WORKOUT PROFILE: Thomas Farley, NYC Commissioner of Health

Thomas Farley

Thomas Farley, M.D., M.P.H., has been New York City health commissioner since 2009, and he's not only promoting a message of healthy living to New Yorkers -- he's living it.

Farley, an avid runner, is the subject of Go Healthy New York's first workout profile:

Where and when do you work out? What does your workout routine consist of? 
Running about 4 miles a day four to five days a week, and biking most others. I'm out at 6:15 a.m. and finished by 7 a.m. I run year-round -- rain, snow or shine.

Where is your favorite spot to run in New York City?
Central Park, especially the Harlem Hills; Riverside Park Park up to the GW Bridge; Prospect Park; Brooklyn Bridge. Occasionally on long Sunday morning runs, I'll wander all over Manhattan, or go across the GW Bridge and run in Palisades Park.

Have you always been a runner?
When I was 16, I quit the soccer team after realizing I had no talent, and switched to the cross-country team. I had no talent for that either, but I've been running ever since.

What are some unusual running routines you've observed of other New Yorkers?
Barefoot runners, in mid-winter, no less. My feet get sore enough in running shoes. Takes all kinds.

What is your message to New Yorkers about exercise?
It's more important that you do some exercise every day, or nearly so, than how intense that exercise is. So just go for a walk with a friend, then make it a routine. Or find something else that you enjoy, so that it isn't a chore.

Dr. Thomas Farley was appointed New York City health commissioner in May 2009. He was trained as a pediatrician, served in the Centers for Disease Control's Epidemic Intelligence Service and worked for the CDC and the Louisiana Office of Public Health from 1989 to 2000. Before joining the Department of Health, Farley was chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Read more about Farley and learn more about the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene here.

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