DR. DAVE HEPBURN | JANUARY 23, 2013
OK, it’s that nasty exercisolution time of year again, so..... hey, how ‘bout them Seahawks. “Look doc, if elite NHL players aren’t exercising why should we?” Fact is, the gyms will be full of flailing figgy pudding failures and your home elliptical is now home to Skitter’s kitty litter box with the arms acting as perfect hangers for your XXXXXL Fruit of the Looms. Now, I could make this easy for you. Should I suggest that the best workout this year is to work out the seat of your pants on the couch, I will become your favorite doctor in the world and as such I will be sent boxes of chocolate covered macadamias which will force me to work out the seat of my pants.
So instead, I’ll suggest three different types of exercises, vital exercises that you don’t necessarily think about whilst sweating to the oldies. Don’t do these exercises all in one day.
Alternate them, like I do, roughly one every eight weeks, between macadamias.
No, this does not mean more Suduko ... if that’s all you do. The key to true mental exercise and hence mitigating the inevitable loss of brain tissue as we age, is to try and stimulate new learning. Try a new instrument this year (though should any of my neighbors start with the bagpipes, they will be neighborly throttled with the aforementioned pipes.) A new language, which for some of you might be English. A new hobby from right out of left field or left out of right field. A new computer program. Learn how to operate your cell phone for things other than cell phoning. My wife and I play Jeopardy because, though it is the same game, it works the recall/retrieval part of the computer.
“Alex, I’ll take Media Doctors of Victoria for $800.”
“This virile doctor has been shown to have an IQ in the 200’s.”
“Who is Sealey?”
“Oh no nooo, not even close.”
Watching a herd of Tai Chi’ers in the morning mist down by the beach, slowly waxing on and off, may have you checking your waffles for quaaludes, but these folks get great health benefits. Particularly as they age. Better balance means fewer falls. Fewer falls may mean more falls, winters and the rest of the year. Falls can too often end up being fatal to the elderly faller. But should pretending to defend yourself from the Mongol Horde in slow motion with imaginary nunchucks not appeal to you, then try Yoga or Pilates, assuming you have the right yoga wear and that Chris Christie is not yogaing directly in front of you. While Tai Chi has been described as graceful meditation in motion, watching Christie may require a taste full of medication for motion ... sickness.
Not many of you woke this morning thinking of your pubococcygeus muscle, unless you tried that new Jane Fonda move last night, while into the Vodka chocolates. But a collapsing pelvic floor is a common and disturbing event that could be avoided with routine workouts. Kegels are the key, gal. Actually men could benefit as well, even men who haven’t given birth. Few people enjoy having a uterus, rectum or bladder fall out of their pelvis in Aisle 6 of Costco during a Viennese wiener demonstration. But the pelvic floor muscles, aka pubococcygeals, are an oft neglected muscle group that we seldom ask our personal trainer to help us work out. Rarely do you hear “Wow, Bill, great delts, pecs and pubos.” Yet it is so important for women and men of the male species not to neglect this hammock-like muscle that holds up the undercarriage of our chassis. It stretches from our tailbone to that hard bone in the front of your pelvis. These muscles are often weak and thin so finding them may take some getting used to, particularly by other riders on the bus.
Dr. Dave's book The Doctor is In(sane) is now available for those with a sense of humor and half a sense of health.