If you’re anything like me, you are busy. Busy at work, busy at home, busy on the so-called weekend. It never stops. Even as a fitness professionals, my husband and I are right there with you in the constant struggle to find time to exercise and eat healthfully. Here are a few things that work for us:
- Organize your pantry and refrigerator with the healthy options front and center. For me, complete deprivation of treats simply does not work. While there are some foods I do not keep in the house, we always have some variety of chocolate and for my husband, chips or pretzels. The chocolate is stashed in my baking cabinet, only to be found when I'm looking for it. Chips and pretzels are on the second shelf, below eye level, in our pantry. When we’re ready for a snack, the first visible items are fruit in a basket on the kitchen counter, yogurt in the fridge, and when you open the pantry, you see rice, quinoa, and other items that must first be cooked. Moving “treats” out of site, makes making a healthy choice easier.
- Plan out your workouts for the week and put them on your calendar. While I am lucky enough to have a built in workouts as part of my work week, I don’t always carve out the time I need to workout on my own, especially if I go in with the thought/plan that “I’ll do it sometime today.” Those frequently end up being the days I miss or get in less than what I was hoping. What does work: on Mondays (and sometimes even the Friday before), I open my outlook and schedule my workouts. For me, the earlier in the day the better. On Friday night, my husband and I work out a plan for Saturday’s workout so we both get it in.
- Pack your snacks and plan when to eat them. This keeps me energized throughout the day and ready to tackle that lunch time spin class or after work run. It also helps me make it to dinner without the post-work munchies.
- Take some time to dig deep – Why do you want to eat better, exercise, and/or improve your health? I’m talking about those reasons that truly motivate you like playing with your grandkids or making it through the evening as you run around after your toddler while carrying your baby. Exercise, nutritious foods, and sleep give us the energy and keep us healthy to do the things we enjoy and spend time with the ones we love. I exercise because it makes me happy, keeps me healthy, balances out the insanity being a full time working mom, and gives me energy and strength to take care of my family.
- Find a form of exercise that you enjoy (or at least tolerate). I love running and cycling outside. I love practicing yoga. I love classes with good loud music. I tolerate swimming because I enjoy participating in triathlons. If you ask me to join you for any of these, I’m in (if it’s on my calendar - see #2 ), but if you ask me to hit the elliptical 3x a week for 30 minutes, it’s not going to happen. [Please note: I’m not in any way saying the elliptical is a bad thing. It’s a great cardio workout and some people enjoy it, it’s just not the cardio that gets me moving.] If you’re new to exercise or getting bored with your routine, take a month to try it all: classes, nautilus equipment, get in the pool, or go for hike. Note what you like and add it to your routine. If you don't enjoy exercise (which you don't know, unless you try, right?), find something you can tolerate and refer back to #2 and #4 to get it done.
There will always be something that needs to be done – projects at work, laundry, bills, etc. By putting health on the top of your To Do List, you’ll feel good and be able to conquer those tasks and better yet, enjoy your life! What do you do to make sure you get in your workout and/or eat healthfully?