There are several traits that come in handy when pursuing a health care career. Serious. Ambitious. Studiousness. Well-organized, just to name a few. But there's one trait that stands out as a must if one is to be successful - energy.
Pursuing a health care career is hard work. There are late nights spent studying and writing papers. Students spend hundreds of hours in labs and classrooms, learning the material they need to know.
You must have a lot of energy.
But, we all know the energy isn't always there. Everyone is familiar with all-out energy drain - that feeling of exhaustion that makes completing the simplest of tasks seem impossible. Even harder to detect at times is a low-grade energy drain, an increasing lack of get-up-and-go.
The good news is, there are ways to avoid typical energy drainers and ways to boost your energy levels. We want all of our Concorde students and graduates to be energized, enthusiastic and ambitious in their classes and jobs. WebMD.com published this list of top 10 energy boosters. Some might be of help to you as you pursue your health care career.
When pursuing a health care career, here are the top 10 energy boosters
- Increase your intake of magnesium. "This mineral is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including breaking down glucose into energy," New York University nutritionist Samantha Heller, MS, RD, said in the WebMD article. "So when levels are even a little low, energy can drop."
The recommended daily intake of magnesium is around 300 milligrams for women, 350 for men. To make sure you're getting enough, Heller suggests:
- Add a handful of almonds, hazelnuts or cashews to your daily diet.
- Increase your intake of whole grains, particularly bran cereal.
- Eat more fish, especially halibut.
- Walk around the block. In experiments conducted by Robert Thayer, PhD, at California State University, a brisk 10-minute walk not only increased energy, but the effects lasted up to two hours.
- Take a power nap. Studies by the National Institutes of Mental Health found that a 60-minute "power nap" can not only reverse the mind-numbing effects of information overload, which can be common when pursuing a health care career, it might also help us to better retain what we have learned.
- Don't skip breakfast ...or any other meal. Studies show that people who eat breakfast report being in a better mood and have more energy throughout the day.
- Reduce stress and deal with anger. One of the biggest energy zappers is stress, said psychologist Paul Baard, Ph.D. The good news is, we can counter stress by programming more relaxation activities into our day. That might take the form of more exercise or more quiet pursuits like reading a book or listening to music.
And now, the final five
- Drink more water and less alcohol. Did you know that thirst often can masquerade as fatigue? It's vital to keep the body hydrated. Dehydration can interrupt deep sleep, which adds to feelings of fatigue and lethargy.
- Eat more whole grains and less sugar. The key here is keeping blood sugar balanced so energy is constant. "If you eat a lot of whole grains, which provide a slow and steady release of fuel, your energy will be consistent and balanced, so by day's end you'll feel less tired," Heller said.
- Have a power snack. Eat a snack that combines protein, a little fat and some fiber, like peanut butter on a whole-wheat cracker, or some yogurt with a handful of nuts.
- Make it a latte. Pair a quick caffeine hit with the sustaining power of protein by having a low-fat latte instead of a cup of coffee.
- Check your thyroid function and complete blood cell count. Thyroid can be a particular problem for women, Heller said. A simple blood test can detect this, and medication can be prescribed which can bring your body back up to speed.
Give a few or all of these tips a try, and you will find yourself energized and ready to dive into that health care career with gusto!