7 Tips for Staying Active as a Medical Professional

It is easy to push exercise to the bottom of your long to-do list when you work at a busy medical office. However, being active is one of the most important things you can do to implement good physical and mental health. Those in medical-related positions often spend long hours either sitting or standing, but don’t have much opportunity to vary their movements or activities throughout the day.

While you may not be able to reduce the amount of time you spend at your desk or on your feet as a health professional, there are a few ways to vary your activity and boost your overall physical fitness.

Plan ahead.

Working in the medical field at just about any level can be overwhelming, extremely busy, and doesn’t often include very much physical variation throughout the day. The best way to keep your physical fitness goals on point is to plan ahead of time!

Pick one day of the week to sit down and plan out each day. Write down your anticipated daily schedule and be detailed, including when you need to get up, what you’ll do at work, the time you’ll get home, etc.

Determine the days you can fit in a quick workout and prepare your meals. If you have to leave very early in the morning, make sure to have everything ready the night before. This may give you a little flexibility to fit in a quick workout when you get home in the evening.

Don’t get discouraged if things don’t go well for the first few weeks. Stick with it, and eventually, you’ll feel more organized and will realize how much extra time you truly have.

Create a realistic plan.

As you’re planning your week, be honest and realistic. We all have lofty goals at the beginning of a lifestyle change but being too motivated could set up for failure.

Don’t schedule hour-long workouts on busy days, don’t plan to create intricate, healthy meals when you know you will be home late, and don’t sign up for a membership at a gym 15 miles across town. These are all decisions that will squash your success before you even begin. You have to be honest with yourself as you create your plan. If you know you’re going to come home very late and will be exhausted after a long day, chances are you will have to skip the workout.

Instead, plan sweat sessions on days in which you are about 80-90% sure you can devote at least 20 minutes. Remember, it’s okay to schedule rest days, your goal should be sticking to the plan and not skipping. A quick 20-minute workout is better than nothing.

Choose activities that excite you.

Pick an activity that you know will appeal to you. If you don’t like to run, don’t choose running as your main form of physical activity. Chose something fun and exciting that you will look forward to doing after a stressful day.

Track your progress.

Tracking your workouts and progress is crucial to staying motivated. Whether you’re walking, doing yoga, or lifting weights, you’ll find that not every exercise works best for your specific needs. However, without tracking, you may forget that specific activities didn’t work well for you.

Hitting the gym after work, running in the morning, or walking during a lunch break can often feel repetitive and sometimes pointless. When you’re tracking, you can clearly see your progress and improvement.

Stretch at your desk.

Many aches and injuries can be prevented by a little midday stretching at your desk. Research some quality stretches that can be implemented throughout your workday to get your blood flowing and loosen those muscles. Plus, if you scheduled a lunchtime walk, you’re already stretched and ready to go!

Change some daily habits.

Take a few moments to think about your day at the office and what forces you to get up and move. Think about how you change some of these things to make your day more productive and get in some extra steps. Here are some ideas:

  • Park further away from the office entrance.
  • Make your default printer further away.
  • Take the stairs rather than the elevator.

Join a fitness program at work.

If your employer doesn’t offer a program, it’s time to start one! Start an initiative with your co-workers to create a healthier and happier work environment. You could start a walking challenge to see who can reach the most miles, form a sports team that raises money for a charity, or create a weight loss challenge with prizes for winners.

[Click here for some simple NORM shoulder workouts]

As you start your new plan, you must be flexible. This will help to keep you active and motivated. Some weeks you will stick to your program with no trouble. Then, there will be days or weeks where everything can go wrong. Sometimes, things will happen that are out of our control. What matters is your determination to get back up and keep working.

Do you have any other creative ideas for getting active when you work at a busy medical office? Let us know on our Facebook page.

Posted by
  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
  • Thanks to all those wonderful people in the NORM Network who respond to emails, offering their advice, experience, time, and support ... I haven't even been a member a full year yet and I am amazed at the dedication of everyone who responds to helping via emails and the NORM Organization itself! I have barely had a chance to explore the resources and I have yet to really dive into requests for help still I am silently learning so much and do occasionally offer what I can! Thank you all!- Cheryl Piambino, Kenneth E. Bresky, DO

What We Offer

We’re adding value to practices across the nation by creating a thriving community of rheumatology managers and physicians.

Membership Benefits

Become a Member

Annual Conference

Conference Registration