When I was a 20-year-old with no responsibilities besides studying for tests, downloading music, engaging in the debate about which girl was cuter, and finally working out—fitness was easy-peasy.
Fast forward a decade later, a now 30-year-old version of myself has a much more difficult time working out consistently. Actually, let’s be honest, a now 30-year old version of myself is met with more procrastination and resistance when it comes to working out.
I have responsibilities now. Trying to grow my company, write another book, and still, find time for social engagements such as salsa dancing is difficult. It’s safe to say that life is much busier now.
But this type of lifestyle is not an exception to the norm. Many of us have various work requirements and other social functions that demand our time.
Unfortunately though, when life gets busy, our healthy habits tend to find themselves getting placed to end of the bench. No matter how much you want to make healthier choices, sometimes it feels like there isn’t enough time.
I get it.
But as the designer and all-around extraordinaire woman, Debbie Millman states: “Busy is a decision. We decide what to do based on what we think are the priorities in our lives.”
While we may have a lot going on, if health and exercise are truly a priority, we’ll fit it in somehow, someway.
Here are some quick tips to stay healthy and fit, despite being super busy.
1. Get a little more selfish
To make the world a better place & help others, you need to be in a better place. If you’re exhausted, overwhelmed, moody, burnt out, unhappy, and overweight … you’re not going to be of much use to the people you’re serving because the best version of you isn’t present. Most importantly, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
Take care of you first. Find some “me time.” Make a list of everything you do weekly, and jot it down. Then take a pen and cross off everything that you feel is unnecessary or hindering your growth as a person. After that, mark your “me time” into the schedule and make it a non-negotiable in your life.
2. Stay hydrated
It’s the captain obvious and the biggest cliche advice of the fitness world, but yet and still, many people are walking around dehydrated. Binge eating, impulsive snacking, mood swings, joint problems, and skin issues can stem from dehydration. By staying dehydrated, you’re helping your daily energy levels, your mental fitness, your concentration, and your digestive system.
Set a goal of drinking 16oz of water first thing in the morning to start your day off on the right track. Also, keep a bottle of water on you and even set an hourly timer if needed to remind yourself to stay hydrated.
3. Use smoothies for meal replacements
This is an easy way to fill up on plenty of quality micronutrients with minimal effort. Add a scoop of protein, a healthy fat, a couple types of greens, one type of berry, one other fruit and now you have a solid smoothie.
4. Get crazy efficient with your workouts
To help with time and lessen the overwhelm, it’s important to become efficient and effective with your exercise selections. My lifting sessions only last around 25–35 minutes on average. Here’s a gym option that I use with my clients who are extremely busy (this is a bare minimum workout & cardio included):
A1) Squats: 4 sets of 5—7 reps
B1) Chinups: 4 sets of 6—10 reps
C1) 15-25 minutes of steady state cardio or 10-15 minutes of interval sprints
5. Eat the same meals over and over throughout the week
I’m a huge fan of “uniform eating” because it reduces the number of decisions that you have to make on a daily basis. When you reduce your decisions, you’re freeing up mental energy to use for tougher decisions throughout your day and reducing the chances for decision fatigue.
Decide on 2–3 different breakfasts and rotate. Same with your lunch and also locate a few healthy options near your workplace for the days when you don’t have your lunch. Let dinner be the place where you have variety and flexibility in your nutritional regimen.
6. Embrace the crock-pot
Set it and forget it is the biggest benefit to using a crock-pot. From soups to meats, all you need to do is throw the ingredients in and let the magic happen. Besides being simple to use, you’re saving time, effort, and now you have a couple servings of a healthy dish to eat on throughout the week.
Being busy adds an extra layer of complexity to your health and fitness goals. But, this still isn’t a valid excuse to not prioritize your health. With good health, you’ll have more energy which will lead to more productivity and an improved overall well-being.
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