Happy Feet = Happy Healthcare Professionals!

Seasoned medical professionals KNOW their work shoes can be their best friend and a major part of their uniform. Long hours of walking/running and standing on hard floors can be tough on your feet and back. If you’re just starting out and trying to figure out what shoes are for you, your initial impression may be that you have to sacrifice fashion for functionality. However, just as scrubs have evolved, so have shoes for the medical profession. They help prevent complications from your job and let you make a fashion statement. These aren’t your grandma’s white oxfords anymore!

Besides providing comfort, fit, support, performance and durability, there are numerous stylish looks: solids in a rainbow of colors, animal prints, metallic prints, floral prints and more. If you like subtle, there’s a shoe for you. If you want to add a “pop” to your uniform or make a fashion statement, there’s definitely a shoe for you too! In addition to the look of the shoes, there is also a style for everyone – whether you want a clog, a slip-on an oxford or an athletic style.

Additionally, there are other features to consider such as the material the shoes are made of; do you want leather or polyurethane? Do they need to be slip resistant or shock absorbing? Stain resistant or washable?

Whether you’re looking for your first nursing shoe or looking to update your professional shoe wardrobe, here are a few of our favorites:

Alegria shoes are a luxurious alternative to the basic clog. Their foot beds are designed to form to the natural shape of your foot for ultimate support and comfort. Their “Metal Rain” closed back shoe (Style # KEL751) has a mild rocker outsole and is slip resistant. This beautiful shoe with metallic sheen will get lots of compliments.

If you are in love with Grey’s Anatomy™ scrubs, you will have to have this Grey’s Anatomy™ by Softwalk “Black Metallic Meredith” Nursing shoe (Style #MEREDBMR). It is slip resistant and lightweight with a very feminine floral pattern.

Dansko is known for its comfortable, functional and funky styles and patterns. And their “Professional Multi Ripple” Patent Leather Clog (Style # DANSKMRP) is a perfect example. You will really make a statement in this uber comfortable closed back clog.

If you’re looking for bright and bold, the Koi by Sanita® Professional “Lindsey Fae” in Raspberry (Style # FAE) is for you. These closed back clogs put Dorothy’s ruby slippers to shame in the eye appeal department! They’re embossed patent leather and loaded with all the comfort features you need for a long day on your feet. They’re also available in Navy for a more subtle look.

Is the athletic look more your style? Then check out Skechers “Loving Life” Black/Multi Athletic nursing shoe (Style # LOVGLBML). This sporty walking sneaker design features a smooth faux leather mesh fabric upper accented with a multicolor bungee laced front panel. These shoes will make you smile and will be the finishing touch to any color scrubs you wear.

We are curious to find out what shoe features you value the most and any favorite colors you love to wear?

The Right Nursing shoes make Happy Healthcare Professionals by Uniform Advantage

Core Sculpting at Home Exercises: No Equipment Required!

As if standing on your feet for hours a day and saving lives wasn’t enough exercise! However, according to a study conducted by the University of Maryland, an overwhelming 55% of nurses are overweight or obese. How can this statistic be explained given that nursing is an active job and that nurses are conscientious of health issues? Maybe it’s the compulsive, quick-fix eating that the night shift causes? Perhaps it’s the unhealthy options in the hospital cafeteria or lack of time in the mornings to prepare a meal to bring into work. Or what about the fact that nurses are dead tired after their 12 hour shift and the gym is the LAST thing on their mind? Well, for whatever reason, this phenomenon exists, and we want to help you avoid becoming a statistic.

These exercises are perfect for building a strong core, which improves overall body strength and promotes more controlled movements. Nurses will love these simple at home minute exercises that requires no equipment other than your body (and maybe a nearby towel)!

