Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while working long hours and traveling between assignments can be a challenge for many healthcare providers. You spend time providing quality care for patients so they can be the healthiest version of themselves, and may struggle to find time to squeeze in a workout or cook a healthy meal. Fortunately, these tips for staying fit while on assignment can help.
1. Incorporate exercise in your day to day life
The easiest way to exercise is to add it to your everyday life. For example, park further away from the entrance of buildings to get more steps (experts recommend walking at least 10,000 steps per day). If you are at the airport, try walking around instead of sitting and waiting for your plane to board.
You can also incorporate exercise at home. As an example, instead of sitting on the couch and watching tv to unwind, try doing sit-ups or standing stretches while you watch your favorite show. There are subscription apps to choose from if you prefer guided at-home exercises. Remember that any movement helps, and you may be surprised how often you can incorporate movement into your life and busy schedule.
2. Meal prep
Unfortunately, when you work long hours and travel, it is hard to find time to eat well and cook nutritious food. Vending machines and meal delivery services make it easy to choose junk food out of convenience. Meal prepping can help you avoid those last-minute trips to the vending machine or ordering calorie-dense food from restaurants. It may sound intimidating and time-consuming, but making your meals ahead of time can be simple. If you designate one night a week to prepare all of your meals you will save time in the long run.
3. Check in on your mental health
Taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of physical health. There are free tools you can use that help with meditation and mindful thinking. These can be especially useful when you feel like you might be experiencing burnout. Remember to check in on your mental health regularly and talk to someone if you start suffering from provider burnout.
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