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How To Stay In Shape When You Work Odd Hours

How To Stay In Shape When You Work Odd Hours

While it’s great if you work a steady 9-5 job every day and have the convenience of a gym within 10 minutes of your work location, not everyone has this luxury.

Doctors, nurses, emergency professionals, and those working at stores with a 24 hour operating policy are all faced with random work times that keeps them up until the wee hours of the morning (or sometimes, until daylight).

How is one to get and stay in shape when this is the case? It doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think.

Here are a few tips to stay in shape when you work random hours and go against the 9-5 grain that so many follow.

Diet Is Still 90% Of The Batter

First, realize that diet still is 90% of the results you see. It doesn’t matter if you are a stay-at-home mom or you are someone working 12 hour shifts from 7pm until 7 am each and every weekday.

You still need to eat right to see results. This is great news because if your working hours make it hard to get those workouts in, you aren’t at a huge disadvantage. As long as you can still master your diet, you can still look and feel great.

Spread Your Workouts Out

Speaking of workouts, if you struggle to get in a full workout session, consider spreading that workout out. Do a few minutes first thing when you wake up and do a 15 minute circuit training workout on your break.

Exercise when you have the most energy, even if it means just getting down and doing 100 push-ups. Remember that every little bit will count and work toward helping you look better than ever.

Some easy to perform anywhere exercises include:

  • 50 reps of prisoner squats
  • plank holds in your office
  • sprints up the stairs of the building
  • dumbbell rows with your briefcase or backpack (or another weighted heavy object)

Get Real About Meal Prepping

If there’s one thing that everyone who is serious about seeing results need to be doing its meal prepping. This is even more critical when you work random hours during the day. By preparing your meals ahead of time, you ensure that you always have the healthy, delicious food on hand to fuel your body.

This will not only make working those random hours easier on your body, but it will also help support a healthy body weight. Meal prep in advance for as many days as possible. This way, you can just grab and go – and aren’t forced to rely on whatever is available at 3am in the morning (which is usually nothing healthy at all!).

Avoid Relying On Caffeine Laden Energy Drinks

You also want to get out of the habit of fueling your ‘day’ with caffeine laden energy drinks. While the caffeine high may temporarily get you through, when you crash, you’ll be burnt out and the last thing you’ll want to do is exercise or think about eating right.

Relying on caffeine is a bad move in the long run, so focus on healthy energy-sustaining beverages like home made protein smoothies or green tea.

Plus, all those energy drinks are also loaded with excess sugar, so those will also do a number on your waistline.

Always Keep Healthy Snack Options On Hand

You’ll also want to ensure that you always have healthy snack options on hand. You may find that on days you work really random hours, your appetite is all over the place and is not really all that strong for a full-blown meal.

No problem. Have a few snacks in its place instead. As long as the snacks do still contain some protein and are full of nutrient dense carbs and/or fats, you’ll still be treating your body well.

Keep a box of protein bars with you, some home made trail mix, low sodium beef jerky, or a bag of apples or some bananas with nut butter. These are easy to eat as you need them.

Get Into A Routine

Finally, as much as possible, do try and get into a routine if you can. Not only will you body feel and function better when you are on a routine, but you’ll find it easier to stick with a workout and diet plan as well.

Just shift your hours so that you have your own time for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and so forth and try and keep it as consistent as possible. As you do this, you’ll find your body will begin to regulate itself on this new schedule and you’ll naturally be hungry at the right meal times throughout your day.

So there you have it, keep these tips in mind if you work odd hours, and hopefully you start to see results!

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About Shannon Clark

Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology. In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 10 years now.