Finding a Health Routine That Fits Your Nursing Lifestyle – And Why It Matters

Finding a Health Routine That Fits Your Nursing Lifestyle – And Why It Matters

As a nurse, you know that shouldn’t risk your health while you help improve the health of others, but it can be especially hard for a health care provider to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Every day, you make a difference in the lives of individual patients and the overall well-being of the community, but while you’re focused on the health of others, you need to counter the aspects of your job that can be detrimental to your own wellness. The healthier you are, the better you can help your patients (and your loved ones as well!).

So, let’s take a closer look at what the benefits are of maintaining your physical health as a nurse. What do you stand to gain from keeping your health in check, and how can you integrate a healthy routine into your lifestyle?

Strengthening Energy and Immunity

Your job as a nurse can take a lot out of you. Some focus on building your physical wellbeing can make sure you and your patients benefit from negative impacts here. With solid energy levels and optimized immunity, you can perform all tasks to the best of your ability. Not to mention it keeps you personally on top form.

Some ways you can maintain your physical health in this area include

●      Tai-Chi and Yoga

Tai-Chi and yoga are mind-body exercises regarded as effective in boosting energy and immunity. The combination of deep and slow breathing, mindfulness, and physical stretching can reduce your fatigue and strengthen your muscles. Not to mention they can support your mental well-being. Particular poses — like the cobra and downward dog — are considered helpful for energy maintenance. These are also exercises you can take just a few minutes out of your busy day to perform.

●      Resistance Strength Training

This type of exercise involves the use of equipment such as weights and resistance bands. It may seem as though this would expend more energy than it gains you. But if you’re mindful of your limitations and build up gradually, you can experience short- and long-term boosts. It can also help you to sleep better, which can improve your energy. There is also evidence to suggest this type of regular exercise has a positive impact on the immune system.

●      Walk Outside

It can certainly be difficult to galvanize your motivation to exercise, particularly if you already have low energy levels. But it’s important to recognize that even small actions can help to begin with. Taking a couple of moments each day to step outside your hospital or clinic to take a walk in the fresh air and sunshine can do wonders. It keeps you energized, maintains your health, and can motivate you to adopt more beneficial activities.

Optimizing the Senses

Being a nurse requires you to be sharp at all times. Noting less-obvious symptoms or patient body language can influence whether you can deliver the right care to them. Not to mention it can be quite distressing to find you need to strain your eyes and ears in the course of your duties. As such, keeping your senses top-notch is a vital aspect of maintaining your physical health.

Some important focuses here include:

●      Nutrition to Protect Your Eyes

Maintaining a balanced diet is a key aspect of keeping generally healthy. But it’s important to understand how your nutritional intake can have a direct impact on your visual health. Some foods contain antioxidants that can protect you against cataracts. Foods high in vitamin C could reduce the risk of glaucoma. It’s worth taking the time to plan your meals to include these foods that play a key role in keeping your senses sharp. Many brightly colored fruits, leafy greens, and fatty fish can make a positive impact.

●      Minimize Negative Stimuli

As a nurse, many of the physical health risks to your senses are likely to involve aspects of strain. Harsh strip lighting and spending a lot of time looking at computer screens can put pressure on your eyesight. If you work in the city or busy environments, loud noises can affect your hearing over time. Taking steps to mitigate the effect of stimuli can bolster your physical health. Blue light-blocking glasses can reduce issues from computer screens. Some earplugs can reduce the loudest noises while still keeping you able to hear patients.

●      Get Regular Tests

One of your most powerful tools in maintaining the physical health of your senses is regular tests and checkups. As a medical professional, you know how important it is to identify potential issues early on. Getting your sight and hearing tested annually can mean you can benefit from early insights and professional guidance.

Enabling Full Mobility

You need your full mobility as a nurse. In most roles, you will be spending all day on your feet, sometimes rushing around and dealing with emergency scenarios. You may also be lifting and supporting patients at times. As such, maintaining your physical health can mean you benefit from a full range of motion. This also reduces the potential that you’ll injure yourself from pushing your physical limits.

