The Nursing School Workout
Even before I entered nursing school I heard horror stories of excessive weight gain or extreme weight loss. Needless to say the other "side effects" were equally horrifying. I finally came to terms with having to lose my figure, hair and health to become a nurse. But that didn't sway me and it still doesn't.
These are just small hurdles in your path to being a nurse, here are some things that work for me:
Get The Time
Nursing school is really a massive time crush and how well you can apply and retain new things. I said it simply, but those are some of the problems I face. I get so many things to do at once that what I want to do goes out the window. That said what do you want to do: Lose or not gain that first, second or third semester "stress roll" on your stomach. So get the time for it. Be organized and be able to add at least 5-20 minutes of structured exercise into your life. To be honest it isn't that hard, here are some tips before we move on:
Get a planner. See what you are doing, what's due(something is always due in Nursing School xD), etc. Seeing things objectively helps you find time you would have otherwise "lost"
Do what you need to do before you do what you want to do! Do you want to be a nurse or not? Sacrifice, then!
Combine activities. Yes, sometimes you can multi-task (not on your nursing work, but elsewhere)
Talk, gossip, research. Find out what others are doing and find out whats works for you. Sometimes your friends can have great ideas. Hint! Hint! Hint!
Ok! Now for the tricky part, adding something else to do in your busy, sleep deprived life. No worries, take it easy and take it slow. For starters be subtle and know that the little things count and add up that said, try these small "workouts":
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you have class 3 times a week and you hit the stairs some of the time you are increasing your muscle tone, cardio and you are working out. I hit the stairs all the time with my backpack(don't hurt yourself) and it adds up in my workout journal.
Eat healthy! If you are sitting with your gigantic textbooks eating chips, soda and other greasy fattening foods for hours what do you expect to happen? Try good healthy alternatives, know your allergies and make sure you enjoy it so that you stick with it. Don't buy carrots if you don't like them and don't buy Peanut Health Bars if your allergic to Peanuts. When in doubt do your 8 rights before eating and buying. Right dose, route, allergies, medication, etc. It works.
Do a Q&A bootcamp. Get some questions and answers from the content your studying have it be flashcards, NCLEX questions, etc just get them. Then for every question you get wrong do a exercise like lunges, yoga, your fav exercise, basically anything. Just don't overdo it, know your limits and don't hurt yourself. You still have clinicals!
Lecture jog/walks. Basically you get a lecture that's about 10 minutes or shorter or longer and for that whole lecture you walk or jog. Actually lecture walks can be added to anything play your lectures on your phone or other device while you cook, in your car(legally, like on a CD or something), etc.
Go for a small brief walk. I like to just pace and review what materials I can. But be aware of things around you, walk somewhere safe and walk in pairs if you have to.
Stand instead of sitting whenever possible. Stay hydrated, invest in a good water bottle, but be aware of your Fluid and Electrolyte balance. You are going to be a nurse.
Try to get some sleep. I know, I know you can't guarantee me, but at least try. Sleep is important for diet decisions and some people see weight creep on when they don't sleep.
Make a small exercise routine that works for you. Make it 5-20 minutes and stick with it. Use a good program that you found and that is feasible and manageable for you.
Remember to watch out for yourself and always make sure its safe for you to exercise. Good Luck!Last edit by Joe V on Jan 24, '17
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Feb 28, '16My favorite study aid/workout during nursing school? "Teaching" the material out loud to an imaginary classroom while pacing the kitchen or bedroom--good cardio and really does help the information stick.
One caveat: Make sure you do it quietly if you live with other, non-nursing-student people so they don't send for the men in the white coats.