Whether you work in an office building, a home office, a park, a restaurant, or anywhere else you can imagine, a single fact connects virtually all professions: busy schedules don’t work well with eating right and staying fit. Sure, you may be able to exercise every now and then, or maybe cook a healthy meal every other week, but none of these practices are enough to keep you on a healthy track. What you need is consistency. You need to make some changes to your life and keep them. Only then will you be able to eat healthy and stay healthy.
The problem is that making said changes is not easy. In simple terms, life happens. You can’t exercise because you have to work after hours again. You can’t cook a healthy meal because you’re extremely tired and lack the energy to do so. You sleep late because you tell yourself that you’ll catch up on sleep on the weekend. The thing is, sometimes these are just excuses. That’s not to say that sometimes you truly can’t make it to the gym or cook, but let’s be honest here; excuses are the tool of choice most people use as they live their day-to-day lives. That’s why our goal for today is to cover a bunch of ways you can eat right and stay fit, even if you have a busy schedule.
Eat Healthy Tips: It’s What You Put into Your Body
Many people think that you need to exercise all the time to get fit. Not true. While you do need to exercise regularly to stay healthy, your journey to fitness begins with what you put into your body. For starters, drink water, and A LOT of it. Not only will water fill you up and discourage you from drinking sugary things or eating more than you should, but will also provide the following benefits:
- Drinking an optimal amount of water will maximize your physical performance
- Dehydration impairs energy levels and brain function; hydration keeps everything as it should be
- Drinking a lot of water will help prevent and relieve constipation
- The more water you drink, the higher your metabolic rate will increase, which equates to more calories being burned and more weight being shed
If you’re having trouble drinking enough water every day, try marking a reusable bottle with how much you should be drinking by set times. If you just don’t like water, try sugar-free water flavorings to give it a refreshing taste, or cold-pressed juice made from fruits and vegetables with absolutely no added sugar.
Now that you know what to drink, it’s time to cover what you eat. Actually, let’s cover what you should not eat (and drink) first, and then what you should. As you probably know, avoid drinking alcoholic and sugary drinks as much as possible, and give a similar treatment to eating out. You may not be able to completely stop, but do minimize consuming these things. As for what you should eat, think of what nature provides. Eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, and an adequate amount of protein, preferably lean protein that comes from chicken and fish. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of protein substitutes like tofu, nuts, legumes, and a lot more.
The problem here is that you don’t always have enough time to cook. To get past this, plan ahead. For example, schedule an hour or two every weekend to cooking and actually devote that time to it. You can either make a big meal and divide it by the days of the week, or prepare almost ready-made meals that can be cooked quickly at any given time. You should also prepare some snacks you’ll inevitably end up eating at some point of the week. If you don’t know what constitutes a healthy snack, consider things like fruit, veggies, nuts, low or no sugar yogurt, and the like.
One more thing you can do to eat right on a busy schedule is get ingredients or prepared meals delivered to your home. This is going to be the most expensive option at your disposal when it comes to eating right, but more than worth it if you can afford it. When you do sign up or a service that delivers food straight to your door, you can usually tell them what you like and what you don’t so you always get something you’re going to enjoy.
Stay Healthy Tips: It’s What You Do with Your Body
With the food portion covered, it’s time to move onto our next topic: how to stay healthy. Like we touched on earlier, here’s where exercise is going to come into the picture. While you should strive to work your body every day, we all know that’s a near impossibility for a lot of people. If this is you, make sure to get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week, or a combination of the two. You should also cover all your major muscle groups with strength training at least twice a week.
That being said, spreading out your workouts and keeping a schedule will help you reach all your goals. Something else that works well in this area is getting a group and exercising with them. Not only will you be able to hang out with your friends, thus making exercising that much more fun, but you can also motivate each other when you want to quit. An added advantage of working out with a group is that it often breeds competition, which will stop you from stopping early and keep you at your best.
Then again, your schedule may be so hectic that you can’t actually schedule in a workout here and there. When this happens, the best you can do is multitask and do what you can, when you can. For example, park farther away and take the stairs instead of the elevator; do a couple of squats as you wait for your food to heat up and try some tricep dips as you watch TV. Again, the point here is to do what you can, when you can. None of these activities will be enough by themselves, but piling them on top of each other will create a noticeable difference to your health.
Eating right and staying fit with a busy schedule is not easy, but is definitely manageable if you know what to do. As it happens to be, that’s exactly what we covered today. The only thing we didn’t really cover is something else that’s just as important as eating right and working out: sleep! After all, lack of sleep increases your stress levels and leaves you wanting throughout your day. Proper sleep, on the other hand, will give you all the energy you need to turn the food you eat into fuel for your workouts, and keep you refreshed to do everything you need to do.