Working long shifts, unsociable hours and not having time to prepare food can lead to a very unhealthy lifestyle. As well as being physically too tired to go to the gym, it’s no wonder so many people who work in healthcare are now overweight.
We’ve put together some tips to help you make the most of your precious time, get into healthy habits and help yourself to stay healthy after the Christmas period…
1. If you work nightshifts invest in some blue-blocking glasses and wear them on your shift after sunset. The blue blockers will help to block out the unnatural blue light. This stops your body from thinking it’s constantly daytime and switches off your hunger as well as helps you fall asleep quicker when you’ve finally finished your shift and also makes you sleep better.
2. Don’t use your device before you sleep, turn off the phone, the laptop and the TV and get a good night’s sleep! Using a device will trick your brain into thinking it’s daytime and will switch off the production of melatonin making your brain more active and playing havoc with your metabolism.
3. Find a range of exercise classes that start around the time when your shift finishes, (that’s low intensity) like yoga or swimming to relax you and get you ready for sleep but also keep you active.
4. Find healthy snacks that are calorie/nutrient dense and easy to grab and take with you and eat on the go such as apples, bananas, nut bars, a box of nuts and seeds, a box of celery/carrot sticks and a tub of hummus to pick at when you can. Stay away from sugary foods and starchy carbs that will make you crash and burn during your shift as this will lead to even more tiredness and will make you binge later on.
5. Drink plenty of water on your shift rather than tea and coffee, the caffeine may seem like it helps you, but what goes up, must come down. It’s also a diuretic so will make you need the toilet more, will dehydrate you and also mess with your adrenal system. Water will also make you feel clear headed and won’t make you wired when you actually do need to sleep. Remember to wean yourself gradually off caffeine as it can lead to awful headaches.
6. Batch cook every few days to save time, make a big batch of whatever you’re cooking and freeze a few portions for easy meals when you get in from work. You will save time and money! There are some great recipes on the net that are specifically good for freezing and thawing/microwaving and are super easy to prep too! This will also ensure you stick to healthy meals and don’t order takeaways because it’s quicker.
7. Don’t waste your precious time doing mundane things, plan your week with a wall calendar and stick to it. You’ll be surprised how much more time you have to be sociable when you think about what you need to do and organise the best times do things. You won’t be rushing around and stressing doing last minute tasks you forgot about. Like buying birthday cards or doing your laundry when you could have done them with another task earlier in the week.
8. Find a hobby that is both active and sociable so you can exercise whilst seeing your friends or making new ones! Perhaps take up rock climbing or a dance class or join a running club.
9. Have healthy snacks in the car or in your bag, so you can nibble on the way home and you aren’t tempted by drive throughs because you’re really hungry!
10. Buy pre diced and sliced frozen vegetables that you can easily make healthy meals with to save you prep time and food waste! Diced onions, peppers, mushrooms etc can all be used in so many recipes and means you meal prep time will be halved and you only use what you need!
Having a healthy lifestyle can seem daunting at first but change one thing every 2 weeks, it takes only 2 weeks to form or break a bad habit so if it all seems too much at once, just change one thing at a time!
If you are thinking of changing your career or are looking for a new opportunity in healthcare, get in touch today. One of our healthcare heroes is waiting for your call! 44 (0) 1908 77 64 77 or email us: email@example.com