We all know that guy or girl who is too “busy” to work out. It could be you, but I’m not here to pass any judgment. Instead, I’m here to support my busy folk in reaching their goals, but at the same time keep their health fitness in mind! Staying healthy doesn’t have to be time-consuming and there are tweaks we can make and squeeze in our schedules to be healthier.
In this article, I’m going to cover a few points I’ve found useful when it comes to staying healthy with a busy schedule.
Variety in meal planning/prep
The idea behind meal prepping is to make your meals in bulk so that you don’t waste time chopping ingredients, cooking, and doing the dishes multiple times a day. While it works in theory, most people get bored eating the same meals. One way to overcome this issue is by adding more diversity to your vegetables and dressings.
With Greek yogurt, you can make a variety of dressings from a mild ranch for your sweet potato fries to a citrusy lemon yogurt sauce for the evening’s coleslaw. Dairy-based dressings store well for up to a week in the fridge. My go-to salad always has mixed greens as the main dish, which I often complement with quinoa, olives, or cherry tomatoes depending on my mood for that meal. With this in mind, you already have an idea of what to buy on your next shopping trip without complicating the mains!
If you still feel like this still is out of reach, consider subscribing to a meal delivery service focused on healthy food. While you will be paying a bit of a premium, rest assured that you don’t have to worry about planning and going shopping for ingredients, especially in the age of the pandemic.
Schedule breaks to move
If you’re glued to the screen for hours at a time, it’s a good idea to schedule a 10-minute break every hour just to move and relax. This could be something as simple as walking in circles around your living room to doing jump squats. Heck, go water the plants in the garden if you need to!
This allows your blood to circulate better in your body. Besides improving mental clarity, this is also the time for your to stretch your muscles and fix your posture as sitting hunched over a keyboard can cause muscle tightness around your hamstrings and neck.
Snacking has a negative connotation because it’s always associated with processed foods. After all, we’re familiar with the image of the pencil pusher typing away on the keyboard with a bowl of chips and soda by his side. It doesn’t have to be that way, and you can beat your cravings with a wide selection of healthy snacks. Some of the all-time faves are:
- Dark chocolate
- Mixed nuts
- Mixed fruits
- Yogurt and berries
These foods have moderate amounts of calories and are jam-packed with vitamins and minerals to keep you functioning optimally throughout the day.
Find an accountability buddy
It’s easy to fall into the pattern of working long hours, eat junk food, and cancel your trip to the gym altogether because you’re tired. This can set you back by weeks as you lose the motivation when you feel the negative changes to your body, mind, and spirit. The deeper the hole you dig yourself in, the harder it is to restart.
You need to remember that your mind gives out faster than your body, and it’s important that you summon the willpower. If you still can’t break through that mental resistance, look for someone or a group of people to keep yourself accountable to your goals. You are less likely to forfeit on them when you know someone is “watching” you because no one wants to feel like they lack integrity.
The trick is to find the right people. They should be those you know, but not on a personal level as you won’t be comfortable with the thought of disappointing them. An example would be setting up a workout session this weekend with a guy you’ve only chatted with a few times. Or, hire a personal trainer!
Schedule your drinks
Sorry to be a killjoy, but I don’t mean alcohol! I’m talking about the readily available sobering water that most of us don’t drink enough. As a general rule of thumb, the number should be 3.7 liters for men and 2.7 liters for women every day. Obviously, you will need more if you’ve been sweating a lot or if it’s a hot and humid day.
If you find yourself always fatigued despite getting enough sleep, try drinking more frequently. This is because dehydration is known to affect your blood pressure, making your heart work harder, causing you to feel tired!
It’s easy to forget to drink when you’re focused on work. Instead of going to the kitchen every few hours, keep a big water bottle beside you as you work, and schedule a mini water break every 30 minutes where you take a few sips!
Do quick digital detoxes throughout the day
This can be difficult for most people because our digital devices are so intertwined with our lives. However, you don’t need to dedicate a whole day to do this. Instead, I highly recommend you completely cutting off your connection to your devices while you cook, clean, and/or shower. This means no to music and podcasts too. Once you’ve got the hang of that, you can slowly extend your digital downtime to the hours before bed, and improve your sleep quality.
On a day-to-day basis, we’re bombarded with information. The previous generation have never faced the sort of information overload that we have today. Just having some time on your own to focus on your own thoughts is a great way to relieve some of that mental fatigue and anxiety.
Remember, being healthy encompasses your mind and soul too. I always feel like I’m almost meditating when I’m undistracted!