- Start simple
- Track your activity
- Plan your food shop
The phrase “I’m too busy” is thrown around a lot these days. We want to help you accomplish your health goals so we’ve come up with 7 easy ways you can start prioritizing your health, regardless of how crazy your schedule is.
1. Start with simple goals.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and the body you want won’t be either. If you’re serious about making changes to your health like eating cleaner or going to bed earlier, start small. Switch out soda for water flavored with fruit. After you’ve adjusted to that, tackle something bigger like trying cauliflower pizza instead of your usual takeout. You’re much more likely to succeed in your health goals if you look at them as a progression instead of a total overhaul. Making these kind of changes isn’t easy so forgive yourself if you slip up and make better choices next time.
2. Keep track of your activity.
It’s pretty hard to make goals when you don’t know where you are at. There are plenty of products on the market that allow you to record personal data about your self such as your steps, heart rate and even sleep patterns. Using a fitness trackers like Fitbit and Jawbone Up can give you a better idea of what activity you’re currently getting so that you can make goals to improve it. If you’re not into something wearable, you can also track your fitness and workouts with an app like My Fitness Pal or Beyond the Whiteboard. These are also great tools to look back at your progress.
3. Stop stressing.
According to the American Institute of Stress, 44% of Americans feel more stress than they did 5 years ago. Stress takes a major toll on the body. It increases your heart rate, affects your digestion and can lead to a disrupted sleep (2). Throughout the day we are exposed to situations that naturally cause anxiety and stress like sudden stops in traffic or meeting a deadline.
One way to bring down your stress levels is to take the time to focus on your breathing. A great free app to help is Calm. You can pick a background scene like the beach or a forest and meditation time from 1-20 minutes. Plan for a short break in your day where you focus on your breath whether with an app or simple breathing exercises to help you de-stress.
4. Make sure to get your vitamins and minerals.
Even if you’re eating healthy, you may not be getting all the vitamins and minerals you need to function at your best. Track what you eat for a week with an app like My Fitness Pal and get an idea of what your nutrition already looks like. Some common deficiencies worldwide are in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and magnesium.
5. Schedule and share your workouts.
When do you even have time to exercise when you work full time and have commitments with family and friends? One of the best ways to ensure you’ll make it to the gym is by actually putting on your calendar. Blocking off the time mentally prepares you for the workout and gives you time to plan your gym bag in advance.
To be sure you stick to you schedule, make sure to share your plans with someone else whether that be telling your friend your goals or inviting them to join you! Having a support system keeps you accountable.
6. Plan for nourishing food.
Plan ahead. Head to the grocery store with a list. You’re more likely to stick to your list of higher quality food and resist the temptation to impulse buy unhealthy choices.
Spend time planning for healthy food and that’s what you’ll end up eating! An awesome meal planning app is Paprika, but if you’re looking for a free one, Pepperplate works too. Take a few minutes this weekend to figure out what healthy recipes you want to eat this week, make a list of all the ingredients you need and stick to the list!
7. Stand up!
At Puori, we have a very dynamic culture that allows us to have standing desks in our office to allow us to get moving at work (we have a gym at our offices!).
Our employees have said that they actually have more energy and are more productive this way.
Studies have shown that using a standing desk reduces the detrimental effects from being sedentary, whilst improving engagement with tasks. If you’re not fortunate enough to have a standing desk, get up to grab a glass of water, having a standing meeting or walk to a coworker instead of emailing them to get moving throughout the day.
Taking a Stand: The Effects of Standing Desks on Task Performance and Engagement. Finch, L.E., Tomiyama, A.J. and Ward, A. (2017)