A woman in workout shoes going up concrete steps

 

Written by Jacob Terranova

 

Unfortunately for a funeral director on a busy, often irregular schedule, it can be hard to maintain a healthy exercise routine.

 

But don’t let an unpredictable schedule stop you — it’s still possible to stay fit in the funeral home.

 

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Chaotic Hours Can Be Bad for Health

As an always-on employee, there are health reasons why you’d want to start working on that fitness routine. A recent study found that irregular work hours can lead to a depressed mood, anxiety, and general fatigue.

 

It also messes with the stress hormone cortisol. The flux in our cortisol levels — as studies have shown — leads to a weaker immune system, poor memory, weight gain, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

 

That’s not good. But there’s a bright side. Exercise can help reverse the negative health effects attributed with an unpredictable work schedule.

 

Tips for Finding Time to Stay Fit

Here are some ways to stay fit and stay motivated — even when it seems like your schedule won’t allow it:

 

  1. Watch what you eat. Ok, it’s cliché, but it’s cliché for a reason. And it’s the best place to start a fitness routine. A healthy snack means more energy and an overall mood boost. Try mixing almonds, fresh fruit, lean meats like chicken and fish, and even fresh popped popcorn (avoid the microwave kind) into your diet. Also, drink a lot of water. Throughout the week you’ll feel the benefits.
  2. Set weekly goals to track and measure. Whether it’s calories burned, steps taken, water consumed, or time spent exercising, you can’t reach your fitness goals if you’re not measuring your progress. Weekly goals work better with irregular hours. You don’t have to exercise each day. But when you have a free moment in the week, use it to reach your exercise goals. There are plenty of apps (click here to see a list of the 39 best fitness apps) to help you track your goals. Or use the old-fashioned pen and paper method.
  3. Use more technology. We live in the age of automation — use it to your advantage. This article in Business Insider shows how technology has created a high level of efficiency, stating “an hour ten years ago is worth less than an hour today.” Technology allows us to get more done, which leaves more time for fitness.
  4. Use inspiration. Some days, motivation will slip. It’s normal. Use something to keep you going like a special treat or other incentive. An article in Men’s Health also suggests using your rivals as motivation to keep exercising. So go ahead, picture your rival funeral home across town to make it that extra mile.
  5. Work out efficiently. Pick an exercise that plays to your strength. Is your funeral home within walking distance? Try walking or jogging to work a few times each week. Or if your funeral home is near a park, take a walk on lunch. Any time you have downtime can be a time to exercise. There’s even a whole movement based around working out at the office — it’s called deskercise. Here are 10 simple ways to get a routine in at the funeral home.
  6. Make fitness fun. Sign up for fitness classes, or work with families and businesses to organize your own weekly runs/walks. Take it a step further and organize a fundraiser or a charity run.

The commitment you made to serve your families shouldn’t mean sacrificing your health and fitness. Make sure to spend a little time each week exercising.