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8 Tips for Taking Care of Your Body While Working a Physically Demanding Job

Manual labor can certainly take a toll on any hard-working person. The rate at which physical health deteriorates for people working manual occupations is much faster than those working white-collar jobs.

However, we believe that an honest day’s work outside in the fresh air, with plenty of movement, beats working a sedentary office job any day. Of course, with certain precautions that is.

Physically Demanding Job

Eat a proper diet

When working a physically demanding job, it is imperative to follow a diet which will provide the energy and essential nutrients needed to tackle the day. A poor diet and bad nutrition can have detrimental effects: negatively impacting your morale, safety, productivity and long-term health, according to a report by the International Labor Organization.

Thus, making sure that you’re meeting your daily calorie and macro goals by eating healthy, energy dense and nutrient rich foods such as lean meats, lots of veg and cereals is imperative in order to keep your energy levels high throughout the day.

Physically Demanding Job

Follow safety guidelines and know how to use safety materials

Although PPE can protect from many small accidents, it is ineffective against large hazards such as fires, explosions, or large chemical spills. Knowing how to anticipate and mitigate against them will ensure your safety. Familiarize yourself with the safety guidelines applicable to your workplace and learn how to handle the available safety equipment.

Sometimes a fire extinguisher which is used properly is all it takes to prevent a serious disaster, and maintain a healthy work environment, by ensuring everyone’s safety.

Take care of your skin

Working outside in the sun, whether you are directly or partially exposed, can be very damaging to your skin. Long sun exposure increases the chance of developing skin cancer, which is why it is advised to wear sunblock or other products which have an appropriate SPF factor, depending on the amount of time spent in the sun.

Sun exposure also leads to increased aging of the skin and appearance of spots and blemishes, which is why it is important to take care of the skin, cleansing it every day and applying moisturizing products to protect it from drying out.

Physically Demanding Job

Wear your PPE

It might seem obvious, but not wearing safety equipment or not wearing it properly is the biggest contributing factor to work accidents. Injuries due to chemical splashes and spills, cuts and abrasions, electrical shocks, burns from hot surfaces, or due to falling objects are just some of the ways one can end up in some serious trouble.

Even if you weren’t provided with the appropriate women’s or men’s workwear by your employer, you can still find many high-quality brands online. Using the appropriate safety gear and clothes can substantially reduce the chances of these injuries occurring, so keep your hardhats close!

Go to the gym and address muscle imbalances

Physically demanding jobs usually require you to go through the same movements every day for long periods of time. These types of movements favor one side of the body creating imbalances which lead to chronic pain or increase the chance of workplace injury.

Thus, it is important to do physical activity which will target your whole body and improve your strength and stability, such as going to the gym and doing compound and multiple joint exercises like squats, deadlifts, etc.

Know when to take a break

We all know that doing strenuous activity for long periods of time is hard on the body, which is why it is recommended to take frequent breaks during the day, rehydrate with water and to continue working when your heart rate decreases.

Take breaks at regular intervals when you start to feel too tired to do your job adequately while paying attention to safety measures and your environment. Sometimes, all it takes is a small lapse in concentration to lead to a workplace disaster.

Make good use of your free time

When you do have free time, make sure you use it to rest and recover, and to take time to manage your stress levels. It is essential for you to maintain a good work-life balance, if you want to keep your vitality. Doing activities which calm and relax you such as yoga, meditation, or even pursuing a hobby will help you manage with your strenuous workload.

Physically Demanding Job

Prioritize sleep

Sleep is the most important factor in recovery and regaining energy. It can help you get sick less often, stay at a healthy weight, lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease, reduce stress and improve your mood, think more clearly and do better in school and at work, and get along better with people.

Going to sleep by 9:30PM and sleeping for at least 8 hours every night significantly increases your energy levels during the day and helps you endure the difficult tasks required by your profession.

Over to you

Working a physically demanding job puts your body through enough trauma. Your focus should always be to fuel your body right and give it plenty of rest and recovery, so that you maintain your health and functionality for as long as possible. If you change your habits, working a manual occupation brings you many health benefits.

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