Tell that to these doctors, who work long hours and barely have enough free time to eat a proper breakfast -- if they can fit in some exercise, you probably can too. Luckily, fitting in a workout doesn't necessarily mean going to a CrossFit box or training for a triathlon (although some of these overachievers do just that). Here's how 16 doctors squeeze exercise into their appointment-packed schedules.
"I really enjoy participating in triathlons and did a number in the past, so I model my workouts around running, swimming, and biking. I add in some resistance training and try to get to yoga once per week. I flipped my workouts to the morning to avoid skipping them, and I also found the evidence about exercise in the morning and improved metabolism pretty compelling." -- Dr. Stephanie Long, One Medical San Francisco
"Mostly running after my kids. Also jogging about three times a week.” -- Dr. Eduardo Grunvald, program director at UC San Diego's Weight Management Program
"I like to have variety in my workout, so I alternate between boxing, core circuit, and jogging four times a week. Once every year or two I push myself by committing to a race. This year I ran the Rock 'n' Roll Brookyln Half Marathon with my husband, which was great!" -- Dr. Jennifer Haythe, cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center
"I respect pain."
"Three principles guide my personal approach to my fitness: discipline, challenge, and nonviolence. Discipline and challenge fuel my development. Discipline also guides me to rest when I need it, which for me can be harder than choosing to exercise. Nonviolence means I respect pain. This deepens the trust that lets me expand my capabilities. This doesn't mean I don't box, but I don't misunderstand injury as an accomplishment. I strength-train five times a week, practice Ashtanga or Vinyasa yoga three times a week, and bike commute four days a week." -- Dr. David Bowden, One Medical San Francisco
"Even though I tell my patients to exercise 30 minutes per day, I have a hard time following that advice myself some days. In a bind, I will do a 10-minute ab workout and 20 minutes of yoga at home." -- Dr. Natasha Bhuyan, One Medical Phoenix
"I exercise in the morning, at 5:30 or 6:00am, depending upon what exercise I am doing. I will go to spinning classes four days a week and do a group strength/core class twice a week. On the days I do the core class, I also like to take a two-mile walk in the evening to achieve my step goal of 10,000 steps per day. My work with patients is sedentary. I sit all day and need to have this commitment to exercise to function optimally." -- Dr. Caroline Cederquist, founder of the diet delivery program BistroMD
"I practice what I preach."
"Although it can be hard to stick to a routine -- and I am guilty of taking a few too many days off myself -- a good fitness routine is important to everyone's overall health! My fitness routine includes two days of cardiovascular (typically cycling or running) and two to three days of interval training. Keeping your heart rate up during exercise is important to cardiovascular health, but definitely that also manifests itself in just feeling better and looking better." -- Dr. Bradley Bloom, dermatologist
"A combination of Pilates, yoga, and cardio five times a week." -- Dr. Inna Ozerov, ophthalmologist
"As a primary care doctor, I want to be an example to my patients when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, even in a busy city like New York. I have the most fun and get the biggest rush pushing myself, testing my limits, and really seeing what my body can do. I do a fair amount of weight training four times per week, chasing after personal records, and also challenge myself with a mix of gymnastics, parkour, and boxing several times a week." -- Dr. Daniel Marcovici, One Medical NYC
"I meditate twice a day, morning and evening for clearer mind and more effective critical thinking. I also incorporate some kind of aerobic exercise four times a week that includes tennis, running, and circuit training." -- Dr. Sreek Cherukuri, founder of MDHearingAid
"I am a TV junkie, so I look forward to my cardio."
"CrossFit two to three times a week, and running or swimming two to three times a week." -- Dr. Adam Splaver, clinical cardiologist and co-founder of NanoHealthAssociates
"Three days a week: light weights, stretching, core workout, and light cardio (30 minutes on bike or elliptical). Two days a week: one long cardio (e.g., one hour on the elliptical) and one short cardio with intervals (e.g., 4x4 sprints on elliptical or treadmill). Two days a week: run outside (max 45 minutes), sometimes substitute bike ride which can last several hours. Yes, this is seven days a week -- trying to hold off decay as long as possible!" -- Dr. Malcolm Thaler, One Medical New York
"As a pediatric obesity expert, I practice what I preach. I try to get to the gym at least four times per week. I am a TV junkie, so I look forward to my cardio time to watch my favorite shows while exercising -- killing two birds with one stone. After 30 minutes of cardio, I usually use weights, do sit-ups, or squats with the medicine ball. When the weather is nice, I am a big power-walker and will speed-walk for one hour or more. I also have a recumbent exercise bike in my office so that I can review medical charts and pedal at the same time. On days that I cannot get to the gym, I try to walk to and from work. It’s all about balance. Exercise keeps me sane." – Dr. Dyan Hes, medical director of Gramercy Pediatrics
"For extra motivation, I check my steps tracker."
"My go-to fitness routine if I am busy, on the go, or lazy is 20-30 minutes of treadmill on an incline, and 20-30 minutes walking backwards on treadmill. The level and speed of incline is based on keeping my heart rate between 70-80% for age and gender. Then I will do one minute timed exercises of things like burpees, lunges, planks, jumping jacks, straight legs lifts, sit-up, squats. I repeat the circuits for a few times depending on how much time I have. For a lower-intensity workout, I do Pilates with reformer." -- Dr. Natasha Sandy, dermatologist
"It is tough for some physicians and it takes scheduling just like everything else to be successful. For me, I like the treadmill and work out for 20 minutes at least twice weekly... The other thing I like to do to stay active is dancing, and try to do that once per week, even if in the evening on a Friday it also helps to burn calories and get my heart pumping." -- Dr. Jerisa Berry, board-certified ER doctor and co-owner Vital Care Medical Center
"Since work often gets in the way, I try to fit my cardio in throughout the day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator and scheduling walking meetings whenever I can. For extra motivation I check my steps tracker throughout the day, like the one in the Oscar app, which gives me $1 towards an Amazon gift card whenever I meet my daily steps goal. Seeing my goal and how I did yesterday helps me get competitive with myself to beat my goal today." -- Dr. Harry Ritter, Oscar Health
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