  • First: loosen up. Stand up with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. From there, lean forward, grabbing opposite elbows. As you let your head hang, visualize moving your ribs closer to your thighs with each exhale. After stretching in the center for one minute, move your upper-body to the right for 15 seconds, come back to the center for 15 seconds, and then move your upper-body to the left for 15 seconds. Once you have returned to the center, slowly scoop your belly inward and peel up from your spine while visualizing yourself coming up one vertebrae at a time.
  • Plie squat with different torso exercises: To start, spread your legs about 2.5-3 feet apart and do a plie squat. This is important: do NOT let your legs move, wobble, or come out of this position. Staying stationary in your lower body is imperative while you move your upper-body to build core.Core Sculpting at Home Exercises: No Equipment Required! Found on blog.uniformadvantage.com
    1. Extend your arms all the way out to the side and bring them forward until they are fully extended in front of you. Avoid muscle strain by remembering to keep your shoulders out of your ear, as well melting your shoulder blades back and down. Do this motion for one minute. Add cardio by increasing the frequency of your movements.
    2. Continue to hold the stance in your lower body wile interlacing your fingers at chest level. Move from side to side using your obliques for 1 minute.
    3. Now, remove your hands from that grip and punch directly in front of you using your obliques (as if you were hitting a punching bag).
  • Drop from the plie squat to a full arm plank. You can either:Core Sculpting at Home Exercises: No Equipment Required! Found on blog.uniformadvantage.com
    1. Hold the plank for a minute.
    2. Sprint using your legs by bending your knee to your chest. Keep your hips down and engage your thighs and butt to stabilize your body.
    3. Push up into downward dog for 30 seconds, or just stand up and take a breather.
  • Sit down into what is called a “C” frame.Core Sculpting at Home Exercises: No Equipment Required! Found on blog.uniformadvantage.com
    1. Grab underneath your knees after sitting upright. Your legs should be partially extended and have a 90 degree bend in them. Once your hands are underneath your knees, lean back until your arms are fully extended. Now, release your arms while keeping your legs in place by squeezing your inner thighs. At this point, you should feel a slight burn in your lower abdomen. Grab a 5 pound weight and do Russian twists with your torso while your lower body continues to stay still. This will help tone your obliques.
    2. To really work your core, maintain this seated position in the C-frame. Now, put your arms out in front of you, facing forward, with your palms on the ground. Lift one leg up at a time approximately an inch or two off the ground. Keep the leg straight and extended with your foot flexed. Raise your leg and then lower it. Now, with the same leg, you will bend your knee (which engages your hip flexor) and bring your knee towards your chest. After, put your leg back on the floor so you are in the neutral C-frame, and repeat this exercise 10 times, alternating legs.

Try this work out and see what you think! Once it becomes less of a challenge, repeat each set! We hope you’ll notice the benefits of a strengthened core and looser hamstrings! It will make a world of a difference in your health.

10 Ways to Relieve Stress

It’s no surprise that being a medical professional can be an incredibly stressful job. However, practicing stress-relieving relaxation techniques can help alleviate that whole “I go to work and hold others’ very livelihood in the palm of my hands” stress thing. Medical professionals can certainly appreciate stress relieving techniques since they know all the negative effects that over-stressing has on the body. Those who regularly practice relaxation and stress relief experience many positive health benefits, such as a slowed heart rate, lowered blood pressure, reduced activity of stress hormones. 10 Ways to Relieve Stress found on blog.uniformadvantage.comHere are 10 helpful ways to reduce negative stress in your life:

