Love what you do, and earn points doing it
- September, 2019
- Health & Wellness
Dr. Samuel Kiehl is an emergency medicine doctor at Ohio State and has been practicing emergency medicine for nearly 50 years. He worked in emergency medicine before it was a specialty, and he loved his work so much that he helped shape it into a board-certified specialty. Even with a demanding job and a large family, he prioritizes his own health and wellness. At age 73, Dr. Kiehl still practices emergency medicine at the OSU Wexner Medical Center and is one of the top Your Plan for Health (YP4H) point earners. I took some time to talk to him and to learn about his strategies to maintain his well-being and prevent burnout and to earn YP4H points.
How to Prevent Burnout and Promote Well-Being
Dr. Kiehl believes that preventing burnout starts with having diverse interests and doing things you enjoy. This applies to work as well as to your exercise routine: “The two most important things about your health are maintaining your ideal weight and having a regular exercise routine, something you do five to six days a week that is easy to do and that you enjoy doing.” It is important to find something that you like that fits into your schedule and can be maintained. He emphasizes that “any activity is beneficial to your psyche and physical well-being.”
When it comes to being active, he also brought up the idea of “twofers” in which you exercise while completing another to-do at the same time. His example was listening to CME (continuing medical education) audio courses while exercising. Another example is to plan for some hiking/walking or other adventurous activities when you take a vacation. Exercise can also be a part of accomplishing a task like working on your home, gardening, or pet care.
Tips for Earning YP4H Points
When I mentioned my surprise at Dr. Kiehl’s ability to earn so many YP4H points as a busy doctor, he replied “I get points for things I do anyway.” He mentioned the importance of having a fitness tracker to aid him in getting points, since the tracker does most of the work. Having to only take a few minutes a day to do the administrative part of earning points keeps it fun and focused on being healthy. Many things you can get points for are fairly easy and automated with a tracker, such as tracking your sleep or hitting your step goal.
One of the things Dr. Kiehl does to earn points is participate in YP4H challenges, particularly the steps challenge. For the past steps challenge, he said that he was in the top 150 of the thousands of participants. One thing that helps him is getting in the competitive spirit and being more mindful of how many steps he is taking each day. He lives on a farm and said sometimes he would forego taking the four-wheeler to the mailbox and walk instead so he could get some extra steps. You can apply this principle to many activities including parking farther from work, taking the steps instead of the elevator, and taking frequent breaks from sitting at your desk to refill a water cup.
Most people go to the Emergency Room once or twice in their lives, and we count on these healthcare providers being there for us and knowing exactly what to do to help us. Now we can listen to the advice of just such a provider on our health and wellness!
Dr. Samuel Kiehl