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649848 tn?1534637300

No Time for Exercise

Okay everyone, I need some help here.  My daily work schedule is not allowing me time for "exercise".  

Here's the deal:   I am working 10 hour days, beginning at 5:00 am and ending at 3:30 pm.  In order to do this, I have to get up at (or shortly after) 3:00 am.  This allows me just enough time to brush my teeth, shower, get my hair dried and acceptable; get dressed and get a quick breakfast that usually consists of a yogurt, a hard boiled egg or an egg/canadian bacon sandwich and of course, my coffee.

I leave home shortly after 4:00 am in order to insure that I arrive at work on time.  I go through my work day, which is relatively active - mostly walking in short increments, but ultimately, it adds up to around 3-7 miles/day, according to my pedometer.  

I get off work at 3:30 pm and get home between 4:15-4:30 pm.  Some days, I have to walk the dog; other days my hubby has it done when I get home.

I have to go to bed no later than 7:00-7:15 pm in order to get enough sleep to be able to get up and do it all again the next day...  That means I have approximately 2.5 hrs from the time I get home until I have to go to bed.  The first thing I have to do is get something to eat.  For years, I have had severe acid reflux and have been instructed NOT eat within 3 hours of going to bed - well, I'm already out of whack here, aren't I, because I only HAVE 2.5 hrs to begin with.  My dinner usually ends up consisting of an apple, microwave popcorn, soup, sandwich, salad or something else I can come up with quickly and even at that, I often pay dearly in the middle of the night.  

Another problem I have is that exercising DOES give me energy, so engaging in any type of exercise routine, such as my Wii Fit, yoga, etc gets me all hyped up, so again, I don't have enough time for a separation between exercising and bedtime to get wound down and ready to sleep.  Not to mention that I do have housework, laundry, etc to get done on a regular basis, which cuts out even more "ME" time...  

Although I am active throughout my workday, as mentioned above, there is no time for any type of "formal" exercise.  I'm in a position in which I'm "visible" wherever I go, so a lot of stretches, etc are not feasible; additionally, I am required to wear a specified uniform, which is not comfortable/conducive for most types of exercise.  

I think most of you are very much aware of my thyroid issues, which makes losing weight extremely difficult under the best of conditions.  I do eat very reasonable meals, etc and still have been unable to budge an ounce; or if I do manage to get off a pound or two, it comes right back on within a day or two..  

Now, please don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to make "excuses" for being fat.  This is my schedule for Monday - Thursday.  I do have a 3 day weekend, which consists of spending one day of traveling for 3 hrs round trip to care for an elderly aunt.  The other 2 days are spent mowing the lawn, weeding the gardens, buying groceries, etc.  I am aware that all of these things are forms of exercise, but something just isn't working....... I need approx. 1660 calories per day to maintain my current weight without exercise.  If I reduce my caloric intake to 1160 calories per day, I should lose one pound per week without exercise.  Unfortunately, I have NOT had time to keep my food tracker up to date, but most days, my calorie intake is in the range of 800 - 1200 calories/day (I do keep track of it as I go through my day) – so I’m pretty much in the ball park.

I've wracked my brain trying to figure out how I can do things differently.  Showering and washing my hair at night is not an advantage, because often I have sweats so bad during the night, that I have to shower in the morning anyway, so I haven't saved any time there either AND that takes away from the short time I have in the evening to take care of other responsibilities.  Adding exercise to my morning routine would be ideal, but that would mean I’d have to get up even earlier than I already do; and in turn go to bed even earlier.  I don’t like to sound difficult, but I already get up in the middle of the night and I’m just not willing to get up any earlier; AND it’s very difficult to go to bed at 7:00 pm in the summer time when it’s still daylight outside, so I’m not willing to have go to bed earlier either.  

Bottom line here is that I’m actually AT HOME and AWAKE for a total of 4.5 hrs/day - 2 in the morning getting ready for and driving to work; 2.5 in the evening getting dinner, walking the dog, taking care of household responsibilities, etc.  I’m very grateful that hubby eats his large meal of the day at noon and is willing to fend for himself in the evenings.  

Suggestions anyone??  

