Getting healthy and staying healthy are hard enough as it is. It’s all the more difficult when you’re super busy and under pressure from all angles.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle does take some work but don’t let that put you off!
There are actually some pretty simple habits you can integrate into your regular routine to live a healthier lifestyle, even though you’re busy.
1. Meal Prep like a Boss
This is what weekends (or your days off) are for – use them wisely.
Use your time off to schedule and prep your meals for the week. Get a calendar if it helps!
Take an hour of your day to roughly plan out ALL the meals and snacks you’re going to eat during the week. It’s OK to repeat some: prep what you can and store them in your fridge.
This method forces you to consciously choose healthy meals, rather than making unhealthy, impulse decisions.
Feel free to get as creative as you want! Just remember to always make meals that can be easily assembled or prepared when you’re ready to actually eat them.
Now it’s officially autumn, it’s easy to make a big pot of soup and eat it for lunch all week. Just put some thought into your meal prep and that’s WAY less time you’ll need to spend thinking about food for the rest of the week.
2. Walk around during work
Contrary to popular opinion, walking is an extremely good form of exercising. The best part about it is you don’t have to make as much of a conscious effort to reap the health benefits. You don’t really even need to plan ahead: Just do it.
If you’re stuck at a desk job or in an office environment all day, just take five minutes per hour and stroll around the office.
An easy goal to aim for is 10,000 steps a day, which translates to roughly five miles. This doesn’t mean you have to try and walk five miles straight: Just try to accumulate that many steps throughout your day.
If you walk to work, you’re already ahead of the curve!
3. Get as much sleep as you can
We hear it all the time, but it’s amazing how many people cut back on sleep to get a little more work done.
We’ve all heard about getting eight hours of sleep. Do it. It’ll boost your mood and productivity throughout the day.
4. Eat. Your. Vegetables
Vegetables provide lots of nutrients that your body loves, are low in calories, fill you up thanks to all that fibre.
Be real with yourself. If you INSIST you are too busy to cook and you MUST eat out, you know there will be some sort of healthy option wherever you go. Make wise choices where you can.
Seriously, though, try grilling some veggies as a side to the meals you’re pre-cooking for yourself. Remember our meal prep discussion? You’ll notice your jeans getting a lot looser. When you feel like snacking, try grabbing some baby carrots or celery and dipping it into hummus.
5. Water. All day, every day
Studies have shown that drinking water will increase your energy, promote weight loss and flush out toxins.
Get a durable water bottle, and take it with you wherever you go: to work, on a run or to the supermarket.
Just drink it all day. You’ll feel so much better.
6. Meditate before bed
You could also try this when you get up in the morning. What matters is spending just five to 10 minutes a day to relaxing and centring yourself, even if it makes you feel like a hippie.
Take the time to think about what you want to accomplish during the day, and think about how you are going to overcome any obstacles that come up.
Meditating helps you maintain a healthier attitude, which can prove invaluable when you’re pushing yourself toward those last hundred steps around that cubicle of yours.
7. Squeeeeeeeze in your exercise
Busy schedules often mean working out gets left to the wayside. But you actually don’t need more than 20 minutes to get a great workout.
In fact, short bursts of high-intensity exercises can actually be more effective. So instead of promising to hit the gym tomorrow, hop on the treadmill, do some sprints, and enjoy the post-workout energy boost. Bonus: Regular exercise even helps you sleep better.