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For some of us, the 'endorphin high' we get from exercising is all we need to keep us coming back day after day. For others who need some convincing that the time they spend moving is worth the trouble, there's lots of data to support it.  Particularly over the past decade, there have been many studies showing the health benefits of exercise.  It is easy to observe the outward effect of exercise on muscle tone and weight, but it's not as easy to see the impact on the inside of your body.  We now know that exercise decreases the risk of certain cancers and of dementia and is helpful as part of the regimen for the treatment of common chronic conditions such as depression, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, obesity, arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue syndrome and insomnia. It also can decrease stress and improve self-image.  In future posts, we'll talk about more recent research into the importance of exercise in reducing 'visceral fat', commonly referred to as toxic 'belly fat'.  There have been many articles in the media referring to the risk of fat around the middle being associated with inflammation and insulin resistance, and eventually to heart disease, strokes and the like.  So one "treatment" - i.e. exercise, can impact so many processes.

Some people shy away from exercise because they don't enjoy it or because they don't think they could ever do enough to make a difference in their appearance or health.  That should not discourage you. Even if you are not at an ideal body weight, increased activity  still reduces your long-term health risks. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.  They say that for every hour of walking, you may increase your life expectancy by two hours.  That's hard to believe, but that's what's been shown. Of course, as every good TV commercial will tell you, if you have a history of heart disease, smoking, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, or have not been exercising, check with your doctor before pursuing a new exercise regimen.

The women in our Lady Docs group feel so fortunate that we have been able to combine community, exercise and fun.  We would like to include you in our quest for overall good health.  Over time, in this exercise section, we plan to cover everything from balance and flexibility to high intensity interval training.  If you're not enjoying exercise, then we hope this section will help spark your interest in a different activity or a different place to walk, or inspire you to ask a friend or two to join you try something new.  That's what Thu did four years ago - and looks what's happened since!  

Thanks Thu for what you've done!

Just Keep Truckin'
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018

You may have heard recently that lack of exercise is a greater risk factor for death than high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking. I was curious to see whether this was a sensational headline or if there was good data to back up the claim. The article referred to in the popular press was posted on the open network of the Journal of the American Medical Association (jamanetwork.com), ...

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Playing For Two - Pregnancy and Athletic Training
written by Reshma Rathod, MSPT, MBA
on Wednesday, 27th September, 2017

There are moments in one’s tennis career that are life changing: earning your first direct entry into a WTA event; moving up the rankings to the next level; winning your first title; being selected to compete for your country; or learning that you are going to be a mother. For some players, motherhood and pregnancy are an exciting time. For others, finding out they are ...

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An Evening Ride on the C&O Canal, a Ride of Mindfulness
written by Thu Tran, MD,FACOG
on Sunday, 9th April, 2017

Are you bored with your exercise? Do you find yourself not motivated enough to get to the gym? To stay fit, are there activities that you would rather do than working out in a gym setting? A recent Harvard health blog “Find Your Exercise Style,” addressed the issue of exercise modalities in different people. In this blog, Madhuri Kale, a physical therapist at ...

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Fit or Thin: Which is more important??
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Thursday, 2nd February, 2017

In the media and in medical literature, there are debates about which is more important for a long healthy life, being fit or being thin. There isn’t a simple answer, so I’d like to thank my colleagues for debating these points with me recently. For sure, FITNESS is VERY important. Fitness - being able to perform well on a treadmill test - proves that all systems ...

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Get Fit, Live Longer
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Monday, 26th December, 2016

There is much discussion in the medical literature about which is more important for a long healthy life, being fit or having a healthy weight. There isn’t a simple answer, so I’d like to thank my colleagues for debating these points with me over the past few days. For sure, FITNESS is VERY important. From a medical standpoint, fitness means being able to perform ...

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The Positive Health Benefits of Being Outdoors
written by Aruna Nathan, M.D.
on Sunday, 27th November, 2016

Although this post is about exercising and associated health impacts, let me begin by stating that being outdoors is good for your mental wellbeing. Even spending a short time outdoors goes a long way to improve focus, creativity and self-esteem! Perhaps, this is what prompted the great Naturalist John Muir to state “In every walk with nature one receives far more than ...

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Now More Than Ever Our Children Need a Sense of Calm
written by Candace Stromberg
on Saturday, 19th November, 2016

In these times of conflict and polarization of our society, we need love and compassion more than ever. It doesn’t matter which side you are on politically; you can’t deny the charged and contentious atmosphere. It’s palpable. I, for one, worry for our children. Children are a lot like animals in their ability to sense and pick up on emotions easily. Kids ...

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The Power of Strength
written by Marsha Seidelman, M.D.
on Wednesday, 9th November, 2016

Here’s what drove home the importance of strength training to me. I was helping my daughter get one last piece of IKEA furniture - I must say we are MASTER IKEA furniture putter-togethers! We were able to get the kitchen table into her car, but then came the chore of carrying it up a few flights of steps. It was heavy and packed in a long, thin carton. As we were standing ...

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Yoga and Mindfulness, Yoga and Toning
written by Debi Schenk
on Tuesday, 6th September, 2016

Yoga and Mindfulness Yoga forces us to be in the present moment, connecting inward with our breath and our body. Understanding the awareness of how your body moves, the health of your body, and your alignment, is the best way to improve your relationship with yourself. Controlling the breath is the most significant part of the yoga practice. Once you can create your poses ...

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Confessions of a Gym Rat: How I Have Matured with my Exercise Routine
written by Thu Tran, MD,FACOG
on Sunday, 20th March, 2016

I read my friend Dr. Julia Korenman’s blog a few weeks ago about why she exercises. Julia is a better athlete than she admitted, and a disciplined one when it comes to fitness. She comes out to walk or jog on the C&O even in the deep winter. For anyone who devotes a big chunk of her busy time each week to exercise, there always seems to be a point of “awakening,” ...

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