12 hour shifts and weight/exercise. - page 2

I was wondering if any other nurses have advice on how to work these long shifts and still be at a healthy weight. How do you fit in exercise? How do you eat regular, healthy meals? I always read... Read More

  1. Visit  Sarah010101 profile page
    0
    I try to eat a bagel or something before work, but I am not a big breakfast person. When I get off work, some nights I pig out, but other nights I am too exhausted to eat a big meal to make up for what I have not been able to eat
    YES this is exactly what i mean. I go all day without eating, and even when I do have a break I cannot just sit and let everything go for 30 mins to have something to eat. I come home, usually have some form of dinner that was saved for me from when the rest of my family had dinner, other than that I can go all day without eating... or peeing... etc etc. This week I am going to focus on drinking a cup of water here and there, and getting up early to have breakfast!
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  3. Visit  themoderngiant profile page
    0
    I'm so glad that I found this topic, I've been wondering how people keep in shape with the 12 hour schedule.
  4. Visit  rubato profile page
    2
    Lots of great advice. Fitness is my life and I will always make time for it. But, after 12 hour clinicals (I'm still in school), it's not gonna happen. So, I get up at 4 am, run the fastest 2 miles I can, and get ready for clinicals. I save the "real workouts" for days when I'm not doing 12s. My theory is that I'm going to be exhausted after 12 hours, whether I got up 30 minutes early or not, so what difference does it make? Then, I will do longer runs, zumba classes and lifting on the other days of the week.

    Eating has been my nemesis, but I'm learning. Now, I cook a lot on Sundays, and freeze individual meals to take with me. I have lots of healthy snacks throughout the day, and drink tons of water. It's helping me stay on track.
    lovinmymac and shannarini71 like this.
  5. Visit  SaoirseRN profile page
    1
    Quote from rubato
    LEating has been my nemesis, but I'm learning. Now, I cook a lot on Sundays, and freeze individual meals to take with me. I have lots of healthy snacks throughout the day, and drink tons of water. It's helping me stay on track.
    This is what I do -- cook a big homemade meal and freeze it into meal portions. Saves money as well as you can better control what you are eating. Avoiding cafeteria food or pre packaged meals is a good thing to do.
    lovinmymac likes this.
  6. Visit  JarheadRN profile page
    1
    Quote from SaoirseRN
    This is what I do -- cook a big homemade meal and freeze it into meal portions. Saves money as well as you can better control what you are eating. Avoiding cafeteria food or pre packaged meals is a good thing to do.
    Agree completely. If you find yourself still gaining weight after eating healthy, pre-packaged food then look at your portions and food choices. Check out Mediterranean diet of fish, whole grains and natural food. All of the success stories here definitely include plenty of water but I find working 12-13 hour busy shifts on Med/Surge floor is not conducive to frequent bathroom trips. So I drink at least 1L during shift and make up the rest on my nights off.

    Not sure if you can do this but I maintain my night schedule on my nights off. I work out at home and at a 24hr gym. Best part of going to the gym at 2am is no one there I've been depressed working nights and found meditation with posting on this board is preventing me from stress eating.

    Good luck with your efforts!
    lovinmymac likes this.
  7. Visit  Havin' A Party! profile page
    0
    Work 16-hr shifts on the weekend, and off Mon thru Fri. Walk close to 10 miles on the job!

    Workout in the gym Tues & Fri for 30 min, and walk 30 min outside on Wed & Thur. Light activity around the house on Mon & Fri.
  8. Visit  lovinmymac profile page
    0
    Quote from NurseFrustrated
    I was wondering if any other nurses have advice on how to work these long shifts and still be at a healthy weight. How do you fit in exercise? How do you eat regular, healthy meals? I always read that we must work out at least 5 days a week doing cardiovascular exercise along with 2 days a week of strength-training for weight loss. For me, this seems impossible to do. I am so tired after my 12 hour shifts (which usually turn into 13 to 14 hour shifts) with sore feet that it is very hard to exercise after work. I have to get up so early and have such a long day ahead of me, there is no chance of exercising before work. On my days off I still feel exhausted a lot of the time. Then I have to catch up on errands, housework, shopping, family, etc.

