No-excuse workouts for busy physicians

By Physician Sense, for MDLinx
Published November 8, 2018

Key Takeaways

Thanksgiving marks the official start of the holiday season. It also usually marks the beginning of the annual expansion of your waistline.

Sure, you’re quick to tell your patients that they need to lose weight, but what’s your BMI looking like heading into holiday carb-binge number one? Across the pond, where they don’t have Thanksgiving, a 2008 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that four out of five British doctors don’t get enough exercise.

It’s easy to see why this might be the case for you. Your time is precious, and it’s currently being sucked up by EMRs, studying for certification exams and the struggle to keep up with increasing patient volume. But the truth is, none of that matters if you become the person in the hospital bed.

So, what’s a busy doctor to do? You need to be smarter about how you work out. There are other fitness options besides hours of cardio. You don’t even need a gym. If you work in a hospital, you have access to a shower. That means you can get one of these quick workouts in and clean up in an hour or less. Here are some effective options for time-strapped physicians.

High intensity interval training (HIIT)

Cardio is for people with lots of time and self-loathing. HIIT is for time-strapped people who actually want fast weight loss and strength gains. It’s also perfect for busy doctors because you can do it anytime anywhere with no equipment. If you have 15 minutes, you can do a HIIT workout.

HIIT workouts include intervals of high-effort work, followed by typically shorter intervals of rest. The alternating effect forces your muscles and cardiovascular system to work harder than they would with cardio alone. Download the free Interval Timer app, warm up a bit, and give this beginner-friendly workout a try.

Set your app for 15-20 minutes of 30-second work and 30-second rest intervals. Then cycle through this list of bodyweight exercises, pushing yourself as hard as you can for an interval, then recovering for an interval. 

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