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Exercise and my wierd work schedule
rjcombs posted:
I would really like to figure out how to get in some decent exercise that meshes with my work schedule. I work in a veterinary ICU 3 nights a week 13 hours a shift. I am on my feet and walking almost all of those hours. When I get home, I get some breakfast and then head to bed to get 5 -6 hours of sleep before heading out the door for my next shift. On the day following my 3 night stint, I am pretty well toast, no energy and my knees/joints ache. Every 3 weeks I work 3-13's of 2 nights and then work 3-13's. I have used a pedometer at work and have logged as many as 5 miles on the floor all night. So, what would be a good exercise program for me? I am 54 years old, through the change, about 10-15 pounds over weight. I eat low calorie "dinners" at 3 am - usually Healthy Choice or Smart One's. Not a big sweets eater.

Changin7 responded:
Tough schedule! I would think that your walking activity counts for something! Perhaps you need to consider changing your diet and stay away from as much processed food as possible. How about eating as many fresh vegetables as you can, fish and chicken and shrimp. Also eat a snack every couple of hours such as an apple with a little organic peanut butter, carrot sticks with home made hummus, small salad with olive oil and apple cider vinegar (throe a little fresh garlic in the dressing) and veggies, boiled egg during your 13 hour shift. Eating a healthy snack keeps your glucose level steady and I actually lost weight doing this myself to the tune of 30 pounds without exercising besides my job, where I was always moving my body. I ate poached eggs for breakfast, steel cut oats, no sausage, etc., no toast. I baked or steamed my Salmon and baked the chicken and if I wasn't eating my vegetables raw I steamed them. I even ate a chicken leg for a snack. You definately need a good everyday vitamin, extra vitamin C, extra vitamin B's as they all help with stress. Stress and not enough sleep will pack on the pounds. Also, I drank 4 cups of green tea a day as it helps with weight loss and has tons of antioxidants. How about working on your diet for a month or so, get all the sleep you can and then think about exercise. Give yourself a break! Stay away from processed foods as much as you can. Learn to make a turkey wrap with plenty of vegetables for your 3am meal. Drink alot of water! Before the month of policing what you put in your mouth is up and you do find yourself with 15 minutes to spare, go for a 10 or 15 minute walk before you need to leave for work. The 2nd month I would discipline myself to walk 15 minutes every other day. So, that gives you 2 months to make some changes. Do not short change yourself on sleep. Hope this gives you something to work on. By the way, I am soon to be 61 years old and am a night In Home Care Worker with Senior citizens. Three of my days are 15 hours with about an hour break in between. It is a challenge! There are other things you can add after the 2 months are up but the idea right now is to eat nutritious real food and get your rest. Your body will love you for it! Just do it! : ) Diana
rjcombs replied to Changin7's response:
Diana -

Thanks for the response. Sounds like your schedule is just about as crazy as mine. Definately will take some of your tips but unfortunately sometimes we are SO busy that breaks are few and far between. Also, they do not allow us to have snacks upstairs. We are supposed to keep them downstairs in the employee lunch room. Notice I said "supposed to". One tech keeps snacks close by without knowledge and the night staff doesn't care, it is the day people that will rat us out. Now, on top of my quest to loose some weight comes an ophthalmic diagnosis of beginning macular degeneration. I already have beginning glaucoma that is not being treated yet as pressures are borderline.

So, anyway, thanks for the advice. I am off to the store for some easy to grab snacks.

brunosbud responded:
I would focus on three things.
1. Getting proper rest during your "off" days to recover and rebuild your body from the wear and tear taken during your demanding work schedule.
2. Rethink everything you think you know about what foods are "healthy".
3. Getting good exercise during your off days since no exercise is needed when you're working.

At 54 (I'm 57), you need to really lock down on proper diet now that the aging process is radically changing your energy levels and demanding more time for sleep. As we get more sleep deprived and tired, our craving to eat junk (heavy carbs like bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and white flour foods) dramatically increases.

The off day before your work week begins, it's a really good idea to prepare some healthy things to eat for the days and nights, ahead.

PS: "Sweets" are seldom the problem for most adults in their 50's. Also, 6 hrs of sleep is fine, provided, you're not waking to go to the bathroom every few hours. The less time we have for sleep, the greater in importance "sleep quality" becomes. Finally, my best advice for people over the age of 50 or more is to live as "if" you have Type 2 Diabetes, whether you do or don't. If you maintain a lifestyle of a well controlled diabetic, you will be taking good care of your body; I'm certain of this.
An_254531 replied to Changin7's response:
The soundest way to heart health is correct nutrition, not exercise. I am more concern of my diet than any workout because fat loss is 99% nutrition based. I am even into weight loss supplements to help me speed up the process of losing weight, and those pills are from B00CMHTYWY . But whatever supplements you are into , your weight loss would still be because of your diet. And protein is one of the most important elements for good health and good looks.Avoid carbohydrates since it has put most of us on enormous risk for diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

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