Inspiration Without the Perspiration

It’s fall here in NYC, or as Barney would say, autumn. That means the kids are back in school, the weather is cooling, leaves are changing, and the year is winding down. In a few short months we will be talking about a new year, which, in the lunar calendar has already started with Rosh Hashanna a few weeks back (yes I’m a Jewish doctor in NYC - not exactly a minority). An experience with a patient this past week and the absolutely perfect running weather this morning has inspired me to get a head start on New Year’s resolutions.

So I have this patient. Let’s call him David, because his name is David, who, a few years ago was a bit heavy and suffered from back pain. His doctor boldly told him to start running, and run he did. Like Forrest Gump he kept on running and ate healthy, and consequently lost a lot of weight as well as his back pain. Since that time he has kept the weight off, kept running, completed one marathon this year and is training for the #NYCmarathon (I feel so cool when I use hashtags - so #swag). This may not work for anyone, and I am always hesitant to offer weight loss as a treatment for foot or ankle pain since it’s not a short term or easy solution. But I do recommend exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle, and it’s nice to see a patient follow the advice of his doctor and realize long term benefits. And it doesn’t have to be multiple marathons; 20-30 minutes of vigorous walking 5 times per week has been shown to have great benefits for physical and mental health.

Which brings us back to the season. It’s fall, the time of cool crisp days that are ideal for getting out and enjoying some of the weather and #foliage. No more lame excuses for staying in the house or office in front of the air conditioner; it’s time to get up and get out. No really, I mean it. If you’re not doing it already now is the time to start some form of exercise. Let’s do it now and preempt the New Year’s resolutions. Those of us who just celebrated the New Year (and there are plenty here in NYC) especially need to think about those resolutions now. After all, what would David do?

See you in the office.

Ernest Isaacson

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