Maxing out credit hours and devoting our time to academics, as Pre-Meds these are what our days consist of when we are not trying to catch up on some shut eye or get our grub on. It seems that our lives are already as hectic as the daytime hospital soap operas, and yet with our focus being so concentrated on getting into medical school we neglect to pay attention to our own health. Many of our days come down to a decision of whether or not we need to sleep, to eat, or to study, and subsequently this leads to a lack of what our bodies also need… exercise!
Having so many classes and ECA’s to balance on a daily basis has forced many of us to ignore our own health, but perhaps the best remedy for a tired brain could be as simple as a stroll around campus. Exercise is both a great hobby and stress-reliever all in one, and the best part is that there is no test, no studying, and the only competition is with yourself. As an aspiring physician (like you) I have learned that the absolute best time to exercise is at the time that you can least afford to do so, such as while studying for a quiz or exam. At this moment we become so consumed in ensuring that we can understand the material that soon enough the stress sets in and the pressure to do well begins to weigh heavy on an already tired brain. It is important to listen to your body, perhaps you could knock out a set of pushups, perform some air squats, or even just take a stress ball and activate those forearm flexors. Whatever the case, a break does the body good and just like the diversity of your future patients you will have to find what exercises and times work best for you. The most important part is to at least do something (really anything) every day in order to stay active and keep your body running at its highest efficiency amidst the stressful Pre-Med life.
In the end the decision is up to you, and by no means is this a message to say that we should all become marathon runners or Olympic lifters, rather it is about an idea that should not be taken lightly. If we are to ever wear the coveted white coats, how are we supposed to be trusted with the health of our patients if we cannot handle our own personal wellbeing? As future physicians we stand for treating and preventing the onset of health problems; we set the example for how to avoid many ailments in life and one key aspect of that is through physical fitness. So the next time you find yourself stuck on an organic chemistry problem or the stress from finals has got you down, listen to your body. And prescribe yourself a dosage of life’s natural medicine: exercise.