Workout With Me Wednesday - Boards Edition Featuring Pranamat

If you have been following my blog, you've seen my #WWMW series. Check them out by clicking here. Today, I'd like to share with you guys how I changed up my workout routine and how I modified it to still fit a workout into my schedule!

Usually, I go to the gym four to five times a week and I lift and do some cardio (and I mean minimal). Throughout my board studying time, I found that if I did that amount and type of working out, I got way too tired and too sore and didn't make time to recover. So what did I do to change it up?

1. I did more cardio. SAY WHAT?! If you know me, I don't like cardio. But I know it's needed. So, what I did sometimes was I got on the treadmill, and either watched some videos (Sketchy, DIT, Pathoma) or did some questions, or flashcards. 

2. I did more yoga. I actually really love yoga and have failed to incorporate it into my workout routine, which led to slower recovery. I'm notoriously bad at giving myself adequate time to stretch and rehab my muscles, so I'm definitely glad that I incorporated more yoga during this time (and will be doing more of it from now on). My favorite to do is Yoga With Adriene on the good 'ol YouTube. She has so many different options, as well as different lengths of videos. So if I only have time for a quick yoga sesh, I go for a 10-15 minute one! Also, this was one of my favorites to do: 10-minute Yoga For Self-Care 

3. HIIT Sessions. So I did these a few times during board-study period and WOWZA. If you want to sweat, get your HR up, and get some endorphins flowing DO THIS. I just made it up as I went really but here's a quick sequence I did. 
- Warm up speed walk on treadmill (5 mins)
- Kettlebell swings - 15 reps
- Air squats - 15 reps
- Knee Tucks on Bosu ball - 15 reps
- Alternating toe taps (plank formation, with feet on Bosu ball, alternate taps OFF the Bosu ball) - 15 reps each side
REPEAT this for 3 times, with 1 min rest in between. 

4. Recovery with Pranamat. What is Pranamat? It's a acupressure massage mat that has these things that look like lotus flowers but are actually little spike-y massage stimulators. These help circulation and muscle aches, pains and tension. I loved using this when I come home from a whole day of studying and laying on it. I started out by using it on my bed since it takes some getting used to (be careful of the spikes and lay down gently!). Once you're on it, you will feel heat build up on your back if you're laying on it. It simple feels like all the tension just melts away! During board studying time, it helped me unwind at the end of the day especially since my back would start to hurt after sitting for most of the day. Also, if I was feeling sore from my workouts, it helped with recovery too! I would sit on it as well to relieve any aches or tension on my tush, haha! If you want to find out more about Pranamat you can click here, and if you'd like to purchase one, use LIFEINTHEMEDLANE10 to get 10% off your order!


Having to modify my workout routine was definitely challenging in a sense that I felt like I wasn't doing "as much" as I normally do, but it was still important to listen to my body and what it needed at the time. Also, something I've learned during this time was the important to giving your body and muscles time to recover, by having rest days, incorporating yoga, and using tools such Pranamat to help aid in the recovery process! Board studying time is already stressful as it is, so it's important to take care of your mind and body too!

I hope y'all found this useful, and remember to still get in some workout time - no matter what that looks like - despite the busy schedule you may have!

xoxo, Dorothy 

*Thank you Pranamat for letting me try this product out!

Workout With Me Wednesdays

Okay ya'll, if you're getting on the "New Year, New Me" train just recently - IT'S NEVER TOO LATE! Today, I'm going to be posting a Back & Biceps work out. If you've read my previous post (click here), I talk about how exercising & eating healthy is a lifestyle. I don't go on diets (I really don't think they work), and I try to balance my schedule to be able to work out or get moving in some way. When it comes to working out, I try to focus on one to two muscle groups PLUS a little bit of cardio. Not gonna lie to ya'll, cardio is not my fave. If I do cardio, I try to do 30secs sprint + 30sec rest for about 15 mins on the treadmill, walk on an incline, OR jump roping, but that usually doesn't last as long TBH.

