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The Doctor Is In: Commitment Day!



The Doctor Is In:
Commitment Day!

Though New Year’s Day has passed, don’t let that stop you from making a commitment to live healthier this year. Although my plans of running a Commitment Day 5K, were foiled due to it being less than 30° and snowing outside  (the coldest I can run/walk outside without an asthma flare up is 30°), I am making a commitment to better health and I’d like to help you too! 

My 5K preparation began 24 weeks before my goal race. To prepare  myself for this 5K I followed the Couch to 5K training program, which is an app I found on my smartphone. As I said, I am a severe asthmatic who never imagined I would ever run up the block let alone complete 5K’s, 10K’s and 1 half marathon (13.1 miles) but I firmly believe  anyone who can walk can become a runner. All the races I have done I was not competing with anyone but myself, I might have pulled up the rear each time but the point is I didn’t quit. Before beginning any training I suggest you first talk to your physician to get clearance. Then go to a running store and let them fit you for the best shoes, not all running shoes are made the same. The University of British Columbia did a study that 20 to 50% of individuals avoided premature death simply by running 2 miles per day.

Ready to get moving? Read on….

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What is cardio? Cardiovascular exercise, “Exercise that works the large muscles in the body, raises the heart rate, and is continuous and rhythmic,” says Nieca Goldberg, M.D., chief of Women’s Cardiac Care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.  Regular cardio routine can benefit in maintaining your heart health by decreasing LDL (bad cholesterol) and increasing HDL (good cholesterol). It helps to lower blood pressure and improves cardiac functioning. If you can do 30 minutes most days of the week you should see these benefits and more.

Read more: 10 From GEM: 10 Ways To Stay Healthy This Winter



If your doctor instructs you not to run, then walking is an EXCELLENT form of exercise and great way to start to make a commitment to the NEW YOU! Start walking 10 minutes a day; after you master that hopefully within a week increase another 5 minutes. Before you know it you will be up to walking miles a day in minutes.

Read More: 10 From GEM: 10 Tips To Fit Exercise Into Your Busy Day




For those of you with ailments that do not allow you to run or walk, swimming puts no weight on your joints but allows you to enjoy a great cardio workout. If you don’t know how to swim, now would be a great time to learn. I personally love water aerobics and, since you’re typically in the shallow end of the pool, you don’t necessarily have to know how to swim.  If you have access to a pool this is one workout that will not cause any impact on your joints.

Read more:  10 From GEM: 10 Tips To Make New Year’s Resolutions Stick


Here’s to a New Year and New YOU! What are you going to COMMIT to in 2014? Leave your comments below.
Next week we will discuss one of my favorite topics, FOOD. If you need motivation, inspiration or more information please remember don’t hesitate to Ask Dr. Renee.


Dr. Renee

Dr. Reneè Matthews is becoming a leader in the healthcare industry. She has spent the early part of her career as a medical educator for Public Cord Blood Services and as a radio host for XM Radio Reach MD, a programming source for health professionals.

In addition to being featured in Ebony Magazine’s health spotlight, Ask Dr. Renee, Dr. Matthews is the contributing health blogger for Good Enough Mother, a leading community dedicated to moms providing advice and exposing the myths of motherhood. She is also a contributing writer for Loop21 and health blogger for Examiner where she is reporting on health news and health care. In addition to her columns, Dr. Matthews has often appeared as a lecturer before various organizations.

Dr. Reneè earned her undergraduate degree from Michigan State University. She earned her Medical Doctorate in 2005. Dr. Reneè is a member of the National Medical Association and Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network. Dr. Renee is especially passionate about addressing the health concerns of women and has been recognized by patients and professionals alike for her ability to translate the challenges patients face into tools and solutions they can use to improve their health care. Check out her website , her InstagramFacebook page,  Pinterest, and follow her on Twitter at @AskDrRenee.


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