I recently sat down with Dr. Marvin Merrit and had an awesome conversation about what it means to be a healthy human being. In the world of health and fitness, there is a lot of information out …
My name is Patrick McGilvray, and I’m an experienced marathoner, ultra runner, Sports Nutritionist, Master Life Coach, and weight loss coach for runners. I’ve dedicated my life to helping runners just like you properly fuel your body and your mind. So you can get leaner, get stronger, run faster, and run longer than you ever thought possible. This is Running Lean.
Hey there, and welcome to episode 201 of Running Lean. My name is Patrick McGilvray, The Weight Loss Coach for Runners and today, reversing disease through nutrition and exercise with Dr. Marvin Merrit.
So I recently sat down with Dr. Marvin, and we had this awesome conversation about what it means to be a healthy human being. In the world of health and fitness. There’s a lot of confusing information out there. And it can feel pretty overwhelming. And a lot of this information can even be contradictory.
Okay, so how do you know what you should be doing? Well, rest assured that Dr. Marvin and I break it all down for you. And we offer up some very clear strategies for reversing disease, using nutrition and exercise so that you can become the healthiest version of yourself yet.
But first, I know I talk a lot about losing weight, and improving your health and fitness. And I know that all the stuff that even I talk about here can feel a little overwhelming.
That’s why I created a free training just for you. It’s called Five Simple Steps To Becoming A Leaner Stronger Runner. I wanted to make it easy for you, I wanted to break it all down, put all the stuff that I’ve been talking about here on the podcast for over 200 episodes now and give you some really actionable strategies.
So in this training video, you’re going to learn how to fuel your body properly so that you can lose weight and improve your running. You’re going to learn the incredibly important role that strength plays in being a lean healthy runner.
You’re going to learn how to make changes that are actually sustainable, because that is what it’s all about. We’re not interested in short term fixes. We want sustainability with our diet, and so much more. So if you’re ready to get leaner and get stronger, run faster and run longer than ever before. If you’re ready to become the healthiest, most badass version of yourself yet, then check out this free training.
It’s called Five Simple Steps To Becoming A Leaner Stronger Runner. You can find it by going to my website, runningleancoaching.com and click on Free Training.
Okay, without further ado, let’s just get into this conversation. So much fun talking to Dr. Marvin, reversing disease through nutrition and exercise with Dr. Marvin Merrit.
Okay, today, I’ve got Dr. Marvin here, Marvin Merrit and Marvin reached out to me on Facebook, right?
Dr. Marvin Merrit
And you were sharing with me that you teach a lot of the same concepts and principles that I talked about on my podcast, and I share on social media and things like that. And you said, hey, this would be a great kind of collaboration, or maybe we can have a conversation about this.
So we got on a call and you and I had a great conversation where I thought, man, we should really record this, you know, and do a podcast on this because you come out with this healthy eating and healthy lifestyle, from a little bit of a different perspective, being a doctor.
And I typically don’t talk a lot about, about the health, I’m sorry about the medical side of things because I’m not a doctor. I do quote a lot of doctors and I read a lot of the research and I and I understand a lot of the concepts.
And I absolutely know how a lot of these healthy principles can help us with medical conditions. But it’s you know, I don’t like to talk about that stuff, because I don’t have that MD after my name, you know. So that’s where you come in. And I want to just kind of talk to you about, you know, those, the medical side of things and how healthy eating and exercising can help us.
So first of all, before we get into all that stuff, just give us a little bit of background on who you are, and how you got to where you are today with all this stuff.
Sure. Well, basically I’m a kid from New Jersey. I went to college as an undergrad at a small liberal arts college in Iowa. Upon graduation from there, I attended Life University where I got my Doctorate, and I’ve been a practicing physician for almost 40 years.
My practice has taken many manifestations over the years. And now I kind of focus a lot on treating my patients very well. realistically very naturally, through exercise through diet and through nutritional supplements to manage what we call metabolic syndrome, which is type two diabetes, hyperlipidemia, which has high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and hypertension, which we commonly refer to as high blood pressure.
