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12 hour night shift people -- when do you find the time?

This is a discussion on 12 hour night shift people -- when do you find the time? within the Open Discussion forums, part of the Cathe Friedrich Fitness Forums category;; I'm working 12 hour night shifts (I'm an RN, working 3 on, 4 off) and am finding it hard to ...

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Old 11-21-2010, 09:41 PM
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Default 12 hour night shift people -- when do you find the time?

I'm working 12 hour night shifts (I'm an RN, working 3 on, 4 off) and am finding it hard to find the time to workout -- just too darn tired after working and the commute, not to mention having to sleep in there too! My whole diet seems messed up too!

Need advice on how you night shifters do it!! The other four days is no problem, but am feeling guilty not getting in at least some time to devote to fitness those other days!

Please help!! (or at least make me feel not guilty....)
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:13 PM
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Hey Sheryl--

I know how you feel! I'm a 12hr night shifter as well (resp. therapist). I lost all my weight working this shift--totally doable! I did a blog post on this including my Top 10 tips to keep healthy while working the night shift. Here's the link:
~What you get by reaching your destination isnít nearly as important as what you become by reaching your goals~
Maintaining a 100 pound weight loss for two years!
Triathlete in 2010!
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Old 11-23-2010, 03:39 PM
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Sandra --
Thanks for the great advice on your blog! There are a few things I do at work that are a "no-no" but you've opened my eyes and the stairs and own food it is!!
I wish I could get all those breaks in that you say, but its next to impossible as a nurse on my floor. I get lunch at 2:30 a.m. and usually no breaks otherwise.
I know, I know....Improvise right??
Thanks again,
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Old 11-24-2010, 12:40 AM
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Hi Sheryl,
I work 24 hour shifts interspersed with 10 hour day shifts, with 1 entire weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun-72 hours in-house) every 4 weeks. I often am busy for the entire 24 hours and regularly get no rest at all (or just catnaps over the weekend). I also have a very hard time finding time to eat. There is no set pattern to it so it is impossible to get a routine established. It is brutal.

Like Sandra (great tips, thanks!) I take all my food with me and try to eat only my food. (what is it about junk food among hospital people-who you would think would be very diet-conscious!) I always take the stairs and try to sneak in little bursts of exercise.

I am very envious of the people who can work out consistently and daily because, although the desire is there, I physically cannot. Often, when I am post-call, I am simply too exhausted. (today I planned to take a 20 minute nap then work out and I slept through 2 alarm clocks and 3 phone calls from DH to wake up 5 hours later!)

What I am trying to do now is let go of my guilt when I don't work out. I really tend to "beat myself up" when I miss a work-out that I thought I should do. I am trying to be kinder to myself and just give myself more credit for doing a darn good job considering what I have to work with. It is actually helping me to feel much less stress and guilt.

Good Luck!
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Old 11-24-2010, 09:09 AM
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I work 10A-1030P 3X a week as a RN. I "know" that I could get up and exercise before I have to go to work, but I hate early am I am a big fan of the stairs, I alternate flights, single step- skipping a step, which really makes the glutes scream going from D level,C, B, etc all the way to the 10th floor. It is cardio and lower body at its best!!!

I dont do my 3 shifts in a row so I get do formal weight workouts on off days and have them spaced out nicely for recovery.

I pack alot. My hospital kicked out the fast food, and their cafe is committed to healthy meals, so buying is a viable option. (I do miss the french fries on high stress days)
Have a fit day!

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Old 11-24-2010, 09:32 AM
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I used to work night shift and i had to keep myself on a routine.

I prefer to work out after work and i stuck with that even when i was on night shift. I would finish work at 7:00am and go to the gym or home and workout. I would go to sleep after that. This might not work for you but you could adjust it and workout when you wake up.

I would also bring healthy food with me to work but i was able to take a break. I also made sure i was taking vitamins every day.

the only difficulty i had was during the winter months i got into a bad habit of sleeping in later and later because it was so dark out. I had to break that habit and make myself get up at a regular time. I also needed to adjust my eating since my appetite was different on night shift. I had to make sure i got in my fruits and veggies.

I hope you find a routine that works for you!
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Old 11-24-2010, 01:49 PM
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I work part time nights(weekends only) 7p-7a, as an RN. There is NO possible way I could work out on Sundays, in between my shifts. I'm so knocked out of sink with my sleep and eating.

I do my usual AM workout on Saturdays. and I get my workout in on Monday afternoons, after my second night shift. (I'm off Monday nights). It is hard, I am tired, but once I get into it, it makes me feel better!

So if you worked Mon, Tues, Wed... you could do Monday's workout, skip Tues & Wed , and then Thursday could be in the afternoon?

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Old 11-29-2010, 01:34 AM
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Happy to see I'm not the only one going through this same issue. I also posted a discussion board question seeking advice from those who have a work out routine and work night shift. Great advice Sandra! My health is my priority!
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