Feeling Fit: 4 Workout Tips for Nurses

feeling-fit-4-workout-tips-for-nurses_bpWorking crazy 12 hour shifts isn’t the most conducive lifestyle for staying in shape. Physical fitness is an important component to staying healthy.  As a nurse, sometimes it’s hard to find time to get the exercise you probably know you need to stay healthy. But, what if we told you that it’s possible to get your workout in while at work?

Here are 4 things you can do to stay healthy while on the job.

Start your day off right with some sun salutations.

If you arrive to work a few minutes early, make some time to do a few sun salutations before you start the day. While this doesn’t seem like an ‘exercise’, it is a common yoga move that will get your blood flowing, relax your muscles and increase your flexibility.

Terah from Daily Nurse says “begin by standing and lifting arms into air then folding forward at waist to touch the floor. Then, walk your arms out to plank (either hold here or lower down to floor). Come back up to plank and go to down dog by lifting your buttocks towards the ceiling. Next, walk your feet to meet the hands, slowly roll your spine back up until you reach standing. Do this sequence three times while breathing in and out slowly.”1

Keep it simple: go for unit walks and take the stairs.

This may be simple but walking can be a great cardiovascular exercise. Try to pick up the pace to a power walk and get your blood pumping! Also try to take the stairs when possible. Stairs are not only a great cardiovascular exercise, but they’re also a great butt and leg workout!

According to Carol from Nurse TogetherWalking the stairs is one of the best and most accessible tools you can use to get your heart rate up and keep it there. Take a couple flights at a time, anytime you need a quick pick-me-up.”2

Drop it like a squat.

While you may not have weights at your job, that doesn’t mean you can’t get some quick strength training in. When you have a free moment, or you’re on your lunch break, try to get a couple rounds of squats in.

“Doing squats can help you prevent hip and knee injuries while lifting and assisting patients. It works specifically to improve the strength of your hamstrings and calves. It can even make you more flexible.” Rozzette from Nurse Labs says.3

Don’t forget those upper body muscles.

After you do your squats or take your unit walk, get some upper body work in. Do a few sets of wall push-ups to work those biceps. Having strong arms is important when it comes to lifting patients.

Annmarie from Nurse Together says “push-ups are everybody’s favorite upper body exercise. But there’s no need to get down on the floor. Find a stable wall even in the elevator or the bathroom. To do wall push-ups, stand about 1-2 feet from a wall. Lift your arms parallel to floor, placing palms firmly onto the wall. Then bend the elbows until the chest is resting on the back of the hands or as close as possible. Hold for 5-10 seconds then push back to starting position. Do 8-10 reps.”4

Work can no longer be an excuse to skip working out in our books. Sneaking in a few of these moves while walking your unit or on your break is a great way to stay fit and healthy and get in that workout!

How do you stay fit as a nurse? Tell us in the comments below!


  1. http://dailynurse.com/best-exercises-nurses/
  2. http://www.nursetogether.com/no-more-excuses-5-exercises-nurses-work
  3. http://nurseslabs.com/fit-nurse-5-types-workout-exercises-nurses-need/
  4. http://www.nursetogether.com/exercises-busy-nurses-part-1-upper-body