11 September 2006

"I Have No Time To Exercise..."

Finally, here are the results of the informal survey I did from Sept.6 to Sept. 10, 2006 regarding the things we usually neglect doing because of our daily busy schedule. Thanks to all those who participated.



Here are my comments:
  • On Exercise - the clear winner at 22 percent! First, I know how busy we can be, and I sympathize with your plight. But exercise is vital if we want to remain healthy. From something optional, you should transform your mindset and make it a "must" (!) in your schedule. It need not be lofty like enroling in a professional gym or having a professional trainer. It helps --- of course --- but if you really do not have time and money for it, you can always improvise: use the stairs instead of the elevator, do some walking or jogging 20-30 minutes daily at least 3 times every week, do some household chores, etc. Here's an excellent link on the benefits of exercise.


  • Why You Should Eat Breakfast - the word 'breakfast' means breaking a fasting period. When you sleep for say, 6 to 8 hours during the night, the body does not get any form of nutrition. You're asleep, how can you eat? That sleeping time, in effect, is a fasting period. You must break that when you wake up by eating. Mornings are when you hurry up and prepare for work. Your body needs energy and fuel to sustain the work you will be doing for that day. You will often feel tired later in the day when you miss out on your breakfasts. Here are great suggestions what to eat during breakfast. Not yet convinced? Well, for those who want to shed some of those excess pounds, read this!


  • Why You Should Sleep - lack of sleep does not only make you sleepy during office meetings or classroom discussions, it also can make you cranky and temperamental. It can make you dizzy, and it affects the way you make certain judgments and decisions. Read this post on why you should devote more time sleeping.


  • Taking Long Vacations - unless you have accumulated a great deal of leave credits, vacation leaves, and some extra money, this may not be too feasible for many busy workers out there. You might have to wait for your retirement age to enjoy the benefits of long vacations. But why must it be a long vacation instead of a short one? Well, aside from resting your mind and body, long vacations can energize and inspire you to have a new, refreshing mindset. Going to a rustic rural area, a beach resort, or a trip to a country you have never been can broaden your horizons. If a long vacation is really an impossible option for you, then try your best to make your weekends count. Go out with friends or family to some place you've never been, and enjoy the sceneries. Or if you really have huge sleep debts to pay, stay at home and rest well.


  • Medical Check-Ups - the average Filipino consults a doctor only when he is sick, or when his illness has gone haywire. 'Prevention' is never on his vocabulary. 'Safety' is also an extinct term for most. Of course, the common reason is lack of money. Fear of discovering a horrible ailment is probably the second most common reason. Now, I'm not really promoting medical check-ups because I'm a doctor, and that is to be expected. No, sir! I just want everyone here to know that the adage is true --- an ounce of prevention is really worth more than a pound of cure. The earlier a disease is diagnosed, the better the outcome for the patient. We can prevent worse outcomes if we can tell the problem in an earlier stage.


  • Reading Newspapers and Books, Watching TV - besides getting updated with current events, reading is an enjoyable mind exercise if you learn to cultivate it as a habit. I wouldn't recommend too much TV, though. I think reading is better because it exercises your imagination. Here are other reasons why you should keep your mind sharp at all times.


  • Social Interaction - meeting old friends, going out on romantic dates, smiling to people, attending church services - these are all ways to improve your social behavior. A healthy social life helps prevent depression, and that more dreadful problem of suicide. Having a strong social support system is always beneficial to your overall mental health.

Since listening to music and internet surfing got a ZERO vote, I think you can forego these two, and replace them with EXERCISE and BREAKFAST. How does that sound? Can you do that?

I'm happy that going to the restroom or washroom also got a ZERO vote. It shows you people aren't really that workaholics yet. *LOL*

17 reactions:

BatJay said...

interesting post doc emer and i completely agree with you on a number of the points you mentioned, specifically - exercise, breakfast and regular check-ups.

i've lost over 40 pounds since january through diet and exercise.

i run 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening. stopped eating red meat and started filling our diet with fruits and veggies.

i used to skip breakfast but now it's cereal and milk before running.

oh, and i have a physical every 4 months so my doctor can monitor my diabetes and hypertension.

it's funny, at 40, i am at the healthiest than i've ever been in my entire life and i really feel good.

Dr. Emer said...

You forgot to mention that you quit smoking a long time ago, too. That alone, is a big leap to better health, Jay. Generally speaking, I think your kind of attitude (among Filipinos) is more of an exception than the rule. You have a tremendous amount of discipline, too. Others would have easily chickened-out after a couple of days or weeks from the kind of "health programme" you have imposed on yourself voluntarily.

If you analyze it, the decision to be healthy is really a matter of choice and sound commitment. If you lack any one of the two, it will be very difficult to hang tough with the health suggestions. Bow ako sa will power mo, Jay. I pray there'd be more patients like you.

ipanema said...

