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Apprentice health and wellbeing

Starting an apprenticeship can be stressful and physically demanding and it is important to take care of yourself. Maintaining a healthy and balanced lifestyle can help you:

  • get more out of life
  • perform better at daily activities
  • manage stress or deal with change in your life.

Here are some tips to help you:

Food

Doing a trade apprenticeship can be physically demanding and it’s important that you’re fuelling your body with healthy and nutritious food to give you the energy to get through your day. Eating healthy food will not only make you feel great, but it can also save you some money.

Exercise

Construction trades can be physically demanding so you need to know that the work can be hard and tiring as it involves bending, lifting and handling machinery. In the early days of an apprenticeship you may need to do additional exercise to build up your strength and physical capacity. But it’s equally important to listen to your body and don’t overdo it as this puts a big strain on the body's recovery ability.

Sleep

Experts recommend eight hours of uninterrupted sleep for adults to help you cope with stress. If you're sleeping poorly on a regular basis, and running a continuous sleep deficit, your working efficiency will be heavily compromised. But this is nothing compared to the effects it will inflict upon your health.

Water

Water sure does a lot, which is why when the body has too little water the effects are devastating. Dehydration occurs when the loss of body fluids exceeds the amount that is taken in.

Throughout the day, you lose about two litres of water from your body. If you don’t replace this lost water, it can lead to dehydration, which presents as thirst, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and dry mouth.

Try to avoid sugary and energy drinks. Soft drinks don’t replace the water you lose, and caffeinated energy drinks can actually make dehydration worse by increasing urine production.

Stress

Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Good stress can help you to:

  • feel more alert
  • increase your concentration
  • provide more energy when needed
  • enhance your sensory experience.

All of this can be helpful.

But there can be problems when your stress is greater than your ability to cope and can become harmful to your health and wellbeing.

There are a number of things you can do reduce and manage stress.

  • Talk to someone – find someone who will listen without being judgmental. It’s unhelpful to pressure someone to ‘snap out of it’ or ‘harden up’. Speak about the issue so that you or the other person does not have to go through it alone.
  • Relax – include time out to do something you enjoy for yourself. For example: fishing, watching TV, going to the movies, catching a band.
  • Eat well.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Make sure you have a good work/life balance.
  • Avoid overuse of alcohol and other drugs.
  • Find support – gather resources to help you cope with issues affecting you. This may involve talking to your GP or visit sites such as http://headspace.org.au or www.beyondblue.org.au

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