Staying Active – A Video

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Medical research and personal experience have both shown the benefits of exercise and how important it is to stay active throughout life. In this new video, Penrose-St. Francis Health Services CEO Margaret Sabin and Community Leader Lyda Hill talk about the importance of staying active as we age.

Click on the link below to watch the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00BzCRyBGAE


Inspire the Runner in You – Week 13

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With CEO Margaret Sabin on vacation this week, we would like to share this inspirational story of one of our Penrose-St. Francis employees who completed the Boston Marathon earlier this year.

By Whitney Bowyer

Do you need some inspiration for running or getting back into shape? We all know how hard it is to get in shape and maintain a workout routine. With the Colorado Springs Half Marathon presented by Penrose-St. Francis coming up, we thought it would be a good time to share a story on one of our associates, Penrose-St. Francis runner Noreen Orourke.

Noreen is part of our ambulatory care department at St. Francis Medical Center and is a seasoned runner. She has completed 20+ half marathons and eight full marathons. Noreen’s first full marathon was the 1999 Governor’s Cup in Montana with her younger brother. Her marathon career now includes two Rock ‘N Roll marathons in San Diego and Denver, the Discovery Trail marathon twice, as well as the famous Boston Marathon… three times!

There was no real cause behind Noreen’s running career besides the fact that it was fun and a time for her and her college roommate to get out and about.  After she married, she and her husband would enter random races just to see how they would compete- and the rest is history. She now runs as a means to manage her weight as well as a way to relieve her stress. Running gives her time to clear her thoughts, wrestle with the issues of daily life and get out to enjoy this beautiful state we live in.

As all runners know, there is a distinct training program to help you reach your own personal goals. For Noreen, her training week includes a long distance run with running buddies, a couple of easy runs, and speed runs. In Noreen’s younger years, she would run every day, but as she gets older and wiser, she realizes that cross training is a large part of injury prevention. Listening to your own body is a key part in running and training. Noreen explains that you must listen to your own aches and pains to insure you don’t create a long-term injury.

Noreen was registered to run Boston in 2013, the year of the bombing, but fell on some ice during a training run in Colorado and fractured her sacrum eight-weeks prior. Not knowing it was fractured, she ran on it for two more weeks. Ultimately, her recovery took much longer than she had planned or hoped so she withdrew from Boston that year.

She said, “That was God’s way of telling me I wasn’t supposed to be there!” She was able to resume her training again in June and continued to strive toward Boston 2014.

If you aren’t familiar with running Boston, you must qualify for the race. For Noreen, she had to run a full marathon (26.2 miles) under four hours. She accomplished this at the Denver Rock N Roll in 2012 with a time of 3:55:46! She ran Boston 2014 with a finishing time of 4:00:17, 17 seconds over her qualifying time.

“It is a bitter pill to swallow,” Noreen said, thinking back on the race. It was an amazing experience and she may try to qualify in another race for Boston 2015. She has the heart of a true runner.

When asked what the atmosphere of Boston was like this year after the bombing, she painted a picture.

“This year Boston was amazing!” said Noreen.  “It was a very emotional day for everyone involved. Like I mentioned earlier, by the grace of God, I wasn’t there last year because, to be honest, I probably would have been right around the finish line when the bombs went off. The whole atmosphere this year was so welcoming and everyone; locals, runners, and supporters were just charged with energy.  And the police and military presence was everywhere providing an amazing sense of safety. I am so thankful to have been part of the whole experience. Obviously, the organizers have the logistics down to a science and they made sure only those who were running were allowed in certain areas but it didn’t take away from any of it. The community is extremely supportive and all were out in full force cheering for you, offering food, drink, tissues, kisses from the college students, whatever you might need. That was similar to what I experienced when I ran Boston in 2009 and 2010.  It is a very big deal to the town and surrounding communities. They fully support each and every runner by making you feel like they are out there just for you.”

Thanks Noreen for being an inspiration to all of us. We are proud of all that you’ve accomplished. Good luck with future races and keep on running!


One Million Listens on iTunes

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When I say “One million listens on iTunes” what is the first thing that comes to mind? You probably thought about the latest hit from Luke Bryan, Miley Cyrus or Katy Perry.  What if I said Dr. Gil Porat is on that list?  You would probably say, “Our Chief Medical Officer? He sings?”

No, he doesn’t sing (well, at least not on a professional level) but he does have an outstanding podcast, which he started in 2010, that just reached One Million Listens on iTunes. I spoke with Dr. Porat about this milestone and here is what he had to say.

DrPorat

 

What made you decide to jump into podcasting?

