Night Shift? When do you exercise? - page 3

by Rabid Response 38,598 Views | 28 Comments

So I've been working nights for two years now, and my general state of health has declined to a degree I never imagined possible. I'm always fatigued, my diet is lousy, I've gained 20 pounds, and I've gone from exercise fanatic... Read More


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    My roommate works night shift and she will usually go workout before her shift. Some nurses I work with workout after their shift. They do things like running, kickboxing, etc.
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    It is tough. I haven't been working nights as long as you. Only about 6 months and it is killing me. With any luck I will be going to days very soon. The shift differential just ain't worth it. I'll be going from fulltime to parttime but I can't deal with it anymore.

    I usually work out twice a week if I'm lucky. On my days off. I only do 12 hour shifts so maybe that is better. I don't know.
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    I find that working out before my shift increases my energy during the shift. When I worked 11-7 I would try to work out at 8:30 or 9pm. I've never attempted workout out after a shift, although I have thought about it. I am not great at falling asleep even under the best circumstances, so getting my blood flowing and my heart pumping right before trying to sleep just seemed counter-productive to me. But you should try it both ways and see what works for you.
    Oh, and BTW I second the opinion that the Jillian Michaels' Shred DVD is a great way to start. It is in no way easy, so you'll really feel like you accomplished something in just 20-30 minutes.
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    Here's what I TRY to do (i'm a sugar and coffee lover though, thats my downfall)
    first meal/snack at home: 4-5pm protein shake or carnation instant breakfast before work
    8:30 pm snack of cottage cheese/strawberries or hummus and crackers or sliced apple and peanut butter or banana and peanut butter
    11:30 pm "lunch": green salad, lots of veggies, 3-4 oz protein, 1-2 tbl dressing or salsa, small baked sweet potato or fruit
    3 am snack: fruit and yogurt parfait, the ones you make yourself or trailmix and string cheese with a piece of fruit
    6 am breakfast before I go home: oatmeal with a sliced banana and cinnamon

    Then I workout before my shift if I have the energy. I like summer because i'll wake up and run for 20 mins then go get my son. Also, my days off, I workout for a longer stretch so i'm doing cardio and weights. I try to get there 3 days a week. Some days easier than others. Keep yourself focused!! It's the worst shift, and i've been on it for 5 yrs!
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    OMG thanks for all your advice!!! now I'm not loosing hope to maintain my physical activity and healthy lifestyle... I would really love to be the best nurse that I could be w/o compromising my health habits... thanks
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    I work night shifts, and the best way for me to exercise is sometimes depending on how the night shift goes, always bringing my gym clothes with me to work i might go at 8am depending on if night shift went smoothly. And if the night shift goes roughly, I go home, take a power nap, then head to the gym and tire myself out sraight intense cario (elipical, stepper. treadmill) then come take my rest before heading to work. What I have always found is that, if you do tooo much cardio, you'l be tired more and quick, if you do strength training, you wont be so tired. I also have 2 dumb bells, and getting a kettle bell soon, because strength training is more important than anything, and If i cant go to the gym, I can do some reps at home to strenghten my body, eat something healthy like a handful of almonds and drink lots of water and sleep. it's something you have to get into the habit of doing. Good luck to you.
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    I think this thread is a bit old, if I'm reading the date of the first post correctly (2009), but I think it's a good thread with great information. I work nights, have been for 4 years, and I MUST work 12 hour shifts or else I'm a pile for the entire week. When I do my shifts I like to clump them together (3 on, 4 off, weekends here and there will alter the schedule a bit) which gives me a few days off to work out like a 'normal' person. During my stretches of shifts at work I have to be honest I don't work out during those days...however, in order to make up for that I try to eat healthy foods, make sure I snack on healthy snacks often (not always easy to do as a floor nurse) and take the stairs whenever possible. Good luck to you, it is the worst shift health-wise, however it is my favorite shift...night shift lovers are a dying breed :spin:
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    our entire staff uses the gym which is open around the clock, and recently we have a zumba class around 3:00am and another at 8:00am and so on, it has been packed since it began
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    Quote from Mrs. Sparkle Pants
    Ugh! So glad you asked this question!! My husband works nights, and I have been trying to convince him to work out with me. I said we could do it at 7am when he gets off work or at 6pm before he goes to work. His response "I'm too tired then." Ummm, well normal people are tired when they work out at 5am before work or 5 pm after work too!!
    I can say, in all honesty, working nocs is a WHOLE different kind of tired. Until you have experienced it, there is no way to describe it. It is a tired all the time, never feeling caught up or rested, barely hanging on kind of tired. I get dizzy sometimes. I have to use gps on my way home so I don't miss my exit. So when he says he is too tired, you can't compare it to normal day shift tired.


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