“So much of what we treat is due to poor lifestyle choices, leading to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attacks. We need to prevent it.”
“If everyone could eat right and exercise, we wouldn’t have an epidemic of obesity and diabetes,” says Dr. David Balis, 43, of Plano, an internal medicine specialist at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Health & Hospital System who is also a triathlete. “Physicians definitely need to be role models. If a doctor is overweight and smokes, are the patients going to listen and take it to heart, or laugh in their face?”
Everyone has heard a doctor explain how daily exercise and healthy eating make a difference in your overall physical well-being. But it’s hard to listen to your physician prescribe exercise if he or she doesn’t model the advice being dispensed.
Some local doctors don’t just talk about it. They work out daily, maintain busy practices and stay actively involved in family life. They make exercise a daily priority that doesn’t get eclipsed by work, family or other obligations. It’s scheduled; it’s not optional.
“The premise behind it is that fitness needs to be the treatment of choice for preventing and treating medical problems,” said Dr. Vance Blackburn of Birmingham, Ala., who is participating in the program. “So much of what we treat is due to poor lifestyle choices, leading to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart attacks. We need to prevent it.”