As a locum tenens, you are always on the go and traveling. Staying healthy is one of the hardest tasks for anyone who is traveling. There is a different routine than normal, which can take some time to get used to. Leisure traveling is one thing, but traveling AND working? Finding time to stay in shape can be tough, but here’s a list of ways to keep up with your locum tenens fitness.
6 Tips for Locum Tenens Fitness
1. Plan your days in advance
In order to plan your days in advance, you should study your schedule before you leave for your assignment. Write out your schedule in a calendar, and then add in your exercise times. When people get busy, workouts tend to be the first to get kicked off the list, so planning ahead and writing it down will leave you accountable. Knowing your schedule and being prepared will also eliminate some stress during the start of your engagement.
2. Bring your own equipment
We know you can’t bring the big weight machines with you, but some smaller equipment can be beneficial. Jump ropes, dumbbells, resistance bands, and yoga mats are a few items that can be relatively easy to transport. Workout DVDs are also great to bring, so you can just pop it in and follow along. There are even DVDs that don’t require any equipment, so don’t let your lack of gear affect your locum tenens fitness goals.
In addition to bringing your own equipment, learn how to create makeshift with household items. For example, use a chair as a platform to step up on or to do some dips. Heavier objects such as canned food can be used as weights, just be sure you are holding them properly.
3. Make/pack your own food
As we all know, physical activity isn’t the only thing that keeps us in shape. Diet plays a large role in locum tenens fitness, and it is easy to choose the unhealthy options. To limit this, try meal prepping when you have a day off and cook enough food to last you through your work-week. If you don’t have time to cook for a few days at a time, just cook dinner and make enough for next day leftovers to get you through lunch.
Healthy meals are important, but so are healthy snacks. Make sure you bring nutritious snacks with you for your shift so you aren’t caught using the vending machines for a bag of trans-fat. Not only is it better for your body, but it will also provide a good energy source to get through the day. These snacks could include almonds, yogurt, and even some dark chocolate every now and then.
4. Research gyms and recreation areas
Moving to a new location can mean that you aren’t familiar with the surroundings. Before you leave, research gyms and parks near your housing or workplace. If you are the kind of person that just wants to relax when you get home, a gym or recreation area would be beneficial to keep up with your locum tenens fitness schedule. Some gyms have memberships that are transferable. You can look into gyms that have locations all over the country and think about enrolling at one of those.
During a short-term assignment, looking into parks may be the best option if you don’t want to invest in a gym membership. Many parks nowadays have integrated some outdoor fitness equipment along walking paths. If you are planning on exercising outside, make sure you plan for the weather. If necessary, pack for cold weather to avoid some common health risks and stay healthy.
5. Integrate small things into everyday tasks
Doing this can be pretty simple, as long as you remember to make the effort. Stand while doing paperwork, take the stairs, park farther away from the building, etc. A little bit can go a long way, so try to remember these mindless forms of exercise. If you are able to walk or bike to work or places you need to go, do it. You will be helping the environment and your body at the same time.
6. Stay hydrated
Even if you don’t have any crazy locum tenens fitness goals, staying hydrated is an important aspect of health. Invest in a reusable water bottle and take it everywhere you go. This way, you can always refill your bottle and will never be short on water. “But I’ll only drink filtered water.” Good news, there are water bottles that filter as you drink so you don’t have to worry about that.
Keeping a water log can be helpful to keep track of your hydration habits. There are apps to keep you on schedule or water bottles you can buy with time-based goals already on them. If you don’t want to spend the money on a new bottle, just write the goals in yourself!