Travel Nurse Stories, Resources, and Tips

Travel Nurse Stories, Resources,
and Tips

improve physical health as travel RN

Tips to Prioritize Your Physical Health as a Travel Nurse

Physical health is a major part of overall health. In fact, your mental and immune health can directly benefit from improving or maintaining your physical health.

As a clinician, your schedule of balancing your personal life with caring for patients is likely very busy. We understand you may not have much extra time in the day for self-care, exercise, or relaxation. That’s why we’ve created a list of simple ways you can improve or maintain your physical health so that you can stay healthy, happy, and improve your body’s defenses against illness and disease.

Read on to learn more!


It sounds simple, but being well-rested has a huge impact on physical and mental health.

An optimal amount of sleep for most adults is seven to eight hours every night, with an emphasis on every night. Sticking to a consistent sleep schedule helps you get the right amount of sleep each night, can make it easier to fall asleep quickly, and it can also help you wake up on time and feel refreshed in the morning.

On top of regulating your mood and providing you ample energy to tackle your day, enough sleep also helps your body in physical ways. According to the US Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), adequate sleep is necessary for:

  • Fight off infection
  • Support the metabolism of sugar to prevent diabetes
  • Work effectively and safely

In addition, ODPHP maintains that “sleep timing and duration affect a number of endocrine, metabolic, and neurological functions that are critical to the maintenance of individual health,” including:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

Studies show that sleep and immune function are intimately linked. According to the Mayo Clinic, sleep habits affect your body’s ability to fight off infection and how fast it recovers if you do get sick.

While it can be difficult at times, maintaining a consistent sleeping schedule will greatly benefit your physical health, so try to be as consistent as possible. Taking care of your physical well-being will, in turn, allow you to take better care of your patients’ well-being.

Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Remember being a child and constantly pushed to eat the broccoli you left on your dinner plate? Well… your parents had a good point. It’s no secret that your diet plays a major role in your physical health, but it also helps your body fight off illness.

According to a San Francisco Chronicle article on diet and physical health, most nourishing and healthy diets include nutritious whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and fish. The SF Chronicle report also goes on to say that increasing your fruit and vegetable intake may help protect you from cancer while supporting your immune system.

Yufang Lin, M.D., of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, recommends in this article a Mediterranean diet, which is a great example of this balanced and varied diet – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like fish, nuts, and olive oil.

These foods have been shown to improve blood pressure levels, insulin sensitivity, inflammation and other markers of heart disease. These foods also contain high quantities of zinc, vitamin C, and antioxidants, also linked to reduced inflammation.

Lin also states, “Eighty percent of your immune system is in the gut, so when it’s healthy, we tend to be able to fight off infections faster and better.”

A change in diet should not replace medical treatment. If you have a health condition, talk to your doctor before making major changes to your nutrition plan.

Stay Active & Exercise

Moderate physical activity and exercise is another great way to improve your physical health, increasing blood flow and improving your body’s circulation of antibodies and white blood cells. Along the way, your body will also release endorphins post-exercise which will help relieve stress.

The cool thing about exercise is that it can be anything you want it to be. You can take a walk outside, lift at the gym, join a yoga studio, play soccer with your kids, dance around your kitchen, or whatever makes you happy. Movement is movement, no matter how you let it out.

As a travel nurse, you can utilize your exercise time as a chance to explore your new city, maybe through different walking routes or trying out different gyms. A lot of studios offer a first-class free, or some type of trial period membership, so don’t limit yourself to places you recognize from other cities. There might be a workout that is brand new to you and ends up being your favorite way to work out!

Prioritize YOU

Overall, improvements in health take time and consistency. Even if you start small, like changing one piece of your diet or adding in one extra workout, you will begin to feel the difference in your physical health. Prioritizing a healthy and strong version of yourself allows you to show up fully at each and every travel nurse assignment.

Become a Travel Nurse with GIFTED Healthcare

From travel to per diem assignments, GIFTED Healthcare provides nurses with exceptional, high-paying career opportunities.

Apply now and join the GIFTED Family today!