Fatigue Management – The Key To Shift Worker Happiness.

The key to shift worker happiness is undeniably fatigue management because finding a way to reduce your fatigue when you work irregular hours can be a massive daily upheaval.

In fact the quest for many shift workers is to find the Magical Golden Ticket. That is, to find that one ‘Magic Pill’ that is going to help end their feelings of chronic fatigue, tiredness and exhaustion.

Something that you could personally relate to I’m sure.

But the bad news is there is no such thing as a ‘Magic Pill’. It simply does not exist.

Which is a bit of a shame really because it would be great to wake up bursting with energy, despite having worked an early shift or night shift the day before.

Of course there is a cheap and easy fatigue management strategy that many shift workers overlook and it’s simply called exercise. Yes, that’s right – the art of moving your body.

Our bodies are designed to move. They are not designed to sit on a chair all day or step onto an escalator to get to a higher floor. We are designed to step, run, climb, stretch or even jump over things.

But the harsh reality is that technology has made us lazy. Incredibly lazy.

Now if the word exercise sends you into a bit of panic, don’t fear. Because exercise doesn’t mean that you have to sign up to join a gym or run 50 laps around an oval (thank goodness).

It’s about moving your body in a way that you enjoy, and fitting it into your day so that you can then make it a part of your life. And that really is the key – a part of your life. There’s no point going on a massive health kick and doing lots of exercise for a limited time, that’s not how it works. It’s about making exercise a part of your life – forever!

Despite what you may think, you simply cannot afford not to exercise when you work shift work.

And it’s really easy to begin by just taking a look at your running shoes. (Don’t worry – you don’t actually have to ‘run’ in them). If you take them for a 15-20 minute walk every second day this will go along way into helping to restore and rejuvenate your energy depleted shift worker body.

So start using exercise as your fatigue management strategy. It’s going to help to improve your sleep, increase your energy levels, reduce muscle tension and also alleviate the effects of stress – a condition experienced by many shift workers around the world.

How To Stop Cold And Flu Bugs In Their Tracks When You Work Shift Work!

If you’re a shift worker that is prone to catching anything and everything that goes around – don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone. Given the fact that lowering your stress levels and getting 7-8 hours sleep a night helps decrease your chances of catching colds – the odds are certainly against us!

So what are some simple things that you can do, that will help you to stay healthy and stop cold and flu bugs in their tracks?

Well to begin with, research shows a direct link between regular physical activity and improved immune function. This is largely due to the fact that when you exercise, immune cells circulate more quickly throughout your body and are more powerful in destroying viruses and bacteria.

In fact a study at the University of South Carolina in the US, looked at the relationship between levels of activity and the risk of catching a cold, and found that those who participated in moderate to high-intensity exercise four times a week caught 20 to 30 per cent fewer colds than those who exercised less or not at all.

Of course, moderation is the key. If you are sick then you need to take it easy and rest because you need to use all of your energy to fight the virus or bacterial infection.

But certainly having a good level of general fitness, particularly cardiovascular fitness, will boost your immune system and protect you from the nasties, particularly the cold and flu bugs!

However like with anything – it’s certainly not a guarantee.

And on the other hand, too much exercise will suppress your immune system with frequent colds being one of the signs of over-training.

So even though you may not have total control over your shift work health – particularly when it comes to your stress levels and the amount of sleep that you’re able to get (especially if you work night shift), just stay focused on the things that you can change – and exercise is certainly one of them.

Now talking of exercise, I’m off to dust off my treadmill and give it a workout right now! 🙂

Feeling Low On Energy? Then It's Time To Get Your Body Moving Again.

For many shift workers, exercise is a contraband word. In fact, most of us are that bone tired all of the time that just the thought of exercising makes us feel exhausted. However if you’re low on energy, then you need to get your body moving again – and yes this means going for a walk instead of slumping on the couch after work.

You see in order for you to be able to obtain optimum health – you need to give your body plenty of nutritious food AND regular physical exercise.

You simply cannot have one without the other.

And this is why …

  • We are not designed to be in the seated position all day long.
  • Our legs are made for walking and standing.
  • Our arms are designed for movement – not just tapping away on
    a keyboard or lifting a fork.

Not only does moving your body help to tone the muscles, but it also helps improve digestion, absorption, as well as boosting your metabolism.

But wait there’s more! Exercising helps to reduce fatigue – in a big way so you need to get into the mindset of never … not exercising.

Of course if you haven’t done any exercise for a long time, then you shouldn’t sign up for the next triathlon. Just start slowly by going for a walk around your local park or doing a couple of laps in the pool. As your level of fitness improves, so too will your energy.

So find something that you enjoy doing, whether it’s swimming, cycling, aerobics, basketball, tennis, belly dancing or Pilates. It doesn’t matter what it is so long as you get your body moving again. Your fatigue, low energy levels and body will thank you for it.

Ever Have Fights With Your Running Shoes?

If you’re like me then you probably have fights with your running shoes all of the time.
Perhaps your conversation goes something like this … “No! I just don’t want to go!!” or “Leave me alone … I don’t feel like taking you out for a walk today!” or heaven for bid … a run? Yikes!!??
Well I’ve figured a way to help stop all of the fighting so that both you and your running shoes remain happy.
You see, just like you – your shoes need exercise. It’s important that you take good care of them and help them do what they’re designed to do – and that’s to get some exercise. Now that includes giving them a good warm up stretch, as well as a good work out around the park or on your treadmill. .

So to reduce any fights with my shoes – or blatently ignoring them … I set myself up a little “Exercise Pack” the night before (see photo above) so that it’s the first thing that I look at in the morning. Yep, I put my running shoes (well I must admit mine only walk) – but along with a t-shirt, shorts, hat and i-pod it’s all there ready and waiting to go.

So now I have no excuse for neglecting my running shoes and not taking them out for a walk PLUS – it stops any fighting!! After all – I did pluck these shoes off the shelf at the department store so I have a personal responsibility to look after them.

So how about your running shoes? Are you forever having fights with them? Are they being neglected in your closet and gathering dust?

Well it’s time to dig them out of your closet and give them some exercise – after all, you will both benefit from it!