Inspiring Patients: Fitter, Healthier Healthcare Professionals Promote Fitness as a Lifestyle

Sandor Katz, sauerkraut

Simplifying everything, even the food you eat will make you healthier. This is Sandor Katz. He pickles everything. 

Obesity is a serious health concern in United States, as it can and often does give way to a whole range of medical problems including but not limited to hypertension, arterial blockage, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, asthma and certain types of cancers. This is not exactly news to doctors and nurses of course, but it is so difficult to stay motivated and find the energy to exercise daily, after long, tiring workdays.

Why Staying Fit Goes Beyond Personal Health Goals for Medical Professionals

Healthcare professionals are not just aware of what obesity or being overweight can do to a person’s health, they also deal with the consequences of their patients’ poor lifestyles on a daily basis.

It is for that reason that physicians, nurses and others involved in direct patient care should make it a goal to remain as fit and healthy as possible. In addition to the personal health and productivity benefits, this is also effective in inspiring patients towards leading better, fitter lifestyles.

Athletic, Healthy and Ambitious: Is It Even Possible for a Medical Professional?

If you are a fulltime nurse, who is also ambitious enough to continue her education and get to a better place in her career, there’s no denying the fact that exercising daily and maintaining a decent enough diet is going to be hard. Nonetheless, thanks to online education, it’s still possible.

You can complete your CCNE accredited online Masters in Nursing with an institution like Baylor University, where they have programs specifically designed to fit around the schedule of a busy, working nurse.

These Online Masters in Nursing programs are flexible, can be completed from virtually any location in the world and most importantly, they allow busy nurses at least a bit of time for themselves. It’s much easier to get your meals in order, when you can prepare them in your own kitchen and do not have to waste hours daily on commuting to and from nursing school, the hospital and your home.

Fitness Doesn’t Always Have to Involve a Gym

We just discussed how nurses can complete their higher studies from home, thanks to online education, and the same is also applicable when it comes to staying fit and healthy. Being a medical care worker, you likely have a decent idea regarding diet already, and as far as the exercise is concerned, there are so many online resources to explore for that as well.

Does going to a gym help you get more from your workout sessions? Most certainly, but if your goal is to stay healthy and fit, you do not necessarily have to get an expensive gym membership for that.

For most of us, all we need to do is powerwalk for 20-30 minutes every day at the local park, or even on a treadmill for that matter! You can make your workout routine more beneficial by mixing things up and throwing in three days of bodyweight training and a few sets of HIIT to alternate with three-days of powerwalking. At most, you will be spending half an hour every day on your fitness goals, and that’s about all you need to do.

Getting the Basics Right While at Work

It is quite likely that if you are a medical worker, most of what we are going to discuss next are things that you know too well yourself, and maybe you provide more detailed advice regarding similar things to your patients on a daily basis!

Nonetheless, due to the very nature of the medical profession itself, it is easy to forget that what you are advising applies to you as well. Therefore, even if to only remind yourself about them, go through the following basics of maintaining a healthy lifestyle at work.

Hydration

Dehydration can sneak up on you, irrespective of how well aware you may be of its effects. To avoid forgetting to drink at least 3 liters of water on a daily basis, try the following method:

  • Fill up three one-liter bottles of water at the beginning of your shift
  • Label them as 1, 2 and 3
  • Place them at a location where you spend the most time
  • Be sure to drink all three bottles of water by the end of your shift
  • If your shifts are not particularly long, just 2 bottles will be sufficient; drink the other liter at home

Some of us find drinking 3-liters of water daily a tough ask, so try flavored water instead (no sugar), if that’s a problem.

Eating Small Meals at Work

Instead of eating large meals, break down your meals into multiple, bite-sized ones. It is a scientific fact that having multiple tiny meals throughout the day is better than having three big ones.

Whether they can actually contribute to weight loss or not is a debatable topic, but smaller meals are easier to digest, the constant supply of food keeps the body energized throughout the day, and most importantly for a busy medical worker, you don’t have to spend more than a few minutes to eat any of the meals.

There is one very important factor to consider here though; you cannot eat six junk meals a day and expect it to help your health, irrespective of how portion controlled they might be!

Admittedly, at times, it might be impossible to eat healthy at work, but we should try to do so as much as we can anyway. Besides, working in a hospital means that the cafeteria almost certainly has multiple healthy food options for the employees to choose from; a luxury that most professionals do not have and one that you should definitely take advantage of.

Staying fit and healthy doesn’t just mean sweating it out and keeping your meals in check, but it involves mental fitness as well. Given that doctors, nurses and other medical workers work constantly with life and death, there is serious potential of psychological issues developing, if the accumulating stress is left unaddressed.

Find an activity which helps you to destress and use it to its full effect. Sometimes, a major episode at work might also require therapy to get over, and being a medical professional, you should know when it’s time to talk to someone.

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