And being that these are all lifestyle diseases, people can go ahead and make that conscious decision. Do I want to live healthy? Do I want to eat healthy? Do I want to increase my exercise?
Because all of those combined together will help with the better control of all of these diseases that many people suffer from not just here in the United States, but around the world and just about all modern countries.
Yeah, and when you say that lifestyle diseases, I think that is spot on, because these are things that are caused by lifestyle. Right?
Exactly, exactly. You know, you, you eat poorly, you know, it’s the old story garbage in garbage out, you eat poorly, you’re going to end up with high cholesterol, there’s just no way around it.
You eat too much saturated fats, too much greasy foods, the fried chicken, the French fries, you’re going to end up with high cholesterol levels.
You eat a lot of products that have hidden sodium in it. And I say hidden sodium, because it’s okay to add a little bit of salt at the table, especially if you’re working out, you’re sweating, you want to replace some of those electrolytes.
But there’s so many foods that have hidden sodium in it because sodium for ages has been used as a preservative. And when you start reading things that are in a can, or things that are in a jar, you see all of this hidden sodium in there in its chemical names, such as, you know, sodium benzoate, you know, people don’t know what sodium benzoate is, they just see that it’s another chemical.
But without fully understanding the labels that are on the containers of the foods that we eat, they don’t realize what they actually have. So that’s where it all comes into play.
Yeah, and I’m gonna reel it back here in just a second. But I have to tell you, I saw this very funny meme once. And I love this, it really sums it up. It’s a guy, you know, talking to his doctor.
And the doctor says, well, you have all these lifestyle diseases. And the guy says to the doctor, okay, I guess I need to change my lifestyle. And the doctor says, oh, no, here’s a pill.
And I think that sort of sums up the medical, the general medical answer to these lifestyle diseases, which is take this drug, take that drug, don’t change your lifestyle, don’t worry about that. That’s all fine. Just, you know, take these drugs.
What’s your take on that? Like, how do you approach things differently than just prescribing medication for people who have these issues?
What it really comes down to and it’s something that that you talk about is people have to be willing to be uncomfortable, they have to be willing to change their diet, they have to be willing to cut out the starchy carbohydrates, the breads, the cakes, the cookies, that candies, the ice cream, you know, the things that are the comfort foods, they have to be willing to get up off the sofa and move, whether it’s run, walk, ride a bicycle, you know, whatever the case, may be getting the pool and swim a couple of laps, just do something physical every single day, they have to be willing to do that.
And, and it’s, it’s all changing that comfort level, people have to be uncomfortable. There’s nothing wrong with okay, you go out for dinner with your, you know, whoever on a Saturday night and you want to have a little bit of something that you don’t normally eat, that’s okay.
But when you do it every day, that’s what gets them into the position that they’re in. And by doing that, that’s the way they’re able to lower and eventually get off some of these medications like the Metformin and the Glipizide. And, and that’s just for diabetes.
Or you know, the medications that we use for high cholesterol, the statins, which are horrible drugs to start out with, because people have so many side effects with them.
And then the hypertension medications, the ACE inhibitors that yeah, great. So it’s going to help lower your blood pressure, but it’s going to give you a chronic cough for the rest of your life. Why put those into your body when you can put natural healthy foods into your body and reverse all of these situations that you have?
And it’s like I always tell my patients, you know, you can keep a diary, and you can fudge that diary all you want. You can come in and talk to me and you can tell me any story you want. Blood doesn’t lie. When I run your blood, I know the truth.
Yeah, that’s cool. So you see a lot of these metabolic syndrome issues with people and you treat them naturally and you see good results. Do you see a lot of reversal of these diseases?
Yeah, I actually do. If you if you get them off, you know, again, the starchy carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables are okay, but you get them off those starchy carbohydrates, all of those carbohydrates turn to glucose, that’s how we metabolize them, the glucose gets in the blood, and that’s going to raise your blood glucose levels.
Now when it gets a little bit too high, that eventually is going to get stored in the liver. And that’s going to get stored as glycogen. Glycogen is good, because we break that down between meals, we break that down when we exercise.
