Health And Wellness Tips For Roofers
As a roofer, your job is incredibly physically and mentally demanding. It requires strength, agility, endurance, steady balance, and so much more.
It’s crucial to make time to manage your physical health and dial back on the stressors of the job. Here are some practical health and wellness tips for roofers to help you stay physically and mentally fit and ready to work.
Invest In Comfortable And Supportive Shoes
We’re sure you already know that traction-based shoes are the way to go when it comes to roofing safety. However, it’s not just the outside you need to consider — you also need cushioning, arch, and heel support inside your shoes.
As you know, foot pain and leg strain are common problems for roofers. Roofing requires constant climbing, long hours, standing and bending down, etc. One solution is wearing shoes that are well-fitted, comfortable, and supportive.
Without proper support and sufficient cushioning, standing for long hours on the job can lead to foot misalignment, inflammation, arthritis, collapsed arches, and other issues.
If your work shoes offer great grip or traction but not interior cushioning and support, you can also opt to invest in quality inserts.
Monitor Your Blood Pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure can affect your ability to perform the physical aspects of your job as a roofer. It can make it much more difficult to walk long distances, climb up roofs, and carry heavy tools or equipment.
Although steady physical activity can help reduce your risk of high blood pressure, working over 49 hours a week has been linked to higher likelihood of both masked and sustained hypertension.
Since long hours, crazy schedules, and strenuous physical activity are part of your life as a roofer, one way you can take better care of your health and safety is by monitoring your blood pressure yourself. If your schedule makes it hard to go to the doctor for routine blood pressure checks, it’s well worth it to invest in a home blood pressure monitor — or at the very least, a smartwatch that offers such a feature.
If you observe signs of hypertension — like severe headaches, dizziness, or difficulty breathing — being able to check your blood pressure at home or on the go allows you to take measures right away.
Incorporate Yoga Into Your Routine
There are both physical and mental benefits of incorporating yoga into your regular routine.
Like most exercise routines, yoga helps improve physical strength and cardiovascular health. Yoga exercises also help train your flexibility and balance — both of which are very helpful in your line of work.
Also, yoga is widely known to help manage mental health issues like stress, anxiety, and depression. Yoga can help increase your heart rate variability (HRV), which is important for your body’s stress reduction. Yoga also has the added benefit of helping reduce your blood pressure and resting heart rate. That means less likelihood of hypertension, which can significantly interfere with your physical work.
Do Physical Therapy Exercises
Another type of exercise that can be beneficial considering your line of work is physical therapy.
Physical therapy exercises mainly involve stretches and are designed to help strengthen your muscles and joints. These exercises are helpful for improving overall mobility, flexibility, and age-related issues like arthritis. They can help relax tense muscles, reduce body aches, and improve overall physical condition.
This set of nine physical therapy exercises is an ideal place to start. It's easy to follow, and the majority of it can be done while you’re laying in bed or sitting down. Even if you don’t have much time outside of work, take a few minutes to try these exercises after waking up or just before going to bed. Incorporating them into your regular routine will boost your strength and prepare your muscles to work more.
Take Regular Breaks And Seek Support
Regular breaks are important, and unfortunately, not common enough in the roofing industry. While it's understandable to hustle and grind, it's crucial to remember that you're only human. Working long hours and consecutive weeks without taking any real breaks will only result in mental and physical exhaustion — which will ultimately hinder your ability to work properly.
Making time for structured breaks during your work day is a quick and practical way to avoid burnout and remain motivated. You can use these few short minutes to stretch and reduce muscle fatigue. Pro-tip — try to keep your mind from wandering to work-related topics while on break to help reduce stress.
Breaks don't have to be limited to short reprieves during the work day. Taking a day off for a check-up or to spend much-needed time with your family counts as well. These breaks can also be used to schedule doctors’ visits, professional physical therapy or massage sessions, or support group meetings.
If you're struggling, you're not the only one. It helps to seek individuals with the same profession — people who understand the work you do and everything that comes with it. Look for a mental health support group in your area that focuses on helping people in the trades.
Making Time For Your Health and Wellness
Between the physicality required to be a roofer and the hectic schedules you keep, managing job stress and finding time for your family — not to mention yourself — can be challenging. Still, when it comes to your health and wellness, you shouldn’t make compromises.
As difficult as it may be, make time for your health and wellness. It can be anything from taking a few minutes after waking up to stretch, taking a full day off to visit your doctor, or getting a massage to soothe sore muscles. Whatever you choose, make sure to keep your health and wellness a priority so you can keep climbing back up on your client’s roofs!
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