I was studying for the new Board Exam for Hospital Medicine. When I review a topic, I pull about a dozen articles and review the subject intensely and then move on to the next topic. (I think that may be a holdover from my experience with the ‘block plan’ at Colorado College where you take one subject for about three weeks and then move on to the next class.) I decided to record summaries of what I read, with the intent of going back to listen to it in the weeks leading up to the exam. I utilized iTunes as a way to store the recordings for free. I figured some people may check it out. I didn’t realize it would become many thousands each week.

Tell me about the podcast – what do you talk about?

The truth is, I was originally targeting myself. It has become a podcast for medical professionals that like learning for the sake of learning. Topics revolve around diseases a Hospitalist for adults would see.

What type of feedback have you gotten?

The public reviews on sites like iTunes boost my mood and love the emails. It makes me feel connected to the world to get emails from some countries I can barely pronounce. I have had clinical attending’s and professors at medical schools tell me they have their Residents and Students listen to it. Most important, I learn a ton doing it, and I genuinely enjoy it.

Did you ever imagine you would hit the one million mark?

There was a time I would have been shocked if someone told me I would have a few dozen regular listeners. It turns out that people like doing homework when they find it interesting.

The cool thing about stuff like podcasts or audiobooks is that we can learn while getting in shape. I workout almost daily and probably listen to music only about half the time. The other half I spend listening to something informative. That is a lot of education time. There are a lot of runners, gym rats, gardeners and all sorts of hobbyists expanding their minds while doing the stuff they love. It is a relatively recent phenomenon that we have huge libraries of lectures and books to listen to on our phone.

Want to check out the podcast? Simply go to iTunes and search “Gil Porat” to find the Hospital Medicine Podcast.

In addition to being a rock star on iTunes, Dr. Porat is the Chief Medical Officer for Penrose-St. Francis, a practicing hospitalist, a published author (check out his book “The Other Face of Murder”), a husband and father of two.

Posted by Chris Valentine


Inspire the Runner in You – Week 12

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Margaret running

 

Run for your “why”

We do everything for a reason.  Some reasons are conscious, like, I need to pay my bills, I need to wash the laundry, I need to clean the bathroom.  Some are unconscious such as the need to be exonerated, or appreciated and recognized.  Sometimes, when our unconscious needs are not fulfilled, they cause a conscious state of disengagement.  We need conscious reasons for running, since the body is always unconsciously urging us to rest, always the primal need to save our energy for flight.  In today’s society, the why of being physically fit and mentally balanced MAY NOT BE ENOUGH.  And that’s OK and normal.

So, think of a why that is linking to another person you either care for OR cared for.  Maybe someone you loved is gone and you wish you could tell them how much they meant to you.  You can honor their memory by setting your running goals in their honor.  I run for my little sister who died tragically two years ago after finishing her first four mile run.  When I get tired, I think of what Joan was trying to do, and I push to honor her.  Our “Whys” can sometimes be painful.  But, if we connect to a person or a value other than ourselves, they will always be meaningful, motivational and just maybe, exonerating.

Hit the path, get focused on why you are dedicating this particular run, and cherish that moment when you get a few miles into it … The hurt slips away… And you begin to fly.

Thanks for listening to my why.

Margaret

Margaret Sabin is the CEO & President of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services


Inspire the Runner in You – Week 11

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Margaret running

 

All,

So when is it time to talk about umm … using the bathroom in the race?  Let’s just tackle this one now.  First of all, practice makes perfect.  Seriously.  Take a few Sunday mornings between now and Sept 28, practice efficient bodily exchange by adjusting your habits …. You will get it right and no need to panic race morning.  The fact is, there are port-a-potties and, judging from the lines at every half marathon I have done, others have a similar need.  Of course, it is better to work this little routine out prior to the event.  More precise advice will need to be done off-line.

Phew!  Got that one done.  How about running posture?  Are you paying attention to HOW you run as much as you are paying attention to how much you run?  You should be.  Remember, relax and align your shoulders, find that pace and stride that feels good to your body (generally won’t feel good until you’ve covered at least a mile), and keep your stride short.  Lift your knees a little, think positive, be hydrated, and floss your teeth.  Yes, floss your teeth.  You may need to do CPR on someone.  Think about it.  Hopefully they flossed as well.

Ok, this blog was a little zaney.  I promise more normal next week – Joy to you all!

Margaret

By the way – You’re invited to The Colorado Springs Half Marathon & 5K Presented by Penrose-St. Francis Kick Off Party at Bristol Brewery! It will be August 7th from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Bristol’s Ivywild School in the Wildcat room (1604 S. Cascade Ave.). Check out our sponsors, learn about the race, sign-up to volunteer, or if you haven’t signed up for the race, register in person and receive a free beer!

Margaret Sabin is the CEO & President of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services


Inspire the Runner in You – Week 10

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Margaret running

 

 

Ever wonder what to eat while training? Start with the purpose of food in mind: which is to fuel your body for what you need it to do.  If you want to build your immune system, encourage healthy cell growth and replacement, you eat healthy food.  If you want to deteriorate and accelerate aging and sickness, you eat crap.

