Angela Ferguson, DO, Interventional Cardiologist
Despite her busy schedule, Dr. Ferguson is up at 4 a.m. for a workout before heading to the hospital. She runs at least six half-marathons a year and follows a low-carb diet filled with real food. She tells her patients to find exercise that excites them, maybe dancing or swimming, and to set short-term goals. Another tip? Make healthy eating a lifestyle change.
Have you always been fit?
I credit my mom for being a good role model. When I was growing up, she did aerobics and ate healthy. We lived in Ohio and got fresh produce from my grandparents’ farm. I was athletic in school and did baseball, drill, softball, basketball, and tennis.
Were you active in college?
I became a certified aerobics teacher and personal trainer. It was great stress relief, and I could do well on less sleep and had more ability to retain information. I was in a brain fog if I didn’t work out.
What is your routine now?
I mix it up with cross-fit, spin bike, weight training, Tabata (a form of high-intensity interval training), and running. I have a home gym, so that helps. I work out every day, but Sunday is lighter. Maybe once a month, if my body feels tired, I take a day off.
When did you start running?
I hated running in college, but I decided to try it when I was in my residency. Then I registered for a marathon on a whim. I didn’t feel like I needed to do a marathon again, but I kept running. Now I run six to nine half-marathons a year.
Do you prefer inside or outside?
I don’t like a treadmill; I only run outside. I feel freer outside, and inside is just boring to me. But the cold can be a challenge.
Where have you done marathons?
Disneyland in California, Disneyworld in Florida, San Antonio, The Woodlands, and Vancouver.
Do you stick to a particular diet?
I stay away from preserved and processed food. I like simple foods and avoid fillers and chemicals. It’s pretty much getting back to how I was raised by my mom.
What are some specifics?
I basically eat a paleo diet. For protein I eat fish, turkey, boiled eggs, and salmon, and I don’t eat bread or bad carbs. For lunch I eat finger foods, like raw almonds and veggies.
Any irresistible temptations?
My biggest cheat is cheese. French fries are another.
What is your biggest exercise challenge?
Shoes are so important, and I’ve been having a lot of trouble finding the right pair. I buy two pairs of shoes every three months.
Do you have fitness goals?
Short term, I’d like to finish a half-marathon in under an hour and 45 minutes. My long-term goals are to maintain my healthy lifestyle, take the fewest meds possible, avoid cardiovascular disease, and live a long, healthy life.
Words of wisdom?
Come up with short-term attainable goals, like walking a 5K, then move on to the next one. Try fitness apps – I like Couch Potato to Runner. Change your routine so you don’t get stuck in one thing. Don’t let going to a gym be a hurdle. You can do a lot at home.
Most importantly, find your style, what’s exciting to you. Maybe it’s dance or water exercise. Be sure to check with your doctor first if you haven’t been active for a while.