If you’re a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) worker, you’re no stranger to the health challenges associated with the lifestyle. It’s easy to slip into poor eating habits, sleep patterns are often disrupted, and any regular exercise regime can go out the window.
Sam Hubbard, one of MEC’s mining engineers, shares some tips from his own experience on how to stay healthy when working FIFO.
Give the mess a miss, when you can
- It’s not always possible to avoid eating at the site’s mess, but bring some of your own food to site so you aren’t always eating there.
- When you do eat at the mess, pack a couple of extra meals for yourself when you leave. For example, after dinner grab something healthy for breakfast and lunch for the following day. This removes the temptation to return for a fried brekky – plus, it gives you extra time in the morning to catch some precious z’s!
- Know what’s healthy for you. At dinner, fill your plate with veggies, cut down on meat portions and try to avoid carbs. When you’re leaving the mess, don’t go via the dessert bar – out of sight, out of mind!
- Stick to eating the basics on site, and save the treats for when you’re back home. Go out for brunch or fancy dinner with family and friends on your rest days to reward yourself for not over-indulging in camp food.
Ban the phone
- Switch out your phone or TV for a good book before bed. Reading in bed helps you fall asleep at a regular time and also helps you switch your mind off from the stresses of work.
- Try using an ebook reader. They allow you to read without the light on, eliminating bright lights that keep you alert. Then, when you’re ready you can simply switch the ebook off and nod off.
Track your sleep
- As you know, you should be aiming for seven or eight hours of sleep a night.
- There are smartphone apps and fitness bands available that will track your sleep, helping you get into a regular pattern.
- Burning off excess energy at the end of the work day helps you have a more restful sleep and is good for your mental health, so you’ll thank yourself for it. It’ll also burn off excess calories from those times you didn’t avoid the dessert table at the mess…
Make it enjoyable
- If the camp gym bores you, try listening to a powerful podcast during your workout. It will distract you, and you can learn something while you keep yourself healthy.
- Find a buddy! It’s easier to motivate yourself if you are exercising alongside someone else.
- Take advantage of camp sports facilities – the more people you get involved in activities the less it will feel like training.