Yes, I think that will really come out as number 1, with work and blogging, it's not easy to find time to exercise. With me, I have a timetable to follow so I'm still able to do it.

If I could have voted more than 1, I would have chosen #3. Since I'm an insomniac, lately (a month or so), I devised a way to get sleep before 12 a.m. So, sometimes I sleep from 8-12 or 1 a.m. except when I have work to do. I'm hopeless after 12 or 1 a.m. I can't sleep. I feel good after I thought of this idea because this is my biggest problem.

This is good. As usual, good presentation, typical of Dr. Emer. More surveys please. :)

Dr. Emer said...

Ah, a timetable!

Now, that's the spirit, Ipanema. Good time management seems to be the solution to this busy schedules we all have. Make exercise, breakfast, and sleep as mandatory requirements in our daily schedules. Awake at 1 am? How old are you? I think you are too young to be sleepless at 1 am onwards. Can't a good book or classical music put you to sleep?

Thanks for the kind words. I hope to come up with more surveys when my time permits me again. *LOL*

Tani said...

i totally agree with what you said about a lot of people not seeing a doctor for fear of discovering a horrible ailment.
hey, i don't use the elevators at work anymore. i feel bad that i don't make a concious effort to exercise, that's why i do walking whenever i get the chance.

jef said...

I was a gym freak before, spending 2 hours everyday but due to work...you know where I am heading haha!

Yes, we have lots of excuses but in the long run, the benefits of doing exercises outweigh the 'inconvenience' we will undergo.

ipanema said...

I'm 43 Dr. Emer, perhaps older than you are [for those lurking, i'm not ashame of my age because here was a time I thought I won't reach 25, and I know there are a lot of readers here :) ]. I read online, I have 15 subscriptions to read everyday. I bring home work. I have this weird attitude that once I read a book, I have to finish it in a day or two. For sure, classical music will put me to sleep, however, I don't like listening to it while reading news and other stuff. :)

Marichu said...

Bonjour doc! very interesting post, hope all people will realize the importance of exercise and proper diet!
God bless you and your family!

JV said...

Hmm... it's time to motivate myself again to go to the gym and have some exercise. I don't like to be in a hospital as just what you've said Doc. Perhaps, I'll agree with Ipanema. I'll need to have a timetable. Okay, I'll abide by the principle: Prevention is better than cure.:)

Ate Sienna said...

i can attest to the breakfast principle! it's really different not missing it because you get a lot more energy during the day. Plus you don't feel too hungry during lunch that you'd have a tendency to wolf down food. Oatmeal and milk in the morning is very good too. I hope to go back to that routine now that I'm going back to work.

BTW, emers, what's your take on kangen water where you'll be drinking only the alkaline elements of water and not the acidic part separated thru electrolysis? Bossing and I are tempted to buy one but I want to know your take on it.

may said...

what? switch to exercise from surfing the net? you are kidding, right? :)

Dr. Emer said...

TANI: Ditto. I don't use elevators anymore. I also try to walk instead of commuting when destinations are near.

JEF: That's true. The big picture says exercise will be beneficial for us in the long run.

IPANEMA: 43 is a very young age. You might want to try a regular routine of mild exercises, gradually shifting to moderate exercises later on. It will help put you to slumber at night.

MARICHU: Merci, mon ami!

JV: That's good to hear! Go for it.

ATE SIENNNES: Miss na kita. Kelan tayo kakain ng breakfast, ha? I'll email you regarding your inquiry.

MAY: *LOL* No, you know I'm not kidding. :)

jhay said...

Yes doc! I'll get more sleep from now on.

But is it a wise practice to do Tai Chi in the morning to jump start my day whenever I only get less than 5 hours of sleep the night before?

BatJay said...

oo nga doc. i forgot to mention that i quit smoking. that was the impetus for all these changes in my life.

you turn a tragic event (my ruptured appendix) into a positive experience (stopping cold turkey). it was very difficult to quit - i was a 1 pack a day smoker (more when i drink) before.

i only hope that i quit early enough to erase all the damage to my lungs.

MommyBa said...

I know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I do try my best but of course, most of the time I fail.

I really better get myself back in shape and I really need to re-assess my health situation.

Thanks for this survey and the interesting points you've discussed.

tin-tin said...

sayang! i wasn't able to participate in the survey. but you raised interesting facts there. thanks doc. exercise. hehehe. that's why i try to walk as much as possible in going home. and regarding the check-up.. yuo, it's fear for my part. and lainess. hahaha :)

Dr. Emer said...

BATJAY: Sometimes that is all what most patients need to get started --- a life-changing experience. Something that reminds us how mortal we are and how this body degrades every now and then.

MOMMYBA: Do it now before it's too late. I wish you the best. Do update us of your progress. You're always welcome. I hope I, too, can have more time to do surveys like this, and comment on the results.

TIN-TIN: Sayang nga. There'll be a next time. I'd give you a heads-up. Do not fear having yourself checked up. Here's a German saying for you --- "Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is."