  1. Meditate: This classic relaxation technique promotes feelings of well-being and self-awareness. Simply take 10 minutes for yourself upon arriving home from work to lie on your floor, splay your legs and arms out, clear your mind, and simply enjoy the silence and solitude.
  2. Keep a journal: Remember your diary that you used to keep as a child? Time to start up another one! Journaling is a great emotional release. By writing down your feelings and events of the day, you become more in tune with your emotions and more aware of how you respond to life’s challenges. It’s also a great way to track your progress in building relationships, advancing in your job, or developing a new hobby!
  3. Attend Yoga Classes: A relaxing yet challenging exercise, yoga and its focus on breathing, body awareness, and mental acuity result in better overall health for mind and body. Those who participate regularly in yoga experience lower blood pressure, a reduced heart rate, lower cholesterol, and improved memory. Plus, yoga will help you with your other physical activities! By stretching your muscles and developing greater core strength, you will enjoy an improved range of motion in your exercise.Attend Yoga classes found on blog.uniformadvantage.com
  4. Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR): This relaxation technique, which can be done lying down or sitting up, is characterized by a conscious, controlled process of tensing and then relaxing muscle groups of the body. Most people typically start at the hands or feet and work their way up or down the body, concentrating on areas such as abdomen, back muscles, eyes, jaw, chest, shoulders, and thighs.
  5. Laugh more often: Other than giving you a wicked set of abs, laughter is great for improving your mood and giving you a more positive outlook. Researchers have found that the very act of smiling (even if it is fake or forced) releases dopamine and serotonin in the brain, resulting in feelings of happiness! Watch your favorite comedy tonight!
  6. Take a Walk: Daily 30 minute walks are a great form of light exercise that boost immunity and cardiovascular health. Switch up your local route for a change in scenery! Regular exercise is shown to improve brain function and muscle strength in the long-run. Whether you prefer to walk alone and enjoy the quiet, or walk with friends and enjoy the laughter, you will surely notice the many health benefits of walking.
  7. Drink Green Tea: Rich in antioxidants that prevent cell damage, green tea is certainly the healthiest drink (other than water) that you can put into your body. Since it is neither processed nor artificial, green tea has been shown to improve cholesterol, blood flow, and memory. So take a tea break and sip slowly to enjoy the benefits of this amazing drink!Drink green tea found on blog.uniformadvantage.com
  8. Prioritize Sleep: Here’s a no brainer – make sure you set aside some time to sleep! Going through the REM cycles allows your body, mind, and immune system to rejuvenate. Those who consistently get less than 7 hours of sleep suffer from poor memory, concentration, and health problems.
  9. Stay hydrated: Remembering to consistently drink water throughout your day will keep you hydrated, which is essential for job performance, focus, and stamina. Drinking water regularly can also result in muscle mass increase, loss of fat, and shinier skin! The intake of this vital fluid allows your body to recuperate from the many stresses you experience on the job and helps you bounce back with an extra boost!
  10. Practice Good Posture: Those who are mindful of their posture, whether standing or sitting, experience many health benefits in comparison to those who slouch around! For example, good posture facilitates breathing, which in turn increases the oxygen flow that our brain needs (20%) to function properly. By rolling the shoulders back and down, keeping your chin level with the ground, and standing tall, you will be seen as a confident individual, which will make you feel better about yourself in turn.Practice good posture found on blog.uniformadvantage.com

What techniques do you find helpful to reduce your stress?

Quick and Healthy Meal Ideas for Busy Nurses!

Nurses are known for being fully committed to their work. This usually translates to more time on the job and less time in the kitchen preparing healthy meals. In an effort to prevent nurses from falling into this pattern, we’ve come up with 5 easy to make, healthy meal ideas to help provide you with the nutrients and energy that you need to get through your demanding work day. Waking up just a little bit earlier or taking some time out of the night before to put together a healthy meal will improve your focus and mood – two benefits that make a huge difference in the day to day and long run.

Night-shift nurses: we haven’t forgotten about you! Although a typical breakfast time hasn’t been in your schedule for months now, these meal ideas are still perfect to help carry you through that challenging night shift.

Breakfast: You’ve heard the old saying plenty of times, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, it couldn’t be any truer. According to WebMD, breakfast is linked to key health benefits, such as weight control, lower cholesterol levels, and improved performance in areas such as concentration and endurance.blub

  • Start your day off on the right foot by adding some fruit to your breakfast. Blueberries have been dubbed as a “super food” by many scientists as a result of their high nutritional benefits and links to improved brain health, reduced body fat, and anti-aging properties because of the abundance of free radicals. A cup of blueberries is the perfect serving size to start off your day.
  • This delicious fruit will pair nicely with ½ cup of oatmeal boiled in 1 cup of water. Hearty and filling, oatmeal provides you with the energy you need to carry you through the day until lunch.
  • Drink 1 cup of orange juice in the morning. This tasty drink is loaded with potassium, dietary fiber, and Vitamin C!

Lunch: Lunch is a very important meal that will help carry you through the rest of the workday. Since your metabolism is highest during afternoon hours, be sure to have a well-balanced, nutritious lunch that focuses on good carbohydrates and protein.peeta malark

      • For a satisfying and filling choice try a whole-wheat tortilla roll with sliced turkey, sliced low-fat mozzarella cheese, red pepper strips, and a chilled lettuce leaf. Add a fruit salad for some extra sweetness!
      • For all of the vegetarians out there, try a whole wheat pita stuffed with vegetarian refried beans, salsa, lettuce, and shredded cheddar cheese! Apple slices with peanut butter will give you an extra boost!

