A few years ago, I found CrossFit. Since then, I have spent a large share of my free time training and improving my health and fitness. As with any sport, there was a large learning curve. However, as I trained, my mind and body adapted. I made strides both athletically and mentally that I never thought were possible. I never imagined that this preparation and development would translate to a seemingly opposing task: medical school.
Social media pages with titles like “Motivation For Fitness” and “Gym Looks” are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s hard not to notice the explosion of fitness popularity. But even as the diet industry dwindles and our newfound fascination with health hits its stride, it is important to consider the ramifications of these cultural changes. Has this new trend led to the rise of what has been called “excessive exercise” and how much exercise is too much? Here, we examine how the current rise in fitness culture may be affecting our bodies.
So now that we have discussed the many benefits of exercise, how much is recommended? National organizations such as the American Heart Association (AHA) have created evidence-based guidelines describing the minimum amounts and types of physical in which adults should regularly engage.
Cognition affects memory, attention, concentration, judgment and evaluation, and so it is no surprise that deterioration of these facilities can be extremely disturbing to patients and their families. Cognitive decline is a natural part of aging, and results from decreased white matter integrity over time. As the average lifespan continues to increase, dementia grows as a source of morbidity. Pharmacotherapy for dementia is still in its infancy, and while the commonly prescribed drugs have shown efficacy in slowing the progression of dementia, they do little to improve patients’ cognition. Thus, preventative steps to maintain cognition in the elderly are imperative. Exercise can play an important preventative role in this process; in addition, research has shown it to have the potential to reverse cognitive decline — an outcome that still eludes traditional pharmacotherapy.
Good sleep goes hand in hand with good health; after all, one-third of the day is spent in the state of non-wakefulness know as sleep. Whether this sleep is a peaceful slumber or ridden with multiple awakenings has great consequences for productivity, learning, attention and demeanor throughout the day. Thus, it is essential to maintain adequate sleep hygiene, and exercise can play a role in increasing restorative sleep — if done at the right time.
As soon as we walk through the recovery program doors, we are greeted with enthusiastic welcomes and familiar smiles. For the past two years, three of my friends and I have been leading exercise workshops at a rehabilitation program for patients overcoming addiction. At first I was nervous about how our program would be received. Would the clients be annoyed by our presence? Would they want to participate in our exercise routines?
In addition to its beneficial effects in patients with mood disorders, exercise has been found to be an excellent anxiety reliever. 30 million Americans suffer from severe anxiety that impairs daily functioning. This article will discuss anxiety disorders and research regarding the role of exercise in their treatment.
Most medical students are well aware of the benefits of exercise, but lack the motivation (and time) to do so. My suggestion? Do it with a friend! Here are six reasons why getting a workout buddy can help you achieve your workout goals, while enjoying the experience.
More and more doctors are hailing exercise as both preventive and therapeutic medicine, targeting a multitude of symptoms and diseases. In fact, The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has launched efforts to teach physicians to prescribe exercise to all of their patients as a routine part of their visit. What are some reasons that exercise the best medicine?
We all know it’s important to stay fit and healthy during medical school, especially as ward duties, call nights, electives and residency applications add more stress into our lives. These responsibilities whittle away at our energy and spare time, making it harder to maintain a regular workout regime in a busy schedule. Despite our best efforts, the priority to work out can slip as we struggle to find time. I mean, let’s face it: after …
Every day we do some sort of physical activity, whether we realize it or not. From taking the stairs on rounds, helping to transfer patients or retracting for hours during surgery, all of it could be considered physical activity. With this physical activity there is potential for injury especially if you’re unprepared for it. As someone planning on going into Emergency Medicine, I appreciate the value of being prepared for anything. This week we had …
Let me start off by saying that I don’t think of myself as a hardcore cyclist: I don’t own multiple bikes, I am not on Strava, and I don’t own a single cycling kit or jersey. In fact, outside of my commute to the hospitals, errand runs and trips to friends’ places, I don’t really ride my bike. I started cycling to work during my clerkship year in medical school, partly as a way to …