As with any workouts, it's important to switch things up so your muscles don't get used to the same exact thing, week after week. My typical schedule is as follows:

  • Mondays: Leg day (quad focused) 
  • Tuesdays: Chest + Tris
  • Wednesdays: Back + Bis
  • Thursday: Leg day (hamstring + glute focused)
  • Friday: Shoulders
  • Saturday + Sunday: Rest day or catching up if I missed a day during the week. 

Now, I said this is my typical schedule. I don't ALWAYS do the same order. In fact, I've been switching it up lately depending on my energy levels and just so my muscles don't get used to the same routine. Also, I want to mention that most of the workouts I do are more-so weight-lifting exercises. Keep in mind that most require free-weights, dumbbells and and some machines! Don't be intimidate to use those and if you do, make sure that you are using proper form (Safety First! If something does not feel right DONT DO IT - you can always switch things up; just my disclaimer). 

So today I want to share with you guys what I did for Back + Bi Day. FYI: I go to the good 'ol YouTube for lots of Fit-spirations such as: Whitney SimmonsTaylor Chamberlain, Christina Capron, and the like. So go check them out!) 

1. So cardio is tough for me cus I find it boring (cardi-no). BUT for that day, I decided to speed walk on the tread mill, with an incline. Do a speed + level that is comfortable yet challenging for you.
2. Stretch the arms and back (I like to do some light stretching, and leave the deeper stretches for after the work out.

Actual Workout:
- Bent-over rows with under hand grip
- Bent-over rows with over hand grip
DO 4 sets of 10. (These are super-sets and what that means is you do 10 reps of the first one, then 10 reps of the second one and that equals ONE SET. Now do it for 3 more times).
(PS: you can do these with dumbbells as opposed to a barbell.)

-Lat Pull Down Variation: do a lighter weight than you normally do and you will pull on one side first, then the other, and then both (as you would normally). That equals ONE rep. 
DO 3 sets of 8. (PS: I couldn't find a picture on the google but check out Whitney Simmon's YouTube vid here

-Seated Cable Rows: Use the narrow-grip attachment and once you pull, squeeze at the end (think like you're about to snap the pencil in half that's in between your back muscles haha!)
DO 4 sets of 10

-Alternating Bicep Curls with one arm that's stationary: For this exercise, you want to start out with one arm at your side (holding the dumbbell) out at an angle and bent elbows. The other arm will be doing the bicep curls (same angle in which you are hold the stationary arm), while the other is stationary. 
DO 3 sets of 8 reps (each arm)
(PS: the video shows the girl doing it at the same time: for this exercise you would one one arm at a time while the other is holding the dumbbell out)

-Hammer Curls: hold the dumbbells as you would normally and you will do a curl on both arms at the same time. 
DO 4 sets of 10 reps

Don't Forget: Take 1-2 minute break IN BETWEEN SETS! 

Cool Down: 
-Stretch: here I take more time doing deeper stretches for my arms, side body, and even legs. 
-Sometimes I get back on the treadmill for 5 more minutes and walk at an incline. 

There you have it! I hope this helps you & your work out routine ;) Whenever I take some time off, I try to do some yoga or just rest my body. It's always good to allow your body to rest + recover so don't forget that! Also, I have linked a visual for the exercises as well as the links to the YouTube Channels of the people I like to get fit-spirations from! 

What do you like to do for your workouts?


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xo, Dorothy 

Medical School and Burn Out

If you're a fellow second year medical student, you know that it is officially Board-Study Season. And I don't know about you, but I definitely feel the stress already. A few medical students who are a year or two ahead of me gave some of the same tips, and it is this: DON'T GET BURNED OUT. Does this phrase give any one else chills? It's a topic that is commonly thrown around within the medical community - whether students, residents or so on. Now that we're officially in this season of life where it seems like the "end of this tunnel" will never come, I truly believe that this is one of the times in my life in which I really need to be more aware of my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health - so as to prevent this thing called "burn out". 

As if I, and other medical students don't already get "burned out" from constantly studying during the year, we now have one more thing on our plate - a big thing - that we are up against. So what can I do now to hopefully keep this burning out thing at bay? 

