Joel Bagah graduated from University of Louisville School of Medicine in 2020. He is heading to Boston Medical Center as an Internal Medicine resident. You can follow him on instagram.
Time and Motivation
Lack of time and motivation are the two most cited reasons when it comes to physical inactivity or lack or exercise. I heard a story of a person driving to the gym, they hit a red light, and thought “OMG that’s a sign!” They turned around and went home. Don’t be that person.
As a doctor or student doctor, I understand how incredibly difficult it is to find the time and motivation to work out, especially at the end of a long day of work. This is even worse when you have a family to take care of. Your chances of skipping a workout go up as the day goes on. You may get off work tired or without much time left in the day (perhaps with a family waiting for you at home). It might then seem reasonable to not workout that day. In fact, it is not just that day, it is the next one and the one after… and before you know it, you end up not working out on any day.
If that is you, you might need to change when you workout. Most of us have more control over our daily schedule in the morning. If you are struggling to workout in the afternoon/evening after work, do it in the morning when you are in control and fresh. If you sit down with a pen and paper, break down your day to hours and minutes, you will likely find time to squeeze in exercise even with a busy schedule. Stick to that schedule. Work when you’re supposed to, and workout when you’re supposed to.
The schedule is your promise to yourself. Don’t break it. I personally workout at the end of my day after work. I have done it for such a long time that it is now a habit or lifestyle, which is the goal with exercise. You have to turn it into a habit or lifestyle. What does that mean? It means not overdoing it to the point where you get tired of it and quit after a couple weeks. It means finding something that is reasonable to incorporate into your life.
Time management is the most important thing. Know your daily schedule. Take out a pen and paper and break down your day to hours and minutes. If you currently don’t workout, schedule 25-30 mins moderate to high intensity training and stick to that for 2-4 weeks. This is particularly hard for people in healthcare because our daily schedule may vary with patient outcomes. We may have to come in earlier or leave later than scheduled. I personally workout at the end of the day when I get off work. Sometimes that’s between 4:30p and 6-6:30p and sometimes later depending on the rotation. I don’t have a specific time set. I just know that I have to get that workout in once I’m off. It helps that I am single and don’t have a partner or kids to join at home or take to practice….If you’re one of those people with a busy life after work whether it’s due to personal/social/family matters, try working out before work. You might benefit from that because we know that optimal exercise enhances focus/concentration. Overexertion does the opposite. If you already workout, keep on going. Re-evaluate your routine every now and then to find ways to become more efficient and possibly save more time that you can dedicate to some other activity.
- Stick to your schedule but be flexible with necessary changes
- The best workout you can do is the one that you actually do. When you go to workout, start your playlist and put your phone away. Your workout time isn’t for social media, texting, talking,…be efficient
- Below are some effective short (25-30 mins) workouts that you can do. I have done them and they’ll keep you in shape if you give your best consistently
- Focus T25 by Shaun T
- Insanity Max30 by Shaun T
- Workouts in my ebook. I have not uploaded full workout videos yet for you to follow, but the description of the workouts is simple and there are video demonstrations of every exercise in the workouts. These are challenging workouts that you can customize as much as you want. They can be as short or as long as you want.