You Might Be Surprised to Learn That I’ve Never Enjoyed Working Out!
I’ve always hated aerobic exercise and viewed training as a necessary evil. At one point I was 35 pounds overweight and can still remember the ridicule and shame I endured when jogging outside.
In 1991 when I started in private practice, I found myself mentally drained after work. As a psychologist, we often carry the weight of our client’s stories but have no one to share them with due to client confidentiality and a respect for the relationship. At the time, my family was growing and I needed to find an outlet to release some of the burden of my work.
I began running and hated it, but it provided a gap between my work and personal life, allowing me to separate the two better. My wife and three children were also able to notice the positive change in my behaviour.
About The Same Time
More research had been conducted on aerobic exercise as a solution for mild or moderate depression and anxiety. I started to refer my clients to various studies and began advising exercise in my treatment plans. I even added treadmills and coaches to all of my offices after the American Psychological Association made a formal recommendation. I found my clients particularly resistant though, as many who suffer from depression also struggle with motivation challenges.
In Early 2010
When science revealed that certain types of aerobic exercise could aid in the treatment of cancer, I found myself even further intrigued. So my wife, Mary, and I sought out the best University in the world (Duke University) where this research was being conducted and scheduled a visit to learn more about this connection.
It Wasn’t a Cure
But we were delighted to hear about the success researchers were having to extend the lives of people with breast cancer. The delight quickly faded though, when we learned that nearby hospitals were refusing to integrate these learnings into treatment plans due to “differing philosophies”. So, politics were stopping cancer patients from learning and using prescriptive exercise to extend their lives?
When we returned home to Blenheim, Ontario, I began searching for clinics that cancer patients could attend to incorporate prescriptive exercise into their treatment regime. I found only one in Colorado and none in Canada. This experience was the catalyst that pushed me to start ExerciseMD.
During our visit, we had also learned that aerobic exercise was a safe and effective tool to help cancer patients while they were undergoing treatment. It helped to counter the side effects of their medication. Our first cancer patient, Ann, has gracefully shared her story of using ExerciseMD while undergoing her cancer treatment.
Our clients have ranged in age from 6 to 93 and I continue to use ExerciseMD services on myself five days a week. I still hate exercise but I cannot deny the impact it’s had on my attention, concentration (I have ADHD) and overall health.
I started ExerciseMD to deliver research proven exercise programs to people in their homes or gyms and to motivate them to use those programs as needed, over the longer term. This is a lifestyle change and our health coaching service has proven to be able to do this.
Help me in achieving our goal of empowering 100,000 Canadians to get healthier by 2019. Learn more about the science of aerobic exercise for you or your loved one. We will do this journey together.