Today, I wanted to talk about a very important topic: how little, healthy habits make a healthy life, especially when you are in Med school. If you are one of these Med students who can manage to be super effective with their studies, while hitting the gym daily and sleeping 8 hours every night, then this post is probably not for you.
This post is for all of you who have to spend endless hours sitting and studying, before you realize that your back hurts. And then you realize that you didn’t eat healthily, didn’t drink more than 1 glass of water the whole day and -obviously- didn’t have time to stand up and walk around a bit -let alone work out.
You are not alone.
It’s very difficult in this perfection-driven world to realize that it’s not possible to be 100% perfect at 100% everything. Sometimes, leading a healthy lifestyle is not an end-goal, it’s not something that you will achieve and then keep forever afterwards. It’s okay to do things that do not carry the label “healthy”, as long as they are kept in moderation. It’s okay to have that pizza with your friends and it’s okay if after an exhausting week, all you want is to spend the weekend sleeping and chilling on the sofa, instead of going out for a 10-km run.
You have to find the balance that works the best for you and offers you happiness, while respecting your mind and body. It is better if you take many small steps towards a healthy lifestyle during the day (e.g. walking more, adding greens in your dishes), rather than try to immediately switch to an aggressively “healthy” lifestyle, which a. you won’t be able to keep in the long term, b. makes your more stressed out to follow, and c. leads you to disappointment when you are not able to follow it.
So, here are some small tips for you! You can start with these simple lifestyle interventions, and whenever you feel that you are ready to do something more, do it.
Use these simple tips as a base and start building your healthy-lifestyle-ladder right now!
If you are going somewhere close by, just walk. If you are going somewhere further away, just stop a couple of stops before your destination and walk the rest of the distance. A few more steps a day, can make a big difference in the long-term, without too much effort.
2.Exercise – even if it is from home
There are tons of exercises that you can do from home. You do not need a fancy gym membership to actually do some exercise. Especially if you are a rookie, utilizing your body weight is more than enough. I have been using Fitness Blender the past years and I can safely say that it is amazing! Check it out and give it a chance, the videos are absolutely free and if you see that you like their style, you can buy one of the programs that tells your which videos to combine on each day, for best results.
3.Drink more water
So simple and yet… did you have enough today? We are Med students, so I really don’t have to talk more about its importance. Try to add some lemon slices or pieces of fruit if you fancy. And if you still forget to have a sip every now and then, there are tons of Apps that notify you when it’s water time!
Well, you know how the story goes. You return home after an exhausting day, you open the fridge and it’s full of nice, fresh veggies. But you are too tired to cook and the bed seems so warm and comfortable, so in the end you order a pizza and you take a nap till it’s delivery time. It’s a win-win, right?
Sometimes I think that we live in the era of meal-prepping. You don’t have to be a social media expert to realize that there is a meal-prepping-boom everywhere. On Instagram, blogs, YouTube… there are so many photos, posts and videos on how to meal-prep. Really, guys, it’s everywhere. Just Google it.
To be honest, however, I am a bit picky with my food. I will meal-prep for maximum 2 days (3, together with the day I am doing the preparation) – I really like freshly-made food. So if you are like me, what you can also do is the following: instead of preparing the whole dish for the following days, you can only prepare the base (rice, quinoa etc) and store it in the fridge. This generally takes time to cook, so if you have it ready in the fridge for a few days, you can just pop it in a non-sticky pan with veggies/eggs/shrimps/cooked chicken or whatever else you fancy, and have a healthy dish -in less than 10 minutes, really! I have a bunch of recipes that I make very frequently in the past months. If you want me to share them, just leave me a comment and let me know. 🙂
In the end, don’t forget that life is about balance. You won’t always be able to eat 100% healthily and you won’t always have time to sleep 8 hours, meal prep, workout, spend time with your family/friends and practice your hobbies, all in the same day. Setting unrealistic expectations for the day can drive you to exhaustion before the day even starts.
That’s it for this post, guys. Hope you’ve enjoyed it and if you have more tips for a healthier lifestyle, I would love to read them in the comments. Till next time!