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Health tips for the always on the go nurse

Nurses are a busy bunch. Not only are they out all day taking care of others, but many come home to take care of their own families as well. It’s a draining day to say the least. It’s no wonder that many nurses find it hard to exercise and eat healthy when they’re always on the go.

In this article, we want to give nurses, home health aides, and other medical professionals some ideas on how to get in a little extra exercise and healthy eating into the day.

Take Care of Your Mind

Your mind is as valuable as your body, yet how many of us exercise our minds as regularly as we exercise our bodies? There’s no “gym” for the brain, but there are activities that can help strengthen your mind and keep it sharp.

The best activity is developing a love of reading. You may have grown to hate reading after being told what to read in school, but there are thousands and thousands of books and there is sure to be one that will grab your attention.

“But I don’t have time to read”. Of course you do! Even just 5 minutes before bed. If you have trouble falling asleep, get rid of the screens at least 30 minutes before bed and get a book in your hand, it will help.

Listen to stimulating audiobooks or podcasts during your commute or chores. This is a great way to pass the time and learn a little in the process. You may actually enjoy your commute once you find a great audiobook you can’t wait to finish.

Prepare Better Food

We all succumb to the fast food drive thru when it’s been a long day at work and we’re starving. Start using your days off to prepare your next week’s worth of meals. Create healthy dishes and put them in tuperware. So now you have no excuse to go to the rive thru when you know you have food ready to eat when you come home.

Carry around healthy snacks at all times. We get cravings, but if you have an apple, nuts, or a Clif bar, you’ll eat that because it’s there. Avoid the vending machines!

Meal Prep Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

10 Minutes of Exercise Before Work

You may feel like you have absolutely no time to work out before work. Get up 10 minutes earlier and do bodyweight exercises. Try push ups, sit ups, pull ups (get a bar that goes in the doorway), and squats. Just 10 minutes, that’s all you need! You can get up 10 minutes earlier, can’t you?

10 minute workout ideas

Resources

How to be a healthier nurse

Keeping nurses healthy, safe, and well

Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™


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Water exercises and why they work

Water aerobics are a big thing in Florida. Nearly year-round we can hop in the pool and not be met with freezing water. That invites many homeowners and communities to install pools, which guests and residents enjoy using for parties, swimming, and exercise.

It’s well known that water aerobics is a great way for the elderly to get their exercise in. If you wanted to get into this exercise movement, what exactly should you be doing? And why does it work so well?

Why Water Aerobics?

These exercises are great because not only does the water help hold you up, providing you balance, but the water also provides resistance.

When you do dumbbell curls without anything, you don’t feel much. But when you add a weight in your hand, you are adding resistance that your arm must now deal with.

The resistance from the water is just the right amount for seniors who don’t feel comfortable just yet to go to the gym and use weights or machines.

Types of Water Aerobics Exercises

Water Walking
Just walking in water can be a challenge. Start in water shallow enough that you can comfortably walk and hold your head above water. Keep moving deeper and deeper to add more resistance.

Kick and Punch
As easy as it sounds, just practice kicking and punching through the water. Go as slow or as fast as feels comfortable.

K- Tread
This exercise targets your butt, abs, chest, arms, and back. In the deep end, you’ll want to tread water. Lift one leg straight in front of you and hold for 5 seconds. Then switch legs, and do this for 30 seconds.

Hand Webs
Add even more resistance to your workout by using hand webs, gloves meant for water exercise.

Water Weights
Specialized weights have been developed for water. These are foam barbells that help add extra resistance to your under water workouts.

Kickboard
Practicing your kicks by utilizing a kickboard to go around the pool only powered by your legs.

Resources

Aquatic exercises | Mayo Clinic

Slim Down in a Splash: Pool Workout


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Fitness Tips for the New Year

One of the most popular goals people set for themselves is to get healthy. This can mean different things to different people. For some, they want to cut out junk food, sugar, processed foods. For others, they want to exercise more consistently. And others want to exercise and eat in order to gain muscle. Whatever “healthy” means to you, it probably means you should be exercising.

Running on a treadmill thereby including some aerobic exercising

It can seem hard to get a workout in during a busy day. It is also easier just to come up with excuses to not workout. C’mon you know a few! “I’m too tired, I’ll do a double workout tomorrow”, “I just feel too full”, “I have so much work to do”, “I want to relax!”, “There’s no time”. If you start making exercise a priority, you will find time to get it done. One of the best tips is to just do it first thing after you wake up and have a healthy breakfast or snack. This way, you can’t put it off or say you’re too tired when you come home from work or school or errands.

Another tip is to find exercises you can do at home. A big reason we fail to work out is because we think the gym is too far. Not only is your work out 45 minutes, but it takes 30 minutes round trip to get to and from the gym, then another 30 minutes to shower and change. If you are at home, you can have no excuse not to get a workout in. I’m going to put some great bodyweight exercises below to help get you going. For these you don’t even need equipment!

Now it’s time to set a routine, stick to it, and keep going! It can be tough keeping up the motivation after you have been going for a few weeks, but it’s important to self-motivate. Maybe you need a partner to workout with, to keep you in check, or maybe you need to incentivize yourself. Whatever that secret sauce is, you need to find it and stick with it.

