There’s no doubt about it – modern life is busy and frantic. It’s a challenge for those with demanding jobs and family schedules to find the time to exercise and eat right because they are so busy with taking care of everything and everybody but themselves. A friend of mine who recently had a baby and holds down a full time job told me that she barely has time to take care of herself due to the demands of her new life. Her story got me to thinking and pondering over ways we can all incorporate healthy habits into our lives each day. We don’t have to run 5 miles each day and cook all of our food from scratch to reap the benefits of healthy living.
I’ll be honest and add a disclaimer here. I do not have children nor am I working a full time job right now. Yes, I am super busy but it’s easier for me than some to find time to exercise and prepare healthy foods. However there was a time when I was working 50-60 hours a week. There was a time when I was over-scheduled and barely had time to wash a head of lettuce so I could make a fresh salad. Still I can’t relate to every single situation out there but I do have an interest in exploring ways we can all be healthy and happy with just a few changes in our daily habits. I hope the tips below will resonate with some and will be of help. Maybe those of you who have more demands on your schedule than I do can enlighten me and those reading this with ways that you stay on track while raising a family and working a full time job.
Here goes! Here are my tips!
- When eating a quick meal or snack learn to love the healthiest foods. Food plays a big part in how we feel and if we constantly grab processed fast foods, we pay for it later. Yes, a bag of cookies is often tempting but what about fruits? Berries and bananas with a little bit of non fat Greek yogurt as a topping is a treat for the taste buds. How about baked apples with cinnamon? For salty cravings, try hummus with rice crackers. Grilled vegetables, cucumber sandwiches, and air popped popcorn are other choices that are tasty and filling.
- Vow to start getting enough sleep each night. Maybe say every night I will get 7-8 hours instead of the 4-5 you’ve been getting. Even if you only add 15 -20 minutes each night to your sleep schedule, you will eventually add more and you’ll feel better over the long run.
- Make exercise like brushing your teeth. Most of us wouldn’t dare leave the house without brushing our teeth so don’t dare let a day go by without at least 5-10 minutes of exercise. Do some exercise each day and it doesn’t have to be a mile walk or a spinning class. Sweep or vacuum the floors in your home. Put on your favorite song and dance. Walk around the block or park several minutes away from the grocery store or other places you go to for shopping or errand running.
- Make sure you do something for yourself each day that makes you feel good. Reduce your stress level by taking 5 minutes to close your eyes and breath. Lie on the floor for a few minutes and do some gentle stretches that take the tension out of your hips and shoulders. Maybe mediate or pray. The point is to take a few minutes to be with yourself and rejuvenate in whatever way works best for you. Or how about a hot bath instead of a rushed shower?
- Spend some time each day outdoors and in the direct sunlight. Sunlight is so important and we run the risk of Vitamin D deficiency if we don’t spend enough time outdoors. Walking from our houses and offices to our cars does not count! Set aside 5-10 minutes to really “be outdoors” and enjoy your surroundings. Breathe the air and look at the sky and whatever nature there is around you. We are part of nature so enjoy her and reconnect with her.
- Turn off the TV and take a fast from internet surfing. With just 10 or so minutes less of TV or internet time each day you can fit in any of the above suggestions. Isn’t that a small price to pay for your most valuable asset-your health?
(If you’d like to read more about living simply and changing the way you think about wealth please consider reading my book which is available in paperback or Kindle: REDEFINING THE MEANING OF WEALTH: DISCOVERING PROSPERITY AND FORTUNE IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE.