Ten amazing health & wellness bloggers shares their tips with you!
The one question I get asked the most is how I stay active & healthy amidst my commitments as a mum-of-2, a wife, a friend and a business owner. You can imagine I am quite time-poor for any me-time activities but if you have followed my blog or have trained with me, you will know that I am an advocate of self-care. We cannot look after those around us if we don’t look after ourselves first.
For me, I plan as much activity into my daily routine as I can. I would carry my little one in the baby carrier and walk to the shops or to the library in our area. I also volunteer as a walking group leader to ensure that I get my 10,000 steps a day. I jump on every opportunity to head to the park with my family too. At the end of the day, whether we have time to look after ourselves depends on our mindset and why we think it is important to be active and healthy.
“Why is it important for you to be active & healthy?”
Staying active & healthy can be such a subjective matter because everyone is different and have different preference, lifestyles and habits. So in this post, I share the tips from other health & wellness professionals. I hope that you will resonate with some of their thoughts on this and discover some solutions for yourself.
I am always time-poor. I have a full-time teaching job, a blog, a business, two kids, and a husband who travels for work weekly. I pay for an hour exercise classes that I do three times per week. I do not schedule anything else during that time ever. I’m selfish. I say no to my children’s activities if they are during my class; that means no soccer for my son or gymnastics for my daughter. It may sound harsh, but it’s the ONLY time I make for myself and I refuse to compromise. In terms of food, I also meal prep one day a month and make 10 – 14 crock pot freezer meals that day; then on Sundays, I prep my veggies and salads for lunch and overnight oats and smoothies for breakfast. By prepping my meals, I always have healthy quick meals ready.
I always say if you have time to shower then you have time to exercise. Tip 1: Kill two birds with one stone. Women are so great at multi-tasking and this is especially handy when you are time-poor. So if I need to do the grocery shopping I would take out the big pram and go for a long walk to the shops with my toddler. If I’m on the treadmill at the gym I would be listening to a podcast or reading my emails.
Tip 2: Exercise at home. Running around the block is great because it’s a convenient, free, high intensity workout. It is also super convenient to exercise at home. If i’ve had a particularly busy day and haven’t had to time to go to the gym and it’s late at night then I would flick on YouTube on the TV and choose from a dizzying array of high quality exercise channels. Gone are the days of buying fitness DVDs when you have internet on your TV.
Tip 3: Get a personal trainer. This is great for someone with a gym membership that don’t have the motivation to go regularly. A personal trainer can help you focus and get a great workout in as little as 30 minutes.
Meal prep can be a big help for people who are time poor and want to stick to their healthy eating goals. Even subscription meal services might be worth looking into if you really are finding it too difficult to prepare meals. As for fitness, try and find ways to incorporate it around your other responsibilities. Maybe it’s doing a 30 minute walk at lunchtime with a friend from work. Or taking the kids for a ride in the afternoon. If all of that just isn’t possible during the day, try waking up a little earlier and fitting in a quick workout. Even if it’s just throwing on a Youtube dance class video for 20 minutes, you are still getting movement and getting your heart pumping.
You need to prioritize your exercise times. We all have 24 hours in a day, and for 3-4 days a week there needs to be some time allocated to exercise. I look at my week ahead and slot in times that work best for me. I might ride my bike to a meeting, or plan to walk instead of drive – even if only part way. Some days I wake up earlier than usual so I can hit the gym ahead of a busy day. Some days I ask a friend to workout, walk or run instead of going for coffee (they usually agree it’s a better choice!). Some days are just so busy and stressful, that 10-minutes lying on the floor with my feet up is all my body needs. Listen to your body.
If I know I’m going to be sitting for extended periods of time I’ll try to remember to set a timer to remind me to get up and move around. I also figure that some movement is better than none so even if you’ve only got 5 minutes you can still utilise that time to get the blood pumping. Batch cooking is also a winner for those short on time. Whenever you cook something make sure you make enough to be able to freeze portions for later.
Exercise wise, I commit to 3 regular sessions every week and then I plan the rest around those. I have 2 one-on-one PT’s and a group PT and I run 2-3 times each week. I schedule them into my calendar each week in the same way I schedule work and appointments, because to me, they’re just as important! As for eating, I usually have a general plan, with quite a bit of flexibility that works well for me most of the time. But if I know I have a particularly busy week coming up, then I plan it ahead in more detail to make sure it happens as I’d like it to.
Staying active and healthy doesn’t require a lot of time for me. It is just as well since I have 2 babies at home. I exercise on the spot when I get a chance and I just buy healthy groceries so I have no choice!
Try to incorporate activity into your day, it does not need to be what we think of as “exercise” think of movement. If you are on a conference call do some squats, if you are sitting at your desk do some leg lifts, take the stairs rather than the elevator (it’s usually actually faster!) As for eating healthy, keep healthy snacks around such as mixed nuts, oranges, apples, bananas are the ultimate fast foods! When you are eating out go, think half plate veggies. Add extra veggies to a sandwich, order a side salad rather than the fries.
When I’m short on time, I try and get in a short 10-15 minute workout at home. It’s quick and I don’t need any equipment or have to worry about driving to the gym. I also keep healthy snacks on hand, and some quick meal options available (frozen veggie burgers, frozen soup or chilli, hummus and veggies, chickpea salad).
This is exactly why I decided to start doing my boot camp at 6AM. No one is up until after I get home so there’s no excuse for me to not get it done. Before I started boot camp, I would do a quick 15-20 minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout when time was an issue.
Share your tips!
How Do you stay active & healthy when you are time-poor?