Do you often have moments when you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day? Do you feel like you’re constantly in a rush? If you work full-time, you have children, or you’re trying to build a business or set up a successful side hustle, you may feel like time is always against you. A lack of time is one of the most common excuses we use when we fall off the healthy living wagon. The truth is that it is possible to be healthy when you’re up against the clock. Hopefully, these hacks for a hectic schedule will help you stay on track.
How to stay healthy when you're madly busy
Healthy eating made quick and simple
One of the most important and beneficial changes we can make to boost our health is adopting a healthy eating plan. There’s a belief that dieting is all about losing weight and cutting calories, but making changes to your diet should always benefit your health. You may want to shift a few pounds, but even if you’re a healthy, normal weight, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your diet is perfect. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen or stock the fridge full of exotic superfoods to be healthy. There are many ways you can enjoy a better diet even when you’re on a budget, or you’re up against the clock.
If you don’t have time to devote hours to cooking every evening, there are countless quick and easy recipes you can try. It takes a matter of minutes to rustle up a vegetable stir-fry, create a hearty homemade soup or chop up some tomatoes, basil and garlic and add them to a bowl of fresh pasta. Look for 15-minute recipes online or invest in some books that have been compiled with speed in mind. If you’re in a hurry and you’re opting for a takeaway, search for healthy options like some delicious veggie burgers or nutritious noodle dishes. If you’re hungry between meals, carry nuts, seeds and fruit with you, rather than resorting to sweets, biscuits or cakes. If you work and you often find yourself grazing throughout the day or indulging in a sumptuous feast from a fast food restaurant or food hall at lunchtime, save yourself time, money and a few extra calories by prepping lunches in advance and taking food with you.
Exercise ideas for those on the go
If you don’t have time to go to the gym every day, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be active. There are myriad ways you can move more without putting yourself under even more pressure. Swap driving for cycling or walking if you’re only going a short distance, look into exercise classes in the mornings and evenings and consider working out at home. If you want to be at home to put the kids to bed, for example, you can tuck them in and then do a 20-minute cardio workout or a yoga session for free using YouTube. You can also fit workouts in around naps if you have very young children or schedule them for before pick-up time if you have kids at school.
Working out at home gives you flexibility, and you won’t be wasting time getting to and from the gym, the pool or the tennis courts. It’s also worth looking at options that enable you to exercise with your children if you have a baby or a toddler, such as stroller classes or mother and baby yoga sessions. If you’re keen to increase the intensity of your workouts without spending more time exercising, consider switching up your training to include activities like spinning and high-intensity interval training instead of walking, jogging or doing Pilates. You can burn the same number of calories in a fraction of the time.
Stress is one of the most common health issues among adults in the UK. If you’re stressed out, this can affect your mood, your ability to sleep and your health. A lack of time is a major contributor to soaring stress levels, but there are ways you can eliminate time pressures and try and make life a little less stressful. Be organised with your time, plan ahead and prioritise what’s important. If you don’t need to be in three places at once, don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure. Learn to say no, keep your diary with you so you don’t double book, and schedule time out. Sometimes, even five minutes can make all the difference. Learn to spot triggers and warning signs, and take action before stress becomes more severe. There are many techniques you can use to reduce and manage stress, and it’s worth trying them out to see what works for you. Examples include exercise, meditation, massage therapy and creative activities.
If you feel like you’re juggling too much and this is making you stressed, take a look at what you’ve got on, and try and identify solutions. Have you got too much work or are your hours not suitable? Talk to your boss about changing to a more flexible work pattern, work from home more and discuss your workload. If you’re struggling to get the kids here, there and everywhere or you don’t have time to do anything for yourself, ask friends and relatives if they would be willing to help out. Perhaps you could share lifts to school and after-school clubs with other parents or your mum and dad or your sister could have the kids while you go to a yoga class or treat yourself to a date night. If you don’t ask for help, people around you may not know that you need it, so don’t be afraid to ask for favours now and again.
Do you feel like you’re always in competition with the clock? If days fly by in a flash and you’re rushing around, it can be difficult to stay on top of your health. Hopefully, this guide has given you some tips to help you put your health and wellbeing first at the same time as making life easier and a little less stressful.
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