Dr. John W. Farah: "Let's Pick It Up a Bit" isn't just about running. It's about maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle, and running is a big part of that, at least in my life. I've been running for over 40 years. Over that time, I've learned much about what works and what doesn't. It's a way of life -- or "the lifestyle," as my son Mike likes to say.
Dr. Blaes: But it's not really a "how to" book, is it?
Dr. Farah: No, it's really more of a running memoir that also shares some tips on fitness. Nelson, one of my running buddies, coauthored the book, and he and I had a blast sharing our running experiences and adventures. Like all runners, we've had high points and low points -- from walking an entire marathon after getting injured, to having an interesting encounter with a goat on a country road.
Dr. Blaes: As dentists we have busy schedules. What can you suggest to stay active during the workday?
Dr. Farah: One thing that's easy to do is take a walk at lunchtime. I usually have a light lunch, then go for a quick two mile walk. Encourage the staff to go with you. It's a great way for the staff to bond, and everyone will be energized for the afternoon shift.
Another thing that's very helpful is yoga. As dentists, our shoulders and backs can get very tight. Yoga poses really help us maintain flexibility and strength. I highly recommend taking a class. Sure, you're busy with work, but just a tiny bit of exercise will make your work that much more enjoyable.
Dr. Blaes: How do you personally find the time?
Dr. Farah: I've always been a morning person, and I love to run in the morning before work. By the time I get to the office I feel great, and my enthusiasm rubs off on my staff and patients. Sometimes people look at me funny because they can't figure out if I'm for real -- but a lot of times my behavior has motivated them to exercise themselves. That alone makes it worth it for me.
Dr. Blaes: It sounds like you take running seriously. Is that what it takes to be healthy? It sounds kind of intimidating.
Dr. Farah: I know it can sound like that, but really it's the exact opposite -- running and exercising is all about having fun. All it takes is a quick walk or jog a day, and you'll be relaxed and feel great. If anything, "the lifestyle" helps me not take running too seriously. The Goat Story is an excellent example of that.
John W. Farah, DDS, PhD, graduated from the University of Michigan with a DDS and dual PhD in Dental Materials and Aerospace Engineering. He maintains a dental practice focusing on esthetic dentistry and is senior editor of The Dental Advisor. Dr. Farah has run over 430 races, including 123 marathons. Reach him at [email protected].
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