1. Community - surrounding myself with friends who are on the same mission, as well as those who can encourage me and keep me grounded is crucial. I've been blessed with friendships here at medical school and back home where I can go to those friends for encouragement, advice, fun - anything really. Another thing that ties in with this is "intentionality" (is that even a word?) because these friendships and relationships are not cultivated without putting in time and effort. 

2. Fitness & Eating Clean - I've talked about this before in a previous post, but I love working out. My body can tell when I haven't been moving and eating well, and it tells me to get movin' and get back on track. I guess I've become more aware or in-tune with my body, which is something important especially with the very busy life I lead. It's important to know when it's time to slow down, take care of yourself, so that you can better focus on your goals. Exercise & meal prep! Exercising not only keeps you physically fit, but also mentally fit! But HEY - don't forget to treat yo'self though. Take rests days and if you're needing that chocolate, ice cream, chips (whatever your weakness is) - GO FOR IT - just remember, everything in moderation

3. Faith - whether times are good or tough, my faith is something near and dear to me. I know that no matter what happens, I can fall back on it and know that everything will be ok. Life is not perfect and things don't always happen as I think they would. But I know that if I continue to believe and have faith that things will work out for the best, they usually do! 

4. Take Breaks - so simple, but easily forgotten. I try to talk to my parents every day even if it's just a little bit. And if you didn't already know - I'm engaged (EEP!) - So it's important to still be able to spend time and talk with the fiance! On top of all of this we are wedding planning. Am I crazy? (Maybe later on I'll write about my experience of planning a wedding while in medical school?) I don't know, but all of these things I've mentioned are more important now that ever! So I take breaks, watch my shows and get a good laugh. Hang out with my friends, and blog too ;)

I'm hoping that these things will carry me through the next few months, and even through the rest of my career in medicine.

What are your favorite ways to prevent burn out? Have you experienced it yourself? What did you do to recover? I'm all ears to any advice! 

xo, Dorothy 

PS. Aren't those pillows the cutest? This is one of my current favorites because I need all the motivation I can get for these next few months. Check more out at F R E E L Y by clicking here. (Many thanks to my friend Ashley @ F R E E L Y for this wonderful piece). 

Girlfriend Collective - A Review

Everyone needs that one tried, and true pair of black leggings amirite? I think I've found mine. Last year around November, I ordered the Girlfriend Collective legging because I kept seeing on Facebook how it was only $19 which was the price of shipping. I mean come on, who can resist that? After browsing through the website, and reading about how one of their designers spent her past time at Lululemon (hello? another favorite of mine!) - then I knew I had to check it out. 

If you ordered these too, you know that the package took a while to come in. I believe I ordered them late summer and they came in early November. This I'm guessing is because they're made and shipped from overseas, and maybe due to demand? Not sure. 

My first impression, honestly, was: "oh no I don't like these". I didn't like them at first because as I was putting them on, the waistband kind of curves in (if you know what I mean) and was a little tight around my waist. I didn't like that feeling because I don't like feeling constricted when I'm supposed to be in my comfy yoga pants. Yet as I wore them more, and maybe after a couple washes, I felt that they started to fit much better, conforming to my body.

Is this the legging that gets better with time?!

So far, I have not noticed any pilling or threads coming loose. Also, the fabric seems to be holding itself up well! I love wearing mine to workout (obviously), and to class and while I'm studying - really, anywhere! I've dressed it up (not TOO dressed up, because you can definitely tell they're workout pants due to the stitching), and I've dressed it down. These leggings also has some compression - not too much, not too little. Especially over time, I feel that the compression is perfect (remember, they take some time to conform to your body). 

Another thing I like about this brand is that they are making these leggings with sustainable means. Read more about their brand and how each pair of leggings are made from 25 recycled water bottles here.

Hopefully the rest of their line (whenever it comes out), will live up to the expectations! I'm excited to see how this brand grows & what kind of products they come out with (maybe I'll have more review for y'all, who knows?) 

Let me know if you've ordered/tried the Girlfriend Collective leggings below! 

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