On Keeping Fit in Med School

Hate working out? Find a creative way to exercise, like this group.

The most popular activity among med students is probably running. The gorgeous Forest Park, conveniently located right across from campus, has a number of trails and a sweet six-mile perimeter loop. If Forest Park is too hilly for you, there are a number of other routes to explore. If you’re into racing, there are 5Ks (and beyond) almost every weekend, and somebody will always be training for their next marathon, triathlon, danceathon, or walkathon. Whatever your preferred form of -thon may be, you will be in good company here. Of course, we have an awesome gym of our very own in the Olin Residence Hall. Other activities that people are into include cycling, rock climbing, swimming, tennis, IM sports, Insanity, and competitive wheelie chair racing down the carrel hallways. Being active in med school is incredibly easy and you will find plenty of friends with similar interests. If all else fails, I can always be convinced to provide gentle words of encouragement as you do a moderate number of pushups.

— Rowland H., M1

Student Health and Athletic Center (SHAC)

Sometimes you just need that extra push to hit the gym.

Do you lift things up, then put them down? Is running in one spot for miles your idea of a good time? Are you interested in moving heavy objects in an arbitrary manner at odd hours? If so, come to the Student Health and Athletic Center (SHAC). It’s located on the second floor of Olin Hall and is open 24/7. There is a cardio room and a weight room. There are treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, and rowing machines to get your heart rate up, plus plenty of TVs. The weight room is loaded with dumbbells up to 100 lbs, benches, a squat cage, a Smith Machine, and plenty of other pieces of serious fitness hardware. There are mats and a decline bench, too, so you can finish things off with a core workout. Whatever workout demands you have, SHAC has something to get the job done. Plus, if you’re looking to mix things up and meet new people, there are plenty of PT and OT students to have a conversation with while you get your fitness on. Don’t forget, the gym is free, but heart disease can be expensive. So come. Lift.

— Steve F., M1

Intramural (IM) Sports

These student athletes are ready to win!

Whether you’re a former college athlete looking to assemble a team of like-minded tryhards and beat the winning attitude out of some plucky underdogs or a sports dropout just trying to recapture those middle school glory days when all you needed to succeed was a growth spurt and a working vestibular system, intramural (IM) sports has something for you. Never played Ultimate Frisbee.? There’s no better time to start than now. The important thing is to get out and run around with your friends. Enjoy winning? Make friends with more athletic people. Plus, if medical school doesn’t work out, you can always use the insights you gain to pursue an exciting career as an IM referee. With as little as one-to-two months of experience with Madden 2002, you will likely have enough knowledge of the rules and regulation of football. Based on the number of referees present per game, I assume they’re hiring.

— Nate C., M1


Tennis requires intense focus and concentration.

Tennis is a beautiful sport steeped in history. It requires a combination of grace, power, and agility. The good news is that whether you are a former super champ/varsity allstar with 120 mph serves or someone who enjoys casually hitting a few balls around, there are courts for you! The Danforth Campus is rife with competitive youngsters and has an IM league for organized competition. We also have hospital courts right across the street from our lecture halls that are always open and boast lights for dramatic night matches, . la the U.S. Open. Unfortunately, some of the nets sag and certain spots on the court have become spongy patches where balls go to die. Despite these difficulties, I, with the help of a few fellow tennis aficionados, use the sport as a way to stay active, experience the thrill of competition, and HAVE FUN! So make sure to dust off that old racket sitting under a pile of garage debris and get ready to slap some forehands around med school style.

— Jordan J., M1

Ultimate Frisbee

A student trains for his future as an ultimate Frisbee® star.

Is chasing flying plastic disks an important part of your life? Have you ever dreamt that it could be? Well, don’t let medical school get in the way! Wash U has plenty of opportunities for students to catch, throw, mark and lay out for disks at every level. If you’re looking for some casual play, there are pickup games every weekend and intramural teams in the fall. If you want a more intense experience, check out the Wash U college Frisbee team, Contra. Med students are always welcome. They play in tournaments throughout the year and compete for those prized invitations to nationals in the spring. And, of course, there are always people willing to throw around in Forest Park. Whatever your level of skill, desire or, yes, even need to chase that plastic disk, there is a place for you at Wash U!

— Ken M., M1