As a travel nurse, receiving top pay and visiting new locations are probably at the top of your priority list. And while you might have explored more cities than most, this kind of fast-paced lifestyle can take a toll on your health.
According to the CDC, at least 200,000 deaths from heart disease and stoke deaths happen to people under age 65. Prevention is crucial to maintaining a healthy heart, so in honor of National Cholesterol Education Month, here are 5 ways to keep your heart healthy while traveling.
- Know your Numbers – Understanding your risk for heart disease is the first step to maintaining a healthy ticker. High cholesterol levels in your blood can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. You can visit your doctor to get a baseline measurement. If your results come back elevated, eating a diet low in saturated and trans fat, and foods low in cholesterol can help decrease your levels.
- Cook More, Order Less – After a full day taking care of patients, sometimes it just feels good to be taken care of. Trust us, we understand! In the long run, however, it is more beneficial to whip up your own dinner rather than reaching for the take-out menus. When cooking for yourself, you have control over the ingredients added to your meal. You can opt for olive oil spray instead of butter, and eat large servings of veggies instead of deep-fried sides.
- Buy a Pedometer – As a travel nurse, you’re used to being on your feet all day. Turn those steps into exercise by monitoring your step count. Set a daily goal, and wear your pedometer to ensure you’re getting the right amount of exercise. On slow days - which we know are few and far between - go for a walk after work to reach your step goal. 10,000 steps a day is a good place to start. If you meet this goal easily, try increasing your goal each week.
- Relax and Unwind – Being a travel nurse is a tough job. You’re literally placed in life and death situations, and it can be taxing on your mind and body. Take a few minutes each day to relax and unwind. Listen to your favorite music, practice yoga, or just zone out watching your favorite TV shows.
- Don’t Smoke – This is probably the most obvious and effective change you can make towards a healthy heart. While kicking the habit is easier said than done, it’s crucial to decreasing your risk for heart disease, as well as a plethora of other chronic diseases.
Here at Fastaff, we want all our travel nurses to lead a healthy and fulfilling life. If you’re interested in learning more about open assignments, click here.