7 Responses
284738 tn?1283110419
what about a lunch break at work? go to the gym or go for a walk on your lunch break.. and on weekends.. let the dishes or laundry go so you can get in that 30 minutes of exercise..  or better yet get hubby to help you out.  When doing laundry and vacuming wear 1lbs weights on your ankles.. so you get a form of exercise there. Take stairs instead of elevators.. park further away from destinations.
649848 tn?1534637300
I am supposed to get a 30 min lunch break, but depending on the project at hand, I often end up working through it and eating on the go.  At any rate, 30 min is barely enough time to slurp down my lunch on those days when I do actually get to stop.  Thank goodness, my hubby does help with the housework or we'd be over run with dirty dishes and laundry.... lol

I do often get in some exercise on weekend; although, 2 days/week (Sat & Sun) are better than nothing, it's not enough to make a huge difference.  I hadn't thought of wearing the ankle weights while doing house work - I do have some that I often wear when I walk the dog.  I also have a set for my wrists.  Thank you.  
657315 tn?1319494987
AHHHH!!!!!!  Don't let me hear/see this!!!!  It's not a bad idea, but be very careful wearing ankle weights!  As a person with a knee injury, and as a "former" fitness instructor (I let my certificates expire recently since I am not using them), I MUST advise caution!!!!

NEVER walk except very, very short distances with ankle weights on.  ONLY do exercises that are intended to be performed with ankle weights on....  You can stretch the ligaments in your knees by doing too much walking with these otherwise EXCELLENT gadgets!  You will not realize the damage to your knees at first.

Laying on your side and doing leg lifts with ankle weights are FINE.  Lunges and squats are good.  Mostly what you are going to accomplish with ankle weights is going to be a burn of carbohydrates and NOT fat.  I suspect that you would rather get to that "fat burn"...

You have such a difficult schedule that I cannot think of a solution other than quit your job!  NO!  That's not it...  I will have to give it more thought.  I am always amazed at the good ideas that people have, though.  Hang in there!
428506 tn?1296560999
I've seen ads for these shoes that are supposed to help you get in shape without going to the gym.  I haven't tried them, nor to I know anyone who has, but perhaps you can be our community guinea pig (once your toe heals, that is).  

I think a couple of brands make them, but I've seen ads lately for Sketchers "Shape Ups," and their website claims that these fitness shoes promote weight loss, tone muscles, and improve posture.

I have no idea if these things are worth the $$ or not, but I'm mega-curious.  I'm not sure you'd be allowed to wear them at work, or if they'd be comfortable or not.

I hope once they've been out for longer, there will be more customer reviews online.
649848 tn?1534637300
Actually, I DO have some of these shoes - 2 pairs.  One pair is made by MBT (Masiah (sp) Barefoot Technology).  They are quite comfy - the problem is that I can't wear them to work, which is where I do the majority of my walking.  The pair I got was black and I DID wear them to work one day and the first thing that happened was I had to work on a chlorination line which splattered chlorine on my new shoes and I ended up with small white spots all over them.  I was able to take a black marker and over up the tiny splatters, but at $235/pair, I can't afford to ruin them like that, so now I only wear them when I'm not going to be doing something that will destroy my shoes.  

The other pair I have was put out by Curves and they WERE sold by Avon for a while.  They are considerably less expensive at $40/pair than MBT's but not as comfy and don't seem to do as much.

I have not heard that Sketchers has similar shoes.  I will most certainly look into it - once my toe gets healed up.  

Thanks for the suggestion.  


703362 tn?1427769928
Ah Barb!  I know exactly where you are coming from here.  I work six to seven 12-14 hour days running my home-based business.  Unfortunately, most of this is done while sitting on my rear in front of my computer.  I also have two teens at home, three dogs, and a husband, whose diabetes is requiring quite a bit of my monitoring at this time (as he refuses to do so  in any way, shape, or form).  And on July 3, my 17-year-old son took a very nasty tumble at the skateboard park sustaining a nasty head injury that I have been looking after as well.  Add to these things the delights of household duties and I also have a schedule that is out of control and leaving me to wonder....just when will I exercise.  Thank goodness, you have the eating well portion down...that's one of my main downfalls.  The second being not sleeping enough, as Mr. Computer requires more attention.  lol.  

Given your schedule, I don't think that this will necessarily work for you, but I force myself to get up even earlier and head out to take my dogs for a walk/jog (depending on the dog....the mini pin can take a bit of a job, but the weiner dogs legs are far too short to do much jogging....hehehe).  

I like the idea of the exerciser shoes for you, but I can't say that I blame you in not wanting to ruin them at work.  Perhaps just with your extra walks of the dogs at home.  I could not possibly agree more with twehner about the leg weights, please do use caution....not made for walking and can cause serious damage.  These are really best for stationary exercises as she suggested.  Now the arm weights, that would be an awesome thing to incorporate into a walk with some vigorous swinging of the arms.  

