Posted by: yourhealthradio | January 12, 2012

Swimming & Weight; Technology & Medicine

House Calls from the Carrboro Citizen 01.12.12

Dear HOUSE Calls, I like to swim for exercise. A doctor told me that if I really want to lose weight, swimming is not the answer. Is this true?
What probably matters most is how hard you work – not what kind of exercise you do. It is easy to swim without pushing yourself and not as easy to jog without pushing yourself. In addition, when jogging, you have the added resistance of gravity, which is mostly eliminated in the water. To lose weight, we recommend 30-60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise six days per week. That means you need to elevate your heart rate to 70-80 percent of your maximum heart rate (220-age=maximum heart rate, so if you are 40, 80 percent of your maximum is 144 beats per minute). The other thing you can do in the pool is learn how to swim better, using more muscles and thereby increasing your workload. Depending on how good of a swimmer you are, you may want to consider a few lessons. Also, vary your workout routine. Try other strokes to improve the workout. Swimming is great for you and your muscles, but you might need to work a little harder and smarter to get the results you want. Also, consider cross training.
Dear HOUSE Calls, In what ways do you see the use of technology in your everyday practice as being a benefit or barrier to your ability to do your job?
The most important way technology facilitates medical practice is by enhancing communication. We have better access than ever before to new information and to records such as documents from hospitals and medical consultations. Our patients increasingly have better access to information about their health from their personal physicians and from the Internet. Technology opens up new channels of communication. This is mostly good. However, not all communication is good communication, and it is important not to use technology to supplant face-to-face communication, but rather to enhance it. Like wise, not all information that we read is good information, and the increased access to information has increased the importance of sorting good information from bad information. Some people also worry that doctors now bury their noses in computers during visits. We feel like those same doctors were likely to bury their noses in charts, so this is probably not a new issue, just a variation on an old issue.


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