Snack: We’ve all done it: Your lunch didn’t really do the trick and now you’re starving at 3 PM with at least 2 more hours on the job. “That Snickers in the vending machine sure does sound good right now…” In spite of the blissful few minutes of flavor and happiness that you feel while eating the Snickers bar, you will inevitably regret this decision about 30 minutes later when the sugar crash hits you. Avoid the unnecessary, unhealthy calories with these snacks instead!cel

      • For all you peanut butter lovers out there, this snack suggestion is perfect for you! A medium stalk of celery with 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter contains 195 calories rich in protein and fiber. Filling and tasty, this easy-to-prepare snack will give you a perfect guilt-free, delicious experience!
      • Fiber One Bars are packed with 35% of your daily value of fiber! Treat yourself while staying healthy at the same time with Fiber One’s Oats and Chocolate Chewy Bar! It will satisfy your sweet tooth and prevent you from crashing during the day.
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Click on this infographic for more information on healthy eating from ChooseMyPlate.gov!

Check out this infographic by MyPlate.gov for a representation of what a balanced meal would look like!

We would love to know: What meals do you eat to stay healthy and energized while on the job?

What Not to Wear: Scrubs Edition

You’ve heard the classic, “First impressions are lasting impressions,” saying before. As much as this statement might inspire a “well duh!” reaction from some people, many often forget how much this rings true – especially in a medical office. Typically, most people go off of another’s appearance for their first impression before they have even had a chance to open their mouth. When your patients’ lives quite literally lie in your hands, it is crucial to exude confidence, competence, and professionalism to them so they will readily trust you. Start off your interactions on the right foot with our tips on how to create a professional, clean-cut look.

Nurses looking professional

  • Make sure that your undergarments are not showing through your scrubs. Even if you have the body of a Victoria’s Secret Angel or Fabio himself, nobody wants to see what your situation is underneath your scrubs. In an environment where cleanliness and a well-polished look is valued, be sure to: 1) Buy scrubs that flatter your body (not too tight or not to baggy!). 2) Wear light colored underwear (shades of nude) when you are sporting lighter-colored scrubs. 3) Ensure that your pants fit properly so the infamous “whale tail” won’t pop out of the top of your pants. Pick out the best, most flattering scrubs for your body type with the help of our “How to Dress for Your Body Type” infographic!
  • Iron your scrubs or hang them up after washing/drying them. Unless you want to go for the hobo-chic look, it’s best if you make sure that your scrubs don’t have sloppy creases and folds after you’re done washing them. Even if your scrubs fit well and are very clean, the wrinkly look definitely does not create a good impression. Show your scrubs some love and hang them up! Or if you really love your scrubs, treat them right with a session on the ironing board.
  • Don’t stain your reputation! Life as a medical practitioner is not exactly on the clean side…Who knows what bodily fluids/parts could wind up on your trendy scrubs on any given work day? Unfortunately, stains are not like battle scars, and will not give you a reputation as a hardcore veteran in the work place. To put it nicely, it will just gross everyone out. So make sure to treat your scrubs the second you get home! There are cleaners out there that will rid you of the most horrific stains. Check out our stain removal infographic to show you how to get out pesky, commonplace stains with simple steps!

Stain Removal Tips for Medical Scrubs

  • Keep your nails nice and trimmed! Your patients are already getting poked and prodded with needles…enough is enough! Keep a pair of clippers on deck to maintain a short, well-manicured nail length. Your patients and your un-broken nails will thank you!
  • Tuck back your luscious locks. You may have the hair of the models featured on Pantene Pro-V commercials, but as a medical professional, it’s best if you keep your hair out of your face and out of the faces of your patients – as well as other questionable things your hair may wind up in.Nurses should pin up their hair when working

What are some things you find important when dressing up for the job? We’d love to hear your experiences about what you have seen at your workplace!

 

lady liberty

Firework Safety 101

It’s that time of year again. Just when you think that summer is coming to a quiet lull of relaxation, the 4th of July is here to wake you up with some good ole American patriotism.  What blowing stuff up has to do with our country’s independence is yet to be determined, but if that’s “American tradition” then who are we to argue?? So put on your blue jeans (that still fit, fingers crossed) and your tackiest American flag shirt to ensure you are brightest star this country has to offer.4th of of July fireworks around the Statue of Liberty

Though we are a young country, we are a great one. This holiday commemorates July 4th, 1776: the day a collection of our brave, founding fathers signed The Declaration of Independence, thereby severing the colonies from English control. Perfectly embodying the free American spirit, the Declaration of Independence has set the tone for the rest of our country’s history and development.

