The modern age we live in has us moving faster than any group of people have in the history of mankind. Between jobs, families, college, and extracurricular activities, you barely have time to catch your breath, let alone sit down and unwind. Today, being able to just stop and relax is a distant dream for many, many people.
If fitness is a priority in your life, this can seem like an insurmountable obstacle to keeping the body you want. Not only might you be struggling just to keep pace with the things you absolutely have to do, you may just find yourself absolutely exhausted at the end of the day, and you can’t imagine finding the time to go for a run or hit the gym. And we haven’t even talked about nutrition yet.
It can’t be denied: staying fit is hard enough, in and of itself, and there’s no easy road to a better you. Despite that fact, however, there are a few ways that you can keep a healthy regime, and not fall behind in the other areas of your life.
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Spread Your Fitness Throughout the Day
Many people think that, to really be considered ‘fit,’ you have to spend hours at the gym, either curling heavy weights or sweating it out on the elliptical. While I won’t deny that these are the best ways to increase your strength, or your cardio capacity, you can certainly stay ‘fit’ while you’re in your own office – you just spread it throughout the day.
There’s a couple of ways to go about this, and it will really depend on what your schedule is as to which approach will be best for you. One possible solution is to pick one exercise, and do one minute worth that exercise every hour. I know in our office, we choose a different one every day, and it really helps us out, because we’re still getting stronger, we support each other, and we continue to get a workout in, even if it is a quick one.
Alternately, you could use your lunch break for a workout. No matter where you go, if you work six hours or more in a day, by federal law, your employer is required to give you a thirty minute break, usually for your lunch break. There are plenty of work outs that can be done in twenty minutes or less, so you can get your sweat on, eat, and be back at your desk on time. That will also mean that, even if you want to work out more, you can just spend a half hour or so, having already gotten a quality workout in for the day.
Tie Your Exercise In With Your Other Activities
One of the main things that holds people back from getting in some quality exercise time is that they just have too much to do. Whether they’re rushing to class, going to work, or taking their kids to the zoo, peoples’ schedules are often filled with the things they have to do, leaving little to no time for the things they want to do. It can be challenging, but to overcome this setback, find some ways to incorporate your workouts into your other activities.
This might require some creativity on your part, but once you find those activities that allow you to burn some calories while you meet your obligations, you’ll be surprised at how much fun it can be, and how much better you’ll feel. My little girl, like many little girls, loves pony rides on daddy. It can be exercise enough to just crawl around with 50 pounds of giggling girl on your back, but I had a realization one day, and whenever it was time for pony to, “Take a drink from the stream,” I would do five push-ups, crawl around a bit more, and stop again ‘for a drink.’
Using this method, I was able to do about 30 pushups before the fun ended (she didn’t tire out – I did), while still spending some quality time with my baby girl. Sure – I looked a little silly doing it, but you know what? I don’t care! She’s worth it, and to be a great example for her, I’ll do whatever it takes to both stay in shape, so that I’m healthy enough to keep playing with her for years to come, and show her the importance of being fit.
You’re bound to already have people in your life who can offer you support while you find these moments to work out, so let them help you stay motivated, and hold you accountable. Talk about your achievements with your friends and family, or start a blog to discuss your routine, while gathering feedback and encouragement.
Prep Your Meals in Advance
We’ve talked about fitness quite a bit, but what about diet? When you’re on the go all the time, the thought of spending even a few hours over a stove probably seems unfathomable. Believe me, I’m right there with you – when I get home, I want to change into shorts as quickly as possible, play with my daughter and help her with her homework, grab a quick bite, read a bit, then crash. Nowhere in there am I factoring in cooking.
I know that’s true for a lot of people, but it’s killing our diets. Fast food is horrible, nothing more needs to be said about that, but I’ll freely admit that I’m often tempted by how quick and easy it is to swing through a drive through on the way home. To combat this problem, but still remain healthy, you should consider using your weekend to do some meal prepping.
A lot of people cringe when others mention meal prepping, because they automatically envision this poor piece of dried out chicken, that someone left on the Foreman Grill too long, coupled with some rice that looks well past its expiration date. Been there; done that; wasn’t fun. When I say meal prep, I don’t mean that you have to absolutely stick to healthy foods, but it does allow you to monitor one of the most critical aspects of diet: your calorie intake.
Most of the time, the main thing that wrecks peoples’ diets is the amount that they’re eating. Afterall, when you swing through Burger King, you often don’t take the time to calculate your calories before you order the Whopper Jr. with cheese and bacon. The assumption is that, whatever’s on the menu, that’s what you’re getting, and you can’t change it.
By prepping your meals on the weekend, while you’re feeling fresh and recharged, you’ll save time through the week by avoiding long periods of cooking, save the money you spend on takeout, and most importantly, control your calorie intake, leading to a healthier you.