Staying Healthy in Medical School

I exercise. I am a runner, hiker, dog walker and enjoy the great outdoors. I also work. And the good news is, I like what I do. The bad news is I used to get so lost in my work that I found myself sitting for hours. That was until I read a column by Gretchen Reynolds in the New York Times, entitled, Keep it Moving. 

In it, she wrote that there is little evidence to show that vigorous exercise counteracts the negative impact of prolonged sitting, referring to people like myself as “active couch potatoes.” In fact, those who do work out, but sit all day without getting up and walking around, share the same higher risks for heart disease as those who don’t exercise at all.

In another one of her columns, Ms. Reynolds cites a study from the University of Warwick that was published in The International Journal of Obesity. The researchers explained that getting up and walking around can be effectively done in multiple 10 minute intervals throughout the day in order to receive the cardiovascular benefits that prolonged sitting takes away (Tigbe, Granat, Sattar, & Lean, 2016). You still should exercise, so don’t think: well I ran this morning before class, so now I can sit for the next several hours without moving.

Staying healthy in Med School can be a challenge, but at New York Medical College, we are fortunate to have easily accessible walking paths on a beautiful campus. Push away from your study carrel and head out the door. It is a beautiful time of year to start.

Walking and moving around gets the blood flowing to your joints, muscles, heart, and brain. So don’t just mentally stretch your brain by sitting and studying all day. Exercise it by getting out and stretching your limbs.

Also, if you wish to take a break from sitting while studying, we have three movable standing desks for your use here in the library. Though additional research is needed, the findings thus far indicate that standing desks improve cognitive attention and overall mental performance.

And remember, the Health Sciences Library has the New York Times in print and online so you can read these articles on fitness whenever you like.

These simple instructions show you how to access

See you out walking …