Are you more likely to heed lifestyle advice from a guy or gal doctor?

Posted 11/14/2014 | By HealthCorps

When it comes to nutrition and exercise advice, communication skills may be one key, and that’s where gender comes into play. A new study suggests that female doctors communicate and dispense advice, at least on diet and fitness, better than their male counterparts. Women patients in particular, will also accept this kind of advice more easily from women doctors. The study suggests that in general, both male and female patients prefer lifestyle advice dispensed by a woman doctor.

Researchers were quite surprised by the study’s findings. They had hypothesized that there would be a gender preference, meaning male patients would better accept lifestyle advice from male doctors, and women would prefer advice from a female counterpart. What they found was that the women doctors seemed to have better interpersonal skills, especially when dispensing recommendations to eat healthier and to begin an exercise program. Since weight is often a part of this type of discussion, the women doctors may have a bit more empathy or finesse in discussing this very touchy subject.

Quick fitness tip: One of the easiest ways to “fit in fitness” is to use the concept of express fitness. Short bouts of several exercises performed one right after the other, allow you to increase your heart rate, and get a full body workout with a limited time commitment. One simple program format:

  • 20 jumping jacks
  • 20 alternating lunges
  • An arm exercise
  • 20 squats
  • An arm exercise
  • 20 jumping jacks
  • 20 alternating lunges
  • An arm exercise
  • Simulated jump rope for 30 seconds
  • An arm exercise
  • Crunches

Perform one set in the morning and another set when you come home.  On days when you have a serious time crunch, this kind of short but vigorous program can “get the fitness job done!!”

-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach

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