Doctor inspires family, patients by running 1K miles

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SALT LAKE CITY — With less than week until 2014, have you decided on a New Year's resolution? If your goal is to get active, one Utah man may give you some inspiration.

For some people, daily exercise is easy, but for others it's a challenge.

"I always tell patients if you want to have the benefits of exercise, you really need to do it on a near-daily basis," said Mark Wardle, DO at Intermountain Healthcare.

Wardle tries to practice what he preaches.

"Last year I decided to run 1,000 miles," Wardle said. "It was a really big goal for me because I'm a slow runner."

To keep himself accountable, Wardle posted the goal on Facebook where friends, family and even patients were paying attention.

"Patients would come into clinic and they would say, ‘So how many miles did you run this week, Dr. Wardle?' "

Wardle said that receiving positive support from his immediate family, however, took a little longer.

"There were times when my wife was walking into the bedroom to go to bed, and I'd be walking out of the bedroom with my running shoes on," he said. "At first there was actually a little bitterness because she's like 'This is taking out from family time,' so I had to work harder to schedule my running so that it wouldn't interfere with family time."

But by the end of the year, Wardle's exercise routine had caught on.

"I started running with my kids — they'd be on their bikes or their scooters. My wife actually started running and now loves running."

Wardle's running goal remained a family affair until the very end.

"We decided to do a big family finish line. And so my kids were out there holding this homemade 1,000 mile sign while I came around the corner," Wardle said. "To have that kind of sense of accomplishment myself and see my family so excited about it, that was just a great highlight there."

Some of Wardle's patients felt inspired by the doctor's example, and many started fitness groups and a few even became health coaches.

"Even in a small degree I kind of feel like I helped influence that and that's really exciting," he said.

For next year, he's already decided that every month he'll try an activity, he's never done before. You can follow his progress on [Facebook](<>).

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