Practice What You Preach: How To Be A Healthier Doctor For Your Patients - Medical Bag

Practice What You Preach: How To Be A Healthier Doctor For Your Patients

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  • Follow these easy steps to be a healthier doctor for your patients.

    Practice What You Preach: How To Be A Healthier Doctor For Your Patients

    Follow these easy steps to be a healthier doctor for your patients.

  • For many doctors, running around the hospital is their form of exercise. However, according to the American Heart Association, at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity 5 days a week OR at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days a week AND moderate to high intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days a week are recommended for overall cardiovascular health. [1]

    Exercise More

    For many doctors, running around the hospital is their form of exercise. However, according to the American Heart Association, at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity 5 days a week OR at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days a week AND moderate to high intensity muscle-strengthening activity at least 2 days a week are recommended for overall cardiovascular health. [1]

  • It may be difficult to include a fitness routine into your already busy schedule, but time management may be the key. Consider going for a quick jog before or after your workday; using 25- to 30-minute workout videos in your living room; or taking the stairs instead of the elevator during hospital rounds. Time to increase that cardiac output!

    Exercise More

    It may be difficult to include a fitness routine into your already busy schedule, but time management may be the key. Consider going for a quick jog before or after your workday; using 25- to 30-minute workout videos in your living room; or taking the stairs instead of the elevator during hospital rounds. Time to increase that cardiac output!

  • Eating well is probably one of the most difficult aspects of staying healthy. Whether eating high-calorie catered food at grand rounds, snacking on junk food during overnight shifts, or going hungry all day because you forgot to eat, maintaining appropriate nutrition is challenging but should be a priority when embarking on a healthy lifestyle. Some ways to improve your diet are actually very easy. It can’t be harder than going through medical school, can it?

    Eat Healthier

    Eating well is probably one of the most difficult aspects of staying healthy. Whether eating high-calorie catered food at grand rounds, snacking on junk food during overnight shifts, or going hungry all day because you forgot to eat, maintaining appropriate nutrition is challenging but should be a priority when embarking on a healthy lifestyle. Some ways to improve your diet are actually very easy. It can’t be harder than going through medical school, can it?

  • Some tips for healthy eating include: drinking plenty of water throughout the day; stocking your white coat with healthy snacks like nuts and fruits; taking a daily multivitamin to cover your recommended intake; prepping meals in advanced for the long week ahead; reducing your intake of carbohydrates and substituting them with lean proteins, vegetables, and whole-wheat options; and replacing coffee with caffeine-free teas and fruit-infused water beverages. [2]

    Eat Healthier

    Some tips for healthy eating include: drinking plenty of water throughout the day; stocking your white coat with healthy snacks like nuts and fruits; taking a daily multivitamin to cover your recommended intake; prepping meals in advanced for the long week ahead; reducing your intake of carbohydrates and substituting them with lean proteins, vegetables, and whole-wheat options; and replacing coffee with caffeine-free teas and fruit-infused water beverages. [2]

  • On-call rooms. Grand rounds. Lectures. Libraries. Nowhere is safe from a sleep-deprived doctor’s snoozing. From waking up before dawn to pre-round on your patients to putting in long hours at the office as you update charts , being exhausted is just part of a doctor’s life. Ensuring good sleep hygiene can help replenish your energy for another day of saving lives.

    Sleep Better

    On-call rooms. Grand rounds. Lectures. Libraries. Nowhere is safe from a sleep-deprived doctor’s snoozing. From waking up before dawn to pre-round on your patients to putting in long hours at the office as you update charts , being exhausted is just part of a doctor’s life. Ensuring good sleep hygiene can help replenish your energy for another day of saving lives.

  • A good night’s sleep is all but guaranteed if you adhere to the following: avoid napping during the day, avoid stimulant around bedtime (eg, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine), exercise more during the morning and early afternoon, avoid large meals before bed, establish a regular bedtime routine, ensure proper sunlight exposure to regulate wake-sleep cycles, and associate your bed with sleep (and other nighttime activities). [3]

    Sleep Better

    A good night’s sleep is all but guaranteed if you adhere to the following: avoid napping during the day, avoid stimulant around bedtime (eg, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine), exercise more during the morning and early afternoon, avoid large meals before bed, establish a regular bedtime routine, ensure proper sunlight exposure to regulate wake-sleep cycles, and associate your bed with sleep (and other nighttime activities). [3]

  • Being a physician can take a toll on your body, mind, and spirit. You may be taking care of patients all day, but don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. With the rise in frequency of physician suicide, it is crucial to take your mental health into consideration when looking at your overall well-being. Trained therapists and licensed psychiatrists are available to help sort out your thoughts and help you along the way to a happier and more fulfilling life.