Some approaches to this could include:

●      Joint Exercises

It is not unusual for nurses to find their joints are uncomfortable due to the amount of physical pressure the role entails. There are specific exercises you can perform to manage and relieve the symptoms of joint pain, even if you’re experiencing rheumatoid arthritis. Isometric lunges can strengthen the knees, while wall slides can address shoulder pain. Alongside preventing further damage to your joints, these exercises are convenient to perform throughout your workday.

●      Swimming

Regularly taking time in the water is an excellent approach to achieving full mobility. Even if you find you experience joint pain or have weight-related challenges, swimming can be a low-pressure way to keep healthy. There is a lower effect of gravity on your body and you can find you’re able to exercise for longer. As such, it is well-suited to gradually building and maintaining your continued mobility.


Being a nurse can put some significant strain on various areas of your wellbeing. Maintaining your physical health can mean you’re able to provide your patients with the best level of care. More importantly, there are opportunities to ensure you don’t suffer from your commitment to serving the community. With some small but impactful adjustments, you can enjoy your nursing career and peak wellness.


Train for a Fall 5k: A Nurse’s Guide

Train for a Fall 5k: A Nurse’s Guide

The heat is on this summer, but one of the best times to run a 5k race is in the fall. Charity Turkey Trots and Halloween-themed 5ks are among the fun events runners can participate in during fall.  The system in this blog can help you train for any 5k event.

The biggest hurdle to athletic training for most nurses are long shifts and already-existing sleep deprivation.  While some nurses I know are already marathoners (even ultra marathoners, triathletes, ect) this guide is meant to help a beginner.

If you’re not a runner, you can train for and enter a 5k run-walk instead. Most 5k runs, in fact, support walkers and joggers.


The first key: alternating high-impact and low-impact training days


The key to training for a 5k: alternate, alternate, alternate! Choose a day for a high-impact training session, then devote the following day to a slower, more recovery-focused training session. An example formula to follow: running for twenty minutes on Tuesday and Thursday, and on Wednesday, running and walking for twenty minutes.

Or, if you are working up to being able to run for twenty minutes straight, spend twenty minutes of running/walking in alternation on your high-impact day. The following day, simply go for a twenty-minute walk. 

The other key to a 5k training regimen: a rest day. Or two! Experts suggest training five or six days a week, and leaving one day to rest and rebuild your muscles.

If the alternation system makes sense, but the motivation train has passed you by, these strategies can help:


1. Run/walk with a friend of a similar fitness level


The buddy system works. Having a friend to count on and having a friend count on you as a supportive source can really make a difference in a training regimen. You don’t have to run together every day, but even just once a week can help.


2. Sign up early!


Find a fun race, a charity jog, a costumed Halloween race, or a 5k that is dog-friendly and sign up online as soon as you can. Just entering the race and being sent your registration materials can make the goal of running a 5k more ‘real’ and tangible, making it more motivating to train for.


3. Don’t be nervous


Chances are there are hundreds, if not thousands of other people in your same exact fitness boat. If the going is slow for training, don’t despair. It’s a long game, and you’re not the only one playing.


4. Dealing with sleep deprivation and scheduling


The best time to run may be in the morning, depending on your city. But, if time allows and you can find a safe neighborhood to run in, don’t give up the idea of running at night. Usually any time from 7 pm to 10 pm is just fine. If 24-hour shifts make alternating impossible, try going for a 20 minute walk/jog on an off day after getting substantial rest.


 The fastest athletes in the world can run 5ks in 15 minutes, or even faster than that. For most new 5k runners, 30 minutes and below is a superb goal to shoot for. For those of you doing the math, 30 minutes or less breaks down to about 10 minutes per mile.

Though a ten-minute mile may sound easy, the tough part (for most of us) is running or walking three miles in a row. A 5k time in the 21-minute range breaks down to 7 minute miles, all in a row. That’s pretty fast!

If you train with alternating high-impact and low-impact sessions for 5-7 weeks, you’ll be ready for any 5k race. Good luck, and have fun!