4 Effective Tips for Travel Nurses to Stay Fit · The Gypsy Nurse

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By Mira Adora

March 10, 2021

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4 Effective Tips for Travel Nurses to Stay Fit While on Assignment

It’s challenging to stay fit when you’re traveling around all the time. You can never fully know where you’re going to end up or if you’ll be able to properly exercise in your apartment.

1. Limit eating out

Sometimes, it’s hard to stay fit and healthy because preparing personal meals just takes too much time. However, if you plan and prepare in advance, you can get your healthy eating back on track.

Plan ahead. Once you have your schedule, it’s time to sit down with your meal plan. Figure out what you probably want to eat day by day. Think of simpler meals for shorter breaks, but pre-plan a treat on heavier days so you won’t be tempted to break your diet.

Shop only for what you need. Don’t go to the grocery without an exact list of what you want to buy. If you go ready to “wing it,” you will probably grab whatever you feel like eating at the moment and what you need to be eating throughout the week. A good technique is to treat yourself to a good meal before going to the grocery. Cravings satisfied, you’ll be less likely to buy what you see.

Pack meals and snacks. Make your food into easy-to-heat and easy-to-carry packages that are stacked in your fridge. Add healthy snacks to the mix. That way, every day, you can just grab your meals and head for work without breaking the streak.

2. Watch the alcohol intake

Alcohol, as you probably know, is just a whole lot of calories but no or very little nutrition. As a result, they add to your body mass with a vengeance. However, there are ways to manage both your fitness and alcohol intake.

Plan your drinking sessions. Since you are already planning your meals, take the drinking sessions into account. If you know you’re going out after work or on the weekend, manage your calories during the day. Stick with healthy meals, light, healthy snacks, and just water. If you’re having a quick midday drink, make your lunch fibrous and low-fat.

Early morning workouts. A great way to manage your calories is to burn them in anticipation. Waking up early for a quick workout will set the mood, wake up your metabolism and endorphins, and prepare you for a long day. It also helps you manage your mood, so you won’t try to drink more than you’ve planned to.

3. Get your sleep

Being on the job all day is indeed tiring, and your mind might seek “mindless” activities such as social media or watching a movie at the end of the day. While that does help get your mind off work and your day, it certainly cuts into your sleeping time.

Sleep speeds up the metabolism. As you know, our bodies convert carbohydrates to fat when our metabolism isn’t running well. When we don’t sleep well, our metabolism slows down painfully. Even if our eating habits are healthy, we still retain more of the food in the form of fat.

Sleep makes working out safer. If we want to continuously work out, we need enough sleep. Otherwise, we run the risk of pulling muscles and straining joints. Any injury would affect our work and limit our workouts. Without sleep, working out is more of a risk than an investment.

Sleep keeps your reactions normal. As a nurse, there are many delicate operations you need to do. While they might be as easy to do, like breathing, you would probably rather not risk letting anything go wrong with your patient. Enough sleep helps your work, your workouts, and your fitness schedule all at once.

4. Join a local gym as soon as you arrive at your assignment

Why a local gym and not a national gym chain? The main reason is that some assignments won’t be near enough to a gym chain franchise to be of any use to you. Local gyms usually have dependable equipment and are less rigid in their rules and policies, which large gym chains tend to be. What should you remember?

Bring your own gear. While local gyms are usually well-equipped, they will probably have less rental equipment. They are also likely to be rather far from basic stores that help you choose the right kind of sports bra, for example. So make sure even your athletic wear is already with you.

Research ahead. You will be exhausted and getting into your new job rhythm when you arrive. If you research beforehand, you can call the local gyms and check how far they are from your home and workplace, so you know where to sign up when you arrive. You also want to know if they will give you a limited membership that accommodates the length of time you are at that assignment.

We hope you found these tips to help you stay fit helpful. As a travel nurse you are always changing locations, jobs and sometimes lifestyles. Staying fit can be difficult. Have you found ways to stay fit while travel nursing that we didn’t list here? Comment them below.

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