However, if you don’t do that, then that glycogen is eventually going to turn to triglycerides, triglycerides will get them back into the blood, those can clog some arteries, specifically arteries in the heart.
And that’s how people end up with myocardial infarction, heart attacks, they end up with blockages in the carotid arteries, and it just becomes a vicious vicious cycle.
So what I tried to do is change their diets, get them off the carbs, get them off the fats, get them taking some good healthy supplements to help alleviate some of these problems, such as red yeast rice. Red yeast rice is a natural statin. It’s been used for hundreds of years. Okay.
But most doctors don’t want to use it. And I don’t want to get into the whole theories behind, you know, drug reps and you know, and drug labs and things like that. But they are more prone to prescribe a medication than to use something natural because there’s an incentive there to write that prescription.
Yeah, I hate that it works that way. So you mentioned like lowering fat intake. What do you mean by that? And like, what do you consider like good, healthy fats?
Okay, so good, healthy fats. Good healthy fats are going to come from things like olive oil. I use a lot of olive oil when I personally cook, because it’s a good healthy fat because you can’t deep fry in it, you just saute in it. Other good healthy fats, avocados, good healthy fats, all your nuts, good healthy fats. Okay, those are all things that are healthy for us.
What’s not healthy is all the processed oils, all the seed oils, while those seed oils are these heavy oils that we just don’t digest well. And because we don’t digest them, well, now they end up getting stored.
And that’s how people also end up suffering from what we call fatty liver disease. The too much of the saturated fats, the fats get stored in the liver, and the liver becomes filled with fat.
It’s reversible, because the liver is one of the most versatile organs that we have in the human body. So we’re able to reverse that. But again, it’s getting off those fats and changing the diet up.
Yeah, I tell people, generally speaking to stay away from those seed oils, canola oil, you know, that kind of stuff. Whatever is considered like vegetable oils, you know, because they were designed to be something that was like heart healthy, and they’re sold and marketed as being heart healthy. But I think there’s other implications that eating that stuff. There’s like some long term studies that have been done that have shown that this stuff is just toxic for your body.
It’s extremely toxic. You know, if you remember years ago, they used to say, oh, stop eating eggs, eggs are high and cholesterol. But when you take a look at an egg, an egg is almost the perfect food.
It has protein, it has some fat, okay, it has a little bit of carbohydrate in it. And again, in moderation eating a couple of eggs a week is almost the perfect food. So there’s nothing wrong with that.
Where again utilizing these these vegetable oils, the corn oils. Canola oils. You know, those, those just do not metabolize well in the body. And one of the other things I tell my patients, olive oil aside, the lighter the color of the oil, the healthier it is for you, because it’s not as heavy.
So if you use something like sunflower oil, sunflower oil is a very, very light colored oil. It’s good for you, you can utilize it. It metabolizes well in the human body. You can’t fry in it, deep fry in it, because it won’t hold up, it’ll break down. So those types of oils, those are the oils that tend to be more healthy for us.
And then how do you figure olive oil and things like that play in? Because olive oil is pretty dark, usually.
Olive oil is pretty dark, but olive oil is purified. And that’s the nice thing about it, you get that extra virgin olive oil, which is the better of the olive oils. And that’s been purified. And that because you can’t deep fry in it. You can only saute like some vegetables or a chicken breast or something like that. It’s not going to be soaked in that oil.
Whereas you take something like a vegetable oil, or an animal based oil like lard and you drop your chicken breast covered in you know whatever coating you put it in and you fry it in there for 10 minutes or so, that oil just soaks right into the meat. It soaks right into that breading. And now you’re eating that oil on top of it. And that’s where the downfall comes.
Gotcha. Gotcha. And so let’s talk a little bit about the exercise side of things. So tell me a little bit about your history because I know you’re a runner, right?
Yeah, yeah, I run, I cycle. I actually, I was a wrestler. I wrestled in college, I wrestled in high school. I was a lifeguard on the Jersey Shore. That’s the way I worked my way through college.
