Making time for fitness is one of the most important aspects of a healthy and productive lifestyle, yet it’s one of the first things to get pushed aside when life gets hectic. You know how crucial health and fitness are to your overall happiness, performance and body image, but when deadlines, children, meetings and social obligations are calling, how do you find the time? With these 10 health and fitness tips, you’ll be living a healthier, happier, more fit life before you know it, no matter how pressed for time you are.
Break it up
You don’t have to workout for an hour straight to reap the benefits of working out for an hour. Break it up, fitting in short bursts when you have time. Do a 20 minute strength set in the morning, walk a mile on your lunch break, and throw in another set in the evening. Breaking your workout into smaller parts makes it seem less daunting – plus, short bursts seem more manageable, so you’re less likely to skip exercising.
Fast, healthy food fixes
A busy lifestyle often lends itself to convenience foods, which usually aren’t healthy. Invest time now in learning fast recipes you can easily throw together no matter how exhausted you are at the end of the day. Gourmet salads, veggie burritos and turkey steak are healthy options that can be whipped up in 10 minutes flat.
Healthy hotels matter
Traveling for work can be great for your career, not so great for your waistline. People who travel for work more than 20 times per month are 2.61 times more likely to feel like they have poor health and 1.92 times more likely to be obese compared to those who only travel six times per month, according to a Journal of Occupational Environmental Medicine study. Make traveling work to your advantage. Stay in hotels with gyms and healthy menu options, and try to get in quick workouts. Bonus: Exercise sharpens your mind, so your work performance could improve by staying at healthy hotels too.
Be active all day
Sometimes, getting to the gym is impossible. For these seasons, making exercise a part of your lifestyle will keep you healthy no matter what your schedule. You can do lunges while you’re on the phone, squats while brushing your teeth, turn date night into rock climbing, hiking or ice skating, take the stairs, run instead of walk when you take your dog out, chase your kids around the park, or head to yoga with a friend instead of grabbing a drink. Every bit of exercise counts - be creative!
The smart commute
If possible, turn your commute into a workout. Walk, bike, or run if you have a place at your office to store extra clothes. You might be surprised how fast you arrive, and if you live somewhere with bad traffic it might even be a shorter commute. Don’t live close enough for these options? Get off the metro or bus a few stops early and savor the morning air, or park far away so you can still get a few blocks of walking in.
Become a morning person
It might sound excruciating, but people who workout early usually workout more, and you’ll get used to the early wake up call. If you set your alarm early, it means you can finish your workout before the rest of your day begins. For extra motivation, sleep in your gym clothes so all you have to do is wake up and go.
Maximize your lunch break
Lunch hour is great for catching up with colleagues, but make a point a few times a week to squeeze in some exercise. Sixty minutes is enough time to go for a walk, or even hit the gym. Best of all, it’s been proven that people are more productive after exercising or taking a break from their computer, than they are if they eat at their desks or work all day straight.
Make it a family affair
Busy parents know it’s not always easy to make time for yourself when kids are young. However, children are active beings, so join in their day-to-day activities and you’ll be getting all the exercise you need. Play tag, blast music and dance, jump rope, or take a family bike ride. This way you get fun, family and fitness in one.
Make it count
When you do get to the gym, make it count so you have some leeway on the days you don’t get there. Do supersets, maximizing your time and muscle. Instead of resting between sets, rest the muscle group you’ve just trained while working another, before reversing again. So, work out your lower back, then rest it while you do your abs, then rest your abs while you do the next set of lower back, and so on.
Fitness fun for everyone
Combining your work/social life with your fitness life can bring the ultimate payoff. Next time a friend suggests coffee, try a spinning class instead. Hold one-on-one meetings over a walk in the park, or turn company outings into bowling instead of drinks/dinner. Not only do you get exercise in, but making plans with other people also ensures you don’t skip out. If you tell your friend you’ll meet her at yoga, you’re accountable and more likely to actually go.
As always, before starting any fitness routine, consult a doctor. When debating between healthy recipe options or possible new supplements, a nutritionist can be beneficial as well. It’s also a good idea to look over your health plan to see what types of health specialists are covered.
If you need assistance in obtaining a new health plan or have questions about your existing policy, visit mhginsurance.com, or call MHG at 954-828-1819 and speak with one of our knowledgeable insurance representatives. MHG Insurance Brokers cares about its clients, and encourages everyone to eat healthy and exercise, no matter how busy their lives are.