Man, I did not realize how much harder it would be to stay healthy on rotations. The one good thing that rotations have going for them in terms of health is that you are constantly moving. Walking around from room to room, up and down stairs…you’re always on the go. But that being said, I am exhausted by the end of the day. Not only are you constantly moving, but your brain is going a thousand miles a minute trying to process and absorb all of the information that you can. You are physically and mentally drained, so the last thing that you want to do is go home and work out. (Not to mention study for the shelf exam.)
Hospital food. NOT healthy. At least at my hospital. There is a salad bar every day…but a simple salad isn’t going to give me the fuel I need to run around and think all day long. Bringing your own food is definitely an option…but free food is so hard to turn down when you are so, SO in debt.
So how do you stay healthy in these conditions? Well, everyone is different, and I am still figuring it out…but I’ve developed some new tricks that I have been using so far.
First of all, take advantage of all that running around. Even the standing around parts. Take the stairs when you can. If you’re standing around, work on your posture and flex your abs. Flex your back muscles or your arm muscles or something like that if you are going to be standing in one spot for a while. (And I mean isometric contractions, you probably don’t want to be doing bicep curls around your attending). Other than that, when I get home I try to workout first thing before I sit on the couch. If I sit down, it’s all downhill and I am not getting up.
Now onto food. I try to eat smaller portions if I am going to eat something unhealthy at the hospital. And to make up for my unhealthy options, I make sure that my dinner and breakfast are both healthy.
Everyone is going to be different, but finding little tricks here and there to stay healthy with a demanding schedule is so important.