Due to the growing size of the American population--both collectively and individually--the health-care system I work for is trying to increase the amount of exercise people get. Exercise is important, and does an amazing amount of good things. I think it's great, and I recommend it whole-heartedly to my patients.
However, every time one of my patients says "but I hate going to the gym!" I have to agree with him or her. I hate going to the gym too. I hate jogging, I hate aerobics, and don't even get me started on Pilates.
Working as a nurse, I'm on my feet for most of every twelve hour shift. I'm walking, bending, reaching, and moving patients the majority of the time. I love my job, but some days it's really hard physical work. And when I get home after a long night, I just want to sleep for as long as possible until it's time to go back to work. (To my yarn, especially that skein of Knitpicks Shimmer I've been promising to make something out of for weeks: I love you, but I'm afraid to do anything with you because I don't want to screw it up. It's not you baby, it's me.)
On my days off, when I'm not frantically trying to do laundry, clean, or do crazy things like making something for dinner that didn't come out of a Hamburger Helper box, I like to spin and knit. (More pictures soon!) The last thing I want to do is go to the gym.
So when I went to the doc last week for a checkup and saw the box on the form about "How often do you exercise?" I wrote "never--I'm a floor nurse." And then I got to thinking: How much exercise do I get in twelve hour shift? Several studies have been done on how many steps nurses take, so I thought I'd wear a pedometer myself to test out my progress.
While I forgot to switch the pedometer over to the actual step counter, it registered 5.27 miles walked last night. And when you consider that out of any hour I'm working, I'm sitting down charting for about half of it, this works out to about 960 calories burned. I've got to start thinking of exercise in other ways than just going to the gym.