Physician-monitored exercise

Support = success

I love it when mainstream medicine jumps on board with things I’ve been talking about for years. The latest example is physician-monitored exercise. It’s something I believe so strongly in I recently had a gym installed in my office here in Manhattan. And my patients are already seeing great results. Not just in terms of getting fitter…but getting healthier overall.

And now the hallowed Archives of Internal Medicine has published a study pointing to the need for exactly this type of physician-monitored exercise.

The two-year study involved 490 sedentary, obese adults. Half got the “usual care.” Which meant general advice to lose weight. The other half got individual counseling to promote physical activity and a healthful diet.

About 100 people dropped out of the study (which is pretty typical). But among those who completed it, there were some major improvements.

Among the men, there was significant change in waistline measurements–1.6 percent, on average. Women in the study didn’t fare quite as well. They did have slimmer waistlines at 6 and 12 months. But not by the 24-month endpoint.

So getting a doctor’s ongoing support (and help) with your weight-loss efforts certainly seems to increase your chance of success. It definitely worked for the men in this study.

But what about the women? Something doesn’t add up. Did they get helpful advice when they hit a plateau? Did their counselors really work with them–acting as true coaches?

Because I can tell you from personal experience that anyone–man or woman–will lose weight if they’re exercising and eating a genuinely healthy diet. One with lots of lean protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. And if they’re truly getting the support they need. That’s why I had the gym installed in my office. To ensure that my patients are getting support from me on every level. It really does make all the difference.

If your doctor isn’t as involved in helping you reach your health goals as you’d like, look for one who will be. And, in the meantime, working with a personal trainer can make a big difference as well.

Trainers are there to make sure you get all the benefits of exercise without overdoing it, or risking injury. And they’re there to help you succeed. Which means you’ll be getting that crucial support you need.

Many gyms offer discounted training sessions to their members. And, in many cases, the initial few sessions are free. Explain to the trainer your health concerns, and ask him or her to help you devise a workout regimen to fit your needs.