One of the most frequently cited challenges of travel nursing is staying fit while on assignment. Experiencing the temptations of delicious restaurants, frequent social gatherings and exciting nightlife that a new city has to offer can cause even the most disciplined travel nurses to abandon their workouts and healthy diets, leading to unwanted extra pounds and decreased levels of fitness.
Here’s 4 easy ways to avoid bringing the extra “baggage” home with you:
- Limit the eating out. This is one of the easiest ways to gain weight. While it may be tempting (and delicious) to eat your way through San Francisco, your waistline (and your wallet) won’t be happy about it. Limiting eating dinners out to 1-2 times per week. Make eating out a special occasion with your new nursing colleagues or new neighbors, but not the norm, as many of us tend to overeat or eat foods that are not necessarily good for us in a restaurant scenario. For the rest of the week, concentrate on healthy, low-fat meals with high quality protein that will supply you with needed energy and keep you feeling full (but not stuffed).
- Watch the alcohol intake. As a travel nurse, you may be invited to a number of social gatherings or events through new colleagues or neighbors. In most cases, alcohol will be served at these events and it can be very easy to overdo it. Wine, cocktails or other adult beverages can be 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. So watch how much you drink when you’re “out on the town”.
- Get your sleep. 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, then you’ll pay for it in several ways; lack of motivation to work out, illness and loss of willpower. Make sure you’re scheduling sleep time like you would any activity. When your body gets used to a routine or schedule, it becomes much easier to follow. Schedule 8 hours of sleep every night as best you can to avoid being sleep-deprived.
- Join a local gym as soon as you arrive at your assignment. Procrastination is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to poor levels of fitness. So, when you arrive at your assignment, try to join a local gym as soon as possible and get back on your normal workout routine right away. Don’t wait as it will become easier and easier to say “I’ll do it tomorrow” for the next 13 weeks!
Staying healthy is one of the best ways to thoroughly enjoy your travel nursing assignment. Follow these 4 tips and you’re sure to have fun!
Go Healthcare Staffing offers a wide variety of travel nursing assignments in some of the most exciting cities in the US. Click here to check out our latest travel nursing jobs.
I share professional advice, travel nursing related news and insight on some of our amazing travel contracts and clients.” -Jenny is the Vice President of Go Healthcare Staffing