Becoming a successful medical student is no easy feat. You need to stay on top of the rigorous medical school studies while staying physically and mentally fit. Medical students need to stay strong and healthy to complete a lot of course material, lab work, clinical rotations, and assignments. Balancing the heavy course load and the USMLE preparation make it difficult for students to survive and succeed in medical school.
However, following healthy eating habits is one of the most important tactics to keep you healthy during your medical school journey and lead you towards a successful medical career. Unfortunately, many aspiring doctors don’t focus on their diet and don’t take necessary steps to improve their mental health. Though it is difficult to maintain healthy eating habits during medical school, following a healthy lifestyle can help you become an outstanding student and an excellent doctor.
Let’s discover some health tips to stay healthy and perform well during medical school to achieve academic success.
Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast
The early morning classes and inconsistent study schedules make it easier for medical students to skip the most important meal of the day – breakfast. Your body needs nutrition to stay attentive during lectures and understand the intricate concepts. Students that eat a healthy breakfast in the morning can stay active throughout the day compared to those who don’t.
Fueling your brain and body with healthy and nutritious breakfast items can enable you to deal with medical cases, clinical rotations and prepare for USMLE step 1 and 2. Fruits, low-sugar yogurt, nuts, a bowl of cereal, and vegetable sandwiches are a few healthy breakfast ideas for medical students.
Make Healthy Food Choices
Believe it or not, eating a well-balanced diet is the key to success. When your life is jam packed with back to back classes, assignments, quizzes, labs, and extracurricular activities, it will be a challenge for you to make time for preparing healthy meals.
If truth be told, eating a healthy diet and making smart food choices is not as difficult as it sounds. You can provide your body with all the essential nutrients required for your physical and mental health. All you need to have a healthy diet plan that includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, eggs, seafood, nuts, and other nutrient-dense foods.
Incorporate fiber, carbs, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals into your diet. It will ensure that your body is getting all the vital nutrients that are good for your overall health.
Choose Healthy Snacks
It is tempting to reach for loaded Pizza fries, chocolate bars, sugary sodas and processed carbs, and other types of comfort food. These are the unhealthier options that provide empty calories and hardly keep you active throughout the day. The key to staying energized and active throughout the day is to look for some healthy and nutritious snack options that you can easily eat in medical school and hospital.
Choosing healthier options for snacks can help you stay focused and keep your mind active while studying. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, dried fruit, cheese sticks and popcorn are some healthy snacks options for medical students.
Enroll in Your University’s Wellness Program
Medical universities all over the world truly understand the importance of students’ wellbeing. Many medical schools offer wellness programs, mental health services, and counseling to promote their students’ wellbeing and health.
These programs provide in-depth information on healthy eating, exercise, mindfulness activities, stress prevention, and anxiety management. Some programs offer cognitive therapy and behavior therapy to help reduce depression and stress among students.
While some provide support and training to improve the physical and mental health of students, which will positively impact on their academic performance.
Getting Enough Sleep
Although it is challenging for medical students to maintain a sleep routine, especially when you are rotating in different hospitals or preparing for USMLE Step 1. You should try your best to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night.
Getting adequate sleep is important for your mind and body to perform optimally. Medical students who don’t get adequate sleep might find it difficult to understand the intricate concepts they are learning during their lectures.
Students can improve the quality of their sleep by simply avoiding stimulants and depressants before bedtime. Don’t study in bed; limit your screen time. Getting quality sleep during medical school is a challenge, but it is not impossible.
Finding the right way to sleep is critical to your success as a medical student. By getting enough sleep, you will feel happier, healthier, and better able to absorb the important medical concepts and do your best in medical school, clinical rotations, residency, and your career.
Besides providing unlimited physical benefits, exercise also provides many psychological benefits that you can’t ignore. From reducing the symptoms of depression, stress, to sharpening your memory, boosting your self-confidence, and boosting brain power, exercise can improve your overall brain performance.
Many studies have shown that physical activity is very important for relieving stress, depression, anxiety, and gives you a mental health boost. Finding time for exercise, especially in medical school, is a challenge for many students. Whether you are studying in a preclinical year or currently busy in your clinical clerkship, set aside time for exercise. A 20-minute workout is enough to give your mind and body a significant boost.
There are some easy and simple workouts that you can easily incorporate into your schedule. For instance, running, walking, dancing, swimming, or doing high-intensity exercise is a great way to get the blood flowing and refresh your mind.
Over to You
Hopefully, these healthy diet tips will help you become an efficient, productive, and high-performing medical student.