Workout Routines for Travel Nurses after a Long Shift

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By Geraldine Mills

November 4, 2023



9 Effective Workout Routines For Jobs With Long Work Duties

Working long hours can be physically and mentally exhausting, taking a toll on your overall health. However, with the right preparation, you can improve your stamina and reduce the risk of injury.

One of the best ways to prepare your body for long work hours is to exercise regularly. But with so many different workout routines out there, it can be challenging to figure out what works best for you.

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. In this article, we will highlight some of the best exercises to help you strengthen your body and mind for the work ahead.

workout routines

1. Upper Body Strength

If you have demanding work duties, such as those in the medical field or in blue-collar jobs, it may be beneficial to focus on improving your upper body strength.

Working on your muscular strength in some way also enhances your muscular endurance. You won’t feel as drained after prolonged physical activity when you have better muscular endurance. You can then handle the demands of your job without feeling miserable after each duty.

If your work often involves lifting heavy objects (even people!) or carrying equipment, having well-conditioned muscles in your arms, shoulders, and back can also help reduce the risk of injury and discomfort.

When working out your upper body, you want to do six things:

  • Vertical pushing and pulling exercises.
  • Horizontal pushing and pulling.
  • Exercises that work on your ability to flex and extend your elbows safely.

The exercises to incorporate with this kind of workout include bench presses or push-ups for your horizontal pushing exercises. Some seated cable rows or bent-over row exercises are examples of horizontal pulling.

For vertical pulling exercises, pull-ups and chin-ups are a go-to. An overhead shoulder press or a seated dumbbell shoulder press is excellent for vertical pushing exercises.

Having a barbell set at home can also save you from expensive gym memberships that you never use due to long work hours on duty.

2. Aerobic Exercise

One type of exercise you would want to get into would be aerobic exercises, which will help with your overall endurance since it increases your heart rate and breathing for an extended period. It involves the continuous movement of large muscle groups as well.

When it comes to individuals whose jobs involve long work duties, aerobic exercise can be a game-changer.

Regular aerobic exercise can boost your energy levels and enhance your overall fitness. When you do it regularly, you’ll find that you don’t feel as out of breath as usual in some activities in your line of work.

Some of the most straightforward aerobic exercises you can do today, even without equipment, are running, jogging, walking, or hiking. Even climbing the stairs can count as an aerobic exercise. Doing some dancing, zumba, or even jumping rope is also a great choice of aerobic exercise.

3. Circuit Training

Circuit training, if you don’t know what it is, would be a kind of workout routine where you continuously do specific exercises before resting for a set amount of time.

It’s a simple way of creating an exercise routine for yourself, and you can personalize it based on your capabilities. It’s also a great choice because you can time precisely how long your workouts take.

For example, you can do this exercise routine:

  • Push-ups for 30 seconds.
  • 30-second rest
  • Sit-ups for 30 seconds.
  • 30-second rest
  • Hold a squat for 30 seconds.
  • 30-second rest.
  • Plank for 30 seconds.
  • 30-second rest.
  • Alternate lunges for 30 seconds.
  • 30-second rest

This routine is going to give you a six-minute workout routine already. You now know that it won’t take you that long to finish this exercise routine as it won’t take much out of your day.

Plus, you can personalize it in any way you want. You can reduce the time for each exercise, especially if you’re not as physically fit, or increase it to be more challenging.

4. Running

workout routines

Running is A simple exercise you can incorporate into your daily life. All you need would be comfortable running shoes and some breathable clothes. Also, you can do it from anywhere, like just around your neighborhood or even in the gym.

It’s a great form of aerobic exercise, and even social aspects can make you turn it into a hobby. If you get deep into running, you can go to marathons and join a local community of runners as well.

As for how it can improve your work life, you can enjoy having stronger leg muscles by getting into running. That way, if you need to run around all over the place during your work duties, then you can rely on your legs without feeling the fatigue take over again and again.

5. Yoga

Whatever your job, yoga is a great way to stay healthy as a travel nurse, an office worker, a blue-collar worker, or anything else. It will exercise you both mentally and physically since yoga also involves meditation.

Jobs that involve long work duties can be quite taxing, and you can end up with stiff muscles than you’d like. With yoga, you can stretch these more rigid muscles so that you don’t accidentally over-extend specific muscles, causing a cramp.

Plenty of yoga routines online are available for free, so you don’t necessarily have to go to a yoga class near you. There are also routines available on YouTube so that you can watch them anytime. You can even install an app for yoga routines that is available for free, but if you want more premium content, you may need to pay a fee at some point.

6. Kickboxing

If you’re looking for a more active kind of activity that you can also take in as a hobby, kickboxing is particularly popular for many people. You’d need to have a gym and other equipment since it’s the kind of activity you can’t do at home.

Nonetheless, this kind of activity can also foster community and social activity, so you have a lovely hobby that can also be part of your identity.

7. Bodyweight training

Bodyweight training is a great workout routine if you don’t have the time to go to gyms or classes, nor will you need the equipment to do them. However, if you want to add some challenges to bodyweight training, you can get yourself a barbell set in conjunction with these workout routines.

There are plenty of bodyweight exercises that you can incorporate into your workout routine. Push-ups, tricep dips, bird-dog, planks, reverse lunges, and burpees are all great bodyweight exercises.

8. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Incorporating some HIIT exercises into your workout routine is excellent for your heart as these exercises can train your heart, which is great if your work does a lot of cardio. Please don’t be too scared with HIIT; you can always modify it based on your abilities and state. You’ll find that your breathing is more manageable after doing tiring activities once you do HIIT often.

workout routines

9. Squats

If there’s one exercise you should want to do to help with not only your legs and thighs but also your glutes and hamstrings, then squats are the exercise to rely on. Since you depend on these parts of your body to bear weight often, doing squats as part of your workout routine will be helpful for your endurance and abilities during an exhausting work shift.


These exercises and workout routines are all great to add to your workouts in some way. They will all train you to be more sturdy and to have more strength and flexibility where you need them. Therefore, if you want to be more physically prepared for your shifts, these are great choices to add to your routine whenever.

Interested in a travel nursing job? Our job board is a great place to search for assignments, and if housing is an issue, our housing page can help. It’s time to make a difference!

If you are a new travel nurse or looking into becoming a travel nurse:

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