A day in the life of Dr. Majestic, doesn’t always include a traditional workout.
Being an Emergency Medicine physician comes with frequent schedule changes and trouble sleeping, much of the time. I have learned to be creative, when it comes to my workouts.
In residency, I avoided working out completely, because I was so tired. Much of my calorie burning came from running around the hospital. I would try my best to get to the gym on my days off, but they were few and far between. Plus, I preferred to spend my days off sleeping, or doing something social!
I actually stayed pretty skinny. I didn’t gain any weight in residency despite my lack of regular fitness routine. Even though I was eating hospital food, and late night snacks on my 12-hour night shifts. I considered myself lucky. But what was happening underneath it all, was definitely not a healthy lifestyle.
Fast forward 3 years… no more residency excuses!
Just Do Something
I still struggle with finding the perfect workout schedule.
I know I’m supposed to write down goals, and keep a schedule, and honor my committments. It just doesn’t work that way for me. One minute I’ll be planning on the gym, the next minute I fall asleep on the couch because I worked a night shift the day before. There were times when I would scrap the workout all together, but I have learned to just DO SOMETHING. I may not make it to the gym like I had planned, but instead I will do a home workout. As long as I am showing up for myself, my health, and my body.
Some of my favorite workouts
Yoga was something I had always practiced in college. I had really enjoyed learning the culture and poses. Once I got to medical school and residency, I didn’t have the time or the money for yoga classes. Instead of continuing my practice, I let it go.
Yoga was the first thing I picked back up, as soon as I could. I started going to CorePower Yoga sculpt classes, and I was IN LOVE. A heated yoga class that incorporates cardio AND weights? Sign me up! I know so many people that have accomplished their goals with yoga, in particular yoga sculpt. CorePower offers multiple class types and multiple locations, so I have bounced around to each of them, over the past couple of years.
The workout is fierce. Initially I think I am dying, but then I always feel SO GOOD after the class, and the inspiration and meditation moments associated with yoga are just what I need.
I practice yoga sculpt ~2 times weekly
More recently, I’ve gotten Chris to come with me and he has become quite the yogi!
♦ HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts
I have a love/hate relationship with them. They are quite possibly my favorite workout because they can be quick! We’re talking 25-30 minutes of go-hard, sweaty, high intensity fitness. My go-to workout because it saves time and you can do them anywhere!
25-50% of my weekly workouts are HIIT routines
My fave HIIT workout has always been Insanity. Shaun T… you always piss me off!!! But damnit you get me the results!
Chris and I bought the BeachBody workouts for $99 a year! I am so not a fan of pyramid schemes- I don’t buy into the shakes or anything, just the on demand home workout option. This includes a huge library of workouts to choose from, including ALLLLL the Insanity you could ask for. The OG Insanity was my jam back in med school. I still tap into those workouts sometimes, but they are 60 min. The newer Insanity MAX and T25 workouts are right up my alley these days, especially when I’m on night shifts.
Very few of the workouts require weights, although you can find those too. I like using minimal equipment, body weight only, and I’m done before I even realize I started! Downfall to some of the HIIT workouts are the amount of impact they can have on your joints. Plyometrics isn’t for everyone, so make sure you tailor these to your body.
I have a seriously difficult time with running. When I was a kid, I never did the running sports. I was a dancer, cheerleader, volleyball and softball player. Soccer, track, basketball… forget it. Therefore, I never really became great at running, especially not long distance running.
In 2008 I trained for, and completed a half marathon. I thought I was going to die. I trained so hard, for weeks, and my joints still killed me for days after the race. I have only run 5-10K’s since then! I do enjoy many parts of running, especially here in Southern California. Living by the beach, I try to take advantage of the location and run down to the boardwalk and beach at least once weekly. You can’t beat an outdoor workout overlooking the ocean! #thankful
My goals with running, are simply to complete my run without stopping! Sometimes I do the walk-run thing, but I never stop moving. My typical route consists of 4-5 miles, and once I hit about 3 miles, my knees start to remind me that they’re not happy.
10-25% of my weekly workout is running
In the past, I feel like I underestimated the benefits of a nice, long walk. Walking actually burns calories similar to running! Of course the terrain and pace determines your overall results, but it is such a GREAT option for many of us.
Chris and I try to get outside for a walk together at least once weekly
I definitely dread walking, less than any other workout! Gee, I wonder why?! We try to walk at a 11-12 min/mile pace, and complete no less than 5 miles. We love to walk the beach neighborhoods and surrounding areas. Not only are we getting some vitamin D, but it gives us quality time to be without technology, and catch up with each other!
We started walking together, after Chris had surgery last year. He couldn’t do his usual sweaty workouts because would affect his cast and wound healing, so we walked all of the time! We share airpods during the walk, so we can listen to the same music but still hear each other talk 🙂
The one thing not listed, is gym time.
That’s because I no longer go to a gym! I used to go to a beautiful gym that faced the ocean, it had state of the art equipment and great amenities. But what I realized about my fitness routine, was that I never really longed to be at the gym. I enjoyed all of the other activities listed above, so much more, and the gym was a waste of money for me.
If you take anything away from this blog post, it should be that fitness and exercise don’t need to come with a huge price tag OR a huge chunk of time. You can tailor your fitness routine to YOU and what you like to do. It does not need to be forced or dreadful. As soon as I realized this simple nugget of information, my anxiety associated with a fitness routine and working out hardcore everyday, miraculously dissolved.
So even if I have to get my fitness running around at work, or reducing dislocated shoulders and hips (that can really break a sweat sometimes), I do the best that I can and accept that my fitness routine will be ever-changing and dependent on many other life factors.
How is your fitness routine unique?
Photos by Zo’e Fraley.