Ways to Keep Physical Health a Top Priority When Busy
Do you find yourself longing for a healthier lifestyle, yet you are too busy and exhausted to keep up? Most of us are busy with college, our careers, our friends, and our families. I know what this is like and I’ve been there. I remember being busy and working in a leadership role, where many counted on me. I would come home to take care of my young child and I was too exhausted to make nutrition and exercise a priority. Coming home to cook a nutritious meal was not on the top of my to do list. Additionally, even thinking of exercising gave me a headache. After many days of being exhausted, I decided that I needed to make a change. When I decided to make this a priority, I ended up having more energy than before. It can be challenging keeping your physical health a priority when you’re busy with other responsibilities, but it can be done! When making your physical health a priority, it is important for you to focus on your nutrition and exercise. Fortunately, there are many simple steps you can take in order to make your physical health a top priority. In return, you will be left feeling your best.
8 useful steps to a healthier you
- Be optimistic and start slowly
So, you want to make your physical health a priority? Fantastic! The first action you need to take is keeping a positive attitude. If you go into it with a negative outlook, then it will not be an enjoyable experience. Look at it as a lifestyle goal of daily improvements that will eventually make you successful. of yours! This is a lifestyle change that will keep you happy in the long run. Remember to start slowly, take one step at a time. Don’t think you will go from “unhealthy” to “healthy” overnight. Take baby steps. Maybe eating one fruit and/or vegetable daily is a first step to healthy eating. Or going one complete day without sugar. Maybe your first step is speed walking 20 minutes a day for a week, then for a month. Remember you only have to walk one day at a time. If you did it today, you can do it tomorrow. After proving to yourself that you can take that daily walk, then add a few minutes of jogging to the speed walking. Always think that it is just for today. If you are regular with one day at a time, by the end of the year you could be ready for a 5K or even a marathon. You will never know what you are capable of until you take that first step. This first step is to convince yourself that you are capable of making life changes.
- Use a planner and have a schedule
Purchase a planner. The planner is a place where you can write out your daily and weekly schedule. My planner is a composition lined notebook I bought for two dollars at Staples. I use it to write every idea and/or “to do” that crosses my mind. I keep it by my bed at night so if I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, I can write it in my planner. When I wake up, the first thing I do is to put a priority order to my list and cross out the ones I complete throughout the day. I try to keep a priority order, but life happens and my priorities change throughout my busy day. I’m old school and insist on using a pen and paper notebook instead of my iPhone. It seems easier for me to keep focused. I find it easier to grab my notebook and write than to look for the proper app, open it, and type on that tiny keyboard.
The planner can truly be a life saver when it comes to managing your time. Pick a plan and stick to it. Consider changing your current schedule around. What are your current hobbies? Consider picking your health-conscious hobbies over your non-healthy ones. When are you waking up? Can you manage to go to bed a little earlier and wake up an hour earlier to squeeze in a morning run? Even a short thirty-minute exercise is beneficial for your physical health.
- Choose healthy and nutritious food
You may not want to come home after a long day of work to cook a healthy dinner and that is explainable. There is a great solution to this problem, and it is called meal prepping. The idea of meal prepping is exactly what it sounds like- prepping all of your food for the week. Personally, I find it best to meal prep on Sunday’s during the evening, because I am able to prep for the busy week ahead. There are many healthy recipes to use when meal prepping, but you don’t have to try all of them at once. Try simple dinner recipes to start. A simple dinner recipe can be chicken, rice, and broccoli. If you are a vegan, then you can substitute the meat with tofu. When you are finished, sort your food into a meal proportion to your liking and then store it in Tupperware containers. Place the containers in the fridge and voila! Now you have dinner ready for each day of the week! Once you get into the routine of meal prepping you can begin to prep more, such as your breakfast and lunch.
If you are like me and want to dine out when the family is town, then you may know the many unhealthy food temptations dining out has to offer. The great news is, it is possible to dine out and eat nutritious food at the same time. Take a look at the restaurant’s menu online before going out. This way you can be sure to choose the healthiest option, keeping the temptations aside. If you are unsure of what nutrition regimen to follow, consider speaking with a nutritionist.
- Work out at home
This is one of the most beneficial tips if you are someone who is extremely busy. Do you have young children? Look no further! Working out at home is very possible and now you can include your youngest children- or just keep an eye on them. Working out at home is simple, wake up, put on your fitness attire and get going. Utilize a room in your home that has the most space, such as your living room. When I was at my busiest, I found it helpful to work out at home. I purchased two ten-pound dumbbells and a fitness ball. I google-searched “simple at-home workout” and I found a lot of helpful exercise programs. I no longer had to worry about packing a gym bag, I was now able to exercise in the comfort of my own home. There are many programs and fitness videos that can be helpful when completing an at-home exercise regimen. What are you waiting for? You can do it!
- Utilize the outdoors
Utilizing the outdoors is an excellent option when the weather is cooperating. Can you ride your bike to work instead of driving your car? If not, what about starting your day off with a light morning walk? When the sun is shining, I like to take a walk outdoors. I live in an area with many local farmer's markets, so I will typically stop by and grab fresh fruit while I am out. I am able to fulfill my goals of nutrition and exercise in one sitting. Yoga is another great exercise that is often done outdoors in warmer climates. Yoga can be great if you are stressed, as yoga has relaxing benefits. Luckily, there are many outdoor activities you can do to make exercising a priority.
- Invite others to join
So, you want to exercise, but you also want to spend time with your best friend that you haven’t seen in three weeks? How can you possibly find the time to do both? Inviting your best friend to join in with you on your new activities is a great answer. Plan ahead and ask your best friend to join you on your afternoon run. Not only are you spending time with your favorite people, you are also exercising at the same time. You may even help your best friend achieve a new goal. If others don’t want to join in on your new activities, consider your dog as your new work out partner. It’s important for dogs to gain attention and what better way than to work out with your dog while giving them the attention they need? Take your furry friend on a morning run or walk. This is a great way to sneak in cardio to keep you and your adorable pet happy and healthy.
You must rest when making your physical health a priority. If you are exercising, rest helps build strength, endurance, and muscle. Once you get into the routine of exercising and eating healthy, you should notice your quality of sleep is much better. If you are someone who has trouble falling asleep, consider trying Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that naturally regulates the sleep-wake cycle. Speak with your physician if you are considering taking natural supplements.
- Stay consistent
Staying consistent is probably the most vital step. I know that staying consistent can be difficult. Are you unmotivated? Do it anyway. It does get easier with consistency. I remember being tied up with work and in the end, I gave up on exercise. I gave up on nutrition. I no longer went to the gym every week and I was no longer meal prepping. When I decided to exercise again, it was like starting over, which made it challenging. Now that I am consistent, it is much simpler to keep my physical health a top priority. You can achieve your goals with dedication. If you struggle with staying consistent then make a plan. This correlates with the scheduling step we talked about earlier. If you give up on consistency, don’t worry. Forgive yourself and try again.
These helpful steps will help you get on the right track to your goals. It can seem challenging when your busy, but it is not impossible. Remember to be optimistic and don’t give up! The fact that you want to keep your physical health a top priority is astonishing! Be ready to see a healthier and happier version of you!