The Million Dollar Question: How To Stay Healthy When You Work 24/7?

Question markHow to stay healthy when you work 24/7 has got to be the million dollar question asked by shift workers everywhere, because let’s face it – shift work is a really tough occupation.

And the harsh reality is that staff turnover within a workplace can be very high because it’s just that – really tough.

It’s tough on us physically, emotionally, and certainly psychologically.

So here’s my top 4 ways to stay healthy when you work 24/7:

1.  First and foremost are you motivated to look after your health?  Because if you’re not, then it’s going to be an uphill battle to achieve good health. You don’t want to just take care of your health for the sake of it – good health should be your number one priority.

Look for inspiration from other people, seek out those who are really healthy and ask them – “What are you doing that I’m not?”

2.  Make sure you have a good network of supportive friends and family around you because working erratic hours can take a huge toll on our mental health.  When you hang around people who are supportive, and are a little understanding and empathetic towards your sleep-deprived lifestyle, it can help to diminish those feelings of isolation and loneliness that often appear in those who have to work 24/7.

3.  Eat healthy food – we hear this over and over again but eating healthy food is vital in order to maintain our health.  Eat foods that are as close to nature as possible – that is, not refined or processed.  A good variety of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables are loaded with macronutrients, minerals and phytochemicals which are going to help give your body a fighting chance to feel the best it can under the circumstances.

It’s also about listening to your body.  If you eat something then feel awful afterwards that’s your body’s way of telling you – “Please don’t give me any more of that!”

4.  Exercise – our bodies are designed to move.  They are not built to sit on a chair all day, use elevators or sit for long periods in a car.  In order to be healthy we have to move.  Think back thousands of years ago when there were no motor vehicles, computers or lifts.  We had to walk, stand or run to get from A to B.

So try not to give up and feel totally disillusioned when you work shift work. The harsh reality is that you’re never going to feel like an energizer bunny when you work irregular hours.  The consistent lack of sleep will always prevent you from feeling 100%, but when you stress less and implement small changes into your life – your body will become much healthier as a result.

Everything in Moderation – Is This Really The Key To Good Health?

We here this statement time and time again – that “everything in moderation” is the key to achieving good health. But this statement is actually incorrect.

Why? Because everybody’s version of ‘moderation’ is different.

One person might think that having 1 soft drink a day is a little, so that must be OK. On the other hand, somebody else might think that having 3 soft drinks a day is little – so that must be OK too.

But the truth of the matter is, there are some foods that we shouldn’t be eating at all. So we really need to scratch that statement – “everything in moderation” because it’s actually NOT the key to achieving good health.

A lot of food is toxic on the body, they actually do it harm. Many foods deplete our immune system and deplete our bodies of vitamins and minerals.

So it’s time to get rid of the belief – “Everything in moderation.”

A lot of us are led to believe that food found on a shelf is actually healthy. That there is some governing body authority protecting our health – but this is not true!

There are no agencies out there that protect us by checking every single ingredient for chemicals and preservatives.

Most of us take better care of our houses, our gardens, our computers and TV’s. They come with a manual, and instruction book – but we come with nothing!

We’ll walk into a grocery store and pick up a box because it says “healthy” – but never actually take the time to read the ingredients.

If you pulled up at a gas station and it said ‘sulphur dioxide’ – you would ask, “What is that?” Because you know your car won’t work if you put the wrong fuel in it. But we never ask “What ingredient is preservative 202?” that appears on our box of Krispy Kreme donuts – but we should.

The word ‘healthy’ – is not regulated by anybody. Just because it says “healthy” on the box doesn’t mean that it actually is. Which is why you want to try and avoid as much food as you can that contains artificial colours and preservatives.

Your diet should incorporate as little processed food as possible. Eat food as nature intended us too – as close to it’s original state as possible.

Food inside a box is certainly not as good for you as that which is picked off a vine or tree.

So start being very selective about WHAT you put into your mouth is … because your health is directly related to what you eat – and not just how much.