If a woman is overweight or obese, she usually doesn’t want to talk about it with anyone – not even her doctor. But Maxine Lingurar, M.D., wants to alleviate that discomfort and suggests women seek the guidance of their health-care providers.
Dr. Lingurar’s practice is located in the Women’s Health Center at St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center. She is observing Exercise is Medicine Month in May by sharing information with her patients and others in the community. The special month is an initiative of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association.
“We offer a nonjudgmental approach to obesity,” Dr. Lingurar said. “Discussing the health risks related to being overweight or obese should be part of regular health counseling. But we know that people are often afraid to talk about it. Our goal is to let women know they have our support and give them the resources they need.
“As health-care professionals,” she added, “it’s our duty to help patients become as healthy as they can be. Most women see their doctor at least once a year and it is a great time to discuss many preventive strategies, including reducing health risks through exercise.”
The risks associated with obesity include an increase in heart disease, osteoarthritis, type II diabetes and some cancers. In addition, obese women are at greater risk of abnormal periods and infertility.
During Exercise is Medicine Month, Dr. Lingurar is enhancing her efforts to talk with every patient who has weight problems about their exercise habits.
“I am talking with them and supplying printed information to help them live healthier lifestyles,” Dr. Lingurar said. “One significant factor is increasing their daily activity levels.
“While it is important to also discuss nutrition, most people cannot reach their ideal physical health through diet alone,” she continued. “Everyone can benefit from increased fitness.”
Dr. Lingurar practices what she preaches by performing strength-training exercises, which she said should be part of every fitness program.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean you must go to the gym and lift weights, although that is a good option for some people,” she said. “You can also do resistance training, and metabolic activities such as using kettlebell weights. These are very efficient tools for reducing body fat and building muscle.”
Dr. Lingurar shared her message during the recent “Lose Your Quit” challenge in Great Bend. She is available to any group throughout the year to discuss exercise and other health-related topics.
“Those who have not yet started an exercise program should talk with their health-care provider, especially if they have any chronic health conditions that may be worsened by exercise,” Dr. Lingurar said. “But almost everyone, no matter their age, can benefit from increasing their fitness level. There is no time like the present to get started.”