Nurses face a physically demanding job. This has changed somewhat over the years with the introduction of patient lifts and ergonomic equipment. However, this doesn’t change the fact that nurses may walk several miles during their rounds, must move patients continually and need to be able to react quickly to provide support. Here are the best workout routines for nursing students.
Aerobics are essential for several reasons. First, it helps you keep your energy up. It also combats the depression many doctor of nurse practitioner program graduates face due to empathy fatigue, that emotional drain to the point of depression as you try to cope with so many patients with varying degrees of need and suffering. These routines will prepare you to rush into action when someone falls.
You don’t have to spend the morning in an aerobics class to get the benefits of an aerobic workout; circuit training and mixing in several aerobic exercises is sufficient. Chin-ups, push-ups, and planks are excellent moves to incorporate into your regular routine. They strengthen your body as you burn energy and work off stress.
Squats are one of the best exercises for nurses to perform. Squats work your lower back, buttocks, and upper leg muscles. These are exactly the muscles that are strained when you’re helping patients stand up, lifting patients off a bed, or aiding them into a wheelchair. You need to do squats so you can build up the muscles you use the most when tending to patients. Working these muscles up reduces the risk of back strains that side-line many nurses. Mix it up with lunges and hamstring curls for a more all-around workout.
We already mentioned that most nurses walk several miles (or kilometers) in the course of their day. Someone with a nurse practitioner doctorate degree may not walk as far as a nursing assistant making rounds, but they all tend to walk farther than doctors and medical specialists. After all, you’re walking between rooms to check on patients or transporting patients to other wards instead of patients coming to you. If you’re a nurse practitioner in a doc in a box clinic where patients do come to you, you’ll want to walk at least a mile (roughly two kilometers) a day so that you can maintain your endurance.
Upper Body Workout
You’re going to use your upper body quite a bit as part of your daily work. You should engage in weight training exercises with small to midsized weights. These will strengthen your arms, shoulders and chest muscles. Doing this will reduce the odds of repetitive stress injuries that can force you to quit your job. For example, lifting weights in a variety of weights with your arms reduces the risk of repetitive stress injuries caused by typing all day. You can mix it up with moves like planking that also strengthen you.
Aerobics are essential to maintaining your physical and emotional health. As a future of active nurse, you should take the time to prepare your body for long shifts so you can perform at an optimal level.
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