30 Lake Charles doctors practicing what they preach - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

30 Lake Charles doctors practicing what they preach

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Long hours and stressful work environments can take a big toll on the health of doctors, leading to high blood pressure, obesity and stress.  That is why 30 doctors with Lake Charles Memorial Hospital's LSU Family Medicine Residency Program are setting an example for their patients, by doing exactly what a doctor would order!

In spite of busy days with patients, the resident doctors and attending physicians have written themselves a prescription to get healthy.  "It's difficult sometimes to actually talk about healthy lifestyles whenever you're a physician and you don't actually live that," said attending physician, Dr. Brian Harrell.

Leading by example is the goal of the 26 residents and their four bosses.  "It's hard to find the time for anybody, especially people with kids, and if you can show that you are committed to it, then it shows them how important it really is," said Dr. Lacey Millet, a resident at the clinic.

Dr. Millet took the initiative to link up with the "AIM HI" program last November.  It stands for Americans in Motion, Healthy Interventions.  "It focuses on three different components of fitness. One is physical activity, one is eating healthy and the other is emotional well-being," said Dr. Millet.

The entire office - doctors, nurses and receptionists are asked to AIM HI for their own health.  "We've done some group sports, such as softball in the past, we've even had a soccer team with the residency, but also doing races," said Dr. Harrell.

And they are doing races that put money into medical research, like the Free to Breathe lung cancer race, and they are training for a 200 mile run in Kentucky to raise even more money.  "I've never really run before, but you have to start somewhere and this is my way of getting started," said resident, Dr. Lanminh Pham. 

While these docs can truly say they practice what they preach to their patients, they are also learning a little exercise break goes a long way.  "When you take a little time for yourself and exercise, it really relieves a lot of stress and allows you to re-center yourself and focus better," said resident, Dr. Josh Whatley.

The ripple effect is sure to follow as these residents graduate and move to their own practices in years to come - getting more people to AIM HI.  "They will take this into the community and incorporate it into their own practices," said Dr. Harrell, "but additionally, they are also training the residents that come up behind them and this will continue through the years."

The doctors say their biggest tip to keep up a healthy program is to make it fun!  Don't think that running is the only way to burn calories. Find physical activities you enjoy and healthy foods that fuel you.

The next big race for this crew is the Bourbon Chase in Kentucky in September.  They are running for a cause - raising money for lung cancer research.  You can support their team by clicking here.

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