Farming is a physically demanding lifestyle (as you probably know). Every day, they get up before the sun and plug away at a checklist of never-ending chores from milking to feeding, weeding and everything in between. And since most farms are family-owned, there’s a good chance that the rest of the household chips in to share the work.
Farm families spend so much time ensuring the health of their livestock that it’s easy to neglect their own needs. But maintaining this lifestyle just isn’t realistic if you’re in a constant state of physical exhaustion and mental strain. So, here are some of our top tips to keep your family healthy!
Tip 1: Pack Nutrition into Every Meal
As a farmer, you’re constantly monitoring the nutrient intake of your livestock and crops. Do the same for you and your family! Getting enough nutrients from your meals will help you maintain the physical energy and mental stamina you need to make it through those long days on the farm. The calcium found in dairy products, for example, carries out many essential roles throughout the body, supporting bone strength, blood pressure regulation, and muscle movement.
While meat and dairy products contain a wealth of beneficial nutrients, plants play an equally important role in supplying our bodies with other essential vitamins and minerals including folate, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C.
Tip 2: Stay Hydrated All Day
Like eating healthy, drinking enough water is crucial for your whole-body health, especially when you work a physically demanding job. New Heights Physical Therapy explains that staying hydrated will give you energy, protect your joints, keep your organs running smoothly, and help you avoid infections. But drinking water isn’t the only way to hydrate. According to Taste of Home, beverages like milk, coconut water, tea, fruit juice, and sports drinks can also be hydrating. Just be mindful of the sugar content!
Tip 3: Understand Agricultural Ergonomics
How you treat your body at work is just as important as the foods and beverages you use to fuel it. Although farm labor is a great source of exercise, it can also be hard on your back and joints. It’s not uncommon for farm workers to experience back pain, muscle strains, and pain in the hands and shoulders. Following good workplace ergonomics will reduce strain on your body and help you work more efficiently. Learn proper lifting techniques, avoid excessive bending, and invest in ergonomic tools that protect the health of your hands, shoulders, and arms. It’s also a good idea to add some stretches to your daily routine.
Tip 4: Take Care of Official Business
Although a lot of work certainly goes into running a dairy farm, there’s also a lot of work that takes place behind the scenes. For example, if you’re just starting your own business, make sure you register your business with the state (as an LLC, for example), and remember to draft an operating agreement, which essentially lays out the rules for managing your business (in this case, of course, a dairy farm). This agreement will also explain the roles and responsibilities of those involved with your LLC. If you’re registering as an LLC, save on lawyers’ fees by using a formation service like Zenbusiness.
Tip 5: Take Breaks
A farmers work is never done, so it’s up to you to take breaks when you need them. It can be hard to step away from work when your to-do list is always growing, but taking regular breaks will keep your body and brain charged up so you can work more efficiently and give your farm the attention it needs. As with the mood-elevating effects that being around animals elicit, breaks will boost your productivity, restore your motivation, and help you stay sharp so you can make the best decisions for your farm.
Most importantly taking breaks is important for maintaining relationships with your loved ones. You sacrifice a lot to provide for your family, so make sure you reap the rewards of your labor. Your work isn’t going anywhere!
Making healthy choices in your daily life isn’t the only way to combat stress and physical
exhaustion on the job. Adopting advancements in dairy farming technology can help you save a lot of time and get more done with less work or using farm management software like Farmbrite to keep you organized.
You can't get things done if you're not at 100%. By doing small things to restore and keep up your energy and mental health, you will stay focused on the job you need to do which helps you go faster overall.
This article was written by, Gloria Martinez who loves sharing her business expertise and hopes to inspire other women to start their own businesses and seek promotions in the workplace. She created WomenLed.org to spotlight and celebrate women’s achievements.