Exercise, Fitness and Nursing.

by Jennifer Smith, Registered Nurse, Australia

Working as a nurse, I spend a great deal of time standing and walking during my work day. I could easily say that I would walk 5kms most days as part of my job. I used to think that I was getting plenty of exercise during my day, at work and that would suffice for regular daily exercise. So other than the activity that I would do at work, I did no exercise.

I loved walking, but would only walk if it meant that I was travelling from point A to point B. This worked quite well for me when I use to live in a city and relied on public transport, but once I moved to a country area I needed to use my car all the time. So the ‘incidental exercise’ and walking that I did came to a standstill.

Fitness and exercise as a young adult, was also very goal driven for me. There was an area of work that I was keen to join that required a certain level of fitness. I was very determined to get into this line of work, so I pushed myself very hard so that I could run so far, do so many sit-ups and push-ups, all within in a certain time frame. I can honestly say that I didn’t enjoy any of it and I had a particular dislike for running, but I had to do it. I was determined to get into this job. Once I was in, there was no need for me to continue this style of exercise, so I stopped and did nothing.

It’s interesting to reflect on the beliefs I had around exercise. It had to have a purpose. Walking was to get somewhere and pushing myself to get into this job was me trying to be someone. I had no sense of true enjoyment in any of the physical activity that I was doing. I always had a sense, though that I needed to walk and move my body but I didn’t quite know where to start, so…..I did nothing.

Over the last 2 or so years I have gradually made changes to how I care for myself with my eating patterns, how I rest and sleep. The fact that I did no exercise and hadn’t done any for years was becoming an issue I knew I needed to address. I had an opportunity to attend a gentle exercise class, so I did.

The first thing that surprised me was how my body really felt the workout, even though it was gentle and I was only doing as many repetitions of an exercise as I felt to. So I wasn’t pushing myself. I had no sense that I had to better or improve myself. The next thing I noticed was how enjoyable it was to exercise in this way. So enjoyable, that I’ve kept it up and even returned to the gym.

The thing that surprises me the most and is the most delicious aspect of exercising in this way is how lovely I feel at the gym or while going for a walk. There’s no trying or pushing or improving. It’s all about listening to my body and doing exercise that supports me at the pace that I feel.

The effect on my work as a nurse is amazing. My general fitness levels have increased dramatically. Travelling through a shift, caring for sick patients and dealing with the general running of a ward/hospital have become physically easier. I don’t get so tired.

Recently I noticed I was tired after a morning shift. I’d convinced myself that I was so tired that I could not possibly go for a walk, even though I knew I needed to do something physical. What I realised though, with the assistance of a very wise Universal Medicine Practitioner, is that I had been taking on all of the events, issues and emotions of the day and perhaps what I needed to do was actually walk after work.

I had 7 shifts in a row coming up, the majority of them mornings. The perfect opportunity to do an experiment!

So I took myself for a walk after all of those morning shifts. The moment I started walking, I could really feel in my body what I had taken on. My arms and shoulders especially felt so tight and heavy. As I walked, I had a sense that I was releasing the day that I had taken on. When I got home, I noticed how my energy had re-balanced itself so that I wasn’t drained and had plenty of energy for being at home in the evening. A 7 day in a row stint is usually viewed in nursing with dread. But my experience showed me that with commitment and understanding of how to truly care for my body, I can remain energised and vital, during and after work.

I now realise how important daily exercise and especially walking is for me, but also for the people I nurse and come into contact with during my day. The more I care for me, the more I can care for them.

So it is, with a spring in my step I’m off for a walk.

Inspired by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

506 thoughts on “Exercise, Fitness and Nursing.

  1. This is such a great blog because for me it shows that our bodies can actually enjoy gentle exercise and even though we may feel tired a gentle walk can actually be very beneficial. I have experienced this myself feeling very tired while working at the computer but having an impulse to go for a walk rather than just resting which I did, I came back home feeling very energised and ready to carry on working.

  2. I really love gentle exercise now in the mornings. My love loves it as well and I feel energised and supported for the day ahead. Somedays my work is quite physical, other days not. But what I do outside of work supports me to not be drained in those physical parts of the job.

  3. Jennifer, reading this blog came at a perfect timing. I used to be an avid gym junkie and if anything, harmed my body more than anything, so it was no wonder I suffered frequent colds, coughs and infections of some type.

    I haven’t been able to return to the gym without an intention behind it, and that is to remove the excess weight. Yet my body is crying out to be taken care of and needs some exercising.

    I loved this statement, ‘it’s all about listening to my body and doing exercise that supports me at the pace that I feel’, I need to take more heed of this gold sharing.

  4. I’m not a nurse, but I can see that in any industry that we need to be fit to do the job and that includes sitting and working on a computer all day, and fitness is in the quality we are in as well as the care we take to ensure our body is strong and vital.

  5. The difference between exercise with pushing and drive compared to exercising in communication with your body as you do makes it two totally different types of activity with only the latter actually supporting your health and wellbeing.

    1. Michael, I could not agree with you more, I’ve experienced the drive and the ramifications from this and yet to experience ‘exercise in communication with your body’ – the missing link to truly support the health and wellbeing of the body.

  6. Walking and gentle exercise allows us to let go of anything we may have taken on from a busy day and feel the body being revitalised.

