10 Ways to Stay Fit With a Busy Lifestyle
Having a busy schedule is one of the most commonly cited hurdles to pursuing a healthy lifestyle. Between work and family obligations, many individuals find it hard to squeeze in a regular fitness routine. As a result, exercise can take a backseat to other priorities. Unfortunately, the extensive neglect of physical fitness can have grave consequences in the long run. Instead of postponing exercise indefinitely, there are creative ways to make fitness a priority. A look at the top 10 ways to stay fit can help you put your health first as you juggle your responsibilities.
1. Commit to Healthy Eating
One of the best ways to improve your fitness level is to commit to healthier eating choices. In the modern world, however, this commitment is easier said than done. The typical diet contains more than its fair share of processed food, and a busy lifestyle also makes it easy stop in restaurants that offer high-calorie or unhealthy meals. Fortunately, there are several ways to help mitigate fitness landmines and make healthy choices instead:
- Cook all of your meals in advance. Use meal prep tools to ensure healthy courses and snacks such as prepackaged fruits or vegetables. For example, you can use food processor to quickly chop carrot sticks and take portable Bento box to school or work for easy access to nutritious lunch or snacks.
- Use a slow cooker for home-cooked meals. For example, you can fill a slow-cooker with hearty ingredients in the morning and enjoy a warm, no-fuss meal when you return home in the evening.
- Consider a meal-delivery service. Depending on where you live, you can also subscribe to a meal-delivery company that delivers fresh, ready-to-cook ingredients for the recipe of your choice.
- Add a nutritious supplement to your meal regimen. Even with healthy food choices, modern life can pose challenges to nutrition ranging from limited organic options to lower nutrient content from soil depletion. Consider taking a healthy supplement to enrich your meals. Supplements like Kyani Sunrise and Kyani Sunset offer antioxidant-rich ingredients like Alaskan blueberries to help replenish the modern diet.
2. Make Smart Choices During Social Gatherings
Many people have to attend social gatherings for networking and career advancement. However, the food and alcoholic beverages served at these events are often high in calories while offering limited nutritional value. Even worse, party foods and alcohol can leave you feeling drained and sluggish. During social gatherings, consider drinking seltzer instead of alcohol. This allows you to continue to participate socially, limit caloric intake, and keep it classy. For dining, stick to garnish items or half-courses instead of high-calorie foods.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Given the unpredictable Australian environment, it is imperative to keep yourself hydrated. Drinking water can also help you feel fuller longer and provide the fluids needed for exercise later in the day. Keep a reusable or self-filtering water bottle with you at all times. Some ways to drink more water include mixing water with sugar-free water flavorings. You can also purchase an infuser bottle to naturally flavor your water using citrus fruit, mint, or berries.
4. Schedule Gym Appointments or Classes in Advance
Individuals with demanding schedules find it difficult to make the time to work out. Signing up for fitness classes with set hours and course dates can provide motivation needed to remain on schedule. Many fitness courses are less than an hour in length per class, allowing you to fit them into a tighter schedule. If group classes are not your forte, you can also hire a personal trainer for one-on-one workouts. Sign up for a local personal trainer or register for a virtual coach on tutorial marketplaces like MindBodyOnline or PowHow.com.
5. Find Hidden Opportunities for Exercise
Although it may feel challenging to find time to work out, there are hidden opportunities to help you stay fit throughout the day. For example, waking up only 30 minutes earlier for a run each morning translates into 3.5 extra hours of exercise each week. If running is not your style or fitness level, you can use the extra half-hour for a walk around the office or local shopping mall. Once at work or in the office, you can find other ways to exercise as well. Keep a note card on your desktop or a clipping attached to your cubicle labeled with the best desk exercisesto keep your muscles stretched and pliant throughout the day.
6. Keep Mental Health Intact
While pursuing a healthy lifestyle, it is important to make mental health a priority as well. Research published in Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria, Australia has shown that excess stress levels can have a debilitating impact on health. Learning simple meditation and breathing exercises can help you manage stress regardless of environment. Even if you work a desk job or attend frequent meetings, using a stress-relief mechanism (such as a tension-release ball) can help you keep anxiety levels under control.
7. Use a Reward System
Studies have shown that the human brain reacts favorably to systems of reward for successful performance. Take advantage of this innate characteristic by setting up your own reward system for succeeding with a fitness regimen. If you are on a budget, for example, you can designate a specific cash withdrawal to reward yourself for exercise. Place a clear jar on your dresser and deposit cash only after you complete a workout each day. If you are successful with daily exercise during the week, you will have a jar full of weekend spending money as a cash reward.
8. Get Plenty of Sleep
Research has shown that lack of sleep can elevate the stress hormone cortisol, leading to sluggishness and weight gain. In contrast, a full night’s rest can help you feel more energized and keep stress levels under control. Similarly, timely naps may also help improve alertness and overcome midday fatigue. For this reason, many cultures still promote taking a siesta or other sleep rituals in order to get a healthy amount of rest. Make it a priority to get at least seven hours of sleep during weekends and take naps over the weekend.
9. Exchange One Sedentary Activity for Exercise
Many individuals use their favorite downtime activities to relax and decompress after a stressful day at work. For example, some may choose to lounge on the couch while watching Netflix or the latest sports replay. Consider exchanging at least one “Netflix night” for an evening of indoor fitness. You can use a fitness program such as Nintendo Wii or view YouTube fitness channels on your television screen for a purposeful workout.
10. Choose Fitness-Related Holiday Destinations
Even the busiest careers may offer vacation days at various times of the year. Consider choosing a fitness-based holiday activity that allows you to have fun while getting in shape. Some of the most popular examples include the following:
- Participating in biking tours for sightseeing
- Hiking or rock-climbing settings
- Visiting beaches that offer group volleyball or water sports
- Going on yoga retreats (you can use the Lululemon Om Finder app to find a studio anywhere in the world)
- Running a half-marathon in a city famous for competitions or races
- Going snorkeling or diving in an exotic location. Research has shown that snorkeling can burn up to 300 calories per session.
- Booking a resort with tennis courts or other fun outdoor activities
- Sign up for a city walking tour (since most famous cities have walking tours, download an Android or iTunes Pedometer app to ensure that you walk a few miles while exploring your favorite destination)
The Bottom Line
With a little creativity, making fitness a priority can be both effective and fun. Select your favorite ways to add fitness to your lifestyle, and then gradually add all 10 to your schedule. With the right planning, you can transform a desire to stay fit into an everyday reality.