The #1 Exercise I Prescribe To Patients

The #1 Exercise I Prescribe To Patients

Exercise, stretching, and rehab is one of the most vital components to a patient’s recovery. Day in and day out patients present to my office in pain and agony. This pain ranges from a localized ache to a sharp shooting low back pain that radiates down to the foot and inhibits their ability to walk. Typically a patient’s top priority is to get out of pain as quickly as possible. Once a thorough consultation and examination is completed, a diagnosis is determined and a plan of action is constructed. Days to weeks pass and the patient’s pain and symptoms decrease and they enter the next phase of care, which is called the rehabilitation phase. Specific exercise and stretches are prescribed and the patient is sent home with instructions to perform them daily. Upon follow up, we discuss their progression and how the home based rehab is going. The most common response that follows is, “Doc I meant to do them but just didn’t have the time.”  Sadly to say, this is a much to common theme.

Another common example is a patient presents to the office overweight or obese. This weight has wreaked havoc on their health, their joints, and most of all their confidence. We discuss their health goals and the most common goal is to lose weight and regain their health. Upon their next visit I inquire, “So how many times were you able to exercise this week?” And the excuse that follows, “I wanted to and I tried but I just couldn’t find the time.”


Time is the most important commodity that we have and it is something that we can never get back. So upon hearing the “I don’t have time” excuse I like to sit the patient down and show them the most important exercise that I can give them to help develop a strong core, lose weight, and regain their health: a time audit

This time audit was first introduced to me by Bobby Maximus, owner of Gym Jones, a training facility that is known for pushing people beyond their limits and getting the most out of someone (I highly recommend following him on Instagram, bobbymaximus). I have the patient grab a blank sheet of paper and at the top write in big numbers 168. 168 is the total amount of hours that are in a week (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Next we make a column for activities and a column for hours and determine where their time is being spent and find time for them to be active.

Time Audit Exercise

Let’s say an individual sleeps 8 hours a night (If you don’t, you should. But this is a later post to be discussed), that is 56 hours. You work 60 hours a week. Between these two activities you are up to 116 hours out of a possible 168. Next, add in commuting to work 2 hours a day, shopping 3 hours a week, and family time 20 hours a week. Now you are up to 149 hours. Lets throw in 10 hours of TV, Facebook, Twitter, iPhone time, and messing around. We are up to 159 hours (and to be honest most people don’t work 60 hours a week, commute 2 hours daily, or spend 20 hours a week with their family). Are you getting the point. This leaves you with 9 hours a week to be active, train, exercise, or meditate. This is around 75 minutes a day. Being a healthcare provider, I know that if everyone spent 1 hour a day being active and working on improving their health, there would be less sickness, less obesity, less disease, and less reliability on medication especially opioids.

Click on the link to download your Time Audit.

Just like most things in life, the way we spend our time is a choice. We prioritize the things that are most important to us. Our health should be near the top of that list. I encourage everyone to do this exercise. Be honest with yourself. If you spend an hour a day on Facebook, write it down. If you watch 2 hours of TV a day, write it down. Once you see what your day and week consists of then you can prioritize your schedule and conquer those items that mean the most to you such as activity and exercise.

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