  7. It is interesting that we tend to have a goal for exercise – to become someone or something, to lose weight, to be thinner, stronger, muscular, fitter etc. It is no wonder it brings much joy when we can simply exercise to nurture and love who/what we already are.

  8. I have noticed as a Physiotherapist that many people with manual or physical jobs believe that this is enough exercise but actually my own experience has shown me that it is important to have some kind of gentle fitness program outside of work to support the body to do everything it needs to do in the day.

  9. I think it’s really important that we establish that it’s more than physical activity that makes us tired – there’s so many other aspects such as getting drained by emotions, or reactions or expectations. I find that as well as my physical fitness – exercise also helps me also deal with this – the refocusing and recomposing of myself ready to go back out into the world.

  10. When we make a loving commitment to take care of ourselves and change our choices to ones that truly support us our body immediately responds to rebalance and harmonise itself back to its natural rhythm without needing to try or put effort into the doing we establish a true flow that is self-energising.

  11. Exercise is often associated with pushing the body to its limits, yet there are many benefits from exercising gently in our own rhythm and walking is a great exercise as we can go at our own pace and build the pace up, no need for any special equipment except a decent pair of trainers or walking boots/shoes, and as you have shared exercise can revitalise us especially after a long day.

  12. There is a beautiful healing and confirming quality when we walk in connection to our body and being, and with walking there is always the opportunity for alchemy to take place. To move with the purpose to deepen the quality of our movements allows us to feel and let go of what does not belong so we then we can be moved by the greater truth of who we are.

  13. “I had been taking on all of the events, issues and emotions of the day”. This is so important to understand that by taking on and absorbing things we are going to feel a drop in our vitality, clarity, and wellbeing. Great tip to walk after work or a hectic day to come back to the body and assist us to let go of what’s we may have taken on.

  14. “The more I care for me, the more I can care for them.” These words totally dismantle the long-accepted belief that you put the care of others before your own and are the wisest words for anyone caring for others, from parents, to aged care workers, to medical staff. They are words full of common sense and words that so many of us have unfortunately ignored for way too long and in doing so have not only harmed ourselves, in the process we have been offering a much lesser quality of care to those we are caring for.

  15. After a sickleave of several month due to a broken wrist and a frozen shoulder I am back in nursing in a nursing home and I feel how my body needs a rebuild of my fitness level with exercises and walking. So I have made the commitment to gentle exercise everyday and go to the swimmingpool every week. And yes this supports me not only on a physical level but also setting new standards having this loving discipline in all area’s of my life. And I will definitely give walking a go after my shift with at least 5km meter registration.

    1. I find that sometimes when I am tired physically exercise is actually the best thing for me – it’s very revitalising and I always feel more energised after.

  16. So true Jennifer, walking therapies as presented by Serge Benhayon has revolutionised how our body feels and the natural level of fitness that is assured by walking connected to our essences is remarkable.

    1. I agree with you Greg. Walking therapy is a life changing modality as just with our body movements we are able of reconfiguring our energetic alignment and with that, everything we feel and express during the day. Very simple but deeply transforming.

      1. The True things in life are simple so we can live in the wisdom of a Lovingly-simplistic-approach to life from a True Livingness then The Wisdom of the Universes is opened and abundant.

  17. It is so true that the more we care for ourselves the more we are able to care for others and for me caring for myself definitely includes gentle non-goal oriented exercise which has completely transformed how I experience exercise and how much more supportive I find it.

  18. Exercising gently with the body has very fast results as the body isn’t having to spend time recovering after being thrashed around at the gym. It responds far more to gentleness than abuse.

  19. This is an amazing example of how commitment to work and commitment to ourselves comes from how much love we afford for ourselves.

    1. Yes Fumiyo, the more I commit to one area in my life and work is an important one to start with. My commitment to myself grows and it definitely has all to do with how much I love me but also acknowledging how much I love people.

  20. I just recently signed up at the gym again and it was amazing how much my body had missed it. I took it steady and made it all about exercising my body and enjoying it. Completely opposite to how I used to exercise… trying to make my body better.

  21. When I walk to be with me and my body it feels very different from when I walk to ‘do exercise’ and to ‘get fit’.

  22. I have recently started going swimming and to the gym for the first time in my life, not to lose weight or tone up (I don’t even know what that means) but to be fit to do my new job where it will be more physical in a different way from my previous job. Basing my exercise around supporting me in other areas of life and only working out for as long as my body says so, not pushing it, feels amazing.

  23. When we exercise from how our body feels, we start to build a very different relationship up between our body and exercise, when it’s all about getting fit we often have an image of what we think we should look like, yet when we let go of expectations and pictures we are able to let our body take the lead and exercise how the body wants us too, a great reminder never to override what the body tells us.

    1. I definitely had a belief if it didn’t hurt it wasn’t doing me good which is crazy and always meant that I never sustained any exercise I tried despite knowing my body felt better for exercise. It was only when I started to become more generally self-caring that this extended into the way I exercised and not only did my body love it but I enjoyed it which was an added bonus!

  24. A beautiful realisation when we realise that taking care of ourselves has to come first before we are able to look after others we realise the responsibility we have both to ourselves and the rest of humanity.

    1. Something as simple as this is something we just avoid. On every flight we are reminded to put our oxygen mask on first, what if we applied that principle to life?

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