For people with busy schedules, professional success can conflict with health success. While constantly juggling duties, staying active can feel like a hassle. Busywork.
But with a few tweaks, busy people can make sure their bodies get the workouts and nutrition they need—without missing deadlines at work or family time at home. If you’re someone who feels overwhelmed by these seemingly irreconcilable pulls, follow these tips to keep yourself productive and in tip-top shape.
1. Make room for light exercise.
This advice might sound far-fetched. Why should you add more items to your hectic schedule? Won’t exercise drain you further? Try it, though, and the results might surprise you.
Exercise helps you reach your potential. Far from leaving you with less time and energy, exercise will boost your capacity for work. Researchers have repeatedly found exercise to be a helpful preventive measure against fatigue. Take a few minutes during your lunch break or after supper to get in a bike ride or light jog. You’ll burn calories while adding energy to both body and mind.
2. Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time.
Nutrition is an essential component of health, but it can be hard to make time to make healthy food. And the fast food joint just outside the office makes bad nutrition easy as well as tempting. No matter your health goals, you find yourself ordering that meatball sub instead of the salad you promised yourself this morning.
The best way to ensure positive eating habits is to plan and prepare your food ahead of time. Make a before-bed ritual of fixing a well-balanced lunch that you can look forward to during the next morning.
3. Make health a group activity.
What’s the point of getting into shape if you make yourself lonely in the process? Involve other people to keep it exciting! Get your officemates together and turn personal goals into group goals. “Biggest loser” clubs are a popular way for coworkers to track progress and encourage one another to take care of themselves, and some companies even offer health insurance premiums for certain lifestyle choices. Check around your workplace to gauge interest. If you can build a crowd of people who love looking after their bodies, you’ll have a great support team.
If you like to keep your personal life personal, get your family involved instead. A family exercise routine is a great way to bond with loved ones while working toward fitness goals. As any dedicated walker will tell you, exercise is an effective way to get someone to talk about their day.
4. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
You’ll mess up. You’ll get off schedule. You’ll forget to pack a lunch and opt for a double cheeseburger over the noon hour. These things happen. Don’t let one bad day spoil your new routine. When you slip into an old bad habit, don’t let it stop you from continuing to work hard work.
Good health is supposed to be enjoyable. Exercise and good habits should make you feel good. And they will make you feel good. But everything needs to be done in moderation. Be flexible and continue working toward being your best you!
Tell us in the comments, how do YOU stay healthy despite a busy schedule?
Donna Fitzgerald is an avid reader and writer, who enjoys living along the coast of North Carolina. Entertained by her loving daughters, Donna stays active within her neighborhood and is passionate about health and family wellness. In her free time, you can find Donna curled up reading her favorite novel, or writing in her journal.