I’ve always been very, very active. You know, and I picked up running probably about 10 years ago, I got this bug to, I started out walking. And I said, you know, I’ll let me try a little bit of running. And one thing led to the next and before I knew what I was doing, 5K’s and 10K’s and then a triathlon and said, Well, that’s a lot of fun.
So I started doing more and more, I’m just letting through the whole lifestyle of it. And, you know, realize that, you know, you can’t smoke, you can’t drink heavily, you can’t eat poorly, to participate in these sports, it just doesn’t, it doesn’t work with our bodies.
Although oddly enough, I’ve seen some weird things on some of these courses that I’ve run with what people do. But, you know, nonetheless, you know, it’s all part of that healthy lifestyle.
And by exercising, that helps you metabolize all of these good foods that you put into your body into energy. And that gives you the energy to go out there and run 5k, to go out there and run 10k, to go out there and jump on a bike for 30-40 miles. And you don’t feel tired afterwards, you feel energized. On top of that, you get that dopamine release on top of it. And it all just ties together. And that’s what I try to get my patients to do.
Yeah, and you have like a running group that you do there. And you’re in Florida, right?
Yes, yes. Yeah. Yeah, what I do is on Saturdays, I know it sounds crazy for a doctor to work on Saturdays. But on Saturdays, I go to my office and where my office is located in Pompano Beach, it’s in an office building kind of off the beaten path, which I kind of like and it’s a beautiful lake right across the street.
So my patients, I have two groups of patients, I have my walker patients and I have my runner patients. My walker patients, I meet them early in the morning. And we’ll go out for a two or three mile walk, a brisk walk and get their heart rate up and exercise and stretching beforehand.
We walk, come back, stretch again, we talk a little bit about our nutrition and any challenges that they face during the week.
And then I get my running group and a little bit later on. And we’ll go out for a 5k a three mile run, not too hard of a pace, running about a 13 minute mile give or take. Because some of them are a little bit slower.
And I don’t like to leave anybody behind. So we’ll slow the group down if we have a slower runner. And same thing stretch beforehand, go for a run stretch afterwards, you know.
And everybody says oh, we should go to Dunkin Donuts for coffee, no let’s not go to Dunkin Donuts for coffee, let’s go get something healthy to eat. The coffee is okay, but the Dunkin Donuts isn’t gonna work. And that’s what I tried to do with them at least two to three Saturdays a month, we get together and we do that.
That’s cool because you’re building this relationship with people where you can share more than you can in a you know, 14 minutes that you have with your patients, you probably spend more time with your patients than a lot of doctors, the traditional doctors that are working for these big insurance companies, they get, you know, certain amount of time they’re allowed to spend with each person. Right?
And that’s it, and then they’re done. But you’re creating these relationships, and you’re having these conversations with people and you’re actually out there running with them. You’re actually out there having breakfast with them. I think that’s really cool.
Yeah, you know, my philosophy has been and to give you a little bit more of the background of how this generation of my practice manifested. Sadly, my mom died from complications of type two diabetes.
And going forward from that I said to myself, I said, you know, and she didn’t take care of herself. That was all part of it I said, people need to be educated. People need to understand because it’s a hidden disease. People don’t really know that they have type two diabetes until something goes really wrong.
Or they just go to the doctor for their annual checkup. And they do blood and they’re, you know, their fasting blood sugar is like 190 or they give a urine and their sugar is like 800 milligrams per deciliter or something like that.
So that’s when they find out about it. For the most part, it’s a silent disease. And because it’s a silent disease, people don’t even realize that something is wrong.
Once they realize something is wrong, then we can get them on the track to doing better, getting better, feeling better, feeling stronger, and reversing most of the symptomatology of type two diabetes. And again, type two diabetes goes hand in hand with high cholesterol, high blood pressure. They all three seem to go together all at the same time.
Yeah, you mentioned that diabetes as being sort of a hidden thing and I know a lot of the visceral fat that people have, you know, visceral fat is that internal fat, it’s growing around your organs and things like that’s the really the bad kind of fat.
