You’re a travel nurse and just finished a difficult shift. You return to your housing and want to collapse — not exercise.
Does this sound familiar? If so, you are not alone.
As a travel nurse, you are not only faced with the usual stresses of nursing but also lack a long-term consistent schedule and routine. You know you need to prioritize your health and fitness, but how?
It is possible to begin and maintain a regular exercise routine — it just takes a little planning and preparation.
In this article, you will learn:
- Fitness tips for travel nurses
- How travel nurses can stay motivated
- And much more
Table of Contents
- How Do Travel Nurses Stay Fit?
- 9 Travel Nursing Fitness Tips to Keep You Healthy
- How Can Travel Nurses Stay Physically Motivated When Away From Home?
- Trusted Nurse Staffing: Where the Physical Fitness of Our Nurses is a Priority
How Do Travel Nurses Stay Fit?
Do you want specifics on how to stay fit while on a travel nursing assignment? Following are a few tips that will help.
- Drinking water
- Getting enough sleep
- Relaxing your mind
- Staying active every day
- Digital workout subscriptions
- And much more
9 Travel Nursing Fitness Tips to Keep You Healthy
Taking care of yourself on a travel nursing contract can be challenging.
Moving your body dramatically benefits your mental and physical health, but staying fit is not just exercise.
Let’s take a closer look at how to target your mental and physical fitness.
Tip #1: Relax Your Mind
A fast-paced work environment makes it easy to get caught up in daily stress. It seems like something always requires our attention. However, it is crucial to relax your mind and take time for yourself.
Research has shown that nurses can find relief from work-related stress and depression through meditation.
During any given shift, nurses may experience a variety of emotions. Nurses are undoubtedly good at empathizing with sick and injured patients, but this can have a lasting impact on your mind and body.
Since nurses are twice as likely as the general public to suffer from depression, meditation can help with these feelings. In addition, research has shown more than 60 percent of nurses experience physical or mental health problems due to work-related stress.
As many nurses report negative side effects from stress, meditation may provide an opportunity to regain a healthier perspective on their job.
Trusted Nurse Staffing understands the everyday stressors within the nursing profession, and we strive to ensure that your well-being is taken care of.
We guarantee you feel supported and have access to any resources you need to be a:
- Happy; and
- Healthy travel nurse
Interested in joining our team? Contact us today.
Tip #2: Get Enough Sleep
Maintaining good health requires regular sleep. Unfortunately, nurses in general, as well as travel nurses, can have trouble sleeping at night.
You are not at your best when you are not rested. This can result in …
- Foggy thinking; and
- Poor decision-making
… when it comes to patients.
Calories and nutrition are similar to sleep — you should not just focus on how much sleep you get but on how well you get it.
Following are some tips to help you achieve a good night’s sleep:
- Keep a regular sleep schedule
- Create a relaxing pre-bedtime routine
- Incorporate exercise into your daily routine
- Eat a healthy and nutritious diet; and
- Avoid energy drinks high in sugar
Tip #3: Join a Gym
Why not join a gym while you’re staying at the same spot for a while?
Upon finding your housing situation, pick three gyms within a 10-15 minute radius that may interest you. Call ahead to find out about pricing and whether they offer short-term memberships — be sure to check their class times to see if they work with your schedule.
Even though sticking to a gym schedule with a travel nursing job can be challenging, there are benefits to doing so. You’ll be able to choose from dozens of machines and even hire a private trainer to guide your progress. Additionally, you can also try out weekly classes and other programs.
During the first week in your new city, all you have to do is go to the gym you selected. To establish a good routine with each new assignment, you must establish your exercise habit early.
Tip #4: Stay Active Every Day
Daily activity can always be incorporated. Your own two feet are the best way to explore all those great new destinations.
Aside from checking out famous tourist sites, you can also find valuable locations.
Travel nurses can benefit from …
- Farmers’ markets; and
- Other stores
… in the neighborhood.
Walking to places adds lots of movement and gives you a simple workout.
You do not always have to have a specific place in mind. Even if you’re just going for a walk around your hotel or the neighborhood, it will help to keep your energy up and your muscles active.
Tip #5: Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking too little water results in adverse effects, from fuzzy thinking to the joint and muscle pain that comes with even mild dehydration. This may lead to other ailments, such as constipation and headaches, which are contrary to what nurses need to feel good and be productive.
As a nurse, the importance of drinking plenty of water each day is something you already know. You know your weight and age will determine how much water you need to drink to stay hydrated, but a good number to start with is 64 ounces.
Following are a few other benefits to drinking plenty of water:
- Alleviates fatigue
- Improves your mood
- Flushes toxins
- Lowers blood pressure; and
- Regulates body temperature
Tip #6: Make Healthier Food Choices
Being a travel nurse and keeping a healthy diet is difficult when you don’t have access to your home kitchen and local market. Despite this, travelers have discovered many ways to stay healthy while traveling.
