Dr. Perugini is our director of bariatric surgery here at the UMass Memorial Weight Center and an avid exerciser. In this post, he shares why he makes time for exercise, what he does for exercise, and why it is an important part of his health and enjoyment of life.
What do you currently do for exercise?
Usually, I alternate between strength training and running. I have free weights at home. I do P90x routines. I like the different routines. I like the fact that they work different muscle groups. They rotate between free weights, body weight exercises. For me, I feel like I get a nice routine that works on big muscle groups, balance, core strength and flexibility.
I also love running. I am presently training for a long race; for the last month or so, I focused on running. This has been all on roads. I love trail running. Finally, I go to a great yoga center for classes.
What has been your biggest challenge with exercise in recent years?
Some small injuries. I have some tendinitis that makes running on roads interesting. Also, I ran a lot with my daughter. She has left home to start college. I felt a little sadness in losing my running partner.
How did you overcome that challenge to keep moving?
I found some directed stretching and strengthening programs that made the pain much more tolerable (Summit Medical Group has some great rehabilitation exercises available on line). Also, I pay attention to the bevel at the side of the road. If I run with my right leg on the outside towards the curb, the pain worsens. If I run with the right leg inside, my ankle feels okay. Also, if I need to lay off running, I switch to the strength training routines. Similarly, if an injury keeps we from strength training, I switch to running. I think it’s good to exercise in cycles anyway.
Why is exercise important to you right now in your life?
For me, it is a great way to relieve stress. I don’t like to listen to anything when I run, so the run becomes a time for meditation. I think it is good for me to let my mind wander. Its great for creativity, too. A lot of people describe getting their best ideas when they let their minds wander during exercise.
What advice do you give patients who are struggling with exercise motivation?
If we are struggling for motivation, I don’t think we are doing it right. Exercise should be a time to feel good. It helps to relieve stress. There is a good buzz that happens during and afterwards. It should feel like play, and we all need play. Be playful, and courageous. Try something new. Find the thing you love.
Thank you Dr. Perugini!
Keep Moving, Be Well