Fitness Files: The Doctors Workout

Tom Kleeman, MD, nationally-renowned orthopedic surgeon, along with his wife, Anne Talbot-Kleeman, RN and Certified Fitness Professional, have launched MDfitness: The Doctor’s Workout on DVD (3 disc set, 45 minutes each, $24.99 ) an easy to follow, effective, exercise program for life after 40.  The program is a safe and balanced exercise program, based on functional fitness for both men and women. The full body workout includes cardio, weights, balance and interval training which targets age-related muscle loss. 


Dr. Kleeman and Anne are both over 40 and they practice what they preach.  Physical fitness should be practiced in all stages of your life!  They have been prescribing The Doctor’s Workout to their patients for over 35 years. Continue reading this weeks Fitness Files to learn about this dynamic couple and how they are changing the lives of their older patients. 

NMF: Has fitness always been a major part of your life or was there a catalyst/point in your life when you made it more of a focus and priority?

Dr. K: Having grown up on a dairy farm, there was a fine line between fitness and daily living. The day started at 4:00 AM and was pretty much non-stop activity from milking to mucking to haying to bailing. I was in the best shape of my life until college, medical school, residency, and career eventually won out over exercise in the scheduling battle.

The more sedentary lifestyle was occasionally salvaged by weekend sports like skiing and hiking and like so many other people I thought this was enough. Funny how life sends you a wake up call from time to time. For me it was cancer. It’s not just the cancer; it’s what it does to your fitness and energy level that challenges you when you are fighting just to survive. That experience became the catalyst that motivated me to create a workout for all age, health, and fitness levels. It saved me and hopefully would save others that needed a way back to health and fitness.

NMF: What are a few of your go-to healthy snacks/drinks that help keep you on the straight and narrow?

Dr. K: The road to health and fitness is fraught with potholes and two of the most dangerous of these hazards are snacks and drinks. The challenge is to get a quick boost without sending your insulin level through the roof from sugar. I have a list of 20 super foods that are my go-to snacks and drinks as they are high in nutrients yet reasonable in calories and especially sugar. My favorite snacks are raw blueberries, almonds, and dark chocolate. For drinks it really is hard to beat good old water. On the other hand there is nothing like a cup of green tea to get me through the afternoon doldrums.

NMF: At Nadia Murdock Fit our motto is “Train Your Mind, Change Your Body” so we must ask: How do you train your mind and stay motivated?

Dr. K: Fitness is an ongoing head game. “No time”, “no energy”, “no interest” are the siren calls that erode our motivation and lead to poor health. I find the best way to stay motivated is to plan each day ahead of time and find where a workout best fits into the day’s schedule. It may fit best in the early morning, mid-day, or after work. Once it is in the schedule though, I guard that time with the same priority that I hold for my other appointments. If I wait until the last minute, the workout never seems to happen. So plan ahead and stick to the plan!

NMF: How do you change your body?  What are your fitness favorites?

Dr. K: As an orthopedic surgeon I am constantly dealing with chronic illness. I tell my patients all the time that with chronic conditions the only way things will improve is if one can transform the body to a healthier state. Just like their automobile it’s a matter of obtaining the optimal fuel and restoring the engine to achieve the best performance. I counsel them on nutrition and how to avoid sugar and other processed carbohydrates.

I recommend a Mediterranean style diet focusing on healthy protein and fats. Restoring the engine involves exercise. I like to see a combination of cardio and strength training in combination if possible. I tell them they are going to have to sweat if they want results. My cardio favorite is the elliptical machine if available, as it is infinitely adjustable to all levels of fitness yet is low impact. If no equipment is available, jumping rope is a great way to simultaneously work the arms and legs with or without a jump rope. It burns more than 10 calories per minute and can be done anywhere at any time.  For strength training I prefer compound exercises that simultaneously work multiple muscle groups. My favorite is the bicycle crunch. And of course the all time perfect exercise is still the pushup. Few other exercises work so many muscle groups at the same time. It seems more you hate the exercise the more they help you. Go figure.

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