Keeping healthy and fit while being a nurse?

  1. I am a nursing student but currently working full time RN hours (12 hour days and nights). Exercise and fitness has always been a huge part of my life and now with these hours I feel like I am unable to incorporate fitness as well as I would like. Ive only been working for a few weeks and I have no idea how to have the energy to maintain my previous activity levels. On my night shifts, I will sleep from 8am-3pm, then go to the gym, then off to work from 7pm-7am. But I find I get so exhausted in the middle of my shift. I bring tons of healthy snacks and a lunch but even then I feel like I am not eating enough. I am too tired to eat when I get home before I sleep. However, I will eat a large meal right before my shift. After tracking all my meals, I am only getting 1100 calories a day. This is nowhere near enough for me. And on my day shifts, I am too tired to go to the gym after my shift and there is no way I could wake up early enough to go before my 7am shift. Is it possible to be 'fit' and reach my fitness goals in this profession? Any tips are appreciated
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    About r5823

    Joined: May '16; Posts: 29; Likes: 4
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience


  3. by   motor_mouth
    Part of it is just going to be getting used to the hours. Flipping between days and nights isn't easy to begin with. I work nights and as hard as it is to drag myself to the gym after a shift, some days that's what I have to do.
  4. by   hppygr8ful
    If you are working 12 hour shifts then that means you are working 3 days on 4 days off. Schedule your gym workouts for the days you are not working. When you work pack a lunch which includes at least one protein bar that has about 300 calories, plus lots of little snacks to keep throughout the shift. I try to stay off carbs and eat more protein when I work. It provides more energy and you don't get that crash that comes from consuming carbs.

  5. by   motor_mouth
    Quote from hppygr8ful
    If you are working 12 hour shifts then that means you are working 3 days on 4 days off.
    Not necessarily. I rarely work my 3 days in a row. That's just not how it works out most weeks.
  6. by   nikegirl09
    In addition to healthy protein as has been brought out, incorporating a good amount of healthy fats can really help to increase your calories and give sustained energy. I also work out regularly and what really helps me are boiled eggs (I like Eggland's Best brand). They are easy to pack, filled with essential fats and vitamins, and help provide protein/sustained energy, plus they are satiating and great for you in moderation. Another tip for healthy fats that I implement are eating nuts/seeds/nut butters/oils. Unless you are allergic, why not add sunflower seeds, peanuts, almonds, walnuts into your diet? Sunbutter or natural peanut butter makes a great veggie dip. Olive oil adds healthy calories to a salad and can even help you absorb the nutrients from the vegetables better. I also like the tip that was brought out about eating fewer carbs at work (especially refined sugar) for more sustained energy- this totally works for me too. Maybe it can help you as well.