Being a traveling healthcare professional can be a positive and rewarding experience. But it can also be stressful, physically challenging and mentally demanding.
After a long shift, it’s sometimes tempting to just go home and crash on the couch with a bag of Cheetos. This is why staying physically fit and healthy can often be a challenge during a multi-week travel assignment. The bottom line is, if you don’t make enough time during your assignment to care for your well-being, it can start to affect your physical, mental, and emotional health.
To help you stay in control of your health while on a travel assignment, here are 5 easy and inexpensive tips to consider:
Keeping up with a habit of regular exercise is crucial in maintaining your healthy and active lifestyle while on assignment. If you’re staying in a hotel or apartment with a swimming pool and/or fitness center – use them! You can also join a local gym (sign up on a month-to-month plan), and some are even open 24/7. If running or walking is your thing, investigate the available trails in your location.
Get an Exercise Ball
Keeping your core muscles strong is important – especially for nurses who are on their feet for long periods. Using an exercise ball will help to keep your abs, back and hips strong. It can also improve your balance and agility. The best news is, you can do it while watching TV in the comfort of your home. They come in different weights and materials and typically run in the $10 – $50 range. You can find them online.
Watch What You Eat
Just because you’re traveling doesn’t mean you have to give up your healthy diet! If you prefer to cook your own healthy meals, or have diet restrictions, be sure your recruiter knows that you need a full kitchen. If you need a break and want to dine out, many restaurants offer healthier options on their menus – some of which include the nutritional facts including calories right on the menu. Another great resource is Yelp, where you can search restaurants based on healthy food options and read reviews from other diners.
Be Careful with your Alcohol Intake
As a traveler, you may be invited to social gatherings or events through new colleagues or neighbors. In most cases, alcohol will be served, and it’s easy to overdo it. Wine and cocktails are loaded with calories in the form of sugars, and frequent indulgence can cause you to pack on the pounds. Alcohol also stimulates the appetite causing you to overeat…a double whammy.
Get your ZZZZs
With so much to see and do in a new city, you may burn the candle at both ends. If you do this too much, you’ll pay for it in several ways including lack of motivation to work out, illness and loss of willpower. Make sure you’re scheduling proper sleep time. Try to schedule eight hours of sleep every night to avoid being sleep-deprived. When your body gets used to a routine or schedule, it becomes much easier to follow.
At Focus Staff, we understand the ins and outs of traveling healthcare professionals during these challenging times and have access to a wide variety of excellent professional opportunities. To learn more, contact us today.