Following the Doctor's Orders - Mercy Medical Center

Following the Doctor’s Orders

Posted on: December 4, 2013

How Mercy Medical Center’s chief medical officer has kept fitness a priority for more than 40 years.

We’ve all heard it. Regular exercise is important to maintain our overall health. But how do we make fitness part of our daily routine? David L. Gormsen, D.O., chief medical officer at Mercy Medical Center, shares how he has followed his own doctor’s orders by staying committed to physical fitness his entire adult life.

Adults should participate in a moderate-intensity physical activity at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) a week, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

But how do we find time? We spend the majority of our waking hours at work, shuttling kids to and from practices, making dinner and doing endless loads of laundry, caring for elderly parents, and volunteering for our church, schools and community. And what about sleep? Isn’t it also recommended each night we get seven to eight hours of sleep?

As chief medical officer at Mercy Medical Center, a husband for 35 years to Pat and father of three, David L. Gormsen, D.O., understands how busy our lives can be. Yet,  he has carved out 1.5 – 2 hours every day for physical activity his entire adult life.

“My theory is everybody, every day builds up excess energy,” Gormsen says. “We have to release that or it works against us.”

Consistency is key to physical fitness

“Some form of physical activity every day is more important than training for a marathon for four to six months and then taking time off,” Gormsen says. His biggest go-to exercise is running. A typical day includes a 3.5-mile run in the morning or during his lunch break, if his schedule permits, and if not, he runs at night. Gormsen also walks, and sometimes runs with Zoe, his beloved Australian Cattle Dog. In addition, Gormsen works out at a gym a couple times a week and enjoys physical activity, such as raking the leaves and throwing the ball with Zoe in the yard.

Be positive

Our outlook on life and how we live is also important to our quality of life. Gormsen says studies have shown individuals who are optimistic, like to interact with people and make them happy, have a sense of humor, and have good relationships make healthier life choices and live longer.

“No one’s perfect, but maintaining good relationships with our family, friends and co-workers impacts our overall health and wellbeing,” says Gormsen.

Maintain a healthy weight

It’s no secret the older we get, the harder it is to maintain a healthy weight. And exercise alone is not enough. According to the American Dietetic Association (ADA), at any moment in America one in four men and four in 10 women are trying to lose weight. The ADA says to not think of it in terms of a short-term diet, but rather making a permanent change in your eating and lifestyle habit.

“It’s not only important to be consistent with physical fitness, it’s equally important to consistently maintain a healthy weight,” Gormsen says.

Gormsen acknowledges his wife Pat has played an important role in helping him maintain his weight. “My wife likes to cook, and she prepares healthy meals,” he says.

To help you determine your Body Mass Index (BMI) and for other online quizzes and calculators, visit To learn more about the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, visit  

Want to develop an effective workout routine but not sure where to start? Let Mercy Health & Fitness help. Located in the Mercy Health Center of North Canton, our health & fitness team specializes in assisting non-traditional exercisers. Contact us for more information or call 330-877-8997.

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