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Tips for Tradespeople: Health & Wellness

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Mobile offices, getting to see the country. Tradespeople have a wonderful office-life! Seeing whatever the weather throws at you and exploring the land are some of the highlights but with the trades industry, there is always an element of risk. Tradespeople are at a much higher risk of injuring themselves or getting sick and it’s easy to forget that you need rest. Ensure you make time to rest, recover and keep healthy as your body is your livelihood. 

There are simple, yet effective steps that can prevent health risks. A strict diet or exercise routine isn’t needed (although it helps!) We have compiled a list of health and wellness prevention checklist. 

Be well-rested

If you’re finding yourself ignoring lunch or working remorselessly without any breaks, you need to break these habits. Physical activity drains your energy so rest is vital to maintaining your workflow. 

Your body and brain aren’t designed to consistently work through large periods of time. Although we may not notice it, we get bored! This is when people will find they’ve hit a wall. Their concentration dwindles and we start making mistakes. For tradespeople, this can be dangerous as many of these mistakes can be the first step to accidents. Take regular breaks as it nourishes your energy levels and improves your concentration. 

One of the unsung heroes is a good night’s sleep. Nothing else will help your body recover after a hard days work other than a refreshing night’s sleep. If you try to operate on not enough sleep, you’ll be irritable and make more mistakes. A lack of sleep also has a drastic impact on your judgement making skills, concentration and reaction time – All important assets tradespeople need in their toolbox. 

Fighting the forces of nature

It goes without saying, if you’re too cold you’ll put on another layer of clothing. Why don’t we have the same mentality when it comes to the sun? Although the sun is a rare sight here in the UK, we still have to be aware of the risks. Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer with rates doubling over the last thirty years with oer twice as many men over the age of 45 dying from melanoma compared to women of the same age. The research showed that it was mainly a lack of skincare on outdoor worksites, where male tradespeople dominate the statistics. 

Get into the habit of, if you plan to spend twenty minutes or more outside, to apply sunscreen. Outside of melanoma, too much sun exposure can leave you dehydrated, lethargic and potentially cause permanent damage to your skin and eyes. It’s not fun to be forever damaged by the sun. 

The right fuel

We’re all partial to the occasional beer but unfortunately, it’s not the right type of fuel. Be sure to drink at least 1-2 litres of water throughout the day. You’ll need to make sure that you’re filled with nutrient-rich food for your body to perform at maximum efficiency. 

Simply put, the more kilojoules (calories) you eat, you’ll gain weight. If you burn more kilojoules than you eat, you’ll lose weight but the right measurement of food is so important. If your body doesn’t get the right nutrients, you’ll end up feeling lethargic and this directly impacts your concentration levels and energy. 

Packing a nutritious lunch can save you time, money and helps prevent you buying spontaneous meal deals when out on the job. Keep track of what you typically eat and drink throughout the week to see where you can make healthier choices. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find! Investing in a thermal bottle can keep your coffee warm but also keep your drinks cold. 

Tradespeople still need to exercise. Despite not being sat at your desk all day, you’ll probably build some immense muscle but this won’t affect your overall fitness while on site. Implementing some cardiovascular exercises such as running, swimming or any team sports will work wonders.

Do you lift properly?

One in three injuries sustained by workers are usually related to manual handling, a common denominator in the trades. Spend some time getting familiar with the proper lifting techniques – encourage your colleagues and friends to do the same! Use your brain and avoid the ego trip, spinal injuries are best to be avoided.  

Allow time to feel zen

Now, we know this sounds a bit strange but meditation has proven to have several benefits! General meditation programmes help ease the psychological symptoms of depression, anxiety and pain-related stress. 

Meditation and mindfulness, what is it? Basically, it’s taking time to rest your mind, the same way you rest your body. There are several apps available such as Headspace and Calm which have easy-to-follow routines to guide you. 

Learn & Listen

There’s only so much of radio1 you can take after a while. If you’re growing bored of the same radio hosts or playlists then you should try listening to a podcast. There are many apps which support this and Tradify have their own app specifically for tradespeople called Behind the Tools. A never ending supply of podcasts and talkshows are at your fingertips, switch up your normal listening routine and get stuck into something interesting!

Summary

Being afraid of hard-work isn’t the issue. Tradespeople are surrounded by benefits to the job but there are many hazardous areas which you can avoid by keeping your body and mind as fit as possible. Be sure to rest, eat/drink the right amount of nutritional energy sources and stay safe when working. This has been The Trades College, signing out. 

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