And people don’t know that they’re, that they’re getting, they don’t know that they have that. Right. I think it was Professor Tim Noakes, who was a long distance runner, and he was running all these marathons he had done like, I forget how many 72 marathons or something crazy like that.
And went to the doctor and was diagnosed with diabetes. And he was like, that’s impossible. You know, I run all these marathons and, and he sort of, I don’t know if he coined this term or not, but he calls it tofi T-O-F-I, thin on the outside fat on the inside. You know, that is like people who are fit and they’re exercising, and they look pretty good from the outside. But inside, there’s stuff going on, they need to get fixed, you know?
Right. Right. And that’s exactly it. The thin on the outside, they’re fat on the inside, because yeah, you carry this layer of visceral fat. We all do, because we use it for insulation when it’s cold. And you live up there in Ohio, you know about cold
This week for sure, yeah.
You know, it’s, yeah, it’s that body fat, that does help keep us a little bit warmer, which is very, very important. Also, in times of crisis, our bodies will tap into that, you know, internal body fat, but we shouldn’t be carrying enormous amounts of it.
You know, it’s interesting in my, in my, I’m also a college professor, as you know, so when, when I teach, when I teach about the heart, we do dissection. And for years, we used to do these sheep heart dissections.
And one of the things I remember about the sheep hearts is they were very, very fatty, they did some research and sheep actually carry a lot of visceral fat. Granted, they don’t have to worry about diabetes and things like that, like we do, but they carry a lot of visceral fat.
And I still have one of the sheep parts in my lab, and I show my students the sheep part, as compared to a pig heart, which is what we dissect now. Now pigs, they don’t carry visceral fat, they carry body fat, which is a little bit different.
And we take a look at the differences between the two. And I say, can you imagine a human being that has such a poor diet that eats a lot of fat, and they have a heart that looks something like this?
Because they do, they will build up that visceral fat on the heart, which can also compress the heart, which now can result in cardiac conditions. So it all begins to tie in together. It’s how you take care of yourself. How do you choose to live your life? And that’s the bottom line.
Yeah, that’s so interesting. So what are some of the main I guess, what is the right word for it, like complaints or whatever the people are coming to you with? Like, what’s the main things people need fixed? And why are they coming to you?
Okay, basically, my practice is straight referral. I don’t advertise. I don’t belong to any insurance companies or anything like that. In fact, I take absolutely no insurance in my practice.
The reason why I do that is because I want my patients to have a commitment. I feel that if an insurance company is paying for them to come, they don’t really see what the insurance company is paying other than their copay, whether it be $5 $10, whatever.
So I want them to have commitment and commitment comes from them paying me, I make it very reasonable for them. But the thing is, is that when they come in to see me their referral, usually from a friend that has seen me or a relative that has seen me, and yeah, their complaint is, yeah, I’m a type two diabetic, I keep going into my medical doctor, all they do is they keep on increasing and increasing and increasing my medication.
And I don’t feel any better. I’m tired. I’m sluggish and rundown. I’m hungry all the time and drinking, like I own the water company, you know. And those are all the symptoms that you see. And then you have to try to fix that.
So the first thing I always do with these folks is, you know, keep a diet diary for me, okay, I want to know everything that goes in your mouth for the next seven days.
I don’t care if you think it’s minuscule, like a piece of gum, I want to know what it is. And then we start taking examination of that we start breaking it down to see what can we replace it with? What changes can we make?
How can we okay, you like gum? Well, I see you’re chewing bazooka bubble gum, which is high in sugar? Well, you know, let’s, let’s see if we can change that to something that’s a little bit less caustic on the body.
Okay, I’m not a big one in artificial sweeteners and things like that. But I’d rather have them chew a gum that has no sugar in it than a gum that’s all sugar. Okay, so these are just the little changes.
And like you do in your podcast, you know, you make these little steps with these people and make little changes in the diet and make little changes in their exercise. And we just start looking at this week after week, month after month.