    For those of you who do work out, do you fit it in before work? After work? On your days off? How long do you work out? Do you do walk? Do weight-training? Before I was a nurse and started working 12 hours shifts, I worked a job that had 8 hour shifts and I exercised at least 30 minutes a day and was in much better shape, but I am having such a hard time keeping a regular eating and exercise schedule with these shifts. I'm in my 30s and I know I need to strength-train and do cardio exercise as well. I just don't know how to fit enough exercise for weight loss in on my days off. Has working 12 hour shifts affected your weight positively or negatively? For me, it's been negatively.
    Okay for starters, you sound like me when I was working 12 to 16 hours a day over a year ago. I was at first only working on weekends then I switched to the 12 hour days that was mandatory. So I was lifting weights every other day, I was doing cardio every day, but more on other days, and I was having to eat every 2 hours. So when I switched back to working on 12 hours for 3 to 4 days in a row, that was very very challenging. So I belonged to a body building forum back then, and I read a few tips. First thing is, you have to make time, no matter how tired you are. Next, keep something in your pocket like nuts or dried fruit. Always drink lots of water. Be sure to not skip meals, which I did in the end and was not good. I eventually stopped exercising because I had so much stress, and I had problems with arthritis, and so I wanted to go back to nursing school to further my career. Well, in the end, I quit because of all of the drama and stress at work. I just couldn't take it any longer. I also finished school. Now I just got my RN back in March. I don't have a job yet, but since I've been off, I've been so depressed that I haven't been exercising faithfully. But I have started. And I switched my diet again, but being pennyless, has left me not buying the proper foods I should have in my home to eat. I have to eat whenever and whatever. And so that makes me even more depressed and stressed. The bottom line is, if you don't make time for yourself, then who will? You must organize your meals and menus, you must take portable foods to eat on the run. Like for breakfast a low fat muffin and a small cup of coffee and maybe some fresh fruit. For lunch, if you get it, eat something like finger foods like peanut butter and crackers, nuts, vegetable sticks and hummus or something. There are ways to eat healthier. Also, make sure you are eating high fiber foods like oatmeal and beans because they will stick with you longer during the day. What about high fiber protein bars? Figure out what you can afford, and what you like, and plan for it.
  9. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    0
    I work 12-hour night shifts. I exercise at the local 24-hour gym on the way home from work for 45 to 60 minutes, no matter how tired I am. On my days off I exercise for 60 minutes.

    Although I can eat structured meals on my days off, I must graze while at work. During a typical night shift I'll eat some soup for breakfast (18:30), a salad for lunch (22:00), Greek yogurt for dinner (02:00) and fruit and crackers as a late snack (05:30). I'll sip on sparkling water and coffee throughout the night.
  10. Visit  ChelseaHindwood profile page
    0
    For these long time working shift the basic problem is you can't take care of your health and weight because of busy working, after working 12 hour it's really tough to workout or do any kind of exercise, i can suggest you only one thing which is have a healthy life style try to eat natural vegetables and juices because these things are healthy and don't put extra weight on you.
  11. Visit  TheCommuter profile page
    0
    Quote from ChelseaHindwood
    try to eat natural vegetables and juices because these things are healthy and don't put extra weight on you.
    I get what you're saying regarding eating more natural foods, but juices do put extra weight on people because they are loaded with sugar. See below:
    The facts are kind of disappointing: although a lot of us think of juice as a healthy, natural item, in reality, drinking a lot of juice really isn’t that good for you. In fact, it could ruin your weight loss plan by loading your body with sugars and carbs.
    Doctors are telling patients the truth about juice: that it’s loaded with fructose, glucose and sucrose, natural sugars that can overwhelm the liver and cause weight gain in excess.
    Could Drinking Juice Be Causing Your Weight Gain? | 3FC

    Personally, I drink calorie-free liquids such as water, unsweetened teas, diet cola, and coffee. I eat fruits due to the fiber content, but I steer clear of fruit juice. Juice has too many empty calories for comfort.
  12. Visit  bendyprissy profile page
    0
    In nursing school I gained 40 lbs & went from a size 5 to a size 12. After nursing in a crazy, busy unit for a year, without exercising/changing diet I now weigh 125 lbs & am in a size 8. I have just started to eat healthy & exercise. I don't exercise on work days as I get enough. And I keep a food diary which leaves you no choice but to be honest with yourself. On my days off I had to stop making excuses to not exercise. Sure I had to run errands but those can usually be completed in one day & not the entire day.
  13. Visit  Havin' A Party! profile page
    0
    Great attitude, bendy!


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