Fit for Office
Geena Davis finds her inner jock and campaigns to get girls moving.
No Excuses continued...
Research shows that even the smallest efforts are worthwhile. "We know
physical activity is paramount to good health and that people who exercise or
are engaged in physical activity that elevates the heart rate have a much lower
incidence of most chronic disorders," says Christine Horner, MD, a Taos,
N.M.-based author, retired plastic surgeon, and certified personal trainer.
"Physical activity helps lower blood pressure, decreases blood lipids,
reduces the risk for heart disease, and even combats and improves anxiety and
depression," says Horner, who wrote Waking the Warrior Goddess: Dr.
Christine Horner's Program to Protect Against & Fight Breast Cancer, a
book about achieving breast health naturally. Physical activity and exercise
also increase energy and stamina and sometimes cut the incidence of certain
cancers. In a recent study published by the Journal of the National Cancer
Institute, regular exercise lowered the risk of breast cancer. Something
as simple as brisk walking can be a very effective form of exercise, Horner
Paying attention to keeping fit may be even more important as the years go
by. "As people get older, they focus on quality of life, but being immobile
is what destroys quality of life," says Kevin Stone, MD, an orthopedic
surgeon who founded his medical practice, the Stone Clinic, in San
Arthritis or other chronic joint pain affects nearly 70 million people in
the United States alone, and Stone says people often are confronted with
immobility for the first time when they develop the condition. Only then do
they realize the importance of trying to regain their mobility. "Joint pain
slows down people, so why wait?" he says. "Every decade is precious,
and it's important to remain active."
Davis, who's married to Reza Jarrahy, MD, a surgeon who is completing his
residency training in plastic surgery, is deeply committed to sharing her
message with the younger generation, especially young girls.
"The benefits for encouraging girls to take up sports are well
documented," she says. "They include better body image, greater
self-esteem, higher grades, less teen pregnancy, and less substance
The benefits, says Davis, apply to any kind of physical activity where a
girl uses her body and feels she inhabits it. Davis and her husband are now at
the ball-throwing and catch stage with their own children. "We are trying
to be active with them and make that a part of their lives."
But Davis is also active on the subject in a more public way. She's a
trustee of the Women's Sports Foundation, through which she has her own
website, GeenaTakesAim.com. It provides information about girls' rights to play
sports through Title IX, a federal anti-discrimination education policy. And
partnered with the nonprofit organization Dads & Daughters, Davis created a
foundation called See Jane.