One of Daniel Sutton’s recommendations to his patients is to incorporate physical activity as part of a healthy lifestyle.
“Exercise in general has been shown to have numerous benefits” such as heart health, weight loss, depression, and stress, said Dr. Sutton, a family physician at ThedaCare Physicians-Waupaca. “I do try to promote exercise in almost every visit. It could be dancing, walking, swimming, kick boxing. I try to suggest many options so a person enjoys what they are doing.”
Dr. Sutton suffered an ankle fracture a couple years ago that hampered his running, which he has been doing since he was 10 years old, starting with jaunts with his father. “I’ve run most of my life,” said Sutton.
The hiatus, which allowed him to heal as well as establish a practice and welcome a new child, seemed to help Dr. Sutton, who recently won the Community First Fox Cities ThedaCare Half Marathon at a time of 1:08:46.
At a young age, Dr. Sutton pursued running as a sport that followed him through school and into college and medical school, when he did his first half marathon. Dr. Sutton enjoys running. “For me personally, it’s the most enjoyable and efficient way to stay healthy,” he said.
It can be a low cost activity. Tie on a pair of good shoes and off you go, he said. “You can get out and do it anywhere. I have an opportunity to have some thought to myself when I can be away from work and things.”
He also gets to enjoy the beauty of nature, although lately he has taken to listening to music or medical related podcasts.
Dr. Sutton admits he is “not quite as competitive as I used to be” but he was pleased with his recent half marathon. Training while juggling work and family is not always easy but he credits his wife, who is expecting their second child. “There is still a passion and I am fortunate that I have an accommodating wife,” said Dr. Sutton. “It’s been great that she’s been understanding and willing to let me ’slack‘ at home while I am out running for one to two hours.”
Beginning runners need to slowly build up to running, he advises. “I see a fair number of people who come in with overuse injury,” he said, noting beginners often come in with injuries because they do not train enough or ramp up too quickly. “Try not to make significant changes over a short period of time but rather over a few weeks.”
Also, many people feel running can be boring. They can keep it fun and interesting by running with a friend or group of people. Pick different routes or listen to music. Also set goals. “That helped me with this half marathon,” he said. “Since I injured myself in 2011, running was sporadic. Signing up for this race helped me to be motivated to get out there more frequently.”