You’ve dedicated your life to helping your patients practice healthy habits.
But for many dentists, long hours at the office and endless appointments mean forgoing their own health. They swap healthy meals for fast food, use caffeine to keep themselves going and get home exhausted every day.
If you aren’t healthy, you won’t be at your best, which means you won’t be able to give your patients the care that they deserve.
Keep reading to learn 8 easy ways for dentists to be healthy.
1. Stay Hydrated
When you’re busy seeing patient after patient each day, it can be easy to forget to drink water.
But when you’re constantly on your feet, moving around the office, and putting in long hours, simply chugging water once your day is over isn’t enough to keep you properly hydrated.
Experts stress that adults need at least a half gallon of water each day. To get your daily intake, shoot for 8 glasses of at least 8-ounces throughout the day.
If you can, keep a water bottle with you as you move through the office. If you can’t, stash a bottle in the breakroom and pop in regularly to get a big swig.
You can also mix in other healthy drinks, like soursop tea or green tea, to keep you hydrated.
Staying hydrated will give you a boost of energy, clearer skin, and a number of other health benefits.
2. Eat Better
Leaving for work early in the morning and getting back home tired and ready to eat and go to bed doesn’t exactly encourage healthy eating.
It can be much more tempting to go through a drive-thru for dinner. Or pack microwave meals for lunch. The last thing you’ll want to do is go grocery shopping or spending time cooking.
Do this for a few weeks or months, and your health will suffer.
The first step to getting healthy is improving your diet. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins will give you the energy you need to get through your day. You’ll also need that energy to put the other tips on this list to work!
3. Exercise Regularly
Spending your whole day on your feet feels like a workout.
But the reality is that when you’re stuck in the office, you aren’t moving very far. You’re likely spending more time standing than actually moving anyway.
Even if you’re dead tired by the time you get off work, pushing yourself to get to the gym or even just take a long walk can make a big difference in your health.
Aim to get at least 150 minutes of exercise every week. You can spread this out and do just 20 minutes a day, or pack it into 2 or 3 days a week.
If you haven’t been active in a while, you might want to start small and work your way up to that 150 minutes a week. Even a quick workout is better than nothing!
To make exercise a habit, mix up your workouts. This will keep you from getting bored and convincing yourself to skip your next workout.
Try a new exercise class. Head to a local park for your daily walk or run. As long as it gets your heart pumping and your legs moving, it counts as a workout!
4. Give Yourself a Mental Break
Perhaps the easiest way to be healthy is to give yourself a chance to take a break and breathe daily.
The stress of a busy office and needy patients can get to you. Let it get to you for too long without taking a break and your work, not to mention your health, will suffer.
There are a number of ways that you can take a quick mental break.
Sit and read a good book for a while. Take a lazy stroll through a local park before you head home.
Even just doing some deep breathing or meditating a few minutes each day can help you de-stress and unwind.
5. Get Your Coworkers Involved
One of the best ways to get healthy is to get your coworkers involved.
Invite other dentists and staff from your office to join you in a weekly fitness class. Host weekly pot luck lunches featuring healthy dishes. Start an email newsletter with tips on how to integrate healthy habits into your life.
Not only will this help you spread healthy habits throughout your office, but it’ll also help you stay on track with your own goals.
6. Go Outside
When you get to the office early in the morning and leave late, it doesn’t give you much time to get outside and enjoy some sunshine.
Soaking up vitamin D is important for boosting your mood and keeping you healthy.
If you don’t have time to get outside through the week, make it a priority on your days off.
7. Let Go of Stress
Giving yourself that mental break and prioritizing your health will help you de-stress. But taking this one step further and learning to let go of what you can’t control will do wonders for your mental health.
Start by learning not to let the demands and stress of the office follow you home. When you leave work, let go of anything that happened that day.
That way you’ll be able to relax and unwind rather than worrying about anything that went wrong at the office.
8. Get Enough Sleep
Exercising, relaxing, and preparing healthy meals is important. But none of that is important enough to cause you to sacrifice your sleep.
Getting enough sleep is perhaps the most important thing you can do to keep yourself healthy and stress-free. It’ll help give you the energy to get through the day, power through workouts, and focus on your health alongside all of your other responsibilities.
How Busy Dentists Can Be Healthy
If you want to give your patients the best possible care, you need to start by caring for yourself better.
With regular exercise, healthy eating, plenty of sleep, and a little relaxation, even the busiest dentists can be healthy and happy.
If you’re still struggling to stay active and healthy both in and out of the office, check this out next for a few more smart tips.