On running (away from your responsibilities)

By Calypso Magyar & Maisie Hands

For many, the stress of medical school and need to study can get in the way of partaking in physical activity. You tell yourself that you got way more than 10,000 steps in while walking around the hospital so you don’t need to do anything more on top of that, or that you can’t afford to take an hour off from all that anatomy you need to learn. Unfortunately that physical activity is often coloured by the stress of the day and doesn’t give you any space to unwind.

Physical activity can be an important part of self-care and mindfulness, which we know from the many hours of lectures on this topic that Monash forces us to listen to is very important to maintaining balance in our lives. Benefits of physical activity include:

  • Releases endorphins,
  • Clears your head
  • Keeps you healthy
  • Helps you relax
  • Helps you get a good night’s sleep.

With so many benefits, it would be crazy to not take some time out of your day to take care of yourself.

Many people find choosing what exercise to do tough. Some people have so many sports/activities they would like to do and can’t narrow it down to just one, while others find it hard to find something that they don’t hate. Fortunately, there are many different options out there that there is bound to be one that suits everyone (and every budget!).

If you’re looking for a way to get in some exercise while hanging out with friends and having fun, you may prefer to do social sports. Social sports are:

  • Usually quite cheap to play, as you split the costs amongst the team
  • Give you a great opportunity to have fun with your friends

You can take advantage of the huge range of sports on offer from Monash Sport – from dodgeball to netball, there are plenty to choose from.

If you’re more introverted or the thought of playing team sports makes you want to tear your hair out, more individual activities may be for you. That could be:

  • Pounding the pavement
  • Doing pilates or yoga via a YouTube video
  • Going hiking on the weekend

There are plenty of options (many of which are free). Individual activities give you plenty of flexibility of when you do them and can provide some much needed alone time.

Lastly, you could take a fitness class. If you like having directions given to you or find it hard to motivate yourself, classes can provide that structure to you. They are also a fantastic opportunity to try new things, such as martial arts or aerial yoga, and to make friends outside the realm of medicine.

The most important part is that you are enjoying yourself and keeping yourself healthy. To take care of others, you first must be able to take care of yourself.

Featured image by Jean-Louis Zimmermann at Flickr.

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