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How Do You Fit In 30mins Of Exercise In Your Work Day?

Nurses   (1,069 Views 36 Comments)

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So I was recently reading an article that suggestes many ways to fit in 5 or 10 mins exercise sessions into an 8hr works day to meet the current recommendations of 30minutes of mild-moderate exercise for adults. 

Now I feel like as nurses we are already on our feet walking (sometimes running) all day for 12hrs. 

However it did get me to thinking if it was possible to get in a few squats, lunges, modified bicep curls etc without looking as though you're slacking (or crazy) while you're on the floor.

I'm all for fitness and health. Esp when after hectic shifts when the last thing on my mind is a quick set of jumping jacks stretching. 

Has anyone achieved this? What's your tips and tricks? Do you even think it necessary in/during our line of work?

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mmc51264 has 7 years experience as a ADN, BSN, MSN, RN and specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.

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HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I walk 10K-15K steps in a 12 hour shift. I don't do anything extra. I have some stretches and exercises for my neck because I have horrible posture, but I can do that while charting or walking. 

 

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Hani is a BSN, RN, EMT-I and specializes in NICU, L&D, Public Health.

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meghan-markle-cry-laughing.jpg

Oh that's a good one.

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303 Posts; 1,726 Profile Views

I think it's necessary, have you SEEN the number of overweight nurses? You could do some bicep curls with a weight sitting at the computer just clicking boxes.  I'm sure there are down times you can do lunges or squats, and who cares if you look crazy?  At least you're doing some exercise.  Or you can get up 30-35 minutes early.  I knew a Mom of 2 or 3 who worked 12s and went on a strict diet and exercise program (it was some book) and got up an hour early enough!

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Pixie.RN has 11 years experience as a MSN, RN, EMT-P and specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

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We used to do lunge-walks when taking labs from the ER to the lab on night shift. I was in the Army, there wasn't much of a choice about fitness! 

Now I work out before work. I used to be a daily runner, even when I was working 11a-11p in the ER. Walking our "steps" each day isn't really exercise when our body includes it in the expected total energy expenditure for the day. 

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Pepper The Cat has 33 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Gerontology.

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Does this include the number of times I pull my 220 lb pt up in bed because his feet are hitting the foot board? That should qualify as a “bicep curl up”

or how about the number of times I help someone to out there shoes on before walking to the bathroom?  That must count as a bicep  And putting on their shoes/slippers must count for something 

Most 12 hour day shifts I blow past 10,000 steps by noon, but I am short short so it takes me a lot of steps to get places. Should I be doing bi cep curls while I walk?

Edited by Pepper The Cat

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MunoRN has 10 years experience as a RN and specializes in Critical Care.

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While we put in a lot of "steps' at work that doesn't really count as exercise, that's more of a baseline activity level.  Better than sitting all day, but still not the recommended amount of exercise.

To incorporate exercise into work time, I ride my bike to work, it takes a little longer, about 20 minutes instead of 15 minutes driving each way, so I get 40 minutes of exercise by only adding about 10 minutes to my commute.  Then during the day I run up and down 5 flights of stairs whenever I get a spare few minutes.

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1,627 Posts; 17,201 Profile Views

I think that those step counters sometimes have a negative effect on fitness.   Generally speaking, people, including nurses, need to exercise more. Counting steps doesn't add any fitness, and might be used, at some level, to justify not exercising outside of work.   

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NightNerd has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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I get my exercise outside of work, rather than trying to build it into my work day. Running and yoga are part of what I do to relieve anxiety, get outside, and spend time with my boyfriend or friends - or just by myself if that's what I need. I'd rather give my full attention to an exercise session on a day off than try to spread out a few lunges or squats during a busy shift when I'll probably get interrupted anyway.

I figure if I'm not filling up on doughnuts and vending machine snacks at work, that is a satisfactory contribution to my fitness that day. This is a battle I've already lost this morning, lol.

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RNNPICU has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in PICU.

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I do 5 8's. I also get about 10K steps at work. 

I exercise about 5-6 days a week, sometimes it is just 30 minutes, other times longer. I just make it part of my routine. I also joined a gym, which helps. I like swimming and running and strength training.  Sometimes my run is a walk.  The days that I run/walk I try to get 2-3 miles, on weekends I will try for 6-8. miles. I definitely feel it helps with my anxiety, just being outside, or even on the treadmill, I find I just have time to focus and it really helps to clear my mind. 

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in school nurse.

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I think trying to get your "daily" at work is setting oneself up for failure. Better to have dedicated exercise time on your own time. This is not to say that you shouldn't maximize things while there, e.g. take the stairs instead of the elevator, park as far away from the entrance that you can...

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

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I have no good answer for this except that I keep a gym bag in the car and that triggers me to stop at the gym many nights, even for just 30 minutes.

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