When we began our journey through PA school, one of the many simple pleasures we had to give up was “free time”. PA school requires rigorous hours of studying both in and out of the classroom. During these hours of study, most of the time, we are sitting down reading through text books or viewing our PowerPoint presentations. It comes as no surprise to us that with these many hours of inactivity comes ill health. Many of us experience stress, irritation, weight changes, back pain, neck pain, and a slew of other symptoms. This, is PA School Syndrome.
If you are one of the many struck my this deadly illness stop reading right now and go workout (JK… but for real). Many of us know that good food and exercise are the key to success in relieving most of these symptoms, so why don’t we do it? In PA school, it is hard to find time to study, and have a social life, let alone adding in time for a good workout. This is where time management plays a huge role in the life of the average PA student. Learning to balance our studies, social life, and exercise can be key in not only surviving PA school, but thriving in PA school. We all have access to the gym, and there are a vast majority of things you can do for exercise.
The hardest part, is the start. Pick a time during the week where you know for sure you might have spare time. This may be at in the morning before school, at lunch, right after school, or in-between your studies. Even 15 minutes of some kind of activity, where it be running, seated shoulder press, lat pulls, stationary bike, or a combination of things, will benefit you. Once you have started you now have the opportunity to turn it into a habit. Many studies show that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Once this habit is formed it is much easier to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. This is the key to effectively warding away the symptoms of PA School Syndrome.
I believe that PA students are among the strongest and brightest of people, and if we can break through that initial start to exercising a little everyday, we set ourselves up for a smoother transaction into becoming exceptional clinicians in future.