit of physical activity, your body will do the rest. Even something as simple as taking a stroll has benefits. A meta-analysis of 18 studies found that walking reduced the risk of cardiovascular events (heart attack and stroke) by more than 30%.
We can’t force any patient to exercise — no physician can. But at the Texas Center for Preventive Cardiology, we aren’t satisfied with the status quo: telling patients to get outside and play a round of golf or get to the gym, then shutting the door and moving on to the next patient, assuming we’ve done all we can.
We believe the modern medical system relies too heavily on the prescription pad. Instead, we make a conscious choice to develop strong relationships with each patient. Providing advice and encouragement relating to lifestyle choices is, we believe, a critical part of that process.
We can work with you to help you choose the right type of physical activity for your body type and personality. We can help you find ways to integrate exercise into your schedule. We can connect you with exceptional professionals all over Austin who can help you become more physically fit, lose weight and improve every aspect of your health.
At the Texas Center for Preventive Cardiology, we feel a profound responsibility to our patients and their long-term health: physical activity, nutrition and mental health play an unambiguous role in those outcomes.
So when, during your visit, we ask you about how much exercise you get, understand that you’re not being judged. Don’t worry about being nagged. Understand that we are, in that moment, doing our best to merge the practice of medicine and the practice of life.
The Exercise History Questionnaire can help us evaluate and improve the quality and quantity of physical activity. (You may fill it out and bring it with you to your first appointment.) The Tracking Journal can help you set goals and monitor your progress.