And what’s really amazing they see it because they’ll see it in their blood work that hemoglobin A1C went from 11.2 to 9.7 they’re not, you know, normal yet they’re still diabetic. But that’s a significant change. And they feel better.
They get on the scale, and they’ve lost 10-15 pounds, they feel better, the clothes fit better. They realize that when they go out to dinner, they don’t have to eat half a basket of bread, you know, they can walk away from the bread.
And again, that is that psychological motivation that happens with these folks. And really what I do with them, Patrick is I give them 90 days, okay? If in 90 days, they can’t comply with my recommendations, I can’t help them. And I very politely, I verbally discharge them, and I send them a certified letter that they’re discharged, that there’s nothing more I can do for them.
That’s hardcore man.
Yeah, you gotta be, that’s the only way to be because, because otherwise, you’re going to go on to another doctor, and they’re getting another pill, and they’re getting another medication and another prescription.
And then before you know it, they’re taking, I have a friend of mine, sadly, he’s, he’s my age, I’ll be 64. In January, he just turned 64. And he’s a type two diabetic, with all the problems, he will not listen to me.
So he goes to another doctor, he’s on four different diabetes medications, he’s on two different blood pressure medications, and a statin. And that’s just to start out with. And, you know, it’s just, it says, he doesn’t want to be uncomfortable, he’d rather, you know, go out and eat half a pizza.
Yeah, there’s this whole mentality that I think we really have to shift and you’re doing a great job of starting to shift this mentality of, I can just do what I want is I just go to the doctor and get a pill or get, you know, get on some kind of drug that’s going to that’s going to allow me to leave this lead this great, crappy lifestyle.
You know, I was talking to an older woman recently. I think she’s in her 70s. And she’s a type two diabetic and is on diabetes medication, and the doctor wanted to up her medication. And she was eating, you know, some cookies or something like that.
And this is a family member, and my girlfriend was like, hey, you shouldn’t be eating those cookies. You know, you got to go on this. If you got to take this medication, you shouldn’t be eating those cookies. And she said, oh, it’s fine, because the medications are free anyway. And so I don’t have to pay for it. So it’s fine. You know, that’s kind of like that is the wrong mentality. Right?
And that’s why I take no insurance.
Yeah, exactly. And I love that. And the other thing I wanted to say, and one of the reasons why I really wanted to talk to you is because of that approach that you just talked about that you take with your with your patients, which is the same approach that I take with my coaching clients, which is, we’re going to look at what you’re doing today.
And we’re going to make a few modifications, and we’re going to see how you feel. And then we’re going to make a few more modifications and get your body adjusted to those changes. And then we’re going to like, see how you feel.
And then we’re going to just keep going with that process. I don’t have a diet that I’m going to hand over to them, because there’s no way I can know what’s going to work best for them.
Now, of course, I have guidelines like you do, and I have suggestions. But at the end of the day, everybody’s a little bit different. And everybody approaches this a little bit differently.
Yeah, we lower the carbs, Yeah, we tried to get off sugar, we want to stop using sugar as an emotional management tool. Yes, we need to increase the protein intake, especially if your activity levels are pretty high.
But for the most part, this is going to be very individualized for the person I’m working with. And so many doctors or coaches or, you know, trainers, whatever they have this like one diet, you know, in mind, and I just don’t think that works.
And so that’s what I really like, it was kind of refreshing when you and I talked about that, that, you know, you do take a very individualized approach and you work with each person, you treat them, like an individual because they are and you work around where they are and make a few changes and then continue with that process.
And that’s absolutely, you know, I don’t just hand them a diet. I mean, you can go online and there’s a million diets for diabetics. Oh, do this diet. Oh, do that diet. Oh, do the keto diet, do the Atkins diet. You know, and we can go on and on about that. Oh, do Weight Watchers.
But that’s a cookbook, okay. We can’t do a cookbook. We have to make the recipe, individual to everybody’s lifestyle to everybody’s tastes, so to speak. And that’s what I tried to do because what might work for one patient may not work for the other patient.
