Nursing Fitness & Obesity: Irony & Solution
Fitness is on everyone’s mind. Confronted with images of super-fit models in the media, we are forced to see zero-body-fat bodies and ultra-symmetrical features as our ideal. For some, these photoshopesque features are a goal, for others, a discouragement. However, in shift-work fields, nursing specifically, we don’t even have time to see these images. At the same time, we are confronted with a food industry that plasters health claims over a broad assortment of foods. If these claims were true, would that industry keep growing or would the need for “healthy” foods diminish? Unreasonable expectations of beauty mixed with a food industry that promotes misleading products make a healthy lifestyle for the average person difficult.
Now add on shift-work, stress inducing complex healthcare needs, and the sheer time commitment in a physically demanding job and we end up with health as a monumental task for nurses (male nurses and female nurses). The health of the nursing field is sinking farther and faster than the general population, and it is up to us to make the changes. It may be difficult, but there is good news. I have a variety of solutions for nursing fitness.
The Irony of Nursing Fitness Ideals
Nursing fitness ideals seem almost unreachable, but why? The nursing field suffers from more health risk issues than almost any other field of work. The irony that our health suffers while we tend to the health of those in our charge is baffling. But the numbers do not lie. The nursing field has a higher than average amount of overweight and obese individuals who eat less healthy foods and exercise less than the average person. This is only a complication in an industry that promotes high-stress work that contributes to cardiovascular issues. Burnout is real.
Chances are, if you are reading this, you know this to be true. In fact, a recent American Nursing Association survey found that burnout and issues from chronic stress (obesity, heart disease, and more) were the number one concern.
Solutions for Nursing Fitness
The odd note in all this is how fitness affects our health. We find no time for fitness and hardly find the time to eat right because of our high-stress jobs. But that’s exactly backwards. By eating right and getting fit, we lower our stress levels, sleep better and ultimately are happier and more efficient at work.
However, still, the issue of time is always a factor. As we all know, our schedules are pretty crazy. No matter what sub-field of nursing you find yourself, the scheduling is maddening. Getting to the gym just doesn’t happen. Getting that shopping trip in isn’t always realistic.
There are many solutions available. The one that has worked for me is the Beachbody solution. Using various programs like P90X, Insanity, Hammer and Chisel, 21 Day Fix, and Body Beast, I’ve made a significant change in my health and happiness. However, let’s not forget Shakeology and the various nutrition guides and programs, along with the portion control containers, which help simplify nutrition.
These programs have everything laid out for us. A schedule, workout sheets, nutrition, and best of all, a coach to help us through to the end. Maybe best of all, it is right at home, eliminating that excuse of the commute to the gym.
Let’s get a handle on the obesity epidemic sweeping through the nursing profession. Let’s take the first step to taking care of ourselves so that we can be better at taking care of those in need.