How to Make Time to Exercise When Working the Night Shift


When you're working a "normal" 9-to-5 job, it's bad enough finding time to fit in a workout, but if you work the infamous "graveyard shift," you might face an extra challenge. Once your body adjusts to a backward schedule, you'll need to find a way to make time for exercise. Although you might be tired, exercise will help prevent chronic health issues while boosting your energy.

  • Manage your sleep so you have the energy to exercise. Black out the room you sleep in and allow seven to eight hours of sleep after each work shift. Turn off any distractions such as the TV or your phone.

  • Develop a weekly schedule for your workouts. Make note of what time you will work out, the type of exercise you will do and the duration.

  • Fit in a workout when you wake up in the afternoon. Exercising during your morning hours or before your work shift will give you energy to get you through the night hours. It also means that the workout will be done and out of the way before you start running errands or get caught up in any distractions.

  • Exercise immediately after getting off work. For some people, exercise might be the best way to wind down after a work shift and help you get a full night's worth of sleep. Go to the gym on the way home from work or change into your workout clothes before leaving work so you have less of an excuse to ditch your plans.

  • Break up exercise into small segments of time. Instead of a 45-minute workout, try three 15-minute sessions, for example, 15 minutes when you wake up, 15 minutes on your lunch break and 15 minutes when you get off from work. Even a brisk walk around the facility counts as aerobic exercise, so if it's all you can manage during your break, it still counts.

  • Focus on activities you can do at home to save time from driving to the gym. Buy a few exercise DVDs, invest in a few free weights, or focus on aerobic activities you can do for free such as jogging or riding your bike.

  • Save one or two workouts for your days off and weekends. This is when you'll have more free time and can invite your family to join you for a game of football or some afternoon swimming. Any activity that elevates your heart rate and uses your large muscle groups is beneficial for your overall health.

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