And we have to find, you know, what’s that happy medium for that particular patient? What are we going to slowly begin to tweak in their diet? What is their, you know, their level of being able to exercise?
Some of them haven’t gotten off the sofa in 20 years, you know, I certainly can’t have going out and running, you know, 5K’s from day one. But you got to find out what their level of activity is.
I deal with a few patients, unfortunately, they’re either widows or widowers, and you know, they’re at home. And, you know, they don’t get out a lot. And I tell them, you know, what, get a dog. The dog needs to be walked. If you get a dog and you walk the dog, well, now you’re getting out there, and you’re doing some exercise.
And sometimes it’s as simple as easy fix as that and now they also have companionship, something that they’re responsible for, and they’re able to go out and do that. And that’s, that’s just a little easy fix that I do with some of our patients, not all of them, because they all can’t have dogs where they live. But those that can, that’s something that I strongly recommend.
Not everybody likes dogs, Marvin, okay. You can walk your lizard if you need to. There you go. Yeah. Well, from an exercise standpoint, what do you see as sort of the best types of exercises that kind of across the board, most people should do or get the best benefits from doing regularly,
There should always be a balance between aerobic or cardio exercise and strength training. Again, very similar to the things that you talk about in your podcasts, you know, we talked about, you know, cardio exercise, again, it doesn’t have to be running, but walking, walking at a good pace, you know, not walking, like you’re going through the mall, shopping, but walking at a good pace.
And then some strength training and strength training doesn’t necessarily have to mean, you know, go to the gym and spend hours and hours on end in the gym. All it means is, go on Amazon, get some bands, you know, and, and start doing that.
Some of my patients, I’ll actually, you know, I have the bands in my office. I want to say I sell to them, I sell them for what I paid for it off of Amazon. It’s just a convenience thing. It’s like, here, let me show you how to do this. And I’ll show them a half a dozen exercises to do with the bands, maybe some arm curls, maybe some overhead presses, some, you know, deltoid work, just some things like that.
And I have them worked with bands, sometimes they’ll come to the office on the Saturday sessions, I’ll have them bring their bands with them. And as a group, we’ll do some band exercises. And that’s it just something to get them physically moving again.
Yeah, I love that. And I’m a big fan of strength training, especially like actually being intentional about getting stronger muscles. Because as we get older, and I know you probably work with a lot of older people that, you know, one of the biggest issues with older people is that their muscle mass really declines, you know, they start getting very weak.
And then their bone mass also gets pretty weak. And then they fall and they have complications. And that leads to all kinds of issues because now they’re completely immobile, they can’t do anything. So building muscle, building strong muscles, building a strong skeletal system, skeletal muscle and bone sport. It’s so huge. Oh my god, it’s gonna put years and years and maybe decades on your life.
It’s sustaining. You know, without getting too scientific, we have what’s known as Wolf’s law. And Wolf’s law states that the more stress you place on your skeletal system, the healthier your skeletal system is going to be.
And this is something that I find with my female patients is that as they get older, they suffer from what’s known as osteopenia, which is a loss of bone mass. Okay. So I put them on calcium and magnesium that helps with the with the bone mass a little bit from nutritional standpoint.
But they get that way because they haven’t done much in the way of exercise. Now you start putting more stress on the skeletal system by having them exercise a bit, and it’s not so much that you reverse the osteopenia, slowly osteopenia, so it doesn’t progress to a severe case of osteoporosis. And that’s what you really want to prevent. Because you don’t want this poor woman stepping off the curb and the pressure is just right. And boom, she breaks a hip. That’s the thing you don’t want.
Yeah, what’s the difference between osteopenia and osteoporosis?
Yeah, osteopenia is when you start losing bone mass. Osteoporosis is where the bone actually gets eaten away, and you lose all of this calcium. And it almost looks like in osteoporosis, if you look at it under the microscope, it almost looks like moths have eaten away at the bone, like moths will eat away at a cloth. That’s what it’s like. Osteopenia, you just start seeing on an x-ray, how the bone mass is getting thinner and thinner and thinner. And then it can lead to the next.
