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Dr. Nida Momin Dr. Nida Momin

Kicking It into High Gear

“My biggest piece of advice is to just always keep moving. It’s the best thing you can do for your health.”
– Dr. Nida Momin

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Nida Momin, MD: Rheumatology, FM 1960 Clinic, Greater Heights Clinic, Memorial Villages Campus

May 2024

After turning 30, Dr. Momin wanted to make some changes to stay healthy, so as a specialist in Rheumatology, she started by moving more. She found that kickboxing helped her to get in shape, build endurance, and feel stronger – both physically and mentally. She also found a way to incorporate a healthier diet, despite her busy schedule.

How did kickboxing end up kickstarting your wellness journey?

I knew I had to become more active, and kickboxing classes looked fun, so I signed up. I still do it occasionally, but for a good two years I did it four or five days a week. It helped me get into shape and also gave me confidence. But I realized I also needed to balance it out with some lower impact stuff.

What activities did you add to your workout regimen?

Besides kickboxing about once a week, I started doing yoga and stretching. Adding those definitely helps me maintain my flexibility, improve my posture, and reduce stress. It also gives me energy throughout the day and helps me feel healthier.

I’ll sometimes incorporate cardio circuits or HIIT (high-intensity interval training). I also walk on a regular basis. I try to vary my workouts because I tend to get bored really easily.

As a busy doctor, how do you manage to fit exercise into your schedule?

I don’t do super long workouts. I’ll exercise for 20 to 30 minutes about four days a week. On top of that, I try to go on regular walks in the evenings after work, or sometimes during my lunch hour.

When I’m at home and watching TV, I’ll just pull out my yoga mat and do some stretches. Little things like that eventually add up. It doesn’t have to be anything intense.

In your practice as a Rheumatology specialist, do you see people who really benefit from exercise?

Yes, definitely. I encourage all of my patients to participate regularly in low-impact aerobic exercise. I find that patients who exercise regularly and practice healthy habits tend to have better mobility and less pain.

Did you make any changes to your diet?

The toughest part for me was the diet because I like to eat. I find it hard to cook on weeknights, so I usually meal prep on the weekends so that I free up my evenings. I also don’t restrict my diet and eat what I enjoy.

What is a typical healthy meal for you?

I like to do bowls a lot since they’re fairly easy to prepare. I’ll do brown rice or RightRice as a base and then add some vegetables and sometimes meat to it. Then I’ll top it with some cheese or sauce. Pasta is an all-time favorite. If I want to be a little healthier, I’ll substitute with chickpea pasta. I try to keep it really simple and, ideally, less than 30 minutes to prep.

What do you think the biggest barriers are to people living healthily?

Time is the biggest factor. A lot of patients of mine will say they don’t have time. Even if you’re not dedicating 20 to 30 minutes to it, you can at least do five to 10 minutes and gradually increase over time.

What is one piece of advice you’d give someone to help them stay motivated in their health journey?

Set realistic goals. Start slow and work your way up.

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