Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hypertension Specialist Practices What She Preaches

Dr Susan Steigerwalt has enjoyed a long and successful career specializing in care for those with hypertension (high blood pressure).  We recently spoke with her regarding her 2014 decision to become a PPT client and asked about what her own exercise and nutrition were like prior to taking this important step. 

"I was an 'on again, off again' exerciser," she began, citing that her schedule as a physician limited her options for exercise.  "I walked three times per week but did not push myself. I did not look forward to exercise; it was [seen as] something I had to do."

‎The doctor went on to say that she felt "fat and sloppy" before beginning her program with PPT. "I turned 62 and felt it was 'now or never’ to feel strong and more beautiful.  As a hypertension specialist, I often educate my patients [on the] DASH diet and exercise; how could I do that and not practice what I preach?  I was referred [to PPT] by a 70-plus-year-old friend, active in my community organization, who has boundless energy. She has been involved with PPT for seven years. I made a phone call in September and have been happily participating ever since."

So, what are Dr Steigerwalt's feelings toward her PPT wellness program so far?

"I LOVE IT!!! Great trainer. What is best is she comes [to my home] at 5:15 am, [which is] the only time I have an hour in my day. I now walk three times weekly and [train with my PPT fitness professional] three times weekly. It is perfect for me because it is over early in the morning. I face the day calmer and happier. I am not very good at doing [exercise-related] homework yet; that is the next hurdle."

"I am less tired; I have learned how to use my body despite my physical limitations (one chronically injured knee and some arthritis.) I have been taught to strengthen muscles to compensate. I am learning the correct way to exercise to decrease risk."

Aside from the cardiovascular benefits, Dr Steigerwalt explained some of her improvements and new goals:  "I have lost three inches off my waist and one inch off my hips. I am calmer.  I eventually want to lost about 10 pounds but I am primarily interested in staying strong and, hopefully, living a long, healthy life and being able to be active in my community as well as my career."

Dr Steigerwalt went on to describe her PPT professional as exciting, fun, and energetic before adding, "She gives me the tools to be successful.  My greatest accomplishment is that I am sticking with an exercise program, for the first time in my life, that includes strengthening. I really like working in my house. With my schedule, any driving that I can avoid is great. In the future, I hope to bring a friend or two into my exercise program, but for now I love the individual attention. It also helps me be more mindful of my food choices."

We'd collectively like to thank Dr Steigerwalt for all of her insight and for taking the time to interview with us!  We're looking forward to all that she'll accomplish with us throughout 2015!