Upon arriving at your new assignment, explore your surroundings and find a few nearby restaurants and grocery stores. By doing this, if you’re in a bind during your stay, you’ll know where to turn.
Travelers can make healthier food choices by following the following tips:
- If you are staying in a short-stay hotel, make sure you have a refrigerator big enough for storage.
- Pack healthy snacks and meals for healthier options when traveling or working long shifts.
- Don’t eat out every meal. However, if you must eat out, check out the app “Eat This, Not That!”
Tip #7: Take the Time to Relax
It is essential to take time out for yourself to relax. Spending an extended period under stress is detrimental to your physical and mental well-being.
Travel nurses often choose their lifestyle because it is fun, and you can experience various cultures across the United States. Getting out, exploring on days off, and sampling local fare is fundamental to making the most of your travel career.
You shouldn’t be afraid to relax every once in a while, even if you can’t take a complete break. It can be as simple as:
- Taking a bath
- Reading a book; or
- Going for a walk
Tip #8: Pack a Yoga Mat and Hand Weights
Don’t put yourself through a grueling, sweaty workout if you’re too exhausted from your current assignment to work out hard. Instead, relax your body and mind with free yoga workouts on YouTube.
You can find videos that are:
- Reach every fitness level; and
- Help you center yourself
Yoga has been proven to reduce physical and mental stress — an excellent perk for travel nurses.
If there are times when you want a more grueling workout, use hand weights instead. You can pack a set of hand weights or ask your local gym if they rent hand weights. One pair of hand weights can provide an effective workout.
Whether it’s …
- Shoulder presses; or
- Lunges-in-place …
… the possibilities are endless.
Tip #9: Use Digital Workout Subscriptions
Subscribing to digital workouts is an excellent option for those who want more variety in their workout routine or are traveling and need something portable to do.
There are more at-home workout subscription options than ever since many fitness studios have gone digital.
The benefits of working out are numerous, but workout subscriptions are particularly beneficial for travel nurses. For nurses with busy schedules, being able to join a virtual live class at the last minute is convenient. In addition, you can work out whenever and wherever you want if you choose an on-demand class.
In addition to being more cost-effective, workout subscriptions are more convenient. Therefore, as compared to drop-in prices, they can be more affordable.
How Can Travel Nurses Stay Physically Motivated When Away From Home?
A travel nurse’s work can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be challenging. When you are away from your family and your daily routine, it can be easy to lose motivation.
While away from home, you can do a few things to stay motivated. Let’s take a closer look.
Set Fitness Goals
When developing an exercise routine, having clear, short-term goals can be helpful — breaking down significant goals into smaller incremental ones is crucial.
Short-term, practical SMART goals can set you up for success.
A SMART system is composed of the following:
- Specific — To be successful, a goal needs to be well-defined and clearly stated.
- Measurable — You should set a measurable goal to track your progress and identify your success.
- Achievable — A goal that includes steps you will take is more likely to be achieved.
- Realistic — Having a practical initial goal can help you move forward more confidently.
- Time-bound — A timetable helps you stay focused and gives you a clear target to measure your progress.
Use a Smart Watch
If you’ve ever used an app on your smartphone, you’re probably aware of its usefulness in providing health statistics.
Smartwatches are essentially extensions of apps and can perform the same functions as apps. Additionally, they are a great motivational tool while working on a nursing assignment.
A few features of smartwatches include:
- Tracking your steps
- Heart rate monitor
- Workout reminder
- Calorie counter; and
- Tracking your sleep
Journal to Track Progress
Journaling allows you to track how your physical and mental health changes over time.
Keeping a journal is beneficial whether you are trying to lose weight or manage your general health. For example, if you want to stay motivated with your fitness goals, keep track of when and what type of exercise you do.
As far as mental health is concerned, journaling is therapeutic and provides various benefits. For example, write down your feelings when you are stressed or upset. You will likely feel less stressed out once you start doing this.
Trusted Nurse Staffing: Where the Physical Fitness of Our Nurses Is a Priority
Trusted Nurse Staffing specializes in placing nurses and allied healthcare professionals.
There are many benefits to working for a top-ranked company, including:
- Customized health and disability insurance
- 401k matching
- Loyalty programs
- Referral bonuses; and
- Flexible contracts
Our goal is to provide best-in-class service to healthcare providers and facilities. In addition, we ensure that our skilled and compassionate recruiters offer the resources you need to be a successful and healthy travel nurse — your well-being is our priority.
Are you interested in learning more? Please register for a free travel nursing profile today and speak with one of our recruiters about travel nursing positions.