Fit For Healthcare: Eating Healthy At Work

Staying in shape has a positive impact on so many aspects of your life. It’s not just your health that reaps the benefit, it’s the added energy and strength it gives you to get through the workday. Probably the most rewarding part of being fit is when you inspire others. Take Fitmark Ambassador Michelle Mikin, for example. As a qualified respiratory therapist, she’s on the frontline of health. She’s a role model to her patients, as well as other healthcare professionals everywhere.

Fitmark Ambassador Nurse Mish Mikin

Staying fit and active has so many benefits as a healthcare professional! For one, it keeps my body strong when I’m moving around heavy medical equipment. It also helps in the safe handling of patients ~ Fitmark Ambassador Michelle Mikin.

The job of a healthcare professional is a tough one. The hours are long and physically demanding, you’re on your feet for most of the day, and you can’t always take a break when you need it the most. Michelle told us:

Being in the healthcare field can be very stressful. Being fit improves my blood pressure and regulates my cortisol levels (stress hormone). This is very important. You’re so busy helping others, you can’t forget to take care of yourself.

Michelle is a busy woman at work (did we also mention, she’s a personal trainer and fitness competitor too!) She stays motivated by setting herself fitness goals:

Being in healthcare, I have the flexibility to work 3 days a week. I try to work 3 consecutive days. I highly recommend training on your off days, so you can maximize your time and have a productive training session.

How hard is it to stick to your health and fitness regimen on a 12-hour shift and long hours?

It can be very tricky to adjust to your schedule while on a regimen. For me since I work the night shift I have to cut my sleep time on the first day so I can adjust to the time. However depending on your goals, prioritize your sleep. Our body needs to recover and you need the energy to have a productive training day.

Another tip to help you stick to your fitness goals is planning ahead and preparing your meals. Fitness goals are nothing without nutrition goals. So how do you stay on track, especially when you’re at work?

I highly recommend packing small, healthy meals on your workdays. Not only are you eating healthy, but you’re also saving money by not ordering out to eat, or from the cafeteria. It’s also very important to stay hydrated during those long work hours. Run to the pantry at work and take a sip of ice-cold water. I know it can get really busy, but staying hydrated is so important to your health.

Another tip is carrying some protein bars or shakes as a meal replacement because sometimes you just don’t have time to eat a full meal. This way you’re still fueling your body and muscles.

For Michelle, taking the time to prepare and pack her meals ahead of time not only keeps her on track, it saves her a lot of time in the end:

Meal breaks are busy times in a hospital. You should see the line-ups at the food carts! Everybody’s hungry at that time, and we’re only allotted strict half-hour lunches and mini-breaks. Packing my own meals also saves me a lot of time waiting in line at the hospital cafeteria.

It all comes down to meal preparation. If you’re intent on living a healthy lifestyle and eating healthy at work, meal preparation is the key:

Meal prepping has helped me so much to stay fit, says Michelle. Understanding that we need to keep our body fueled with the right nutrients every 2-3 hours is so important. It helps to regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents starvation mode.

Nobody likes that feeling at work when your energy crashes. It robs you of creativity and affects your performance. Starvation mode is part of that feeling and it can interfere with your dieting, as well as your gains. Michelle says that when she’s called upon for unexpected duty, she makes sure she packs a few healthy snacks, so she never goes hungry:

Managing meal times and work can get tricky, but don’t get too hungry. You eat when you can. Eating every 2-3 hours is a lot for many and quite difficult when you’re on the go. Try keeping a protein bar, shake, protein snacks or even a Ziplock of chicken in your scrubbies, if you know you’ll be stuck somewhere. Stay healthy in and out of work!

mishmasonbag

For such a busy and active lifestyle, Michelle recommends Mason’s Bag, which is part of our diet and meal management category. It’s the perfect bag for her busy working-fit life:

I absolutely LOVE it! This bag keeps me on track while working at the hospital. Keeps my meals cool, so I don’t have to store it in my locker or fridge. I know it can be hard for my healthcare professionals to eat frequently, but these meal management bags do help. It has mucho storage space for meals, personal, and work items, and even gym needs. Not to mention super stylish, so people don’t question you as to what’s in your bag ~ lol! There’s always a way to stay on track, friends! ~ @mish_mikin

Staying on track at work, in the gym, and at home takes some planning and a lot of discipline. But there’s always a way!

Sport Your Lifestyle
The Fitmark Team
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