Studying to become a nurse is exciting, certainty worthwhile, and incredibly rewarding. Training to be a nurse means that you are committing to a life of helping others, both in hospitals and healthcare settings and in the community.
You are taking on a life not only of treating patients medically but also of caring for their emotional needs, looking after family and friends, and educating the wider community on healthcare.
It’s a fantastic thing to do and there are many advantages to becoming a nurse.
But it’s tough. Training to be a nurse is overwhelming, time-consuming, and both physically and mentally exhausting. Many nursing students struggle to care for their physical and mental health while they study.
Getting into good habits, and prioritizing your own needs is, however, crucial. Not only will it help you to get through school happy, healthy, and fit, but it will also set you up for your future career.
Yes, training to be a nurse is exhausting, but the pressures and commitments on your time don’t stop on graduation day. Working as a nurse, as fulfilling as it is, can be tough on your body and your mind.
Getting into good habits while you study gives you the best chance to live healthily throughout your career.
It can also help you to set a good example to others, and boost your immunity, helping you to fight off illness, and stay in good shape through long, tiring days in which you are exposed to all kinds of bugs.
So, how do you do it? How do you manage to fit exercise in while you are busy studying, going on placements, and sitting exams? Here are 10 tips to help.
Workout at Your Best Time
Some of us are morning people, others are more energetic later on in the day. If you are studying one of these accelerated BSN programs in Virginia, you might not be able to hit the gym whenever you want.
But, don’t make the mistake of telling yourself that you’ll get up at 5 am to go for a run before you study, if you are the kind of person that hits snooze 10 times before they can get out of bed. You’ll just put it off and feel guilty.
Instead, schedule workouts for when you are at your most energetic. For some, this means getting up early, for others, it’s an evening run.
Sign Up for Classes
We’re not all good at sticking to routines, even when we’re not busy. If you have been guilty of putting exercise off in the past, even if you are paying for a gym membership, try classes instead. Booking classes for specific times often means that we’re more likely to attend.
Don’t Underestimate a Home Workout
There’s often a belief that home workouts aren’t as good as running or going to the gym, but they can be.
Working out at home gives you the flexibility to do it at your own pace, at any time of the day.
Buy some basic equipment and find some home workouts that you enjoy, and that help you to unwind after a tough day.
Give Your Body What It Needs
Don’t feel as though you must stick to your routines. Be flexible, and give your body what it needs when it needs it.
If you have had a good day, and you are on a high when you get home, you might want to go for a run, dance around the house, or do something equally energetic.
If you are stressed and angry, burn it off with some high-intensity cardio, and if you are struggling to switch off from your day, enjoy a soothing yoga routine to reset yourself.
Little and Often
Ideally, we should be getting at least three thirty-minute workouts a week. But, when you are busy you might struggle to even fit thirty minutes in by the time you’ve factored in having a shower and getting changed.
So, don’t. Park further away from school or the hospital to get a ten-minute walk twice a day and take two minutes to walk up the stairs instead of using the lift while you are on placement.
Grab a Friend
Exercising is often easier when you do it with a buddy. You are certainly more likely to stick to it if you don’t want to let someone else down.
Chances are, many of your fellow students are having the same problem, so why not buddy up and make some exercise plans together?
Set A Goal
Having goals is another great way to boost motivation and increase determination. Set yourself a 5k target or a daily step goal and monitor your progress.
You’ll be proud of your achievements, push yourself harder, and be keen to keep going.
Strap on Some Weights
Nurses spend a lot of time on their feet. But, much of it is stood still, and their legs quickly adapt to this strain.
Strapping some ankle weights on for your morning walk can increase calorie burn and build strength.
Get into Good Sleep Habits
Good sleep habits mean that you are more alert and energetic.
You might feel like you need to sleep less to get more done, but actually sleeping more, and getting quality sleep means that you are more likely to get more done, and put more into your workouts when you are awake.
Find ways to relax before bed and try to maintain a routine as much as possible.
Tough shifts on placement, long study sessions, and workouts are all tiring. If you are going to try to do it all, you need to make sure you look after yourself.
Sleep is a great step, but refueling effectively with plenty of water and high protein foods will help you to stay alert and energetic even with a lot going on.
Getting into good habits while you are at school boosts your immunity and helps you to maintain good health throughout your career.
It also helps you to build strength, making lifting patients and days on your feet far easier.
Exercise is exceptionally important for nurses, so make sure you try to fit in a little whenever you can.