Wellness has been an important topic of discussion during the past year on Doc in the D.
Beyond talking about healthy food and eating habits, I’ve also received a number of comments on my blog from Henry Ford Hospital employees who are looking to incorporate exercise into their lives.
I hear it all of the time from members of our health care team: After working a long day, it can be a challenge to find the time and energy to exercise.
When we encourage our patients to lead healthier lifestyles, we should too. And keeping our employees healthy is a priority at Henry Ford.
So to help those with a resolution to “get moving” in 2012, or those just looking to incorporate additional exercise into their day, I turned to my colleague Dr. Steven Keteyian, program director with Preventive Cardiology in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Henry Ford, for advice.
His recommendation: Start walking.
The best part is you don’t need to go outside in the middle of our “mild” Michigan winter to get started.
We have a half mile walking path located in the basement of Henry Ford Hospital. There also are walking paths at One Ford Place on floors 2 and 3, as well as in the stairways.
To start your own walking program, Dr. Keteyian offers these tips:
— Wear comfortable shoes and clothing.
— Walk with a “support” person or partner.
— For the first several weeks, keep a daily record of how many minutes you walk each day. This simple exercise log will help you stick to your program.
— Keep your efforts simple. Find a time that works best for you (i.e. 20 minutes during the lunch hour, or after work before you head for home), and gradually increase how hard you walk or your pace. For the first few weeks, increase minutes of walking before increasing walking pace.
— Look at your progress after 2 months vs. 2 weeks. And look for clues of improvement, such as less fatigue during the day, less shortness of breath when climbing stairs and improved sleep habits.
— Exercise alone isn’t enough. Pairing exercise with a healthy, well-balanced diet is the key to a healthier lifestyle.
In the above video, Dr. Keteyian and I put these tips into practice on the walking path inside Henry Ford Hospital. Dr. Keteyian also offers more details in the video about how you can make your walking program a success.
(Plus, several Henry Ford Hospital employees make cameo appearances in the video to talk about their exercise routines.)
If you have questions for Dr. Keteyian about how to get moving, please post them in the comments section on this page. Or, if you’re someone who regularly uses the walking paths at Henry Ford, share your experiences below.