As part of a regular series, Plano Magazine highlights those living and working in Collin County who are living a healthy lifestyle. This month features doctors Dena and Don Hohman. Dr. Dena Hohman is an anesthesiologist on the medical staff and her husband, Don, a joint replacement specialist.
Finding time to stay in shape can be difficult. Throw in children and a demanding job, and the task oftentimes seems impossible.
Dena and Don Hohman realize how difficult it is to juggle schedules while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Both are doctors who work at multiple facilities including Texas Health Center for Diagnostics & Surgery in Plano. Don is an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in joint replacement and reconstructive procedures while Dena is an anesthesiologist. Both of their jobs require long days and frequent on-call shifts. Eighteen months ago they had their first son, Mason.
“We used to exercise a lot more before we had Mason,” Dena admitted. “In most of our workouts now we try to involve him; we are trying to get him as keen on exercise as we both are.”
Before Mason, Dena and Don did lots of running, walking, biking, indoor rock climbing and skiing. Every time they planned a vacation they would try to carve out time for hiking, more skiing and other outdoor activities. When Dena got pregnant they had to shift gears a bit.
“[Mason] spent a good nine months in my belly walking about 25 miles a week,” Dena said. “Now the Katy Trail and the Katy Trail Ice House are kind of his second home. We do that five- to seven-mile run and then usually go for a couple of beers at the Icehouse – everything in moderation and a little balance.”
According to the Hohmans, planning ahead has been key to helping maintain their healthy lifestyle while still meeting professional and family obligations. Little things like getting a BOB stroller make life easier. The BOB allows them to work out, easily carry a toddler and related necessities.
Dena and Don focus more on weight training now, which yields similar benefits to walking but in less time. They often work out at a gym with onsite childcare. The 30-minute weight training sessions give them a small break from parenting while Mason has fun with other kids his age.
On days when finding time for the gym seems truly impossible, the Hohmans use mobile apps or online videos to squeeze in a 30-minute workout using free weights at home. Dena believes that having a supportive workout partner makes all the difference.
For families looking to improve their health, Dena also recommends limiting going out to eat and developing a meal preparation routine. It’s a good first step because you don’t have to leave home, you don’t have to buy anything special and everyone can get involved. Young children can help with tasks like washing fruits and vegetables. Older ones can assist with preparing the meal or even making their lunches and snacks for the next day.
“It’s one of the things we have always strived to do,” Dena said. “Even before Mason was in the equation we always tried to make food together and have that one or two hours of making food, talking about our days and enjoying the sanctuary of dinnertime.”
Another thing Dena recommends is pursuing exercise activities that involve something your child likes. Last summer the Hohmans spent lots of time at the pool. They would alternate with one helping Mason play and learn water safety basics while the other swam a few laps. As the weather cooled, they added activities like going to the park and making a game out of step and squat exercises.
“There’s a million things you can do but the key is to try and incorporate your exercise into what your child’s fun activities are,” said Dena.