As a travel healthcare professional, you get to explore new places and experience different cultures. A big challenge though is staying healthy while still working. Traveling causes stress which weakens your immune system and new places can sometimes mean exposure to new germs. Throw in a busy schedule and unfamiliar resources, some people end up blowing off healthy habits. That can be a recipe for disaster.
However, your health should always be a top priority. If you’re not healthy, your job and everything else will suffer. Your first thought might be to buy 10 gallons of hand sanitizer and a bio-hazard suit but that’s not practical. Besides the suit might scare your patients. What you need to do is work to create daily routines and patterns that ensure your well-being. Here are some ways to stay healthy throughout your travels.
1. Set Some Goals
To be successful at anything, you must have objectives. You wouldn’t take a vacation without having a destination in mind. So, ask yourself, what are your fitness goals for the next 3, 6 and 12 months? Do you want to lose weight, run a 5k or marathon, or perhaps just fit into your favorite pair of jeans? Having a goal is one way to ensure that you know what you are working for and stay on track. Make sure they are clear and reasonable. Don’t set unrealistic goals or they will become stressful and won’t stick.
2. Always Try to Eat as Healthy as You Can
You are what you eat. Hopefully you’re not primarily Doritos and Red Bull. Therefore, staying healthy means consuming healthy foods. Avoid the trap of always grabbing takeout, fast food or processed microwave dinners. Although it may be difficult to prepare meals in a strange kitchen it’s not impossible if you keep the meal simple. For example, sautéed chicken, frozen vegetables and couscous is quick and easy. If you completely have no idea of what to cook, get inspiration from recipe apps and websites. Another option is a meal kit service.
Here are some suggestions:
- Sunbasket.com (offering 50% off your first delivery)
- Homechef.com ($30 off with first order)
- 2. com (8 Free Meals | Limited Time Offer)
- For about $5/meal all the ingredients will be delivered to your door, with easy to follow directions and most recipes take less than 30 minutes.
- Make time for Exercise
Regular exercise is equally important in staying healthy. But how can you incorporate it into a busy routine? To be sincere, it is quite tricky. The only way to make sure that you exercise is to have a fitness plan. First find an exercise you enjoy. It could be running, swimming, yoga or exercise classes at the gym. Second set aside specific days and times that work with your schedule.
Here are our recommendations for some Fitness mobile apps.
- PEAR Personal Fitness Coach (Android, iOS) – This app has a wide array of workout packages and coaches, and the app plays well with a variety of fitness trackers which allowing you to keep track of your performance.
- Skimble Workout Trainer (Android, iOS) – Thousands of workouts led by expert certified coaches. They specialize in bodyweight-only high intensity workouts, quick strength building routines, energizing yoga practices, and brutal fitness challenges.
- Aaptiv (Andriod, iOS) – This app has trainer-led audio workouts with music playlists. Hundreds of fitness classes such as running, cycling, high intensity interval training, 5K, or marathon training, with training routines streamed or downloaded to your phone for offline use.
Try to exercise at least 3 days/week. Third, try to find a workout buddy or buddies. This is a great way to make new friends and stay motivated. Even if you feel too tired to work out, try and make an effort to exercise at least a little bit. Surprisingly, just 30 minutes of moderate exercise can boost your energy levels.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Even if you eat well and exercise regularly, your health may suffer if you don’t get enough rest. Working while you are fatigued can make you unproductive and weakens your immune system. Resting helps you get re-energized and ready for the next day. We are not talking about sleeping in until noon on Saturday or 2-hour naps on Sunday.
According to the National Sleep Foundation an adult requires around 7-9 hours of sleep each night. This often means skipping the late-night night talk shows and not scrolling through social media all night. If you are having trouble sleeping, avoid watching TV or using electronic devices with 2 hours of going to bed. Also avoid excessive alcohol consumption. While it might initially make you sleepy, it will interfere with attaining a deep, restful state through the night.
5. Find a Stress Reduction Technique
There is often pressure associated with this profession. Apart from work pressure, there is also the stress of moving and socializing with new people. If one is not careful, they may end up being over stressed. Singing the Frozen theme song probably won’t help but experts do advise trying relaxation techniques such as yoga poses and deep breathing. Even simple things like going for a walk or listening to soothing music can help.
It does not have to be complicated. You don’t have to read through a thousand books and watch fitness videos online. All you must do is enact a few healthy habits. With the tips above, you are now ready to come up with some self-care patterns that ensure you are healthy and stay healthy.