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What is the key to any effective exercise program? Consistency is how you achieve results with any type of exercise, but it is also one thing that is difficult for travel nurses to find. There are many benefits to making travel part of your nursing career, but it takes work to establish a fitness routine that provides results.
Well, it just so happens that Yoga is a practical choice, especially for the travel nurse looking to stay fit on the road.
Yoga is a low-impact exercise plan that incorporates physical postures and breathing with meditation. It has historical origins that date back to ancient Indian philosophy, and is the sixth most commonly used complementary health practice among adults, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. For many people, yoga transcends the fitness realm and becomes a way of life that doesn’t require 10lbs weights or a gym to be effective.
Yoga is a portable exercise program that you can do whether you are at home in your living room or spending the next 13 weeks working at a health care facility 500 miles away.
With yoga, you:
Increase your flexibility
Reduce your risk of injury
Improve or maintain muscle tone
Lower your blood pressure
Enhance your breathing
Improve your posture
Studies show yoga is a good choice for people with chronic low-back pain and other medical problems that might keep them from exercising regularly.
The beauty of yoga is that it can literally be practiced almost anywhere. You can spend an hour every morning in the park before work, do poses in a hotel fitness room before bed or both if you are motivated enough.
Travel nurses often work in unfamiliar surroundings and that can cause stress that makes the body stiff and sore. Yoga on the job helps relieve that stiffness. During a break, find a quiet place to do poses that will increase your range of motion and stretch your muscles during a long shift. A simple forward bend is enough to stretch the back and hips, move into a downward dog pose to enhance that stretch even more.
Yoga is gaining in popularity in this country. Yoga Journal estimates that nearly 15.8 million people practice it, so you may find you are not the only yoga lover on the job, too. Ask around to see if anyone else practices the art. It will help you get to know more about your coworkers and find others to workout with during your stay.
Yoga may be portable, but it doesn’t have to be lonely. Start with doing some research about the area of your next travel nurse assignment. Look for local yoga classes, for example. If you are well versed in basic poses, you might use this time to take an advanced class like Bikram.
You can even incorporate yoga into your search for a place to stay during your work assignment. Some hotels and apartment complexes offer yoga classes, rooms and on-site equipment.
When getting ready to go, pack the right yoga tools to keep you motivated.
Quick-drying workout clothes
A yoga mat or towel - If you stay at a hotel, ask if they offer a yoga bag that contains mats, straps and bands.
Audio or video routines that you can use during your workout or find a program to follow online
To find a yoga class near you, check out Yoga Health Foundation’s studio finder.