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Travel nurse assignments are appealing for many reasons. The excitement of changing hospitals every few months is a draw. The pay for these assignments is a significant influencer. Lastly, the change of scenery is a great benefit. Many travel nurses enjoy the ability to travel all across the United States. While these opportunities are awesome, there are drawbacks such as finding living arrangements and fitting in time for self-care, health and fitness routines. If you are a travel nurse or thinking about becoming one, here are easy ways to take care of yourself when you are out on an assignment.

1. Pack Healthy Foods

Nutrient-dense foods, vitamins and supplements like looking into What is Thrive can help to improve your diet. Shopping for healthy foods to cook your meals helps keep you fit. If you do not take the time to stock up on healthy foods, you will be tempted to eat out more frequently and will end up eating unhealthy options or larger portions. As a travel nurse, you should check out the local restaurants when you are in a new city. However, it is not optimal to rely on them instead of cooking for yourself. Your body and your bank account will both benefit from grocery shopping and preparing healthy meals.

Prepare ahead of time by preparing nutritious meals and snacks to take to work with you. There are hundreds of clean eating meal prep ideas online to give you inspiration. Be sure to back snacks such as almonds, fruit or other nutrient-dense low-calorie foods that will keep you feeling full. Having healthy snacks to munch on throughout the day will prevent unnecessary trips to the vending machines.

2. Stay Hydrated

Nurses often work twelve-hour shifts. These long shifts can be brutal on the body and mind. Remind yourself to drink enough water throughout the day. You may rely on coffee and other caffeinated beverages to get you through a tough shift, especially if you work the night shift. That’s okay! But remember to drink water, too.

Setting reminders on your phone to drink water frequently and bringing a large water bottle with the goal of finishing the entire bottle by the end of the shift are good ways to create a good, healthy new habit. You could also get in the habit of drinking a full cup of water before you go to bed each night and as soon as you wake up each morning to help increase your daily water intake.

3. Work Out

Traveling for work is not an excuse to get off of your fitness routine. New challenges may arise, such as limited living space, but there are ways around most obstacles you may encounter. Set aside time to exercise each day, even if it means setting your alarm clock earlier than you would like to. Explore your new city by taking walks or runs around town.

Bodyweight exercises are a great workout option if you do not have access to a gym. If you prefer instruction-led classes, there are workout apps and millions of videos online. Try a 15-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout if you are pressed for time or want to get a quick sweat in before you start your workday. You may find that exercising before work helps you focus and feel more energetic throughout the day.

Some Final Thoughts

Travel nursing is a great experience for many individuals. There are plenty of ways to stay fit as a travel nurse, so do not let that discourage you. As with any busy job, a key to successfully maintaining your fitness goals lies in your ability to manage your time properly, fit in workouts and feed your body the nutrients it needs to stay healthy, burn calories and build muscle. Meal prepping, stocking up on healthy foods and staying hydrated are easy diet-related ways to stay fit as you travel. Your workouts may be modified when you are on a travel assignment, but they will still be effective. Bodyweight or outdoor exercises can be done anywhere.

You may have to be a little more flexible in your fitness routines, but there are plenty of ways to stay fit as a travel nurse if you are willing to put in a little extra effort.

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