IVF Expert Dr Malpani’s Four Easy Keep Fit Fixes

As an IVF expert, Dr Aniruddha Malpani's work involves a lot of emotional labour along with long work hours. He shares his insights on how he keeps fit, mentally and physically.

Besides opening up a world of knowledge, finding time to read is key to destressing.
Besides opening up a world of knowledge, finding time to read is key to destressing.

Most doctors are unhealthy themselves and don’t inspire confidence

Dr Aniruddha Malpani

One would expect doctors to be in the pink of health. After all, we are healthcare experts, shouldn’t we be taking great care of our own bodies? The irony is that while we are great at prescribing advice, we aren’t very good at following it ourselves.

Most doctors aren’t healthy themselves and don’t inspire much confidence in their patients when they talk to them about fitness and stress management. Here’s what helps me:

Get going, exercise

To overcome a sedentary lifestyle, I started playing tennis. It’s a great way to start the day and allows me to get some fresh air. Most importantly, it’s something that I enjoy doing which means I am motivated to do it. And being motivated is the secret to getting exercise.

Selective technology

As with most people today, I end up spending too much time on my phone. I enjoy using LinkedIn on a regular basis because it allows me to tap into the wisdom of my peers. Yes, there are lots of trolls, but I either ignore them or block them when they become insufferable.

And as the number of helpful people online is much more than the trolls, there’s no reason for me to cut myself off. The secret here is to be choosy about how much I want to interact.

Being humble is key

It is stressful being an In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) doctor. When patients don’t get pregnant, you need to give them a shoulder to cry on. And every time their cycle fails and their heart breaks, you feel disappointed as well and wish that you had more control over the treatment outcome. But the reality is, you don’t.

I have learnt to come to terms with this. Medicine, therefore, teaches you humility, that not everything is in our hands. It’s a lesson we can all imbibe.

Of course, the great thing about being an IVF doctor is that the emotional income is unbeatable. Every time we help a couple have a baby, we’ve dramatically improved their entire life. As my patients tell me, “Doctor, we thank you every time we see our kids.”

Explore the world of books

I spend my free time reading as I love exploring the wealth locked up in books. I have a huge library and I look forward to reading all the books which I still haven’t read.

Re-reading my favourites recharges my batteries but I am always looking for timeless, eternal wisdom. Therefore, I am learning Sanskrit today to be able to read the original text of the Gita. The wisdom it imparts is unparalleled and it’s helpful to tap into our inner reservoir of spiritual strength.

My favourite prayer is the Serenity Prayer:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

the courage to change the things I can;

and the wisdom to know the difference.

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Image courtesy of alvarez/ Getty Images

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- Marcus Aurelius

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