A few weeks ago some of our patients were chatting while enjoying a cup of coffee and the conversation was all about wanting to get fitter, but why it’s so hard to stay in shape sometimes.
They all agreed that they knew they needed to exercise, sleep more and eat healthier.
But knowing and doing are two different things.
It got me thinking about the real reason why it can be so difficult to keep active and stay healthy, and these are the three things that always come up in conversation:
1) Being too busy, either because they work full time and have kids, or have grandchildren to look after on top of their daily routines.
2) Planning to make healthy decisions, but when the time comes, feeling too tired to cook or exercise.
3) Feeling pressure to eat like everyone else and join in when in social situations with family and friends.
Finding the time to keep active and stay on board with being healthy can be hard.
Life isn’t always so predictable, and it’s easy to let things spiral out of control when it feels like you’ve got a million and one things to do – it happens to us all!
The bright side is – it’s actually a lot easier than it seems to incorporate healthy habits when you’re on the go and when life feels busy.
It’s not about being “perfect”, it just about being “prepared”.
Here’s 5 simple things you can do, to stay in shape,
even if you feel like you haven’t got the time…
1) Make Water Taste Better
Now, I know a lot of people think drinking water is “boring”… I do too sometimes!
Drinking water not only quenches your thirst, it also prevents you from feeling hungry when you’ve already eaten, helps keep you feeling awake through that “afternoon slump” and keeps you in a good mood.
I always carry water around with me to sip during the day.
I make my water less “boring” by adding some lemon to it overnight to give it some flavor.
You can add anything you like, berries, limes – anything!
2) Make Sleep A Priority
Most people need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, if they don’t get it they don’t always feel so great the next day!
When people don’t get enough sleep, their mood drops, they overeat and they’re unproductive – it’s a known fact.
It can be tough.
Sometimes you feel like there’s too much to do before you can call it a day and finally rest your head…
Sacrificing sleep for your routine is when you get caught up in the cycle of under-sleeping, being unproductive and suffering mood swings.
Make sure you make getting enough sleep a habit and it will help things fall into place and keep you feeling alert and energized.
When you’re in a good sleep routine, the odd late night won’t affect you as much as it does when you’re not getting enough.
3) Fill Up On Vegetables
Add a rainbow of vegetables with every meal, eat as many as you like, in any way you like!
Filling your plate with vegetables will help you get more fibre and more of the good nutrients your body needs to feel great.
You’ll find that when you go out to restaurants with family and friends, there’s usually vegetable based appetizers to choose from, if you want to order a starter.
There’s ways to stay healthy even when you’re socializing!
4) Double Up On Dinner!
When you cook your evening meal – double up on it! (Or cook more of it).
Cooking more than one serving at a time means you’ll have something healthy on hand in the fridge to take to work the next day or to heat up during the week.
Tip: Choose the best time for you to cook extra meals when you know you’ve got time, like a Sunday evening.
Don’t choose a time when you know you won’t feel like it, such as a late Saturday night or when you’ve been running around all day.
Being prepared means there’s less change of going off track.
5) Walk When You Talk
My little rule is – no phone calls sitting down. I put my headphones in and walk around for all my calls during the day.
Getting up and walking and talking on your feet can lift your mood and energy, which is great for any phone conversations.
Still think these tips won’t work for you or that you don’t have enough time?
Of course you do!
Staying in shape only takes a few hours a week – when you can include these simple tips above in your daily routine, you don’t have to change much in your routine, or even put any extra time aside.
When people say they “don’t have time”, what they really mean is they don’t have the energy most of the time.
That’s exactly why we make sure to get movement in with your daily activities – like walking to the store instead of using the car…
… and making your sleep a priority and cooking enough healthy meals for your week, to keep your energy levels high.
There’s no reason to not make your health a priority, no matter how busy you are, like can get in the way for all of us!
Being healthy and active is a win-win; it gives you more energy to be more productive, feel great and have more time to do the things you enjoy.