6 Physician-Recommended Cardio Workouts

Find out what our primary care doctors do to keep their hearts strong and stay in shape

Scripps primary care doctors share the cardio workouts  they use to stay in shape.

We asked six Scripps physicians how they like to get their hearts pumping, and they delivered a variety of prescriptions. See if any of their ideas inspire you to make a change in your routine.

1. Ziad Allos, MD, is a family medicine doctor with special interests in preventive medicine and dermatology at Scripps Clinic, Rancho San Diego.

“Hiking up Cowles Mountain a few times a month helps me stay in shape and allows for quality time with my family. Although it’s intimidating at first, the hike to the summit typically lasts no longer than 45 minutes. It’s a great way to get your heart pumping, and the reward is breathtaking and tranquil views that allow me to relax and reflect at the peak. When I’m there, I am surrounded by families, fitness enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike, all with the same common goal of improved health and happiness. The moderate sun exposure and fresh air act as natural healers, staving off the feelings of depression and anxiety that can creep up in our everyday lives. Anything that gets me away from the screen and keeps my body moving is certainly both worthwhile and rewarding.”

2. Joyce Ildesa, MD, is a family medicine doctor with a special interest in women’s health and preventive medicine at Scripps Clinic, Santee.

“I enjoy running and, in fact, completed the Triple Crown of half marathons in 2014 (the Carlsbad, La Jolla and America’s Finest City half marathon). I usually enjoy working out outside, such as at Lake Murray or Lake Miramar, and strive to get my heart pumping at least three days a week. As a firm believer in leading by example, I had better exercise consistently if I expect my patients to do so. I also have a family history of diabetes, so keeping up with a regular exercise regimen will help prevent conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.”

3. Sanaz Majd, MD, is a family medicine doctor with special interests in pediatrics and women’s health at Scripps Coastal Medical Center, Vista.

“I ask my patients to shoot for a goal of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week for overall heart health. And I do try to follow my own advice. Being a physician and a parent of 3-year-old twins poses a bit of a time challenge, but I have found that involving my family in pursuit of staying active keeps me true to my goals. We make it a priority to spend time outdoors every day, whether it’s a brisk walk by the beach, a light jog while chasing my girls on their tricycles, playing kickball in the park, or throwing a Frisbee in our back yard. Although we previously held gym memberships, my husband and I decided to bring the gym to us in order to save on time, and we have created a mini-gym in the home that includes a small weight lifting machine and a treadmill. It’s simple, but allows us to take advantage of nap time in order to get a quick workout.”

4. Yaroslav Pogorelov, MD, is a family medicine doctor with special interests in treating sports injuries and arthritis and preventive medicine at Scripps Coastal Medical Center, Hillcrest.

“It is a well-known fact that regular exercise is beneficial for our physical and mental health, in particular our cardiovascular health. Current literature recommends that 150 minutes of exercise every week significantly decreases the risk of heart disease. To set an example for my patients, I follow this guideline: exercise as part of my daily schedule and participate in exercises that give me joy. For instance, I have been playing tennis since I was 15, and it is a sport that you can play and enjoy all your life. Not only does it provide good cardio exercise, but also it is a social event and, for me, provides father-son time, since my son is a tennis player as well. I also have a gym membership and use it for other types of cardiovascular exercise, such as the treadmill and swimming two to three times a week.”

5. Robert Tran, MD, is a family medicine doctor who has an expertise in preventive medicine at Scripps Coastal Medical Center, Eastlake, and became a primary care doctor to work one-on-one with patients.

“I have played soccer for more than 25 years and continue to play three times a week with a recreational league and more informally with a group of friends. I also try to get outdoors as often as possible to hike and surf. I enjoy soccer because it is a team sport in which everyone must work together to achieve a goal. There is also a mental aspect to the game that I enjoy, and it is great for physical and cardiovascular fitness.”

6. Christopher Nerantzinis, MD, is a family medicine doctor with expertise in treating obesity and depression, as well as in preventive medicine at Scripps Clinic, Santee.

“I enjoy running, power walking and swimming everywhere and anywhere I can. To keep my mobility and flexibility, I exercise as often as I can — at least three times a week. Remember, exercise should be fun.”