Ok, now that we are clear on that, how much should one eat? Think of yourself as a car, just bear with me here.  A tank of gas is “x” miles.  Too much gas and the tank overflows.  Our “overflow” tank is storage of fat on our body.  Conversely, our body can take fat from our storage in times of need, so if you up your running and keep your calorie intake the same, you will lose fat.  It’s just math.

Next: WHAT to eat?  Diet books abound, just use common sense.  Always know where your food comes from. Avoid preservatives, salt, refined sugars and anything processed. Come by the Penrose-St. Francis Farmers Market for fresh choices. And always eat food you like.  Healthy eating is one of the great joys of living.  Healthy eating makes all the other joys of life …… last longer  :).

Margaret

 

Margaret Sabin is the CEO & President of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services

 

 

 


Inspire the Runner in You – Week 9

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Margaret running

Dear All,

The subject of my blog this week is “Why?”

Why do we run?  Why do we eat?  We eat because we would die without food.  We run because our body begins to deteriorate if we do not build muscle and keep our hearts healthy.

Why do some people look younger than others the same age …. And vice versa?  Why does our society take more anti-depressant drugs that any society on earth?  Did you know that the strongest non-drug anti-depressant is intense physical activity?  This is well documented in the medical profession but we choose to ignore it in our advice to others.  Why?  Perhaps it is denial or a misplaced sense of what is convenient.

Granted, on some days I would definitely agree that it would be more convenient to sink into that comfortable couch just inside my front door than to pull on sneakers and head out to the reservoir for three miles.  Hmmmm … Immediately more convenient … but then, I would not sleep as well, I would not digest my dinner as well and for me, most important, I would not have that God-given opportunity to let the sun, wind, rain, snow – blow my hair back, blow away the stresses of the day, re-organize my priorities and instill that endorphin rush of hope, joy and well-being.

So it’s not “Why?”  It’s “WHY NOT?”

Margaret

Margaret Sabin is the CEO & President of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services


Inspire the Runner in You – Week 8

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Margaret running

 

Dear fellow runners (and walkers ),

So what if you get injured and need to take off a few weeks – but still intend to be ready for the Sept. 28th ½ marathon?  Taking a break is not the worst thing in the world, particularly if you get creative with your fitness regimen.  Focus on upper body strength, it benefits the whole deal.  Try to achieve 20 push-ups, 60 sit-ups and 60 tricep dips every other day, followed by some prolonged yoga stretches.  Once these get less difficult, progress to 25 push-ups, 100 sit-ups and 80 tricep dips.  On the opposite day, cycle, walk or swim for at least 30 minutes.  Regulate your caloric intake because it is very difficult to burn the same amount of calories as when you are running.  Then, think about how GR8 you are going to feel when you resume running, injury free, intentionally renewed and newly flexible – what is not to Love?

C ya’ next week,

Margaret

Margaret Sabin is the CEO & President of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services


Inspire the Runner in You – Week 7

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Margaret running

Dear All,

Okay, sometimes an injury happens.  Notice the signs of overuse and address the symptoms before damage occurs.  First of all, back off on the intensity of your training if an ache is becoming chronic or consistently painful.  Moderation is the key.  In addition to the cadre of running injuries (see my last blog on cross-training) is one that is exclusive to runners: high hamstring tendinitis.  It is chronic, and responds to healing much like an Achilles’ tendon injury.  Treatment regimen: patience, core strengthening (we will be focusing on core for the rest of the summer in my boot camp class), and gentle hamstring stretches.  Basically, in the words of Dr. Gil Porat, Listen to your body!

Hope you had a great and active July 4th!

Margaret

Margaret Sabin is the CEO & President of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services

 


Inspire the Runner in You- Week 6

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Margaret running

Dear Team,

Cross-training!  Try to do different activities to reduce the potential of muscle overuse or, worse, just plain boredom.  Mix it up, keep spontaneity and consistently set goals.  Think about your goals every day and write them down.  Studies show we have a much higher rate of attaining goals if we write them down and keep track of progress.  Use a bicycle or Stair Master occasionally to reduce the pounding cumulative impact of running.  Posture, Posture and Posture!

Yoga.  It’s not just about that supple elastic body (although what’s not to love about that?) it’s about focus.  There’s a lot of white noise in life.  White noise is like static on the TV screen: you can’t see the image until you tune for clarity.  Yoga lets us tune out … to tune in.  When we are tuned in we make better decisions and we certainly see our path to decisions more clearly.  Being intentional in our health goals is about clarity as well.  So get rid of the noise, let your mind soar in positive intentional thinking and who knows …. We might just change the world!!  (Starting with our own minds and bodies.)

Margaret

Margaret Sabin is the CEO & President of Penrose-St. Francis Health Services


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