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 to couch potato. I work 4 or 5 eight hour shifts a week, and on my days off pretty much do nothing but sleep and the bare minimum of household chores. My knees hurt, my back hurts, my head aches.
I've been blaming my poor state of health on my body's inability to deal with my night shift schedule. Unfortunately I've had to come to terms with the realization that I will not be able to switch to days any time soon due to the economy and my hospital's hiring freeze.
I want to start exercising again at the gym, but I'm not sure what time of day would be best. Should I go before work? It would not be convenient d/t having to cook dinner for my family. Exercising after work would fit in best with my schedule, but I'm worried that I wouldn't be able to fall asleep easily afterward. Nobody else on my unit's night shift seems to exercise at all, so I thought I'd ask here--
Night shift nurses, when do you exercise? How often? What do you do for exercise? Has it helped you to deal with the physical strains of working nights? Any and all input would be appreciated!:redpinkhe