Welcome back Randi of Life’s Simple Adventures! Think you’re too busy to be healthy? Randi is sharing some of her best tips for how to get into a healthy routine in the midst of a busy schedule!
When first starting my blog, I asked what people felt the number one barrier to living a healthy life was, and the most common response I got was time. There is never enough time… between sleep, school, work, kids, friends, family, and just life in general; we never feel there is enough time to take care of ourselves.
Schedules get busy and life gets away from us and, too often, the first thing to go from the routine is the time we spent concentrating on our health. Instead we spend our time at our desks, working away our life, cleaning the house, and running errands for our families. So why are we always putting ourselves last? Why are we not taking the time we have and making the most of it? Only you can answer that for you, but when you figure it out and you decide that you matter, here are some ways that you can make the most out of the time that you have.
Work out in the morning
This is always my first advice to anyone that tells me they don’t have enough time. Go to bed earlier (which is better for you too) and get up earlier. Take the dog for a walk, go to the gym, or maybe swim a couple laps. Working out in the morning has so many benefits, my favorite being that you get it in before the day has a chance to mess up your plans. Also, when you workout in the morning, it encourages you to start the day with a good breakfast and lots of water. You will feel more energized throughout your day and have lower stress and anxiety levels, so you will go into your workday with a level head. Nothing but positives here!
Work out at home
The gym might not be the best option for you and that’s ok. It can be expensive, more time consuming, and sometimes intimidating and that can make it hard to get more active. So if the gym is just not for you, work out at home! There are a ton of options for inexpensive equipment that you can use in small spaces! There is an endless library of videos on YouTube with great at home workout options and there are also a lot of trainers that are happy to work with you in your home, and can help you create a routine that meets your goals and fits with your space. The best part is the amount of time and options you have when you’re working out at home. You can get up early before the rest of the family and have the living room to your self, or right after you drop the kids off at school. If you have more energy in the evening, maybe you can make after work or after bedtime your time! So many options!
Related: Laura’s go-to gear for home fitness:
Break up the hour
The powers that be have declared that we require a minimum of one hour of physical activity a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but some days it feels like there isn’t even an hour to spare. Of course, my first point of advice is going to be find a way to cut some of those unimportant time-consuming tasks out of your day… it’s awful to be that busy! But if you really can’t, you can always break up that hour. No one said that it had to be all done at once. Go for a walk around the block in the morning (bring your coffee, it’ll be nice), and go for a quick jog during your lunch hour, and end your day with a quick 20 min. strength session in the evening while your watching your favorite show. Not only do you get your exercise, but also it breaks up the monotony of the day.
Multi-task at the gym
Ok, so I know people have mixed feelings about this, but I love to multi-task at the gym! When I get behind on the little tasks like emails and text messages, I go to the gym, and sit on the recumbent bike and get caught up. I answer that long list of emails and I get caught up on all the articles I’ve been meaning to read. Try it out; it’s wonderful! Headphones in and legs moving, you’ll get your cardio and career in check at the same time. I know a lot of people are quick to judge those sitting on the bikes with their phones, but at least they are working out!
Plan a walking date with your bestie
You know that friend that you have been meaning to get together with for some time now. Call her up and set a walking date. Meet at a coffee shop and get a tasty tea before your walk. You’ll have so much fun catching up that you will forget that you’re actually exercising.
Take the kids out to play
I’m not a parent, but when I polled my friends, the second biggest barrier after time was children. This confused me because from what I can tell those little monst…um… I mean angels don’t stop moving! So take a break from cleaning the house and folding the laundry and take those little guys out to the park. Whether they are small enough to stay in the stroller while you walk or they can kick the ball back and forth with you, get out and do something! They will love it, you will feel like the best parent in the world, and you will all be getting in that physical activity that your body so desperately craves! Don’t make your kids an excuse… make them a reason.
Walk to do your errands
Hey city folk, this one’s for you. I bet when you have to hit up the grocery store or drug store it’s a quick five-minute drive away. Well I challenge you to trade the car keys for walking shoes and make it an errand and a workout. Walk down to get those few groceries you need and mail that letter. You will feel way more accomplished when you get home and you will have earned that chocolate bar you grabbed on the way through check out.
Get up and stretch
Even on the busiest of the busy days, the ones where you really truly have no time to work out… please make sure that at the very least, you get up and stretch! When you step back from your desk every hour or so, you re-focus your eyes and revitalize your mind. You will be able to think through problems faster and feel less stressed. Oh, and of course your body will thank you too! Make sure you focus on keeping your posture in check, back straight, shoulders back and down slightly and try to keep your ears in line with your shoulders. Stand up and move around as often as possible to keep your blood circulating.
All the other healthy habits
I know that your gym routine isn’t always the only healthy habit that falls to the side when your life gets busy. We often start eating more fast & cheap meals, not drinking enough water, and our sleep schedule can get thrown out the window completely. I see a lot of people do these things without realizing it, and then wondering why they feel so awful.
The best advice that I can give for maintaining a healthy lifestyle when things get busy is to try and stay conscious of it. Set yourself reminders in your phone to get up and move often. Keep a water bottle with you always and stay hydrated. If you can, try prepping meals in advance, but if that doesn’t work have easy healthy foods on hand, like lots of fruit and veggies and low sugar snacks. Buy a big pre-made salad and split it up for your lunches. Most importantly, don’t neglect your sleep! Turn off the electronics at least an hour before bed, stretch and read a book, whatever helps you to relax. Plan to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier.
When you take care of your body, your mind will feel better too. This will make those chaotic times in life feel less like the end of the world and more like a challenge you know you can overcome. Never take your body for granted. Sitting too often and living a sedentary life style can have debilitating effects that will make the simplest daily tasks hard and uncomfortable. Make yourself a number one priority and remember to work in a little time for adventure. ☺
Randi Marie is an adventure seeking, coffee loving, book nerd who wants to encourage you to find happiness in your day to day life by focusing on health and wellness, getting a little crafty and exploring the world around you. She is passionate about fitness, hiking and helping others achieve their goals. She is a Recreation Assistant by day, helping seniors improve their quality of life, and a student by night, learning all that she can about getting fit the right way. Somewhere in between that she started Life’s Simple Adventures as a means to communicate with the world around her and form a community of people for are looking for some motivation and some information on how they can live their best life. You can visit her at lifessimpleadventures.com.