In our society today, we’re hungrier for success than ever. Finding that right job, or getting that promotion means 12 hour days and 6 day weeks, working nights and holidays, picking up that overtime shift to make the extra money, and sometimes sacrificing a social life. All of that is well and good, and KUDOS to you (REALLY) but it doesn’t have to mean living an unhealthy lifestyle, or not taking the time for a workout.
I constantly hear people use the excuse “ I work weird hours”, “I am too busy to workout”, “I’m too tired, nothing works for me!”. I’m here to tell you, that being busy is not an excuse and living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard. If you are in fact THAT busy, it means you’re doing something right. You have a great job or job(s) that you’ve earned and/or you have responsibilities that you take on (being a super mom, ect.). So roll that over into your life, prioritize YOU and YOUR HEALTH, what could be more important than that?
I have experienced my own struggles with finding the right routines when it comes to balancing a busy life with my workouts. I am a part time dispatcher, train clients daily, and my schedule changes weekly. I work some night shifts and some really early mornings. This makes it super hard to find the right “routine”, and I notice a lot of my clients feel the same way.
To go off on a night shift tangent…the reality is the amount of people working the night shift is on the rise. In fact almost 20 % of people work at night compared to the 10% fifteen years ago (global wellness institute). Being exhausted or working a night shift can do all sorts of funky things to your body. Some that I have personally experienced are; unhealthy/awkward sleeping patterns, carb or sugar cravings, hormonal imbalance and weight fluctuation. Although these directly correlated with my night shift work, these symptoms can happen no matter your circumstance.
Here are some tips and tricks I have learned throughout the years that help me find and maintain my healthy but busy life:
- Experiment with different workout times to find what works best for you! If its working out before work, after work, on your lunch break, or only on your days off, that’s ok. Once you determine your preference, just make sure to stick to it. I love working out right before going on duty, it wakes me up, and boosts my energy for the rest of the shift. I promise, after a few workouts, it gets easier to get into a consistent routine.
- Eat ONLY when you’re HUNGRY. Your body will literally tell you literally tell you it needs fuel when you feel your stomach growl. Even if its at 3am, just make sure you are prepared and have a healthy snack on hand. I consistently bring boiled eggs with me to my dispatch shifts. If I think I’m hungry, but I’m really just bored, a boiled egg won’t be appealing enough to eat for no reason, but it will definitely do the trick if I actually need a little something to get through the rest of the shift.
- SLEEP. “People who consistently get less than six hours of sleep show glucose and insulin levels and characteristics similar to diabetics, even if they are otherwise very healthy. Your fat cells lose their ability to properly use insulin. As your body becomes more resistant to insulin, it will produce more and more in order to function. This leads to fat buildup and could eventually lead to diseases like diabetes.”(https://www.topfitnessmag.com/lifestyle/sleep-important-weight-loss/)
- Let me say it again, SLEEP. Lack of sleep also results in stress, anxiety, and can lead you to crave more sweet, salty or unhealthy foods. When your sleep deprived or exhausted, your metabolism slows down, your mental clarity is threatened and all self control goes out the window. You are more likely to say yes to those unhealthy treats being offered in the office.(Side Note: TOO much sleep can have the exact effects of getting too little, be careful with this one)
- Use goal setting or competition as a motivator. Find something to work towards that aids in motivation when it feels a little extra hard to get to the gym. I have an apple watch that keeps me accountable. If I don’t “close all of my rings” (you apple people get it) I find a way to push myself a little harder the next day.
- Choose SOMETHING over nothing. If you can get up 30 minutes earlier, skip the happy hour and head to a workout class with a friend, or simply take a walk on your lunch break instead of sitting at your desk it can do your mind, body and soul wonders.
At the end of the day, always do whatever works for YOU. Nothing is the wrong thing. Fuel your body, take care of yourself, and live a happy sweaty life!
Night-Shift Work Is on the Rise Globally – and It’s a New Wellness Problem. (2018, July 05). Retrieved from https://globalwellnessinstitute.org/global-wellness-institute-blog/2018/06/19/night-shift-work-is-on-the-rise-globally-and-its-a-new-wellness-problem/
Why Sleep Is Important for Weight Loss. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.topfitnessmag.com/lifestyle/sleep-important-weight-loss/