Being an adult is hard. I especially tip my hat to moms and dads who work full-time, whether it’s a traditional 9-5 or are stay-at-home, and still can keep it together. Maintaining a busy schedule and making sure that everyone has been taken care of can make it difficult to remember to take care of yourself.
Here are some easy health and fitness tips for busy people. These tips can be used by people who go to work full-time, stay-at-home full-time, or just want to stay healthy.
Health & Fitness Tips for Busy People
Hydration is the first step to being healthy and feeling good. I’m sure we’ve all experienced how awful it feels to even be a little dehydrated. I’ve felt sleepy, had a headache, and just generally crummy in the day and I know those are the days that I’m not drinking enough water. According to WedMD, you should drink half an ounce to an ounce per pound that you weigh. This means a 150 pound person should be drinking at least 75 ounces of water everyday! In the morning, I start with a full glass of water everyday, this way I know I’m at least starting off with 12 ounces. I also like to leave a 32 ounce reusable water bottle at my desk and make it a challenge to drink 2 refills of it everyday.
Water can be, well, boring. Luckily, though, there are water flavorings that many people use to help kick up their water game. I figure, as long as I’m not adding extra sugar and calories, it counts in the water intake through the day!
As the self-described queen of snacks and a strong proponent for second-lunch, meal prep is crucial for me. I find it very easy to spend my day at the office snacking on anything everything I can find and justifying a trip to a nearby restaurant or fast food joint for lunch. As long as I prep my meals, or at least make my lunch for the next day, I can easily resist a trip for food.
If I’m really good, I’ll bust out the crock pot and skillet and cook a week’s worth of food on Sunday evening. When I do my week of meal prep, I package up my veggies in one container, cut up fruit in another, and my protein of choice in a third. This way, every evening I can divvy up my portions for the next day and I’m good to go.
Sometimes though, busy weekends get the best of me and I don’t have the time to get all the cooking done at once. When this is the case, I’m still better off packing some sort of lunch and snacks for myself for the next day. This can include a quick sandwich, some hummus and crackers, an apple or a baggie of grapes, sliced up veggies, and a small portion of nuts. Remember how I said I’m a queen of snacks? Having just one meal in the middle of the day doesn’t work for me. Instead, I prefer to graze throughout the day. Snack on some fruit mid morning and a handful of almonds in the afternoon.
As long as I have my food prepared for the day, I’m less likely to feel really hungry which will lead to a big lunch and probably a stomach ache or a need for a nap later. This can also apply to stay-at-home parents. Instead of being tempted by a quick drive-thru, having meals ready can help you stay healthy. Drive-thrus are quick, but home prepared meals are more satisfying.
Squeeze in time to walk
Finding time to be active is definitely hard, but it’s also really important. This is especially hard if you work a traditional 9-5 job where a majority of your time is spent at your desk. In an earlier post, we talked about simple ways to be active in your work day, but I like to find ways to simply increase my steps through the day, too!
Often times, during my lunch you can find me outside taking a lap or two around our building, or on a bad weather day, I’ll do indoor laps. Walking on my lunch break has helped me up my steps by about 2,000 everyday but my steps don’t stop there. I also will get up to go to the copier or run an errand to the other side of the building. As long as it doesn’t interfere with your productivity, taking a quick walk shouldn’t upset anyone.
What about our stay-at-home parents? Instead of getting everyone into the car to run a quick errand to the nearby store, can you walk or bike there together? If you only need a few things, bring along a backpack for convenient transport. How about a walk around the block after lunch? Families that spend time being active with each other lead a healthy lifestyle together. By showing your children that it’s important to get some exercise everyday, they will be prepared for healthy habits for years to come.
Always have a backup plan
Remember when I said I’m snack queen? One of my least favorite situations is finding myself hungry with no option other than a vending machine or a convenient store. Instead, I like to be prepared! Having an apple or a bag of almonds in my purse is a great backup plan. They say if you’re not hungry enough to eat an apple, you’re not really hungry, you’re just bored. By always having a snack on hand, I can’t be tempted by the bad stuff.
Parents with small kids have this one figured out. My mommy-friends who have children pretty much always have a granola bar or a pouch of applesauce in all of their bags. This way, no where they are and someone’s hungry, they have a solution!
Having a busy schedule means you don’t have much time for quick stops, by having a (snack) back up plan, there’s no need to even slow down! As long as you pick a healthy option to keep in your bag, at your desk, or in your car, you won’t have to worry about breaking any health kick that you’re currently working with.
This one’s definitely easier said than done, but it certain has helped keep me accountable. When you have a meeting scheduled or set an appointment, you go to it- no questions asked, right? Someone is counting on you to show up. So what about your morning workout, after work fitness class, or evening bike ride? I make that appointment with myself to be sure to get my exercise in because I’m that one depending on it. After some time, it’s no longer something you feel like you have to do. Instead, it becomes something you look forward to doing. Spending some time, working up a sweat, and getting those endorphins going can quickly become addicting!
Not all schedules can accommodate an hour long workout 5-7 days a week and sometimes things come up and you just have to cancel, but you can make it work! What about a 15 minute walk with the family after dinner? Or set your alarm a half hour earlier and actually get up! Sure, the snooze button seems more appealing, but your body will thank you more after a workout DVD in the family room.
Finding ways to stay healthy in a busy lifestyle certainly is difficult. Hopefully though, some of these tricks can be helpful for you. The main one that helps me is simply always being prepared. If I have my healthy lunch picked out or a healthy snack on hand, I won’t be tempted to make bad choices. In fact the opposite is often true, I then am excited to make even more healthier choices through the day.
What are you health and fitness tips? How do you keep yourself on track and accountable? We would love to hear your tips in the comments below!