At Home Exercises

Pushups

Crunches

Front Plank

Side Plank

Squat Jumps

Lunge

Glute Bridge

Hip Rotations 

Bonus!
There are lots of great video workouts on the Fitness Blender YouTube Channel. They range from easy workouts to intense!

 


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Top Exercises for Seniors

Top Exercises for Seniors

top exercises for seniorsHave you been looking for ways to get in shape? Get inspired with this list of the top exercises for seniors. These exercises are generally low impact and can be done without specialize equipment or the gym. The National Institutes of Health recommends focusing on four types of exercises:

Stretching: These exercises will help increase your range of motion, allowing you to do more.

Strength: Help build muscle and increase metabolism.

Endurance: These activities will increase your heart rate and breathing. They include walking, jogging, swimming, and more.

Balance: These exercises are important to prevent slips and falls. Almost 300,000 people are admitted for broken hips each year, most of them being seniors.

Strength Exercises

  • Arm Raises

These can be done with or without weights. It involves sitting in a chair with your back straight. Hold  your hands straight down with your palms facing inward. Raise your arms from your side to shoulder height. Repeat this 8-15 times, whichever is most comfortable.

  • Knee flexion

Stand with your back straight, holding something stable for balance. Bend one knee slowly so your foot lifts behind you. Hold this position then lower your foot. Repeat this on each leg about 8-15 times.

Balance Exercises

  • Side Leg Raises

Stand with your back straight behind a table or chair. Hold the chair or table for balance and slowly lift one leg about 6-12 inches off the ground. Keep your feet facing forward, don’t point your toe down. Lower your leg and then repeat with the other leg. Do this about 8-15 times on each leg.

  • Heel-to-Toe

Find an area to walk in a straight line. Put your heel just in front of the toes on your other foot. Each time you step they should be touching. This will help improve balance tremendously.

Endurance Exercises

  • Walking briskly on a level surface

Be sure you are dressed appropriately. If the weather is hot, wear light color clothing. If it is warm, bring a coat or jacket, hat, gloves, or scarf if necessary. Make sure your shoes fit properly and are comfortable.

  • Swimming

If you have a pool or live near one, then you should be swimming a few times a week. This is a great, low impact exercise that works out your whole body. Be sure to buy goggles so you don’t irritate your eyes underwater.

Stretching Exercises

  • Tricep Stretch

Grab a towel and hold one end in your right hand. Raise and bend your right arm to allow the towel to drape down, hold this position. Reach behind your lower back and grab the bottom of the towel with your left hand. Move your left hand higher up the towel, pulling your right arm down. Go up only as far as is comfortable. Reverse the position and repeat, holding the stretch for 10-30 seconds.

Let us know if you have any more top exercises for seniors! We’d love to hear from you.


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Mall Walking: Frequently Asked Questions

Mall Walking Guide

Mall walkingSurely you love to walk on those dry, cool evenings, but how often do we get such perfect weather? Sometimes it’s rainy, sunny, or blisteringly cold weather, especially this time of year, that can prevent you from enjoying the outdoors. Luckily, some creative person came up with the idea of mall walking. Mall walking is beneficial because of the air-conditioned, enclosed space, level surface, and availability of drinks and snacks. The mall also offers many places to sit comfortably and use the restroom. Check out these frequently asked questions about mall walking.

Do all malls have mall walking programs?

Not necessarily. You may want to call your local mall to see if they do. If not, there may be some local groups that participate in mall walking.

How long should I be mall walking?

It is recommended to walk at least 30 minutes, if not more. If you can, you should be walking every day. As you continue your walking routine you will notice that your breathing should be getting better. You will also be able to walk longer distances the more you walk.

When is the best time to walk?

This largely depends on your mall. Some malls get very crowded during certain points in the day, and it is best to avoid walking during these times. Early morning is usually a good time to beat the crowds, especially on weekends.

Are there rules for mall walking?

Generally no, but you may want to ask management at your local mall. Otherwise it is best to be courteous to other shoppers and avoid running into anyone.

Do I need to warm up?

Before doing any exercise it is recommended that you warm up and stretch. This helps loosen your muscles and prepare your body for walking. Warm up for about 5 minutes before you begin.

If my mall doesn’t have a mall walking program, can I start one?

Be sure to ask management at your mall, but it is most likely that you can. You should ask to post fliers in the mall about your walking group, or even see if the mall can open a little early for your group to begin before shoppers arrive.


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Medical Advice from the ‘Net

If you’re looking for elderly-specific advice on some difficult medical issues, we’ve got you covered.  Check out these links for a lot of great information.

 

ALZHEIMER’S

CANCER

DENTAL

DIABETES

EXERCISE

HEART DISEASE

INSOMNIA

NUTRITION

OSTEOPOROSIS

STROKE

 


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The Elderly and Activity

Wondering what’s what with staying active and being over 65?  This fantastic infographic (seriously, we LOVE these) from Evergreen Rehab does a great job of explaining it.  They’re a national firm specializing in physical rehabilitation, so they know what they’re talking about!

evergreen-rehab-infographic2