The demands on us seem to be increasing all the time. Gone are the days of coming home from work and having free time – email, cell phones and social media mean we are always contactable and finding the time to commit to staying healthy can seem impossible. These six tips will help you prioritize your health and fitness regardless of your other commitments.
Plan Your Time
With lack of time being the reason most people cite for not working out, scheduling exercise into your life is a must. Buy a planner, use your phone diary, or mark your next gym session on the calendar and prioritize this form of self-care. Be realistic about the time needed for your exercise session (including time needed to commute/shower, etc.) and block it out in advance.
Don’t allow anything to eat into this time you’ve put aside – this is your investment in yourself. Having time away from work and family commitments to exercise will be beneficial to your mental health as well as your physical health so don’t feel guilty for putting yourself first.
Fuel Your Body
Getting fit isn’t just about exercise – what you put into your body is just as important. Increase the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat, aiming for at least five portions a day and reduce your intake of saturated fats which can cause health problems including heart attacks and strokes.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially when you are working out – you need to replace what you are losing through perspiration. Slow-release carbs are great for keeping you feeling full for longer meaning you’re less likely to turn to unhealthy convenience snacks. It goes without saying that cutting back on alcohol is a good idea – why not switch out your usual tipple for a premium fruit juice instead?
If you’re serious about getting fit, you’ll want to ensure you’re getting the nutritional fuel you need. Taking vitamins and supplements alongside a balanced diet is a great way to boost your energy levels and reduce the risk of any deficiencies which could impact your health.
Consider which will have the most impact for you and don’t be afraid to look beyond the more obvious choices. Products like Turk can be fantastic for building strength and helping you stay lean without losing muscle – this could be just what you need to reach your personal best, and these pill supplements are quick and easy to take.
Little and Often
When time is short, a long workout can seem impossible. Setting aside hours for a heavy gym session isn’t always possible and running a half marathon might be two hours you can’t realistically fit into your schedule. If you are struggling to fit exercise into your day, consider simple ways to make yourself more active.
Can you walk to work rather than drive? Take the stairs rather than the elevator? Spend time planking before your morning shower? Small changes can make a big difference when done regularly so don’t underestimate the power of little and often.
Mix It Up
It can be easy to think if you are short on time you should commit to one form of workout. If you’re part of a team, this can be beneficial – perhaps you can set aside Monday evenings to play hockey with your friends. Going to a specific gym class each week might be helpful for getting you into a routine. However, it can be easy to get bored of always doing the same thing so don’t be afraid to mix up your workouts.
Perhaps you can do a weights session one week because you’re working away and the hotel you’re at has a gym, but when you’re home it’s more practical to swim because you’ve got a pool at home and you can squeeze in twenty lengths before breakfast. If school’s out and you’ve got the kids to entertain, dancing around the kitchen to their favorite song totally counts as a workout. Mix it up and you’ll find it easier to stick to your fitness routine.
Taking time to rest can seem counterintuitive but pushing your body too hard can do more harm than good. Try to get into good sleep habits, going to bed at a set time each night and getting up at the same time each morning. Your body clock will soon regulate, and you’ll find it easier to manage your energy levels. Pushing through when you’re running on empty will only lead to burn out or injury so be kind to yourself, listen to your body and know when it’s time to rest.
Be sure to start slowly when taking up any new fitness routine and remember that it takes time to build up new lifestyle habits. You’ve got this!