I work 12 hour shifts with a mix of days and nights. I typically work three 12 hour shifts in a row ( day, night, night OR day, day, night) followed by 4 or 5 days off.
I have been chronically exhausted for the last year and my exercise routine has definitely suffered. My doctor keeps telling me that I need to be exercising daily but I am finding this impossible with my work schedule! I work on a busy inpatient oncology unit where I am running around on my feet for 12 hours. I walk 10 minutes from my home to the hospital and I walk my dog 20-30 minutes either before or after work (although walking my dog isn't really exercise). Taking the stairs to sneak in extra exercise on work days isn't really an option because it's 21 flights of stairs to my unit.
Most days after working all I want to do is crash on the couch. And when I work two night shifts in a row I am completely out of commission on my first day off.
I really do believe in the power of exercise to improve overall wellbeing, energy levels, and mood, I'm just not sure how to accomplish this in real life.
I would love to hear how you manage to stick to a regular exercise routine with shift work!