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Working Out + 8 Hour Shifts (on your feet)

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Old 02-12-2010, 03:16 AM   #1
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Default Working Out + 8 Hour Shifts (on your feet)

It has been my general policy since I got my job (in early August) that on 8 hour shift days, I don't work out. I figure standing up for 8 hours is a workout in itself, especially because my legs feel like lead afterwards.

However, I have only lost 10 pounds-ish since I got my job. I think I'm at a plateau or something and I am having a really really hard time getting off it. I have tried all kinds of different methods, including the rest + eat whatever I want method. Supposedly that jumpstarts you? It jump started me but I always just bounced back up to a higher weight the next day anyway. Water weight sucks. I digress (badly).

My boss is considering switching me to full time soon (~34 hours a week) which means that the number of 8 hour shifts I'm working is going to go way, way, way up. (For instance: My usual number of 8's is 1 per week. This week? 4. Yes.) So, I obviously can't NOT exercise just because I'm working.

How would you handle this situation? Should I work out lightly on those days? Should I proceed as planned? I feel like I'm turning into a pile of lumpy marshmallow. What to do?

ETA: I strength train 2-3x a week, and do my own made up version of C25k on the other days. Nothing extremely serious and definitely nothing athlete-level, but it does work my legs.
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Old 02-12-2010, 09:12 AM   #2
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What kind of job do you have? Are you up walking around during your shifts or just standing in one spot? I'd still workout on your long days working. I used to work at an assisted living/nursing home a few years ago and was losing some weight while I worked there. I just picked certain days to workout regardless of what my schedule was and my body got used to it rather quickly. Whatever you decide to do you can do it and you'll do great!! Just find something that works for you and go with it...
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:51 PM   #3
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Unfortunately for me, I work 9 hour days 5 days a week, and that involves a lot of walking back and forth and being on my feet for the majority of the day, so if I tried to only work out on my days off I wouldn't get very much exercise in at all!
What I tend to do is make sure to definitely work out on my days off, and then make sure to work out at least a couple of the days that I work. I can't sustain going to the gym every day and working 45 hours a week, but I can make sure to at least go 3 or 4 times a week.
So maybe, if you're working 8 hours for 4 days in a week, make sure you work out for 1 or 2 of those days, and make sure you work out the rest of the days that you don't work 8 hours?
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:07 PM   #4
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My mom has a job where she is constantly on her feet, she only gets to sit down for maybe a few minutes every day (5 days week, 8-9 hours/day). She told me that she used to be really tired at the end of the day. She found adding exercise every day actually made herself feel more energetic.
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Old 02-12-2010, 04:53 PM   #5
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I'm trying to think of a form of exercise where you would not be standing & putting your weight on those poor dogs of yours. Do you have access to a pool at your gym or the local YMCA? Have you ever tried a rowing machine? Or a stationary bike, either regular or recumbent? These might help energize you. I'm also thinking they would help get your heart rate up, which has to be a good thing.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:22 PM   #6
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My normal work days are never shorter than 9 1/2 hours...my long day is 11+ hours. I am on my feet walking, lifting, and restraining patients for all but a 30-60 minute lunch break. I am definitely tired when I get home at night. But, I can still manage 30 minutes of cardio, even on that long day. I find that the exercise time is actually a good way to unwind from the day and get a little "me" time in. I'm more apt to not exercise on my days off!

If 8 hours on your feet leaves you not only tired, but also sore...you should look into different shoes. I replace my shoes every 6 months, it makes a big difference. There is one particular style of New Balance walking sneakers that I have bought 6 times now. Before I got comfortable shoes, I was sore all the time.
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Old 02-14-2010, 02:33 PM   #7
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Thank you guys! I am glad to hear that it is possible. I'm tired of using it as an excuse but this whole time I really thought it was better to stay off. I wish we had a stationary bike...
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Old 02-14-2010, 06:26 PM   #8
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I'm a pharmacist, so boy do I understand standing on the feet all day. In one spot.

I have been doing things saef suggested. I do rowing machine, swim or just do upper body strength training on days when I am doing bench work and just standing.

Another tip for being on your feet all day is to keep a second pair of shoes to switch out halfway through the day. I find this more helpful on days when I'm standing still as opposed to running about the hospital.
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Old 02-14-2010, 07:10 PM   #9
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With spending that much time on your feet, what about some yoga a day or two a week? The stretching will do wonders for your endurance.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:34 PM   #10
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I'm a waitress. I work about 30 hours a week, and I'm not only on my feet, but running around, lifting, bending, etc the whole time. I don't skip workouts on the days I work, or I would never work out. I think it helps me do my job better and not be so tired after my shifts. Remember, getting fit is about pushing yourself, so give it a try. Start off just doing light exercise on the days you work and see how it goes.
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