Fat Cardiologist: What an Oxymoron. As a cardiologist, I keep advising my patients to have stricter diet control and exercise daily, yet as an obese person I know how difficult it is get up daily and hit that treadmill. I also know another thing, it’s not my will, but my obesity itself that prevents me from losing weight.
Obesity is a vicious circle. It’s my obesity that prevents me to undertake any heavy exercise, makes half of the machines in the gym painful and makes me tired easily. My habitual sedentary lifestyle becomes a major impediment in initiating the regular exercise regime. As I know there are a lot of friends out there suffering from this disease of obesity, here are a few pointers on exercise all should understand:
LET FITNESS BE YOUR GOAL- The ideal figure may not be my concern. All I want is enough energy to be able to work 10 hours a day, complete my daily chores and not feel tired. This is my basic definition of fitness. As an individual one might feel this is a lesser goal, yet as a doctor, I advice this to be the ideal goal for a long and healthy life.
DON’T OVEREXERT- Don’t be in a hurry to shed those kilos. I have seen this with a lot of patients who on a spree to lose weight, exercise heavily on one day and then are unable to do anything for the next couple of days. Remember, slow and steady wins the race. Start slow and then gradually increase your exercise.
WALK WALK WALK- If you want to lose weight, you walk. If you want to be fit, you walk. If you want to go somewhere, You walk. More importantly, if you want to get away from the Chakravyuh of Cardio-vascular diseases, you walk. Walking for 10 minutes continuously should be the best start for any form of exercise. Even if you start with a stroll, make it a stroll for 10 minutes and then gradually increase
GOOD SHOES- This is not a mantra, but a preventive advice for obese patients. Your weight will soon hit your knees ( if it hasn’t already done that), and your shoes are one of the greatest contributing factor. Obese people should wear cushioned shoes even though they are not good looking or they are costlier. They are not as costly as your knees.
REGULARITY- YES exercise is an everyday affair. Just like eating is an everyday affair. Don’t shy of exercise, because you had a meeting or got caught up somewhere. If you cant complete your exercise time goal in a particular day, its ok. Lesser time cannot be an excuse of skipping exercise. Do less but do something at least.
FREQUENCY- Latest guidelines equates physical inactivity to lack of exercise. Those who are undertaking even guideline directed exercise on a regular basis, yet maintaining the sedentary habits are at a very high risk of CVDs. Translated this means, even if you diligently exercise in the morning, yet are sitting on your chair for the next 8 hours, its as good as not exercising. Its better to take small breaks and move around ( Remember-Walk, walk, walk) to save yourself from harmful effects of a sedentary job.
Author: Dr Prem Aggarwal, Senior Cardiologist, Sanjeevan Hospital, New Delhi