Wow, okay, interesting. Just learn something. That’s cool. So yeah, I think strength is like so huge. It’s like one of the best things you can do for yourself. And I think that if as we get older, if we continue building strong muscles and supporting strong bones, then you’re you’re going to live longer, you’re going to have a better quality of life, you’re less likely to get injured from doing normal day to day things, especially those of us who love to run. And you can run as you get I know people who run marathons in their 90s, you know.
Yeah, there’s a video that I showed to my students when I’m teaching. It was done by PBS, and it showcases an 87 year old man doing the triathlon Escape from Alcatraz. I mean, that’s one of the toughest triathlons because you’re swimming across San Francisco Bay for a mile and a half, followed by I think it’s 20 miles on the bike, and then an eight mile run. And he’s 87. I mean, that’s pretty big. I want to be back. I want to be him. That’s my goal.
That’s no joke right there. That’s,
That’s my goal. Yeah. That’s my goal.
That is amazing. Yeah, that San Francisco Bay is brutal. That is brutal. It’s a little stretch of ocean swim. Can’t imagine. People swim in that and they get seasick from this swimming because there’s so much up and down movement. This has been really good.
So let me ask you this. If people wanted to try to find you, how could they reach out to you and, and be able to find you and learn more about you and how they might be able to hook up with you?
Sure, they can email me and email@example.com. But that’s one way they can call me. And I can give you my cell phone number. I have no issue with that. I always ask though, if you want to reach out to me text me before calling.
I’ll always get back and my phone number is 954-649-5280 Just text me before calling tell me what you need me for. And I’ll be more than happy to, you know, if I’m with patients or teaching, I’ll just politely text you back that I’ll get back to you. But I’ll always get back to people and I always do. That’s just the way I am. That’s the two easiest ways to get hold of me.
Okay, cool. And do you work with people that are not local to Pompano Beach area?
Yes, absolutely. I can do it. You know, via telehealth, you know, no problem with that at all.
Cool. Cool. What’s next for you? I know you just did a race about a week ago. Right? What did you do?
Yeah, I did the Danger Point 5k I had a personal best that 3550. Which I was pretty happy with in my ripe old age. I think next I’m probably going to do the jingle bell jog on Christmas Eve. Okay, I’ll do that next.
And I’ll keep training but I’ll take a little bit of time off from from racing because I want to do the In April the Los Olas Triathlon, which is down here that’s, well it takes place on Fort Lauderdale beach and they call it the Los Olas Triathlon because it crosses Los Olas Boulevard which is pretty famous down here.
Cool. Is that a sprint triathlon? Yeah. Cool. You swim in the ocean?
Oh, yeah, swimming the ocean. And then we’ll see where the spring in the summer takes me. There’s usually a couple of events that pop up. Last year I did the July 4 triathlon. It was a great weekend. Actually a great couple of weeks, I did the Memorial Day 5k followed by the July 4th triathlon, which was on July second, followed by the July 4th 5k, on July 4th, so it was a nice quick couple of weeks and then finished up the end of August with the Iguana Man 5K.
So I try to stay active. I tried to do you know, 5675 k’s a year, two, three triathlons, maybe a duathalon depending on how the water is.
Cool. You are an example of what is possible, Marvin, I love it. Keep up the good work seriously. You’re doing some work in this world. And you’re helping people get healthier and helping people live longer and helping people figure out how to do all this because it’s confusing.
And there’s a lot of information out there that’s just like, it’s a lot of conflicting information, a lot of confusing information and it’s very overwhelming for people. So to have somebody like you where people can go and, you know, do a consult with you like even you know, over Zoom or however you do it. That’s awesome.
Because that gives people an opportunity to start to see that things can be different for them and they don’t have to be on medication for the rest of their life. Just because you have one of these lifestyle diseases, it’s not a death sentence. It doesn’t mean you can’t improve with the right diet and exercise.
So hats off to you, my friend for doing good work. Keep it up. Thank you for taking some time to chat with me here today. It’s been really fun.
I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it a lot. Patrick, thank you so much for having me.