Too Busy to Be Healthy? Think Again! - Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare

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Published on January 19, 2015

Too Busy to Be Healthy? Think Again!

Many of us are overscheduled, overcommitted, and frankly, don’t have enough time to focus on our own health. Hopefully it doesn’t take a major life crisis to get us to understand that living a healthy lifestyle needs to be a priority. As the new year gets underway, consider a few ways to make sure you can stay healthy on the go:

Make Time for Exercise

If you do everything else that you need to do and wait to see if you have time for a work out, it’s not likely to happen often. Instead, look ahead at your week and see where you can squeeze in three or four sessions.

Can you get up early just one morning and do a DVD at home or set up your bike on a trainer to ride for 30 minutes first thing? Can you prioritize a trip to the gym just one evening during the week after work? Then on days off, plan a more significant workout. Let your other responsibilities fall around your workouts, and you just might have more energy left for the rest of your life when you are in better shape.

If that advice sounds daunting, consider how you might be able to combine exercise with other priorities. For example, you love meeting a friend for coffee each week where you catch up and vent with each other. Could you accomplish the same thing on a walk or run or meet at the gym for a class together? Or could you invite your teenage daughter to do yoga with you? This is the best kind of multi-tasking!

Reward yourself! If exercise itself is not so fun for you, give yourself positive reinforcement with some type of reward. Plan a hot bath, an hour reading your favorite book, a manicure, or a new sweater after you hit your daily or weekly goal.

Take Water on the Go

The experts suggest eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. If you drink one with breakfast and a couple over the evening at home, that leaves 40 ounces to drink during the day when you may or may not be at home. The water needs to go with you wherever you go. To accomplish this in a eco-friendly way, consider using a large BPA free bottle that you can keep with you and refill at least once during the day.

Bring Healthy Food with You

If you leave your home empty-handed, then you may have less control over your food choices. One secret to a healthy lifestyle is to plan ahead and bring along nutritional food that will sustain you through a busy day. Get an insulated lunch bag if you don’t have easy access to a refrigerator.

  • Pack a salad for lunch. Pick your favorite type of lettuce or spinach and build the rest with a variety of sources of protein and toppings each day.
  • Pack fruit and veggies. Spend some time every few days prepping veggies ahead of time so you can grab a handful of carrots, celery, cherry tomatoes, or cucumbers to eat later in the day. Cut up an orange in the morning for your afternoon snack.
  • Plan a healthy mid-morning snack such as a hard-boiled egg with a piece of whole grain toast with almond butter.
  • Go nuts! Taking a small bag with ¼ cup of nuts such as almonds, walnut or pistachios. Planning a snack with protein will help keep you away from the bad stuff when you find yourself famished.

Remove Unhealthy Foods from Your Home

Know yourself and your triggers. Throw away or don’t buy high-calorie trigger foods in the first place. These are defined as foods that you find difficult to have in small amounts, such as cookies, chips, sweetened toaster pastries, doughnuts, cupcakes, and ice cream. If high-calorie foods are out of sight, that can help you keep them out of mind.

These are simple tips, but that doesn’t mean they are easy. Be patient with yourself as you work over time to change your behavior. Good luck!

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Too Busy to Be Healthy? Think Again!