Life / Health

Pumped for work: Surgeon steers Instagram followers to fitness and career success

Surgeon by day, fitness warrior by night, you’ll find Dr. Dupe Oyewumi on Instagram dressed in scrubs, warming up with cardio and activation exercises before operating.

Surgeon Dupe Oyewumi feels it’s vital to incorporate a short workout into her work day.

Eduardo Lima / Metro Order this photo

Surgeon Dupe Oyewumi feels it’s vital to incorporate a short workout into her work day.

If better health and career advancement are among your 2018 goals, you’re not alone. As we herald a new year, many Canadians will strive for success in the gym and on the job.

For Dr. Dupe Oyewumi, an otolaryngological surgeon and certified personal trainer, the two go hand in hand. Her workouts aren’t about weight loss or washboard abs — she says her routine helps improve her mood, stamina and focus at work.

Surgeon by day, fitness warrior by night, you’ll find Oyewumi on Instagram dressed in scrubs, warming up with cardio and activation exercises like jumping jacks and pushups before operating.

Removing tonsils or inserting hearing tubes require Oyewumi to sit or stand in the same position for three or more consecutive hours. These prolonged positions can take a toll on her physically, which is why she incorporates a short workout into her work day.

“If I can get my lower back muscles activated early, it’s a lot easier on me,” Oyewumi said. “I’m less fatigued during surgery and less sore after.”

During evenings and weekends, Oyewumi swaps her scrubs for sweats to lift weights and lead group bootcamp classes in Toronto’s east end. But her fitness regime isn’t all hardcore. Oyewumi practises yoga, meditation and mindfulness, which also boost her work performance.

“I envision cases beforehand. Days when I do this, relax and take a deep breath, I find things go a lot smoother,” she said.

A 2016 Angus Reid/Participaction survey of Canadian office workers found that 63 per cent worried about the amount of time spent sitting at work. More movement — on and off the job — is something most people can benefit from, according to registered physiotherapist and clinic director Mary-Catherine Saxena-Fraser.

In her practice at Totum Life Science, Saxena-Fraser sees a mix of people from researchers and salespeople to factory workers who spend 12 hours at a conveyer belt, many of whom are struggling to fit fitness into their day.

“Stopping work is not an option for most people. Tasks have to get done but we can find different positions to do them in,” Saxena-Fraser advises. She suggests forming new on-the-job habits like walking around during phone calls, or pinning reports to the wall and reviewing the numbers while standing.

But unlike office workers, hair and makeup artist Claudine Baltazar doesn’t always have the option to switch positions. Her job styling models requires her to stand for hours at a time, often with her arms reaching up or neck bent down. For Baltazar, a regular Pilates practice has helped strengthen her body.

“I know that my work benefits from my Pilates routine,” she said. “I feel like the strengthening of my core and back holds me up on set. It’s also helped me tune inward and feel clear about work in general.”

PRO TIPS

Tips from Oyewumi and Saxena-Fraser for better work performance:

• Keep moving; your best posture is your next posture.

• Prioritize sleep and physical activity as workload increases.

• Slow down and breathe deeply throughout the day.

• Invest in one or two appointments with a certified trainer or physiotherapist to assess your body’s needs.

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