The current pandemic has been challenging for everyone. Working on the front-line, were our NHS workers. Many of whom have been experiencing an increase in workload, resulting in lack of sleep, anxiety, stress, depression, other mental health issues, weight gain, physical ailments among other things.
It is argued to health professionals should live healthy lifestyles and demonstrate good health behaviours to the wider population. For nurses in particular, acting as role modelling is a much debated topic even, forming part of their code of conduct.
However, the question arises, how easy or difficult would it have been for nurses to sustain their health during this pandemic? We know that nurses have been working longer and harder, skill mix and staff shortages have become a challenge and working arrangement changed.
As a working health professional, I understood the challenges to the health and wellbeing of colleagues that this presented. I decided that in my external role as a Personal Fitness Trainer, justlikeme Health Coaching and Wellbeing would do something about it.
Introducing Keep Fit Wednesday!
Every Wednesday morning (for an NHS Trust in London) I deliver a 30 minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) class that works all muscle groups. All nurses, administrators and managers were welcome, with between 20-30 people joining each week via Microsoft Teams. People have joined irrespective of their ability or agility and they chose to either have their cameras on or off and leave feedback in the chat.
The Keep Fit Wednesday sessions are all about encouraging team building, and incorporating some physical activity during the workday. It has been a great way for colleagues to sustain their health and wellbeing together, whilst working through these uncertain times.
The feedback from participants has been fantastic (you can read feedback in the corporate feedback section here). As normal working patterns resume, I will be supporting the participants to incorporate aspects of their learning into their every day lives.
Whether they regard themselves as healthy lifestyle role models or not is for them to decide. However, one thing is for sure they have most certainly taken a responsibility to look after their own health and wellbeing in difficult circumstances, which is, in my opinion very brave!
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