Making time for your health can be hard.
You’ve got a full-time job, errands to run, kids to feed, you name it. You can’t understand how the healthiest people seem to manage it all! Surely they have more hours in the day? Surely they don’t have the responsibilities you have? And though these people seem to have the unicorn deal, you also are keen to find a way to do the same.
And we’re here to tell you, you can. With practice, you can absolutely find more time to take care of your health through exercise and nutrition. Here’s our best tips on how you can make it happen easily and effectively.
Break Your Day Up in 20-Minute Segments
The first step to figuring out why you don’t seem to have enough time to exercise and eat healthy is to keep track of how you’re spending your time currently. If you break up your day into 20-minute segments, you’ll discover what you spend your time doing most. These 20-minute segments is a great way to look at it because we often can fit health and wellness into 20-minute segments simply by rearranging our priorities!
Keep a diary for 5 days during the week and see where your time is spent. At the end of the 5 days, count up how many 20-minute periods were spent at your work, commuting, grocery shopping, getting the kids ready for school, getting yourself ready for work, watching TV, scrolling through your Instagram, cooking, etc. For instance, if you spend 20 minutes every morning brushing your teeth and showering, then that’s 1 hour and 40 minutes every work week getting ready.
There will be things such as getting ready that you must prioritise. But then you might spot 20-minute segments that you realise you don’t actually want to prioritise. TV watching could be one of them. Let’s say you spend 2 hours in the evening watching TV. That adds up to 10 hours in a work week. What you can do is consider instead devoting 20 minutes of those 2 hours to meal prep for the next day. Or 20 minutes to doing an online Pilates class.
You might surprisingly find you have more time in the day than you realised! It’s about learning what activities you prioritise above your health and nutrition and seeing if you can find those 20-minute slots throughout the day or week to reprioritise.
Mix Simple Daily Tasks with Exercise
Are you still feeling like there should be at least 35 hours in a day to make it all happen? Try mixing your simple daily tasks with exercise. For instance, if you’ve just put the kettle on, go ahead and squat low! Give yourself 15 squats and 15 push-ups to do. This will not only get your heart rate up and the blood flowing but, it will also keep yourself (and your family maybe) quite entertained!
Did you know walking is one of the most effective ways to burn calories safely? They weren’t lying about getting your 10,000 steps in. We know it can be tough to remember or get caught up in your daily life. Try this: create calendar invites for yourself (and “invite” a friend if you want to stay accountable) for twice a day (you can choose when is right for you). Make sure to set your phone to receive these calendar notifications!
Have your walking shoes and Airpods ready, and simply start walking. Walk for 20 minutes to start, and see how you go. Unsure where to go? Google Map your neighbourhood! Check out the streets around your home and map out an idea of where you’d like to go and what to see. You might not get it perfect the first time but, soon enough you’ll have a walking routine that works perfectly for you.
Make Meal Prep a Habit
The great thing about meal prepping is it’s guaranteed to limit your temptations and will help you to not fall back on the convenience of take away. It’s also easier, less time-consuming and less expensive than you even think.
If you have a set time or day that you meal prep, you’re going to instantly feel more prepared and less stressed when you think about meal prepping.
Start simply by choosing a day and time that works for you, gather up the right containers and be sure to get your grocery shop done prior to your meal-prep time. Here’s our full proof list of meal prep tips to get you on the road to success.
Who said that being active is hard work? It’s OK to get a little goofy, and you might even find the family around you wants to join in on your fun.
Remember being a kid and dancing your wiggles out? Why not try it now? We’ve got a fun Spotify playlist you can dance your cares away to.
Another idea is to force yourself to set down your phone and look around. Do you have a pet that wants to play fetch? Or kids that want to play dress up with you? We bet you could even recruit your kids to do 20 star jumps with you right now!
Switch Snack Options to Healthy Options
Snacks aren’t bad for you, if you’re eating the right thing in the right quantity! Much like meal prepping, you want to think of “snack prepping” as a thing, too. Most people eat what is convenient, even when they’re not hungry. Stress-eating and mindless eating are both very prevalent human habits, which leads to unhealthy diet and potentially unnecessary weight gain.
First step is to remove the unhealthy snack options from your pantry. In general, if you have to read an extensive list of ingredients on a label, it’s probably not a great snack item.
Instead, replace these unhealthy items in your pantry with healthier foods ranging from nuts (almonds, pistachios, macadamia nuts), fruits and vegetables (apples, kiwis, bananas, carrots, broccoli) to dairy items (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, low fat cheese). Check out a more extensive list we created here. The key to remember when you “snack prep” is to separate these snacks into individual snacking amounts, so that you’re not eating the entire bag of nuts (hello good fats, but hello lots of calories).
We recognise there’s not always a way to remove these items from where you are. Whether you’re in an office with lots of yummy free snack food, or your partner has a hankering for sweets, sometimes it’s not as easy as removing it from your pantry. Here’s some helpful tips on how to stop those cravings, even when the temptation is still present.
Virgin Active Membership
You knew we were going to throw this in here, didn’t you? And for good reason! Now more than ever, Virgin Active is offering so many ways to stay active and healthy. With massive gym floors, pools, Personal Trainers, group exercise classes for everybody, to online classes from the comfort of your own living room, we’ve got you covered. Talk to us today about your options!