Dr. Thaddeus Bell shares his fitness story and what he's learned from participating in regular physical exercise.
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Upon finishing medical school, I was overweight. I was 225 pounds and I have been monitoring my blood pressure as it resonates and I had noticed that my blood pressure was going up and down. And back, during that time, the medical literature said that if your blood pressure went up and down, you did not have high blood pressure. We later found out that was not the case. So, I just on my own decided that number one, I didn’t like the way I looked. I thought that it would be very difficult for me to tell somebody to lose weight if I was overweight myself. I’ve always had a passion for running. And so, being a physician and knowing what I felt being in good shape could do for you. Not because I had read a whole lot, but I just kind of intuitively felt that if you’re in good shape, you will less likely to develop some things. Now you got to keep your man that those was in the early 70’s. A lot of information had not come out about fitness and wellness. But, as a result of working in a hospital and just seeing things, I just came to that conclusion on my own. So, that’s how I got involved in the fitness and the wellness of philosophy. I kind of took my running to another level. I was exposed to Masters Track and Field. And, I decided that I will give it a try. One of the things that I’ve always enjoyed doing is sprinting. So, I decided that I would try my hand in sprinting competitively in Masters Track and Field. Masters Track and Field is for athletes over 40. So, I was 41 at the time that I was exposed to it. A friend of mine saw me running and he said, “You know I think you ought to try running in the Masters Track and Field”, and I did. And, the book, I was bitten by the book, the competitive book. And, three years after starting training for the 100 and 200 meter dash, I was world champion in the 100 meter dash. At age 43, I won the world championship down in Melbourne, Australia. And that time, I ran 10/92 which is equivalent to how fast women Olympians, are running the 100 meter dash now. So, at 43, I won and then I came back and repeated it at age 45. And then I’ve been fortunate enough to be on two or three world championships relay teams and I have a few state records in hold a few state meets and I met a lot of interesting people. And, one of the other things that I found out as result of doing Masters Track and Field, and that is those people who were involved in running from age 40 all the way up to 90. Those people look younger than other people in their age group. The other thing I found out is that they did necessarily live longer. They had medical problems. I have lost a lot of friends who have been fitness enthusiast like myself. But, they live longer and they could certainly do a lot of things that you would not ascribe to people in their age group. I think that’s why I continue to get out of it. So, even the day while I do not compete anymore, I stop competing in 2001. And, I was on top in the stack but I continue working out daily to maintain my weight. And, I just make me feel good as a great stress buster. I workout with three or four friends and we laugh and talk a lot. So, my day gets started with a lot of laughter and talking with good friends that I see on a regular basis. So, it’s been good for me. I think the greatest barrier that people in the older population have is they do not appreciate what being fit brings to the table. There’s also a significant lack of motivation the two maybe related. I think that people do not really understand that medical science is saying that if you’re going to live a good quality of life and then if you’re going to live a long time, that eating correctly and being physically active all your life are the building blocks to a good quality and a good lift of life. And, I think people still cannot appreciate that. Now, there are awesome things that I have learned and that is you can do too much. One of the things that I did not appreciate when I was younger is that I though