7 Keys to Staying Healthy for Nurse Practitioners

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How important is your health?

As a nurse practitioner, you have dedicated your life to achieving health in your patients, but what about yourself?

You’re on the front line of illness every day so protecting yourself should be priority one.

And let’s face it. When you’re down, so is your practice.

Five years ago, I learned this first hand.

I was working as an NP in a busy pediatric practice and within a few months, I contracted a nasty stomach bug and, shortly after, pneumonia that nearly put me in the hospital!

While I avoided the hospital, I decided to end my career in pediatrics.

I no longer trusted my immune system to keep me healthy.

I knew I had to make changes if I expected to have a long career as an NP.

Thankfully, since then, that’s exactly what I did.

I looked to health & wellness experts for answers and learned critical keys to building a healthy immune system.

As Nurse Practitioners, we must make health priority one for ourselves.

Here are 7 keys to building health I hope you find helpful.

1. Eat Healthy – A poor diet: mostly sugar, refined flours, processed food and inflammatory fats such as trans and saturated fats leads to inflammation & immune system imbalance. Find out if you have food allergies and stop eating them. Eat whole, unprocessed foods and healthy fats from olive oil, nuts, avocados and omega 3 fats from fish like sardines, herring, sable, and wild salmon.

2. Exercise – Do I need to say more?

3. Lower Stress – Relax by doing yoga, meditation, deep breathing or taking a hot bath.

4. Take probiotics (good bacteria) daily – Your entire immune system depends on the ecosystem in your gut. “There are five hundred species and 3 pounds of bacteria in your gut…Too many of the wrong ones like parasites, yeasts or bad bacteria, or not enough of the good ones like lactobacillus or bifidobacteria can lead to serious damage to your health.” 1

5. Detoxify by getting rid of environmental and internal toxins. This includes toxic relationships too.

6. Take Fish Oil with EPA/DHA – 1 to 3 grams a day from a pure source (i.e. Metagenics, Nordic Naturals) to boost immunity.

7. Take a quality multivitamin daily that will support your immune system.

 

REFERENCES

1. Hyman, Mark, M.D. UltraWellness Lesson 4: Gut & Digestive Health. April 28, 2010. http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/04/28/ultrawellness-lesson-4-gut-digestive-healt

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