The constant buzz of everyday life can make it hard to prioritize health and well-being over the demands of your job or your studies. It has been shown, however, that living a healthy and holistic lifestyle can improve productivity and help you deliver better work. The question you’re probably asking is, “how is this possible?” Keep reading if you want to know how, and share any tips that help you stay healthy and fit during your busy schedule!
1. Less Can Be More
You don’t always have to exercise for an hour to obtain the benefits and results. As soon as you embrace this you will be able to exercise more regularly, even when you have a jam-packed day. Exercising for 15 minutes each day can be just as beneficial as exercising for 45 minutes. It all comes down to how to spend your time. For instance, you can spend 5 minutes doing a non-stop cardio workout, hold a wall sit for 2 minutes, and spend 8 minutes working your abs with some planks. In just 15 minutes you have completed a full body workout. This brings me to my next tip …
2. Do Supersets When Exercising
Supersets are the key to making the most out of your workout because they are nonstop exercises. Put simply, a superset is where you rotate between different exercises without stopping, but each alternating exercise is working different muscles. This gives the muscle you previously worked time to recover and rest, so you are technically giving yourself a break without stopping. An example would be rotating between different arm exercises with leg exercises. If you are crunched for time, this is the workout for you.
3. Combine Leisure Activities and Exercise
If you took a step back to analyze your day, I’m sure there are plenty of times where you are lounging around when you could be getting physical activity in. You might be complaining that you don’t have time to workout when you’re spending your late afternoons binge-watching Netflix or getting lost in YouTube videos that leave you wondering how you ever got there. While kicking your feet up each day is incredibly important, I’m sure we could all get used to getting through a set of jumping jacks during a commercial break instead of scrolling through our phones. Other examples would include doing wall sits while reading a book, going on long walks while having a phone call, and choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
4. Learn Some Quick and Healthy Recipes
While physical activity is incredibly important for your health, your diet is 80% of the results you want to see and exercise is the other 20%. Although not everyone’s goal is to lose weight, you shouldn’t prioritize exercise over your diet or think that it’s okay if I eat the bag of Doritos today because I can just burn it off in tomorrow’s workout. A lot of people’s downfall is that after a long, hard day at the office, they return home to a fridge practically empty and a cupboard stocked up of only chips and cookies. In order to avoid ordering takeout or succumbing to the junk food in your pantry, you should learn some quick, easy, and healthy recipes that don’t take very long to make, you know you love, and will provide leftovers for you to have for lunch or dinner later on that week. This way, when it comes time for dinner, you won’t be at a complete loss when it comes to figuring out what to make.
5. Stock Up on Healthy Foods and Don’t Keep Junk Food in Your House
A great thing to do if you really want to eliminate all unhealthy options is to not have any in your house. This way, they will never be an option to eat! Instead, when you go to the grocery store, head straight to where the vegetables and fruit are and try to stick to the perimeter of the store with the exception of traveling inwards for some grains, legumes, and condiments. The center aisles of the store are where all the junk food is kept, so if you can stay away from there you will be sure to only be getting healthy yummy foods. Farmers markets are an even better choice because they only sell foods made of real, and whole ingredients. This would also be the place to go if you want to pick yourself up a sweet treat because everything is homemade. Another great bonus to buying more fruits, veggies, and grains is that it is way cheaper so you’ll end up saving money.
6. Always Have Healthy Snacks on Hand
I’m sure we have all been in a situation where it’s 3:00 pm and the afternoon hunger pangs are starting to kick in. For many of us, this may mean walking to a vending machine to grab a bag of chips, however, this is definitely not a wise choice. The high sodium in these foods will induce lethargy making it harder to stay focused and work hard for the rest of the day. Instead, I always make sure to pack a snack in the morning before I leave so I have something to nibble on and I always keep a bar in my bag, that way wherever I am I will have a healthy and tasty pick me up. Some of my favorite bar brands include Larabars for a very natural, yet scrumptious, treat, Square Bars for a chocolatey munch, and Go Raw bars for a savory and sweet choice. Please share any bar recommendations you have in the comments, I would love to add a few more brands to my inventory.
7. Focus On Nutrients Not Calories
A common misconception when people think of being more healthy is that they have to consume fewer calories and eat less. While some of the time this does work to lose weight, this is never the best solution. It’s better to focus on the quality of what you eat versus the quantity. If you are eating a wholesome meal of nutrient-dense foods, there is no reason to worry about how much you’re eating because you know what you’re eating is good for you. This will not only lead to a healthier diet, but a healthier mind.
8. Drink Lots of Water
There are numerous benefits to drinking lots of water from clearer and healthier skin, increasing energy and relieving fatigue, to boosting your immune system and flushing out toxins. Did you know, however, that water is a key component for losing weight too. Drinking lots of water raises your metabolism meaning your food will digest easier and quicker helping you to not get bloated or for your food to pile up in your stomach. Also, half of the time when you think you are hungry, it’s actually your brain telling you you’re dehydrated, yet, you don’t know the difference so it’s hard to differentiate thirst from hunger. A good thing to do when you think your hungry at odd points in the day such as an hour or so after you ate a meal, drink a glass of water and wait twenty minutes to see if you’re still hungry. This is the first step to eating intuitively and listening to your body.
9. Make Time to Relax
Health is most commonly associated with exercise and diet, however, your stress levels can have a huge impact on your overall health and wellbeing too. Stress can intensify tension headaches, make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep which can lead to insomnia. The muscles that help you breath will tense up which can leave you short of breath. This affects your digestive system which can lead to stomach aches, nausea, and more. In other words, stress is not something you want to have, and while it is normal, you want to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t become a constant companion. By sectioning off 30 minutes each day to take some time to relax and kick your feet up, you will help reduce stress. Exercise is another great way to minimize stress and leads to positivity and more energy.
1o. Prioritize Sleep
It is easy to find yourself staying awake past midnight some nights to finish any last-minute work, or to continue reading your favorite book or watching a show. While it can be hard to tell yourself it’s time to go to bed, your body will thank you in the end. Sleep deprivation can affect your concentration, creativity, and problem-solving skills. It weakens your immune system which will make it harder for your body to fight viruses which lead to common flus and colds. Also, it leads to weight gain because the chemicals in your body that signal to your brain that you’re full are off balance. As a result, you’re more likely to overindulge and eat more when you’re already full. Getting a full night’s rest will also help you be more productive throughout the day and help you deliver better work which will allow you to go to bed earlier because you won’t be up all night finishing an assignment. And perhaps, you’ll even have time to to watch an episode of your favorite show. A tool I would recommend using to help set up a good sleep-time schedule is the “bedtime” option in the app “clock” that comes with your phone.
11. Surround Yourself With People Who Support Your Lifestyle
As for a bonus tip, I wanted to include something that may not be the first thing you think of when trying to live a more healthy and holistic lifestyle. It’s incredibly important to surround yourself with people who support you, make you feel good, and will help you to stay on track and push you in the right direction. If you are surrounding yourself with people who make you feel bad about yourself or bring you no motivation to do anything, you should find new friends! You want to always be in a positive environment so you feel happy with yourself and can live your best possible life. And just maybe, you can encourage your friends to go on this journey of becoming a happier and healthier person too!