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Want to be a better nurse? Then do some resistance exercises.

Many times people assume that the best way to get fit, lose weight and feel great is through cardiovascular exercise.  Although cardiovascular exercise like walking, biking and running are essential for strengthening your heart and lungs, it’s not the end all be all solution to staying fit and raising the quality of your work and life.  What if I told you that doing less cardio and more resistance training could make walking the hospital floors, caring for patients and working long shifts easier? Resistance and strength training, I argue, is more useful for nurses, as it’ll make many of your day to day activities much easier.  Here are four reasons why every nurse should start doing resistance training.

1.  Nurses often work long shifts and are constantly on their feet.  The last thing you’d want to do is take another hour of your day walking on the treadmill or going for a jog.  Instead, get a couple of free weights, resistance bands or dumbbells and do some strength training exercises for 30 minutes.  Research shows that even strength training can improve cardiovascular fitness as well. [1]

2.  Have you ever had trouble moving a patient from their bed, lifting them up from a seat or assisting them down the hallway or to the bathroom?  Strength training is the best way to make this easier by increasing muscular strength and neural coordination. [2]

3.  After a long shift moving from patient to patient I can see how it might get difficult to remember patient history, prescriptions, ailments etc.  Moderate strength training and exercise can help you increase focus and mental performance to help you think and care for your patients even better. [3]

4.  Are nights on the hospital floor stressing you out?  Stress might lower your immune system and raise your risk of contracting an illness.  Multiple studies have found that strength training helps reduce stress and strengthen your immune system. [4]

These are just a few benefits of strength and resistance training. If you have some feedback, more ideas or questions I’d love to hear from you at or send us a comment on facebook.

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