Happy and Healthy 2014
Empowering Patients to be Healthy
My general practice pattern emphasizes patient independence. Those of you who are current patients have probably seen that first hand, especially if you have had surgery. I frequently tell patients “you will have 16 hours each day to think about and work on your rehabilitation, you will see a therapist for maybe 3 hours per week. You have much more ability to influence the outcome than the therapist will ever have.” This is not to say my patients don’t benefit from therapy, just that with information they can accomplish great things.
I think this practice pattern came from partly from lessons learned as a child and partly from my experience as an orthopedic surgeon. My immigrant grandparents with their “can do” view of life taught me the value of being independent. As an orthopedic surgeon with patients who often live or work far from my office, successful outcomes could not be left to others that neither the patient or I had control over.
This is not news to anyone but there are many benefits to exercise and weight control. It’s also not news that for most of us maintaining a healthy weight seems to be a difficult task. This leads me to the primary point of this post. Having a happy and healthy holiday season this year and for many years to come does not have to be that difficult. Most people probably don’t realize it but brisk walking burns approximately 80% of the calories of jogging. Cardiac rehabilitation programs that have markedly reduced rates of second heart attacks are all about walking for exercise.
I can still vividly recall a conversation with a patient where he related to me his weight loss experience. He had lost more than 100 pounds and he had premature arthritis of his knees likely caused by being overweight most of his life. He said “I just was determined to exercise more, eat less, and lose weight. I began by walking as far as I could. In the beginning that was only for about 5 minutes. It gradually increased as I got stronger and lost weight. My knee pain actually began to decrease and made my walking easier.”
Calories and Weight Gain or Loss
This post is not a detailed how to of how to maintain or lose weight. All of you reading this can find unlimited information on the internet about various diets. Weight gain occurs when we take in more calories than our bodies burn. Calories are the measure of energy in the food we eat. Foods high in fat have more calories per ounce than those high in protein or carbohydrates. We all use calories throughout the day. Even sleeping our body is using calories to support itself. This rate of calorie use is called our BMR or basal metabolic rate. It represents the number of calories used if we were to simply sit around or sleep all day. Estimate your daily calorie calorie expenditure here https://www.webmd.com/diet/body-bmi-calculator Research indicates that we need to burn about 3500 calories to lose 1 pound. Do simple things like walk your dog briskly for 30 minutes a day, skip that second helping, eat desert a little less often. You will stabilize your current weight and begin the journey of losing weight. Your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis will decrease.
Have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season
The Holiday season is nearly behind us and 2014 is around the corner. This is a good time to focus on maintaining current weight and setting goals for 2014. It’s never too late to set goals. With some basic understanding you can set realistic goals and have a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season in 2014 and for many years to come.