Sunday, November 9, 2008

Exercise

I have come to a depressing realization. Being a medical student definitely has its financial drawbacks and sitting at a desk all day taking notes does not come close to the lifestyle physicians encourage.

Move

After spending the last two weeks studying late into the night preparing for exams, I rarely found time to get up and use all the pent up energy I consumed at meal times. Stress levels remained high, lethargy dragged me down, and jiggly body parts just drove home an important message...I need to get up and move a little more. Certainly, this is easier said than done, but if I will be instructing others to change their habits, why not change my own?

Exercise has been researched and studied for years. It is one of the few things we do besides eating that actually affects all of our body systems. Current recommendations suggest at least 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise most days of the week. This could be anything from walking, swimming, or even the latest craze, Nintendo Wii Fit. Moving regularly will enhance mental and physical performance in addition to changing how we react to everyday stress.

Healthy Living

When it comes to living healthy, there are more resources available to us than we could possibly imagine. You don't have to be a member of a local gym or spend large amounts of money to reap the benefits of good health, but it does take dedication and a desire to experience true fitness. During my undergraduate studies, my professor Dr. Zimmerman said, "the best thing you can do for your body is train a marathon...the worst thing you can do for your body is run a marathon." I would love to run a marathon someday, however, I am not quite in a position or mindset to do so now. For the time being, I plan to concentrate my efforts in three areas: nutrition, strength, and cardiovascular.

Nutrition has changed significantly with restaurants offering large portioned meals at reasonable prices. This does not guarantee that what you are eating is any healthier than the alternative of cooking for yourself. The government sponsored food pyramid helps us balance our diet to ensure we are getting the right nutrients. When it comes to cooking, AllRecipes.com helps you put together meals with the ingredients you have on hand. I will be honest in saying I like to eat, therefore I will be focusing on proper portion sizes as well as caloric content when satiating my hunger.

Strength exercises are vital to maintaining bone strength and muscle tone, something I have been lacking as of late. I am planning to start out each day with at least 10 minutes of strength training. With very little time and less to do in the mornings, I feel this is a reasonable goal for starters.

The part I miss most in my healthy habits is a good dose of cardiovascular stress. With just enough I can keep my metabolic pathways in check, maintain a healthy blood pressure, and rid my body of toxins simply by getting the fluids moving. There are some great tools on the market to help measure your success. A pedometer is an inexpensive way to measure how far you move and a heart rate monitor is ideal for determining how your body responds to your workout. Both are reasonable for the novice as well as the pro.

DVDs make at home training simple, unless you prefer detailed books, nevertheless, the most important part is that you make it a habit to move. I would love to hear if you have any other suggestions. And to all the plastic surgeons, I am sorry, but you will likely not be seeing me soon.

4 comments:

  1. I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with
    most of what you’re saying here and the way you’ve presented it
    is awesome.

    I also blog from time to time on this stuff. In fact, here’s an
    excert from my most recent blog post…

    No matter how you look at it, children aren't
    minature adults and therefore you can't use the
    same methods with growing children that you can use
    with adults, as children are different from adults
    emotionally, anatomically, and physiologically.

    The complete post can be viewed easily on the following page…

    Easy Ways To Excercise.

    Keep up the good work,
    Peter Hindmarsh

    ReplyDelete
  2. Peter, I am glad you stopped by and left your comments. Unfortunately, your link did not work. If you could re-post it, I would be interested to read more about your thoughts on the matter. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. How is the gym at Touro-NV and are you able to use the other facilities there regularly?

    I don't know if you still need suggestions, but because I don't have a tv in my apartment, I use hulu.com to view some quick exercise videos. It helps when I just need a few minutes to get my blood pumping.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hulu is a great resource for your quick fix. Since tuition buys you a "membership," you can use the facilities when you want. Both the gym and the workout room at TUN get used often by students and staff and are available anytime the school is open, which is almost 20 hours a day.

    ReplyDelete

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