A super busy lifestyle doesn’t always seem compatible with staying super healthy. But it’s not only possible but may be easier than you think. Here are five ways to stay in shape around a hectic schedule!
- Food Prep Is Your Friend
Getting to grips with your diet, and making it work around your busy lifestyle, is crucial to staying healthy no matter what your day throws at you. Weekly meal planning can remove the hassle of the evening ‘what shall we have for dinner’ decision and shop, and negate the temptation to grab a calorie-laden takeaway or whatever yummy and sugary delicacies we can mine from the fridge.
Consider batch-cooking, too: rather than making one lasagne, make two or more, and freeze the additional meals for a quick, nutritious dinner another day. Be sure to incorporate high-quality protein in the dishes you prepare to provide you with vital vitamins and minerals and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Read the full article here for the further health benefits of protein and for more tips on maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle. Get ahead of the game with snacks, too, to avoid grabbing a bar of chocolate or a bag of crisps from the office vending machine when the munchies strike. Prepare snack pots in advance to take to work, filled with healthy treats like nuts and berries, sliced avocado, or mango chunks in yogurt, for example.
- Water Works
We all know we should probably be drinking more water, but actually doing so can feel like a bit of a chore. Staying hydrated is absolutely vital for general wellbeing in terms of body and mind. Thirst can often be misinterpreted by the brain as hunger, so; if you catch yourself craving a mid-morning treat, it’s worth sipping some water before reaching for a snack.
Keep a bottle of water with you on your desk, and get into the habit of taking a bottle of water when you’re out and about and in the car. You could consider buying a large bottle that holds the recommended daily amount of water we should be drinking so that you know exactly what you should be aiming for.
Another great tip to help you keep your hydration levels up is to try adding a natural flavoring to make your drink more appealing: add a slice of lemon or lime or some cinnamon. For the latter, put a stick of cinnamon into a jug of water and place this in the fridge overnight. Cinnamon is great for your health and will suffuse the water with a lovely, warm, subtle flavor and a pretty pink color.
- Cut Back On Caffeine
When we’re busy, reaching for a cup of coffee to perk ourselves up and suppress tiredness seems like the most natural thing in the world. However, too much caffeine can create havoc in the body, raising cortisol levels and causing hormone fluctuations. One of the most pain-free ways to cut back on caffeine consumption is to initially make a cup with half the amount of your normal coffee granules or powder and half of the decaff. This is a great way to ease into a less caffeinated lifestyle: once your body is used to the decrease in caffeine, you could consider cutting back further if you wish.
- Exercise For Energy
One of the biggest challenges of staying in shape when you’re super busy is finding the time to exercise. Staying physically active, however, is vital for the body and mind and can boost energy levels and release happy hormones into the bloodstream.
If you need to be at a desk for a large part of the day, there are still things you can do to keep moving and stay healthy. For example, set a timer for hourly intervals throughout the day and, at these points, do some simple stretching exercises either from a sitting position or standing by your desk. You could also consider using a standing desk: these types of workstations can cause you to burn off a significant amount of calories while still getting on with your daily tasks and can promote improved spine and neck health.
You could also think about using your lunch hour to grab some exercise: see if any like-minded colleagues might like to join you for a forty-minute swim or a regular walk around the block.
- Rest And Relaxation
And last but not least, it’s really important to ensure you’re getting sufficient time for rest and relaxation, more so than ever when life is busy. Have a clear cut-off time when it comes to work, in the evenings, and stick to it. When it comes to good quality sleep, try to turn off devices a few hours before sleep, and have a relaxing bedtime routine to help you wind down before turning in for the night: some gentle yoga, meditation, or a deep bubbly bath can be lovely ways to relax ready for sleep. Going to bed at the same time every night (in the week at least!) can help to endorse healthy sleep habits, too, and result in your being able to drop off quickly once your head hits the pillow.