A little background before diving into the nitty gritty. For over a year I have been lucky enough to be a Gymshark athlete, YouTuber and 4th year Medical Student - soon entering my 5th year.
As you can imagine, balancing all this has been challenging, but I made it work. So, I have compiled my ‘10 Laws Of Balancing University and Fitness’, hoping those in the same situation can find some inspiration.
Essential to the journey is maintaining stability across all aspects of your life, and as such the weight loss journey should complement your academic journey. Neither should take precedence over the other - the goal is a not only a healthy life, but a healthy mind.
1. Studying should occur in three-hour sessions or blocks. These sessions/blocks are divided into 45 minutes of concentrated studying with 15-minute intervals, allowing for a short break (Stretch, relax, energy snack). The theory is that a human brain can only concentrate at maximum efficiency for a period before a break is required. This explains the rationale behind most lectures occurring in 45-50-minute periods.
2. Avoid Overload. The longer you sit and attempt to study, the weaker your levels of concentration become. Studying effectively in those 45-minute periods is ample time to be productive. Never forget that longer periods do not necessarily equate to more knowledge. Three 45-minute sessions are much more effective than 3 straight hours without break.
3. Although 3 study sessions are recommended per day, I at minimum attempt to fit in 2 sessions per day. Being systematic is important, have set schedules in the same way your workout regime is set out. The earlier this is set out, the simpler it is to get into a routine. Action becomes habit, habit creates character, character defines destiny.
4. The key to this is to be as efficient as possible within those 45-minute sessions. Attempt to remove distractions. The aim is to be efficient in the sessions and allow more time in the day for other obligations. Remember that the key for me has always been a holistic approach to lifestyle.
5. Fatigue, boredom and procrastination are always, and will always be a big distraction, but that is the reason for the 15-minute intervals. Not only to rest you mind, but to re-motivate yourself for the next session. Never underestimate the power of self-motivation.
6. Always feel free to adjust the sessions to suit your daily needs. These are not unbreakable rules but rather guidelines as best to maximise your time.
7. Attending classes remains as important as ever. The aim of this journey is not to sacrifice education for weight loss. It is to become a healthier version of yourself within your personal context, so all your academic goals remain. Now you have added the goal of not only doing your best academically but being the healthiest version of that best.
8. I prefer to do my workouts in the evening after a day of studying, so as to not feel drained during study sessions in the day. Of course, this depends on preference and schedule. Find a system which best suits your personal circumstance and apply that.
9. Nutrition is vital to your energy levels; a good diet plan provides foods that allow you to have optimal levels of energy. Unhealthy meals can contribute to levels of fatigue and dropped concentration.
10. Have a vision. The journey belongs to you.
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