3 tips to achieve your health and fitness goals with a busy lifestyle
Life has this sneaky way of sneaking in and throwing curveballs left and right. Life will always happen. There will always be a hard day at work, or family issues, or relationship ups and downs, or sick kids. When conflict arises, health and fitness routines seem to go haywire. We seek comfort food or we just don’t feel like moving. However, these are the things that help us stay clear and balanced both physically and mentally! So what do we do when conflict hits us in the face (and it happens to everyone, so if you’re reading this – you’re not alone)? Avoiding conflict is not sensible because we cannot always control what comes our way. Find out how to navigate through all the troubles to stay on course.
I think so often we approach health and fitness goals with an “all or nothing” mindset. For example, you might think your day is ruined because you strayed from your diet with an unhealthy meal or snack. Or maybe you’ve decided not to exercise today because you couldn’t complete the 60 minutes you planned to. Instead of doing something, you may not have chosen anything. You gave up clean eating on the second day of 30. Does any of this sound familiar to you? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing and something is better than nothing. My tips below might give you some perspective on how to reach your health and fitness goals even when life throws you a curveball.
My philosophy is diet, exercise, mindset. If we can work to nourish our body, move it mindfully, and maintain a healthy mindset, we can function a little better day by day, week by week, month by month, and eventually regularly adopt the healthy habits we need achieve whole body balance.
Focus on one small thing at a time. Just start and work from there. Don’t expect to change your eating habits overnight. Small changes made day by day, week by week, etc. can lead to really big changes. So pick a small dietary measure and practice it for a week or two before adding a new change.
Examples: work on portion control (without regard to food quality), add a colorful food to every meal, take 15 minutes to prepare tomorrow’s healthy meal, or skip your sugary after-dinner snack (replace it with a healthy alternative). You could eat slowly and chew your food completely, or focus on balancing your meals so that you have protein, carbohydrates, and fat at every meal. Cutting out processed foods for one to two meals a day is also a good option. These are just a few examples, but it’s up to you to find out what small step you can take to improve your diet.
Use the time you have. Make room in the little pockets of your time. We are so fixated on time that we fail to realize that a little is always better than nothing. For example, it’s so easy to believe that you need to exercise for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Wouldn’t 15 minutes of this workout be better than nothing? The answer is yes! So squeeze in what you can, if you can.
Get unconventional. Maybe you don’t have time for a “training”. Do what you can with what you have. Maybe take the stairs instead of the elevator that day. Park in the lot furthest from the building (gasp!) to access a few extra steps. Get up from your desk and walk around for a minute every 15 or 20 minutes. Let off steam with your children on the playground. Exercise doesn’t always have to be a pure 30-minute HIIT workout. It can move and be active – outside or inside. What options are there for more exercise?
Move mindfully. Pay close attention to your body and what it is trying to tell you. Your body and energy levels will fluctuate from day to day, so utilize heavier workouts when you can, and also add active rest, lighter workouts, or even yoga or stretching when needed.
Do not give up. Don’t throw in the towel when it comes to eating right and moving your body. It seems easy to take the “all or nothing” approach, but it’s not necessary. Something is always better than nothing. Do not put yourself down! Life ebbs and goes for everyone. Take a look at where you are now and what you can get up and running now.
The important thing is to honor where you stand. Only you know what you are capable of at this point in your life. Make sure the small steps you take are 100% doable for you and your lifestyle. Small steps over time can add up to big changes.