With all this holiday-hullabaloo, most people lose sight of one of the truest American virtues: safety.

Just do the exact opposite of these following tips and we guarantee that you will have your most show-stopping 4th of July yet!

  1. Hold the fireworks close to your face as you light them so you can get an inside look at how they work!
  2. Make sure to light fireworks close to your small dog so they know where the noise is coming from and won’t be scared!
  3. Want an authentic 4th of July? Have a large crowd stand nearby the firework launch site so they can get the true patriotic feel that our founding fathers experienced under gunfire in the Revolutionary War.
  4. Want to be the star of the show? Wear the most flammable clothing possible to really sparkle!
  5. Consume heavy mayonnaise-based potato salad and at least 10 hotdogs to feel full and satisfied for the long journey of standing and lighting fireworks that awaits you. Who cares if your full belly renders you completely useless in the event that you must run away from a stray firework?
  6. Show your kids how much you trust them by letting them light the fireworks; they’ve going to have to grow up some time!
  7. Tired of spending big bucks on fireworks but still want the pizazz of a big show? Try DIY fireworks! This new trend will put your craftiness to the test!
  8. Be sure to douse your fireworks in quality gasoline to avoid any disappointment from possible duds.

American Flag

All jokes aside, we wish that you have a happy and safe 4th of July. Though fireworks definitely contribute to the holiday spirit, please be sure to exercise caution if you are lighting them or are nearby someone else who is.

120 Summer Days to Take Advantage of!

120 Summer Days Tips for Medical Professionals to Take Advantage OfSummer is officially here! Now that the polar vortex is long gone, get ready to lather up some sunscreen and get outside! With significantly longer days during the summer months, soak up the sun and take full advantage of your days off! Whether you choose to go on a walk around the local park or have a beach-day getaway, the possibilities for summer fun are endless. Here are some tips from the Uniform Advantage Family on how they plan on spending their summer vacation.

Take a beach vacation: For some, fortunately a beach is just a reasonable drive away! Grab your friends or family, and bring some delicious snacks and set up your umbrellas at a nearby beach. Whether you choose to get some R&R and read a book or take a walk on the wild side with a banana boat tour, your quick summer escape will leave you feeling light-hearted and at ease.

Treat yourself to a vacation! “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine. Medical professionals, we know that you work extremely hard. Reward yourself for your dedication to your job with a vacation or stay-cation! Visit your favorite vacation destination or step outside of your comfort zone and experience new places with delicious cuisine, landmarks, and fun activities. Expanding your horizons and world-view is only a plane ticket or road trip away.

Run a 5k! Although running for fun is a foreign concept to most people, doing a 5k is a great way to get outdoors and enjoy summer’s beautiful days while setting a goal that will improve your health. Enroll in a 5k run with a friend to make training and the big day packed with fun! Many of these runs support nonprofit organizations and help fundraise to raise awareness so you are doing yourself and others a service by being active.120 Summer Days Tips for Medical Professionals to Take Advantage Of

Revamp your wardrobe! Updating your wardrobe gives you a cleansing, “new you” feeling that is perfect for the start of summer. Complement nature’s vibrant summer shades with a bright wardrobe of your own. Stay cool and look stylish with a simple, floral-patterned sundress. Or mix it up with a bold color-blocked wardrobe featuring bright shades, such as yellow and navy. Keep your eyes protected with a trendy pair of sunglasses. Popular sunglass styles this summer include cat-eye, mirrored, round, and retro looks! Tie your look together with a statement bag that tells everyone that you’re ready to hit the runway! To add some color into your professional wear, check out Uniform Advantage’s Hot Summer Sale! From prints boasting a wide array of colors to solid tops showcasing summer’s hottest colors, our selection is sure to wow you! So show off your true colors this summer and bring fashionable trends to your workplace!

As always, thanks for shopping at UA! We hope this first weekend of summer is a memorable one for you.

What are your favorite summer colors for scrub tops? Leave a comment below!

Unifrom Advantage Summer Print Scrubs