    Seek Therapy

    Being a physician can take a toll on your body, mind, and spirit. You may be taking care of patients all day, but don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. With the rise in frequency of physician suicide, it is crucial to take your mental health into consideration when looking at your overall well-being. Trained therapists and licensed psychiatrists are available to help sort out your thoughts and help you along the way to a happier and more fulfilling life.

  • Believe it or not, meditating daily might actually make you a better doctor. Not only does it help you relax and calm your mind, but it may help you make better clinical decisions . Some benefits to taking just a few minutes out of your busy schedule to find your inner peace include: helping you have a more positive attitude, giving you an energy boost for the rest of the day, making you more patient with your patients, helping to improve your time management, and increasing your intuitive ability by clearing your mind and making you more in tune with your patients. [4]

    Try Meditation

    Believe it or not, meditating daily might actually make you a better doctor. Not only does it help you relax and calm your mind, but it may help you make better clinical decisions . Some benefits to taking just a few minutes out of your busy schedule to find your inner peace include: helping you have a more positive attitude, giving you an energy boost for the rest of the day, making you more patient with your patients, helping to improve your time management, and increasing your intuitive ability by clearing your mind and making you more in tune with your patients. [4]

  • Every doctor has a day off; it is important that such free time not be wasted, as they are often few and far between. So what better way to spend a day off than by doing something you truly enjoy. There are numerous hobbies -- such as glassblowing and knitting -- that can cultivate creativity, while other more athletic endeavors -- such as hiking, golfing, yoga, and surfing -- can provide physical benefits.

    Enjoy Hobbies

    Every doctor has a day off; it is important that such free time not be wasted, as they are often few and far between. So what better way to spend a day off than by doing something you truly enjoy. There are numerous hobbies -- such as glassblowing and knitting -- that can cultivate creativity, while other more athletic endeavors -- such as hiking, golfing, yoga, and surfing -- can provide physical benefits.

  • Ameliorating stress is definitely easier said than done. Here are some tips to follow when combating the stressors in your life and at work: recognize the signs of emotional, cognitive, behavioral, or physical stress before things get worse and seek medical attention; share your concerns with people you trust, including family, friends and colleagues; set your boundaries and do not be afraid to say “No”; try to secure your spare time for personal reasons; try keeping a stress diary for a week to identify your major stressors and come up with ways to overcome them; and aim to recognize your negative thoughts and challenge them accordingly. [5]

    Reduce Stress

    Ameliorating stress is definitely easier said than done. Here are some tips to follow when combating the stressors in your life and at work: recognize the signs of emotional, cognitive, behavioral, or physical stress before things get worse and seek medical attention; share your concerns with people you trust, including family, friends and colleagues; set your boundaries and do not be afraid to say “No”; try to secure your spare time for personal reasons; try keeping a stress diary for a week to identify your major stressors and come up with ways to overcome them; and aim to recognize your negative thoughts and challenge them accordingly. [5]

References

1. American Heart Association recommendations for physical activity in adults. American Heart Association website. Updated February 2015. Available at:http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.V8BU0fkrJaQ. Accessed August 26, 2016.

 

2. 25 Diet-bolstering tricks that take zero effort but bring you better health even on your busiest days. Prevention website. Updated November 3, 2011. Available at: http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/25-healthy-eating-diet-tips. Accessed August 26, 2016.

 

3. Sleep hygiene. National Sleep Foundation. Updated 2003. Available at:https://sleepfoundation.org/excessivesleepiness/sleep-tools-tips/healthy-sleep-tips. Accessed August 26, 2016.

 

4. An 80-year-old’s letter to a doctor. The Art of Living website. Available at:http://www.artofliving.org/meditation/meditation-for-you/meditation-for-doctors. Accessed August 26, 2016.

 

5. Managing stress as a doctor. Support4Doctors website. Available at:http://support4doctors.org/detail.php/58/managing-stress-as-a-doctor?category_id=15&subcategory_id=524. Accessed August 26, 2016.

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