Not everyone works an 8-5 Monday to Friday schedule. Nurses, morning television crews and security guards are just a few professions that work hours at odds with natural body rhythms. This can make it challenging to maintain your fitness. But never fear! You can put together a simple plan to keep you feeling healthy. With a little extra focus on three key areas you can balance a “5-9” schedule and a fit life.
- Get plenty of sleep.
As tempting as it may be to play catch up, try to keep a consistent sleep schedule. Also practice good sleep hygiene by keeping electronics out of the bedroom, keeping it cool and keeping out light with heavy curtains or a sleep mask. The goal is to get 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep, however if this isn’t possible try to nap as well. Just keep those naps to 30 minutes.
- Always eat breakfast.
No matter when you wake up, that’s breakfast time. Make sure to eat a breakfast balanced in protein and smart carbs like vegetables, fruits or oatmeal. You’ll get energy from the carbs with protein to keep blood sugar levels stable. This will help prevent the crash that sends you to the vending machine at your first break. Try a couple of hard boiled eggs and piece of fruit or Greek Yogurt with berries. Wash it down with a big glass of water to rehydrate.
- Keep Moving.
Making a fitness class can be hard with an upside down schedule. Focus on things you can do in short bursts and on your own at home or work like squats, push ups or jumping jacks. Walk or run stairs on your breaks. Remember, all activity counts. I love using activity trackers like the FitBit or Fuelband to encourage staying active throughout the day. Compete with your friends virtually with online challenges for extra social support.
Fitness and health are about the little things we do everyday. No matter your schedule, work on incorporating small but sustainable changes into your daily routine.