Going through medical school and now residency (almost finished!), I have seen a few trends. First, most folks on the internet think they are smarter than doctors, which means my extra 7 years of medical training apparently doesn’t pull much weight on the web. Second, many of my fellow physician colleagues don’t exercise enough, which doesn’t make sense because exercise is the best medicine. These two trends go together because the internet health/fitness enthusiasts understand that exercise is the almighty medicine and since many of their doctors aren’t doing it, then why should anyone listen to them?
Okay so obviously this logic isn’t completely sound. My very smart buddy and hematology-oncology fellow physician made the comment that you can be the best doctor in the world and not exercise – it shouldn’t hinder one’s practice of medicine at all. I can slightly agree with that statement but I still don’t think it is right.
My brother and I came up with this slogan “Does your doctor even lift?” – named after a similar phrase “Do you even lift?” that has been popularized on the internet. While we are meat heads at heart and love lifting weights, the exercise of choice doesn’t have to be resistance training (although it would be best). The point is simple: All doctors of all specialties should give themselves a at least a few doses of the best medicine there is per week – EXERCISE!
Side effects include:
- Improved mood
- Enhanced cognition
- and Setting a good damn example for your patients!
There are numerous studies showing that doctors who exercise are more likely to tell their patients to exercise. You don’t have to have bulging biceps to help your patients start moving and getting healthier. All you need to do is some form of exercise a few times a week. That’s all.