BLOG: Intern by Day, Dancer by Night
So, everyone knows that being active is good for us, right? It helps us control our weight and prevent chronic diseases. Same old song and dance. But who really has the time? After college, when you have to actually be a productive member of society, you can't just decide to roll out of bed at 2 o'clock, and head over to the gym or go out for a run. As a dietetic intern, it's hard to find time to be physically active. Between morning classes, rotations, never-ending piles of homework, projects, online classes, health fairs, meetings, sleeping, and life... How am I supposed to have time (or energy) to make it to the gym???
In the first few months of the internship, I really struggled with finding time to fit in a good workout. I also struggled with the change of lifestyle. I went from dancing 7 days a week, as a member of the dance team and pursuing my degree in dance, to sitting in a chair all day. I went from constantly being active to doing practically nothing. It just didn't feel right. I could practically feel the pounds packing on by the second, and I had stopped dancing completely, which was weird because it has been such a big part of my life. I basically had an identity crisis. Something needed to change.
About this time one of my friends from college told me about the St. Louis Ambush soccer team that was starting up in St. Louis, and she had just joined their dance team. She said it'd be really fun to dance together again. How perfect! Not only would I be able to dance again, I'd finally be getting some physical activity back into my schedule. I would have set times in my schedule for physical activity, and I had my friends and a team to hold me accountable for being there.
So, I went and tried out... and made it! Problem solved. I found my own way to incorporate one of my passions AND physical activity into my hectic (and glamorous!) life as a dietetic intern. I now feel more energized, better organized, happier, and more motivated (perks of physical activity!)
I'm sure many people struggle with the same things I did. Not feeling like you don't have time in your schedule for physical activity, and maybe no longer playing sports you did in high school or college. A great way to start incorporating physical activity into your life is to set aside specific times in your schedule dedicated just for physical activity, whether it's walking, running, going to the gym, or taking an exercise class. I have specific times set in my schedule each week for practice and games. The key is to find a way to hold yourself accountable. Get a workout buddy, intramural sports team, or class that is going to count on you being there. I not only had my friend but a whole team that counted on me to be present. Find something that you enjoy doing. No one is going to continue to find time to do something that makes you completely miserable. I was thankful enough to find a dance team to join, so I was able to do something I love.
So, take some time to figure out what you'll enjoy doing. Places like Vetta Sports and the YMCA are great places to find adult sports leagues to join. There is a vast array of gyms in the St. Louis area, many of which offer group fitness classes. Club Fitness memberships start as little as $10 a month. Community centers can also be a great resource.
Some things the other interns do to stay active include things like: going to the gym, taking yoga classes, training for and participating in marathons/half marathons/5k races, playing on soccer teams, doing kettle bell work outs at home, and taking the stairs! Now get out there and be active!