Fitting in Fitness: Use the Free Exercise Equipment!

I had no free time yesterday. Usually, on days when I know I won’t have any free time to get a workout, I get off the train a stop early and walk a mile to the hospital. But I had so much I needed to do before my fully booked morning clinic, I skipped the walk and rode right on to the Massachusetts General Hospital T stop.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t get any exercise, though. See, the hospital has a secret: There’s free exercise equipment hidden all over the place, that anyone can use. 

After my morning clinic, I had several inpatients I wanted to visit. So I spent an hour rounding, and I made sure to use the free exercise equipment every chance I got: The stairs. 

I had patients all over the hospital, which was great! I even made it to the very top floor of the tallest building in the complex, the famous fancy twenty-second floor. One nurse noticed me as I emerged from the stairwell all out of breath, and she asked incredulously:

“Did you take the stairs??”

“Oh, yes, I totally did,” I answered. “I’m psyched to get a little workout in the middle of my day!”

And I seriously am psyched. After all, so many very sick people come to our hospital. I am so, so lucky that I am able to take the stairs. Trust me, none of my patients in wheelchairs are happy about it. Let’s let the people that need the elevator have the elevator. The rest of us can very happily walk.

So even though I had a booked clinic, a number of inpatients, and no actual free time, I managed to get in a decent amount of activity. By the middle of the afternoon, my stats reflected a good distance and a whole lot of flights!

I make this point all the time, and I live it everyday: We can try to fit in fitness, no matter what. One of our best options for a free and effective workout is the stairs (for those of us who are lucky enough to be able to climb stairs, of course). So don’t take the escalator or the elevator, don’t gripe about how many flights there are, just take a deep breath and smile and enjoy the activity!

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