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Doctors and Exercise.

Posted Sep 22 2008 10:59am

Are you surprised at the amount of confusion and mixed messages that you get from the media and health professionals (such as doctors, nurses, etc.)?

“It’s good to strength train but don’t lift anything heavy; walk everyday for 30 minutes for “exercise”, but anything you do can be considered exercise; eggs are bad for you; eggs are good for you; carbs are good for you; carbs are bad for you; some carbs are good, some carbs are bad…”

It’s no wonder most people are confused as to what to do to ensure good health and keep off fat - the authorities they trust don’t seem to know what’s going on either.

Almost nothing is as frustrating to me as trying to deprogram a new client who was told by their doctor “not to lift anything heavy”, or to “avoid fat, red meat, eggs”, or that “you need to do 30 minutes of cardio everyday.”

This isn’t as arrogant a statement as it seems at first blush.  Doctors do wonderful and amazing things for sick people, but they haven’t the slightest clue how to attain (or maintain, it would seem) health.  My cousin, a practicing doctor in Canada, wrote this in an email to me just yesterday:

Believe it or not, we never learned any of these in Med School… We focus on treating diseases, and leave the rest to other health professionals like yourself.

Doctors are the most unhealthy health professionals. Doctors don’t necessarily know how to maintain and promote health other than treating diseases. That’s why we really need to learn about everyday healthy lifestyle from our non-disease-focusing health professionals. Some med schools are adding courses in nutrition so that doctors know how to “eat properly”.

Of course, if the nutrition courses tout the party line of lower fat, more whole grains, I’m not exactly sure they’ll be eating properly.

Make no mistake; if you have severe health issues, go right ahead and work with your doctor, get clearance on all interventions taken.  But don’t take your doctor’s word as gospel, especially when it comes to nutrition and exercise - as unfortunate as it might be, your doctor might not know what he or she is talking about. Keep informed, and remember that the decision is always yours in the end.

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