Seven Essential Exercise and Health Tips for Nurses to Follow

Seven Essential Exercise and Health Tips for Nurses to Follow

There are all kinds of jobs out there that can be classified as physically and mentally demanding. Even if you have a great outlook and plenty of energy when you enter a career, it’s only a matter of time before these types of jobs start to take a toll on a person. Nursing is easily up there among the most demanding jobs of all. Nurses are typically on duty for 12 hour shifts, in which they get little to no down time. By the end of their shift, to say they are “tired” is a gross understatement.

Seven Essential Exercise and Health Tips for Nurses to Follow

If you are a nurse and you’re having a hard time coping with the mental and physical stress of your job, then there are some essential exercise and health tips that can prove to be extremely beneficial. Weaving these into your everyday life can give you that balance you need to stay healthy and strong.

Be Mindful of What You Eat and Drink

As a healthcare professional, you know all too well just how important a person’s diet is. Making healthy choices where food and drink are concerned will not only affect a person’s physical but also their mental well-being. So it’s time to take all that knowledge that you possess and apply it your own lifestyle.

Ideally, you want to aim for balance in your life. This means getting the ideal amount of calories, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. While you can certainly take supplements to make up for any gaps you may have, the best sources of the nutrients are their natural form.

Don't forget that healthy food choices help people fight off a variety of health issues and diseases – it helps a person maintain a healthy body weight, gives you energy, and helps your immune system stay strong.

Stay Active on Your Days Off

While it may seem that the best way to spend your days off is relaxing on the couch, in reality, that will have a negative effect on your body. You want to include some form of physical activity each and every day. That could be cardio, muscle building exercises, or even just chores around the house.

Staying active will help to keep your blood pressure in check, help you maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of a heart attack, keep your muscles and joints strong and healthy, lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, give you energy, improve your mood, and so much more.

Practice Proper Handwashing at Home

Nurses are extremely mindful of proper handwashing techniques while they are at work, but you want to treat your home life the same. Washing your hands regularly and properly will help you fight off any germs that may be circulating amongst your family members, allowing you to stay healthy and strong.

Don’t Discount the Value of Sleep

Often when people are busy and have a hectic schedule, the first thing that takes a hit is their sleep schedule. Unfortunately, without enough sleep each night, you leave yourself open to all kinds of issues. Your immune system won’t be able to function at its fullest ability, it affects your ability to concentrate and focus, you’ll feel like you are moving at a slower pace, it can affect your mood in a negative way, and it’ll leave you feeling sluggish. This will make it even harder to get through your shift at work.

Instead, practice good sleep habits by creating a bedtime routine that you stick with. This means going to bed at the same time each night, ensuring that your bedroom is conducive to sleep, not eating or drinking any caffeine too close to bedtime, and even replacing your pillow and mattress if they are causing discomfort.

You Deserve to Be a Priority Too

As a nurse, your job is taking care of the needs of others. While that is extremely noble, you may end up pushing your own needs to the side if you’re not careful. Remember to make yourself a priority and listen to the signals your body is giving you.

Keep Up with Your Social Life Outside of Work

You also want to be sure that your social life doesn’t take a hit simply because you have a demanding job. You need to have that chance to step away from work stress and responsibilities, hang out with friends and family, share some laughs, and have a great time. It’s your chance to be “you” and not just a nurse.

It will sometimes be hard to keep up with a social life, especially if work has been running you down, but remember that getting together with loved ones can often have a restorative effect and inject a burst of energy and happiness into you.

Consider a Less Physically Demanding Role

Even with all these exercise and health tips, at the end of the day, the career may end up being just too much for you. Now that doesn’t mean you have to quit nursing; it just means you may want to look into other avenues you could pursue in the nursing field. Take the msn online program available through Baylor University for example. This is an online master of science in nursing (msn) that is meant for practicing RNs as a way to advance their career and move into more of a leadership role.

So, what kind of careers can you pursue after getting your MSN? Some of the options include a clinical nursing director, chief nursing officer, nurse supervisor, or a home healthcare director. Each of these is heavy on the administrative workload, and a management position means no more running around the urgent care clinic during your shift.

A Demanding Career that Forces You to Be Aware of Your Health

Nursing is most definitely one of the most physically and mentally demanding jobs out there. Whether you are brand new to the field or you’ve been working as a nurse for decades, it’s never too late or too early to start thinking about how to protect your own health and wellness.

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