Hello there, and welcome to another round of Ask Dr. Snee. I’m pretty busy right now, training this group of interns. But I figured that since this week’s topic is getting Americans more active, I could use your letters as a training opportunity.
Speaking of, you ever notice how these “exercise more” campaigns always coincide with the Summer Olympics? That’s America’s old Cold War fever setting in again. It’s not the same as when footraces were the world’s most obvious analogy for the arms race, but China’s kind of like that rebound nemesis every superpower needs after a break-up.
So, get set for some great exercising tips (dudes) and a stiff, awkward bed-side manner (ladies).
My doctor says that I need to exercise more. She said I needed more physical activity, so I started walking for 10 minutes at least once a week, and that bitch says it isn’t enough. Do I really need to walk more? It’s boring.
–Breathless in Seattle
Of course you don’t have to walk more, Breathless. But your doctor expects you to do something, anything that could be logged as physical activity. And, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from job interviews, collecting one man’s garbage is another man’s “analyzing and facilitating the removal of dangerous waste in accordance with local environmental statutes and the Clean Air and Water Act of 1972.” (This also works with taxes, where, as a doctor, all of my expenses contribute to maintaining a healthy, lifesaving physician.)
But, let’s not make any mistakes here. I’m not telling you to lie. That would be irresponsible and potentially dangerous, as we’ll see in my next letter. (Interns, take this down: remind me to resume work on my medical novel, “The Foreshadowing Doctor.”)
No, what I’m telling you is to be more proactive (eh?) in logging all of your activity throughout the day. For instance, when you walk to the fridge, how is that any different than walking down the street? Hell, Jared based an entire diet on moving his fridge into a Subway. And, hey, how’d you get up off the couch? That sounds like an old-timey squat thrust to me.
The rule of thumb here is that if you’re wearing Under Armor while doing something, it must be physical activity. Keep logging everything, and I’m sure your doctor will be perplexed at the very least by your progress.
It burns when I pee. Should I tell my sex partners?
Normally, I would say no, otherwise people will stop having sex with you.
Now before you readers send your strongly worded letters about how I’m the worst doctor in the world, bear with me for a second: a lot of my patients are pregnant chicks or dudes with STDs. So, you know, don’t be so selfish, Mr. or Ms. Cares So Much About People They’ve Never Met.
That said, this time I’m going to say, yes, Bernie, you should tell them. (See? You didn’t have to write your letters after all.)
It turns out that honesty could make you healthier. A recent experiment showed that people who actively tried to not lie reported feeling healthier afterwards. Of course, I’m sure some of the people they were going to lie to don’t feel much better, but that’s how medicine works! When life gives you strep, you take antibiotics to hurt that bacterium’s feelings, which in turn makes you feel better.
I wouldn’t be surprised if whatever you have is cleared up in a matter of weeks of honest living. Just be sure to send all of the ladies you knock up my way after you “recover.”
I just read about a teen who almost died from playing too much Xbox. Was my mom right? Do video games kill?
No, MasterChef, video games by themselves do not kill. They may inspire the occasional school shooting, as the psychologists who report the news will have you know, but they don’t actually kill people with their flickering light images and complicated controllers.
The teen in question nearly died of dehydration. And we all know that dehydration comes from either not drinking enough water or being too active. In this case, he took my first letter’s advice too literally, logging every movement and counting it as exercise. That’s why I want to add some safety precautions to my quick guide to more recorded physical activity:
1. Always log your time with a partner. This way, if your hand starts to cramp up, they can massage it out.
2. Drink plenty of fluids. Did you know that the drinking motion is also a bicep curl? With each rep the weight goes down a little. That’s called a pyramid set.
3. Don’t pass out in front of your mom. Seriously. They get so dramatic about everything.
Enjoy your healthier, more active lifestyle!
Rick Snee is not, in any way, a licensed medical professional or an actor that plays one on television. His only qualifications include high school and college biology (101 and 102), reading Men’s Health (2001-2003), and a systematic exposure to almost all health hazards (1981-present), but no medical training whatsoever. He’s just really opinionated, which is good enough for blogging. To submit your own questions to Dr. Snee, Guynecologist, post comments below or email the good doctor.