COVID19 Fitness Work

Day 30: Call Week Begins

April 14, 2020

Eek. But on the bright side:

  • Our most recent pandemic practice model (subject to change) has shifted to allow for much of the inpatient work for consultants (like me) to be done remotely, too. This is with support for our peds hospitalist, ED, and ICU teams and is part of the goal to empty out the hospital as much as possible for the safety of the patients. (In pediatrics, those teams are not being overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases at this time. Things could certainly change, particularly if there is a need for our pediatric teams to care for older patients.)
  • I am glad to be pitching in on the inpatient side. The current situation just makes me want to feel like I am helping and contributing. (Though seeing outpatients — and hopefully keeping them OUT of the hospital — is a contribution too!)
  • I am as well-rested as I’m ever going to be on call, and if (when) I get called at night — at least I don’t need to get up early the next day to rush to the office!
  • Our A/C was fixed yesterday (they “flushed the line” and it magically worked again. THANK YOU A/C people!!!!). SO grateful for last night’s comfortable night of sleep.

I had my first mostly-full telemedicine day yesterday! I’ve been seeing patients in fits and spurts, but yesterday I saw 10 (5 AM, 5 PM). The day flowed pretty well, and I was mostly able to get notes done between each session.

Some medical problems are more amenable to the format than others, but overall it went well. Josh found an extra laptop (an old one of his that apparently gave him neck strain?) and my office became a MUCH more productive environment instantly:

I love my new office.

I have been thinking about post-COVID-19 changes to my workflow, and I do think I have already learned some lessons. I can work more flexibly than I used to and (as long as I am productive and keep up with things) NO ONE WILL CARE. At least I don’t think so.

I am going to think about how I might bring some of my current flexibility into “normal” life, when/if that ever happens. At the very least, I would love to offer some level of telemedicine visits if I am allowed to (even if I am doing them from the office). I think they serve certain patent populations well (diabetes especially – not for every visit, but perhaps alternating with in-person) and will lead to fewer no-shows and missed appointments.

I also think I could be more gentle with myself about the rigidity of my hours and where I am doing my work, especially my GME work.

I do plan to continue my 0.9FTE status for one day every two weeks that I can consider myself truly “off”, though. At least for now.

A few of you asked some follow-up questions about Beachbody. A few thoughts:

  • If you haven’t tried the workouts and are looking for a great at-home option, I encourage you to give the 21 Day Fix series a try. There is a nice mix of strength & cardio in these sessions.
  • Things you need: For 21 Day Fix — A mat, a relatively small space, and some weights. When I started, I think I used 5lb + 8lb. Now I generally use 8lb and 12lb and I probably need to increase to 15lb-20lb for some things. 21 Day Fix extreme also uses bands and A Little Obsessed uses sliders. (Lots of amazon options, which is where I got mine.)
  • There are detailed meal plans . . . which I totally ignore. LOL. I am sure I would have even better “results” if I followed them, or some version of them. But I have never felt compelled to take that leap.
  • The workouts do “work”. I definitely have better muscle tone than I did prior to starting these workouts. I can do more pushups and lift heavier weights. They help increase muscle, and therefore improve body composition (if one remains weight-neutral). I have one set of pix that I took that definitely show a difference (though my “BEFORE” is just a few months postpartum). But I will spare you all. I like having those images for myself, though!
  • YES, Beachbody is an MLM, but you don’t have to to participate to use the product. I glean that they make most of their $$$ from subscribers who buy nutritional supplements. I have never purchased any and do not have a ‘coach’ per se. I bought my Beachbody On Demand plan straight from the website. The current price is $99/year (you can also do something like $39.99 + tax for 4 months). For me this is VERY worth it – far cheaper than a gym membership with unlimited access to a whole slew of workout programs.

OKAY! Let the call week begin. Onward & upward . . .


  • Reply Irene April 14, 2020 at 10:44 am

    I am seriously contemplating trying Beachbody on demand- I am 10000% against MLM but I’m very interested in the workouts. I have been mostly running outside for quiet because I’m with my kids so much of the day but I think I need some thing more…have you done any of the Les mills classes? There is also an on demand version of that I’m debating.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 14, 2020 at 11:47 am

      I’ve never done Les Mills. I have heard good things about the Peloton app though (even w no bike or tread), so that’s another non MLM option 🙂

      • Reply Amanda April 14, 2020 at 12:07 pm

        I’m loving the Peloton app. We have a normal treadmill (not a $4K Peloton treadmill) and the classes offer a great variety. There are so many other classes too, including lots of strength/bodyweight/minimal equipment and outdoor runs. Its free for 90 days right now so definitely worth checking out.

  • Reply Amanda April 14, 2020 at 11:56 am

    In the midst of the madness, your blog is the only one I turn on my computer to check for in the morning. There’s just something so real about your content. Thank you!

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 14, 2020 at 2:02 pm

      Wow thank you ❤️ The writing itself is keeping me sane so it’s nice to know it helps others too!!

  • Reply Danielle April 14, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    My husband bought Beach Body’s P90X years ago and it’s what he uses every year to get ready for his military PT test. We’re to the point where he has most of the exercises memorized and we both have all the horribly corny things that Tony says memorized 😂😂

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 14, 2020 at 2:01 pm

      Ha!!! That’s so funny!

  • Reply Omdg April 14, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    I am hoping the epidemic will:
    – make working from home more socially acceptable
    – make telemedicine a better option for some practices and patients
    – help reduce waste in the ORs and reduce asinine rules like having to change your mask every time you enter or leave an OR or prohibiting cloth OR hats that were obvious attempts by some organizations to assert power over doctors with more rules.
    – provide incentive to practice better hygiene / infection control while intubating patients

    I really truly hope that my future involves more family time. I think part of this is not being a resident anymore, but this has been the first time in years since we have spent so much time together as a family. It’s not always wonderful, but I still am happy I’ve had it.

  • Reply Lori C April 15, 2020 at 9:09 am

    I love your posts, please keep them coming! I also love your little home office setting. Did you move a desk in there? Or buy a new one? We currently have only 1 desk in the house, which is in our bedroom (we don’t have a dedicated office). I’m debating buying another so my husband can move his makeshift office out of the kitchen. IKEA has reasonable ones and I’m sure it could be repurposed eventually for the kids… hmmmm

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 15, 2020 at 9:44 am

      we bought this (cheap) IKEA desk when my old one was still being used to stage the old house, and then when we finally sold (STILL SO THANKFUL FOR THAT!) we moved little the desk upstairs. i loooove it!

  • Reply Lori C April 15, 2020 at 11:23 am

    It’s cute, I think I have to bite the bullet provided shipping is available!

  • Reply Cate April 15, 2020 at 10:34 pm

    21 day fix is my favorite. I mix it in with peloton and the combo is perfect. Re telemed- one of my friends from residency is ped endo and looked using it for her diabetics as her fellowship project with good results! I don’t think she published it yet though.

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