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.

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?

Nursing Blogs and Resource Sites…A Must Read!

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In every nursing blog we have come across and whom we work with, we have felt the passion from the nurses and medical professionals about their subject matters. They are passionate writers! How could they not be, based on their work environment? When you find a great piece of content and you find yourself immersed in the source, you want to share it with everyone. Today, our team at Uniform Advantage has highlighted nursing blogs and sites written and published by individual nurses and institutions that provide a wealth of information and wisdom as well as some good ole humor. We know that their experiences, challenges and industry insights will resonate with you and we hope that they will help you professionally and personally. Enjoy our selections below and please send us any great finds you have come across. We welcome your feedback for any blog suggestions.

Health & Wellness and Personal Development
Living Sublime Wellness by Elizabeth Scala
My Strong Medicine by Sean Dent
According to Kateri
Nursetopia

Nursing Communities/Organizations/Universities
NurseTogether
NurseZone
MinorityNurse
Georgetown University School Nursing Blog
The American Nurse, official publication of the American Nurses Association
The Dean’s Blog, written by the Dean of the UCSF School of Nursing
Grounds for Health
Nursing Center
Nursing Blogs at Johns Hopkins University

Education/Careers/Arts
Off The Charts by American Journal of Nursing
The Nursing Site Blog by Kathy Quan
Digital Doorway by Keith Carlson
The Makings of a Nurse
Registered Nurse RN
NursingIdeas
Not Running a Hospital
JParadisi RN

Technology
The Nerdy Nurse by Brittney Wilson
Innovative Nurse by Kevin Ross
RN.FMRadio, Kevin Ross/Keith Carlson – Co-Founders and Co-Hosts
Browne Knows – Social Media for Healthcare

Entertainment
At Your Cervix
The Adventures of Nurse Niki
Doctor Grumpy in the House
Head Nurse