nurse with babyWorking on your feet is a great way to burn calories throughout the day and stay in tip-top shape, but the heavy labor often involved when caring for patients can also take it’s toll on the body after many years of service. And if you are like most people over the age of forty then you have likely noticed that your body just isn’t as resilient as it once was. That’s why it is so important to modify the way that you work out as you get older. You need to take the fact that your body is older now into consideration, and make the necessary adjustments without letting your pride get in the way.

1) Tone down the intensity of your workouts

While high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and other high intensity workouts can be a great to burn calories when you are in your 20s and 30s, these workouts are likely to have a detrimental effect on those in later stages of life. This is especially true if you have a nursing job that requires a great deal of physical exertion. That fact is that our bodies have limits and those limit naturally decline a bit as we age. However, the situation isn’t really as bad as I am probably making it sound. Just keep in mind that working out directly following a 12 hour shift probably isn’t going to be recommended at this stage of the game. Instead try to schedule your workouts on your days off, or before work. Also, be sure to skip out on exercises that are hard on your joints, as joint pain and injuries become increasingly common as we age. The Abs After 40 program has a lot of modified workouts specifically designed for those over forty, but unfortunately the program is for men only. Women can find similar workouts suited to their gender by consulting with a qualified fitness trainer.

2) Be sure to get adequate rest after your shifts and/or workouts

Rest is important at any age, but it becomes even more necessary as we enter middle age. Most researchers agree that adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, but as we all know many of us are lucky to get even just 6 hours on a consistent basis, and this is particularly true among nurses and other health care workers who may at times be required to put in grueling shifts lasting twelves hours or more. While there may not be anything that you can do to fix your work schedule there are a couple things that most people can tweak in order to get proper rest. First, make sure that you are sleeping on a quality mattress in a room that is pitch dark. Both of these factors will greatly improve the quality of the sleep you get, and potentially allow you to sleep longer as well. Second, make sure to hydrate throughout the day, and then lay off the liquids in the last hour before sleep. Hydration is vitally important for recovery and overall health, but having a full bladder can obviously interfere with having an undisturbed night of sleep, so so your best to empty out before retiring for the evening.

3) Get blood work done and consult with a doctor to make sure you address any deficiencies

As a nurse, you are probably no stranger to blood tests, but the fact is that most nurses still don’t get all of the tests necessary to ensure they don’t have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies. Our modern diet, in combination with environmental toxins and the overuse of pharmaceuticals can rob the body of many vital nutrients, and most people suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiencies are painfully unaware of their condition. So be sure to discuss this possibility with your doctor and check your levels as often as possible to be sure that you are getting the nutrients you need to grow old gracefully and keep on truckin’.