Certifications that Bring a Unique Perspective to Patient Care
Robert Watine, M.D.
Barefoot Bay Internal Medicine
Robert Watine, MD of Barefoot Bay Internal Medicine answers questions regarding the unique perspective his certifications as a strength and conditioning specialist and a personal trainer brings to his treatment of patients.
You a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a certified personal trainer and certified personal training specialist. What made you decide on these certifications?
I’ve always been a believer of promoting exercise and a healthy lifestyle. During the 1990s, there was a paradigm shift from illness to wellness. People wanted to treat the disease as opposed to making lifestyle changes to delay or prevent disease. We must change that focus. Fitness has been a big part of my life since I was a kid, so I basically “duck-tailed” into it.
How do you utilize these unique certifications in your practice as a doctor of internal medicine?
I’ve put them into practice in conversation with patients. You can’t just tell patients to lose weight or go to the gym. I can offer them insight into the dos and don’ts. For example, a patient in her 50s with osteoporosis had some fractures of the spine and hip, and we discussed some exercises on how to strengthen those areas. Or, I’ve had to tell some men with potential hernias that they should not be doing sit-ups, but instead how they can strengthen their core. I also discuss the “how to”, on how to do exercises safely and correctly.
How else have you used your knowledge and training as a strength and conditioning specialist/personal trainer?
The National Strength and Conditioning Association requires a prerequisite of a four-year college degree. The study course is a proce3ss of several months and an all-day exam. I’ve taken many exams, and this was a challenging one. During the personal trainer exam, I got to know the instructor and was invited to sit on the exam development committee. It was the first time they had a physician on the committee. Along the way, I became their medical advisor.
I give a lot of push to educate on weight loss, fat loss, aerobic and the cardiovascular benefits. I’ve written articles for publications such as Ironman Magazine, Florida Fitness Forum and the Journal of Strength and Conditioning.
What are some of the most common complaints patients have about fitness and exercise?
Fitness and exercise are woven into all parts of my conversations with patients. So many people say they don’t have time to work out, but it is so easy to carve out an hour or even a half hour of down time to put the phone down, stop playing games and get out and exercise. Those who are at least 50 pounds overweight can’t just go out jogging, because then there will be physical problems. They need to get in the gym, go on the elliptical or treadmill. But there are those who say they don’t want to go to the gym because people will look at them. Others say they don’t want to be muscle-bound, women saying they don’t want to look like a man. People in gyms are not looking at you because they are there for the same reason, and as far as looking muscle-bound or like a man, that is unlikely. Muscles will take the shape they’re supposed to, so in process of burning body fat, will eventually look the way they are supposed to.
Any small insights or advice?
There is one easy thing you can check to see if you need to lose weight. If your waistline is bigger than your chest, you have a problem. Your chest should be at least 8 inches bigger in circumference than your waist.
Also, when one considers how much time they must spend working out, if done properly, you can burn off more body fat lifting weights than jogging for a half hour. It’s about fat burning vs. sugar burning.