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 something hard to stay in shape.
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 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 the daily chores.
2) Planning to make healthy decisions, but when the time comes, feeling too tired to cook, exercise, or resist temptation from the biscuit tin.
3) Feeling pressured to join in and be like everyone else when in social situations with family and friends.
Finding the time to keep active and stay on board with being healthy can be hard – I know that.
Life isn’t always so predictable and it’s easy for things to spiral out of control when it feels like you’ve got a million and one things to do – it’s something that happens to all of us!
But, there’s a bright side!
It’s actually a lot easier to incorporate healthy habits when you’re on the go and when life feels busy.
It’s not about being “perfect”, it’s just about being “prepared”.
Here’s The 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
A lot of people find that water tastes “boring” – myself included!
Drinking enough water not only quenches your thirst but also prevents you from feeling hungry when you’ve already eaten, keeps you feeling awake through that “afternoon slump” and keeps you in a good mood.
I always carry water around with me to sip through the day.
If you do find water tastes “boring”, try adding some lemons overnight to add flavour – or berries, limes, anything!
2) Make Sleep A Priority
The majority of people need 7-9 hours of sleep a night, and if they don’t get it, the next day doesn’t always feel so great!
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, but sacrificing your sleep for your routine is when you get caught up in the cycle of under-sleeping, being unproductive and when mood swings kick in.
By making it a habit to get enough sleep each night, it will help things fall into place and keep you feeling alert and energised.
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 eat with friends and family in restaurants, there’s usually vegetable based appetisers to choose from before your main meal, if you want to oder a starter.
Even when you’re socialising, there’s a way to stay healthy and on track.
4) Double Up On Dinner!
When you’re cooking your evening meal, double up on it! (Or cook even more).
Cooking more than one serving at a time will mean you’ll have something healthy on hand in the fridge to take to work the next day or have during the week.
Tip: Choose to cook when you know you’ve got time, like a Sunday evening or as soon as you get home from work.
When you’re prepared, there’s less chance of going off track.
5) Walk When You Talk
I have a rule of no phone calls sitting down. I put my headphones in and walk around for every call I take during the day.
Getting up and walking and talking on your feet can lift your mood and energy, which is great for any phone conversation.
Still think this won’t work for you and you’re worried you don’t have enough time?
Of course you do!
Staying in shape only has to take a couple of hours a week – and if you include these simple tips in your daily routine, you don’t even have to change much in your routine, or put any extra time aside.
When people say they “don’t have time”, what they really mean is, they don’t have the energy.
That’s exactly why we make sure to get movement in with our daily activities – like walking to the shop instead of using the car…
…and making sleep a priority and cooking enough healthy meals for your week, to keep your energy levels high.
There’s no reason not to make your health a priority, no matter how busy you are.
Life can get in the way for all of us.
Being healthy and active is a win-win; it gives you more energy, so that you can be more productive, feel great and have more time to do the things you enjoy.