Friday, May 15, 2009

A healthy lifestyle

Summer is the best time to go to the gym. People busy themselves in losing weight in preparation for their best beach vacation. Teenagers and young professionals often obsess in hours of lifting weights, sauna and crash dieting. After 4 weeks, we see results. Two-piece bikinis, board shorts and a lot of sun and sand reward us after a long and tiring time spent at the gym. Another 4 weeks after, we regain the weight we lost and more. And on top of that, we gain an inch more in our waistline!

I am a fitness enthusiast for more than half of my life and have studied the human body since college as a physical therapist and graduated Doctor of Medicine in Cebu Institute of Medicine. I have been interested on how the body works since high school when I started going to the gym to lose weight. I lost almost 60 pounds and 5 inches in my waistline in high school and have maintained a not so healthy lifestyle since then.

I am now a senior resident physician in Adult Internal Medicine in Cebu (Velez) General Hospital and keep a busy fast-paced lifestyle. I attend to my patients during office hours and go to the gym afterwards. I then make time to study or finish papers due the next day. I do progressive resistance training (PRT) at Bodytone fitness center and often run/ jog either on the road or in Abellana Sports Complex. I run 20-30 kilometers and complete 3-5 hours of PRT every week.

People learn better after committing a mistake. That's a fact. As healthy as I may seem, I am surely not. I am hypertensive and taking ACEI + HCTZ medications for almost 10 years. My highest BP was 180/120 mmHg back in college but has been controlled since I started taking my medications. I have also been treated for extrapulmonary TB in med school after exposure to many PTB cases. I also have a mass in my right kidney (seen on Ultrasound) and was monitored regularly for any increase in the size. My nephrologist said it maybe a hemangioma although my radiologist thinks it is something else. I am allergic to all crustaceans and chicken. I was also diagnosed with alopecia areata 3 years ago. All these I think are contributed by the fact that I used to live a very unhealthy lifestyle. I was a smoker of at least 1 pack per day and used to drink till I drop at least once a week. I used to spend my weekends in bars, disco clubs or wherever my friends take me. I USED TO... that’s it! You think I have a poor social life with all my restrictions? Think again...

Aside from the fact that I enjoy not being nocturnal anymore, I have gained new friends. Enthusiasts like me who try to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I have met other doctors who share my passion for health and fitness as well as runners who are willing to spend thousands of pesos just to run races all over the world. I am acquainted with a few individuals who talk, eat and sleep running. I have met many people all of whom experience the same excitement that I feel whenever I run a new race or lose a few pounds.

My mentors tell me time management is vital to a Doctor’s success. I have learned to juggle time spent with my patients, family, girlfriend and myself. I think I am healthy… Don’t you agree?



Sunday, May 10, 2009

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