With the best intentions in the world, sometimes it can feel like there is not enough time to change our lifestyles for the better. It is so easy to want to make healthier choices, but when it comes to implementing them, we just revert to the same old back habits we always knew. Because being unhealthy is the efficient option, right? Working late instead of going to the gym or grabbing breakfast from Starbucks on your way to the office instead of whipping up a quick avocado toast. Eating at the bar at the end of a long day at work might seem like the best option for the optimal productive day, however unhealthy habits could be holding you back from achieving more!
This is equally true of parents, who usually put their child’s need for a healthy lifestyle well above their own. The odd bag of chips while the kids are throwing baked beans around the room hardly constitutes a healthy lifestyle. But it really does not have to be that way for anyone. It is all about starting small, making little concerted efforts to make the right decision, and building up from there. And a bit of forward thinking and planning ahead can take it to the next level. If you have decided that you want to start making healthy decisions, but you are constantly pushed for time, start trying to make these changes.
Do Not Skip Breakfast
It is easy to feel pushed for time in the mornings, especially if there are kids to get ready for school and yourself to get ready for work, so your own breakfast can take a back seat. You might not realize it, but you are contributing to weight gain by avoiding breakfast. The first meal of the day kick starts your metabolism and means you use energy more efficiently throughout the day. Now, it is probably not a great idea to spend an hour making a full fry up, but a bowl of cereal and milk, or toast with PB&J, will really get you set up for the day.
Make Mornings Your Friend
Getting out of bed can feel like the absolute worst part of the day, especially when you are living a hectic life. Although, if you embrace it, get up, work out, and eat well, instead of spending forty minutes snoozing your alarm, you will ultimately feel more awake, more productive, and you will have more to show for your day.
Prep Your Meals
Sunday is the day for making your entire week’s worth of food, so that you are not finding yourself caught short with the excuse “I cannot be bothered to cook, let us order take-out instead.” Fill your fridge and freezer with healthy, nutritious, and interesting meals, so that you never feel the need to eat take-out again. All it takes is a bit of forward planning, a whole load of Tupperware, and a bit of practice, and you have yourself a routine that will never let you down.
Befriend The Crockpot
All hail the crockpot, the friend of all the busiest of people. Stick your favorite meat, your veggies of choice, and some sort of liquid in at eight in the morning, turn it to the lowest setting and get on with your day. When you return, you are met with a delicious bowl of stew or soup, full of nutrients, and you have had to expend little to no energy to get there. Magic!
Keep Healthy Snacks With You
It can be so tempting when you are out and about, rushing here and there, to grab snacks on the go. But what are these snacks usually? Chips, chocolate, fries? Nothing particularly healthy anyway. Keep healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruit, or veggie sticks on you when you head out for the day, so you are not tempted to nibble on poor choices and you are always prepared when the hunger strikes.
The store is literally laid out to tempt you with things you do not want, and certainly do not need. Try shopping online with a strict shopping list, so that the multipack of chips cannot “accidentally” fall into your cart.
Workout At Home
It can be so difficult to find time to work out when you are leading a hectic lifestyle, but running around from school to home to work probably does not really count as effective exercise. Try waking up a few minutes early and working out at home before breakfast and showering. All you need is a few simple pieces of equipment, such as a jump rope, kettlebells, and a rower machine, and you have basically got yourself a home gym.
Go For High-Intensity Workouts
Rather than hour-long runs around the park and huge swimming sessions, opt for shorter, higher intensity workouts, such as circuit or interval training or spin classes. They are a more effective use of your time since they can take as little as twenty minutes, but they also are proven to be very efficient for fat burning too.
Anywhere you need to go, within reason, walk, do not drive. Get the whole family involved. Walking regularly is a great form of exercise and a good habit to get into. Use the time to catch up with family and friends or listen to audiobooks. Walking is a great opportunity to decompress and get away from the stress of a busy life, as well as get the heart rate up and the blood pumping.
When time is of the essence, it is important to make sure that everything you do is the most efficient it can be, and that includes sleep. There is no point taking eight hours out of your day if it is not a good use of eight hours. Do not just drop into bed exhausted at the end of a long day — take some time to wind down, come away from any electronics, and relax, so that when you get into bed, you get the best quality sleep possible.
Otherwise, just remember to take it a day at a time, do not punish yourself for slipping up, and remember always to stay hydrated!