When nurses live healthy lifestyles and look healthy, they have more credibility as health experts
When nurses smoke, they give the appearance of a person who has never had education about the health consequences of smoking. So people assume they haven't really had much health education and it contributes to a poor public perception of nursing. Smoking nurses are an extra problem for nursing's image, because they are sometimes the most visible members of our profession given that they are now often forced out into public spaces to smoke. The public sees them more frequently as they stand on the street smoking compared to nurses who don't smoke. We encourage all nurses to aim for smoke-free lives and help society achieve such a healthy state too. There are several stop smoking avenues to follow and we hope you will consider some. A friend of ours quit smoking after reading the free online book "Never Take Another Puff" by Joel Spitzer. He said "it's a calm, rational and an informative approach to stopping smoking."
We encourage workplaces to set up outdoor smoking zones that keep smokers out of public view to reduce the public's impression of nurses as smokers who don't understand how to achieve health.
We encourage exercising to a huff and a puff for at least 90 minutes per week. It doesn't matter if these are 1-minute or 45-minute increments, as long as the total is at least 90 minutes of huffing and puffing per week.
There are many different plans people use to achieve a healthy weight. Nurses are essential in educating patients to eat healthier. But if we are not of a healthy weight ourselves, we have no credibility. It is important to find a plan that limits unhealthy cholesterol and saturated fats (see below) so the new diet won't cause heart disease. It seems important to find a plan that will be a new way of eating, not a fad that can only be sustained for a few weeks. Our executive director puts forward a plan that she finds effective as one idea nurses and others might consider to achieve a healthy weight. Click here for that plan.
Animal products are inherently unhealthy. They contain cholesterol, saturated fats, antibiotics, hormones and heavy metals. Producing them causes more environmental destruction than the entire transportation industry. The production of animal products leads to a global inequity of food distribution. If we all stopped consuming animal products, an extra 800 million people could be properly nourished every day. It is in the interest of personal and global health that we recommend that everyone adopt a vegan diet. See a 12-minute video to explain more.