Charles A. Bertrand, M.D., FACP, DIM-CD (Ret.)
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at New York Medical College
and at the Medical University of South Carolina


Would you believe that about 1/2 the population of our country is either overweight or obese? Well, it's so!

And many medical disorders occur in heavy people. Probably the two most important are heart disease and diabetes. Many of the problems that occur in patients can be prevented by proper lifestyle measures.

And what is ADL? This is an abbreviation for Activities of Daily Living -- and it is a well recognized term in medicine.

Think back about 50 years: a child coming home from school in the afternoon would go out to play and be active, perhaps even have walked home from school. Today school buses are everywhere and the youngster may watch TV or go on the computer. (The other day I thought that I had been on a web site for 10 minutes but one hour had already elapsed). And we have become a nation of couch potatoes -- we sit more and exercise less in our day-to-day activities-- -burn fewer calories and gain weight

It isn't only reduced physical activity: we now live in a prosperous society (more food on the table), with many fast food shops' readily available and there are other factors as well that contribute to weight gain.- but decreased daily activity is a key contributory factor. And what can be done about it? Let's look at ADL.- with regard to your health benefit.

Some clues to increase activity are involved in a few key words -- and habit is one. Forming a habit, for example, daily routines of exercise can be very helpful. Or, perhaps if one commutes to the city and lives a mile or so from the train station--- a good walk( both ways) on a daily basis is ideal and can be continued for many years. The Mayo Clinic Health Letter of August 2001 states that "consistent daily activity is probably more important than inconsistent intense activity done periodically".
B Another key word is like-if you the like the exercise that you do then you will more likely continue it, and especially if you happen to be part of a group.

Tennis is a great group sport and, if you're healthy, doubles tennis may be continued for many years.

Swimming and bicycle riding are great. As we become older a stationary bike or walking fills the bill.

Golf is also good -even riding in a cart is of value - if one stays on the golf path then it amounts to about a 2 mile walk, with about 450 calories utilized (of course, one beer and some snacks can wipe that out). And switching from one form of exercise to another can make it more interesting.

Take responsibility for your health --- and improve your ADL.

The advice provided on this website is intended to be general in nature and should not be relied upon for specific treatment. If you need personal medical attention please contact your physician.

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