Shift Work

It’s been difficult to keep motivated while on night shift. In the past, sometimes the only exercise I got what when I worked nights – there’s a gym at the hospital I work in and we get an hour and a half break so it’s easy to spend that time at the gym. However, some nights are too busy and I only get an hour…or 30 minutes. Sometimes it’s not that busy, but by the time everyone else takes their breaks and it’s time for mine, I’m busy, then suddenly it’s 5am and it feels too late. Another excuse I know. Last night was one of those nights. I actually didn’t go until 5:50, only for 40 minutes, and took a quick power nap. This is a habit I recognize and realize can change. I can’t always control how busy I am at work, but because I rely on work to get in my exercise I didn’t work out before shift and ended up missing a day.

Maybe some of you can relate to me as a shift worker. Some people call me “crazy” for going to the gym on my break (most people nap), others have joined me (as I changed my thinking to join others when I first started). Even if you don’t have a gym at your work I think it’s a great opportunity to take to get a little exercise in. Do a set of stairs, challenge yourself and do 2. Bring an extra set of clothes to work if you feel you can’t because you’d be too sweaty. Working shift work has reminded me also not to pay attention to the real time but to “my time”. For example, whenever I wake up I am now making sure I start my day the same – make bed, change into real clothing, drink at least one large glass of water, take Juice Plus, make breakfast (lately a smoothie). One thing I’m going to try and add to this routine is exercise. I need to keep reminding myself NO EXCUSES. I could have gone down and up the stairs a few times on my break last night. I could have exercise before work even though I felt I had “no time” because I got up at 4:30 and immediately started making dinner instead of taking 10 minutes first to do a quick home workout video. Right now I’m sitting in bed, writing this blog, trying to plan when to do my workout – I have a vet appointment for my cat (just a checkup), I haven’t started my routine, and I planned on going to a dance class but was also invited to a motivational talk about healthy living. Life is about priorities. Right now, I’ll keep focusing on mine, and envisioning my goal – those strong arms, flat abs, and strong legs. I’ll keep picturing myself being able to do those push-ups and pulling myself up on a chin-up bar with ease. I’ll keep imagining myself as I age, able to continue to show my strength.

Wish me luck. Until next time.

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