I am personally going to be attempting to ride a bicycle.  Sounds goofy, everyone can ride a bike, right?  Well....I have a head injury that caused some brain damage (you always did wonder what might be Off with me, he?) and balance problems, so we shall see how it goes.  Definitely waiting on my new fitted helmet to arrive before I even attempt it.  Seeing my son's head with all of those stitches (10 internal and 12 external), along with all of the swelling, nauseau, and dizziness that he went through was a reminder indeed.  Now if I can just coerce/force him to wear his own, as it did him absolutely no good in his backpack this past week.....Ah, the joys of motherhood!  LOL.  In all seriousness, it was quite bad and I am immensely grateful that he is okay.  

But for you Barb, beyond the suggestions listed, the only additional thing that comes to mind at this second is perhaps to try a different gym that will be open when you swing by after work?  Perhaps if you could find one that is reasonably priced you could find a new and exciting type of cardio that would give your body a change-up and get the results that you are looking for?  
649848 tn?1534637300
Lucinda - thanks for your comments.  I'm so sorry to hear about your son AND your hubby with the diabetes.  Those things can definitely take a toll.  

I have really been thinking of wearing the exercise shoes to work again - the problem is, they are made for walking and too often I end up climbing ladders, crouched (or crawling) on the ground, etc - depending on the particular job at hand, and if I were to hurt myself (break or sprain ankles, feet, legs, etc), I'm sure I'd have a hard time explaining why I wasn't wearing proper shoes for the job.  

I have "toyed" with the idea of joining a gym - there are some that are open 24/7.  My problem right now is that I only have 2.5 hrs as it is from the time I get home from work until it's bedtime, so if I stop at a gym for an hour, that would leave me with 1.5 hrs (minus driving time) to get something for dinner and take care of some household chores........ As I said in my original post, I'm not supposed to go to bed within 3 hrs of eating dinner and I've already blown that before I even get home.  Since I'm already getting up at 3:00 am, I'm not thinking that getting up even earlier is an option.  

I have started doing the "arm swings" while walking the dog (yes, it looks like I've lost my mind, but oh well........lol) and since SHE is also overweight, it doesn't hurt either of us to pick up the pace a bit........lol  

One thing about the food that I noticed this past week -- shame on me.  Our dept secretary keeps a huge basket of candy on her desk  - entices people to stop by to chat more often and stay longer....lol...... anyway, once in a while she puts tootsie rolls in it and she did this past week.  Guess what?? Although I'm not into candy much, tootsie rolls are definitely a weakness and I found it very difficult to go into her office without grabbing a few.......
A couple of times, I had to force myself to take care of business, then leave and l think I hurt her feelings because I didn't stop to chat - the longer I stop to chat, the greater the chance of popping a few tootsie rolls and once started, the longer I stay, the more I eat........... I have, in the past, explained that I don't mean to be rude - I just need to NOT eat the tootsie rolls, but it didn't seem to make her feel any better.  

I have been trying to eat my largest meal of the day at lunch time, then I don't have to spend a lot of time in the evening cooking and cleaning up a mess.  My hubby goes to a buffet restaurant nearly every day for lunch, so he generally snacks on popcorn or something in the evening anyway....... But, I also found myself having to run through McDonald's drive through and eat on the run a couple days this past week.  When I do that, I order a quarter pounder plain, no cheese and usually a side salad or just a diet drink.  That way I can remove at least 1/2 the bun, sometimes all of it.  

So, here's what I've decided - it's time to stay out the secretary's office, and get on with the program......I realize that it's going to be necessary for me to do some planning and cooking ahead (or buy more frozen dinners) in order to insure that I get enough of the proper food to eat.....

I guess I'm just going to have to bite the bullet and use some of the precious time between getting home from work and bedtime to get in some type of exercise and hope it doesn't energize me to the point where I can't sleep.  I guess the house work will still be here when the weekend rolls around, huh and we can always hope no one stops by during the week.........lol  

This morning, I am going to go out and mow part of the yard - yes, with a push mower....... After that, I have some weeding to do, etc.  THAT should be good for burning a few calories, huh??

Got to go get started before it gets too hot as I am very sensitive to the heat and sometimes get overheated without realizing it until it's too late and I'm about to pass out.  

Wish me luck and hope everyone will stay with me - give me a swift kick in the shorts when I stray..........
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649848 tn?1534637300
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