The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new weekly physical activity guidelines to maintain a healthy lifestyle as we approach the new year.
WHO has advised adults to tally 150 minutes or, roughly 2.5 hours, of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week, including those who have chronic conditions or disabilities. For those aged 64 and over, racking up 150-300 minutes of moderate activity, including 75-150 of vigorous exercise, can help reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, hypertension and even early death.
The organization had previously stated it was a necessity to garner 150 minutes of moderate exercise or at least 75 minutes of intense exercise each week, but that was recommended for healthy adults.
On the other end of the spectrum, young adults, children and adolescents, should all be getting up to 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise-per-day. These activities should include cardio-based exercises like jogging, biking and rowing, but also strength-enhancing workouts too.
As COVID-19 continues to surge, it is important for individuals to not only abide by social distancing protocols, but also put in the necessary time to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially those at risk, like people with chronic heart conditions and metabolic or respiratory issues.
Our healthcare professionals work hard enough to help us stay healthy, so finding time to help themselves can sometimes go overlooked. Traveling nurses are always on the go and tend to work long hours, but finding some ‘me’ time isn’t necessarily out of reach. However, this requires some proper planning to fit it into busy schedules. That said, here are a few tips for our travel nurses and allied professionals.
Train Your Mind and Your Body Will Follow
It is important to not only document your progress, but to celebrate it as well. You need to first understand the benefits of physical activity and how it can improve your quality of life. As any healthcare industry professional will tell you, physical activity is not only great for one’s physique, but great for the mind as well. Next, incorporate exercise into your daily routine and track your time spent, distance covered and progression. We know that trying to find time for physical activity is difficult when travel nurses are putting in 12+ hour shifts, but if you can’t find time before- or after a shift, incorporate your movements into your daily routines! Write down your perceived barriers or obstacles and come up with a plan to conquer them. Lastly, note the benefits of your activities, shed any insecurities, and recognize all you have achieved as you progress.
Incorporate Your Peers
We could all use some motivation and encouragement. That said, bring your fellow healthcare professionals into the mix, stay active together and learn new things. Consider carving out some time during the day for quick 5-10-minute body weight routines, like air squats, pushups, sit-ups and v-ups, to name a few. Taking a break with a coworker to knock out some exercises, scaling a flight of stairs or taking a brisk walk in the parking lot are a few great ways to keep moving! Sharing activities improves our interactions with our peers and helps build friendships. In fact, just two minutes of exercise before critical thinking sessions can help with enhancing and boosting the mind.
Consider a Home Gym
Sometimes when people see the phrase, ‘home gym’, they think this needs to be a $1,000+ job in completely overhauling a room, garage, cellar, etc., but that is not the case. One can carve a section out of a room and incorporate a few kettle bells, free weights, stationary bike, rowing machine or yoga mat. This allows you to exercise on your time and have a safe space to do it as well. Personal space makes for improved efficiency and shifts your mentality to make exercise more of a lifestyle than a perceived obligation. Plus, you will not have to wait in line to use the equipment! Although some travel nurses are bouncing from location-to-location, it does not mean you do not qualify to ‘own’ a home gym. You can incorporate movements using items that are readily available, like squats with water bottles or two-liters, using towels to do various stretches in improving flexibility or even doing some jumping jacks or air squats in an area that will allow for it.
This article comes courtesy of The Gypsy Nurse. For more, click HERE.
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