As a physician, you know that physical activity can make a huge difference in your patients’ health, but do you also set aside enough time to get the activity you need to stay healthy and manage stress? New Physical Activity Guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services, recently published in JAMA, confirm that the health benefits from increased physical activity are substantial, and that improvements can come from even small increases in activity. If you find it hard to squeeze activity into your busy schedule, you may want to consider employers who emphasize physician wellness, offering on-site gym facilities and wellness programs.
But how much activity is enough? The good news is that even small amounts of physical activity can reduce the risk of disease, and substantial health benefits have been shown for inactive people who add small amounts of moderate activity. Individuals who engaged in 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity benefited the most, according to the study.
The new guidelines are a “call to activity” and suggest that any amount of activity is better than none, and that health gains can come at every age. As you encourage your patients to follow the new guidelines, make sure that you are also taking the time to take care of yourself, and make your own health a priority while you consider your next career move.