Let’s all be honest – how many times have you put off that workout you promised yourself and blamed it on your “busy schedule”? It doesn’t have to be that way!
Full time studies, work and all other commitments that fall in between can sometimes overwhelm your schedule, and because of this we often neglect or forget about the importance of our own health. You could be spending 40-50 hours a week working your butt off or studying your brains out, but meanwhile, your body is getting weary and out of shape so your health and fitness slowly deteriorate… Nearly 70 percent of costs associated with health care are due to preventable conditions. And, an hour workout is only 8% of your day! So, if you think you can’t workout because you’re too busy with work, then think again!
This is my favourite all time quote to remind me to take care of my short and long-term health whilst simultaneously balancing work and life:
“When you’re young you have time and energy but no money. When you get older you have money and energy but no time. And later when you finally have time and money, you no longer have energy.” —Annette Gulick
Your health is equally as important (if not more so) as any other commitments you have in life. Physical activity and adequate rest are two pursuits that workaholics generally lack. And research shows that exercise boots brainpower, melts away stress and boosts your energy.
If you want to strive for bigger things and live your life to the fullest, then here are some life hacks to help you fit adequate exercise into your busy schedule and boost your health and fitness:
Play A Team Sport
Form a sports team with colleagues and friends. This is a great way to build strong team chemistry and keep regular physical activity in check. A manager at a Rebel Sports Store I spoke with the other day, said he formed an Oztag team in a friendly local competition with all his employees to boost employee morale, team spirit and keep his employees’ fitness in check. White-collar workplaces also encourage their employees to play mini games of sports during lunch breaks – go ahead and suggest this to your boss if you don’t have this already. Not only does playing sport enhance your fitness, but it helps you build on leadership, team work, empathy and social skills.
Do It For A Good Cause & Do It For Your Body – Win, Win!
Encourage your friends and colleagues to participate in charitable or physical events such as The Color Run, City2Surf or Optus RockCorps – this is great way to get out of the traditional work environment and get to know your colleagues personally. Not to mention, you get to feel great after giving back to the community! Suggest an event for everyone to get out, have fun and stay active. Convince your boss to sponsor the event and promote your company brand. Everyone wins with this plan!
Don’t take the shortcut take the detour!
New research confirms that spending long hours sitting down during commuting and working can play a significant role in the development of chronic disease. Small steps goes a long way! Make little everyday decisions that will contribute to bigger changes to your life in the long run. For example, choosing to walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator or riding a bike to work instead of driving the car. Park your car further away from the entrance. These little steps can amount to great changes to your body over a short period of a month and, if done consistently, can help prevent chronic diseases.
The price of a gym membership is equivalent to one meal per week
There is an evident increase in the awareness of personal health amongst the general population and the number of fitness institutions have increased dramatically over recent years to supply the demand. The price of a gym membership per week can go almost as low as the price of a hot dog! So, arguably, if you can afford to eat out once a week ($10-20 meal) then you can afford a gym membership.
You Are What You Eat – Don’t Eat Trash!
Eating well is one of the biggest factors to maintaining great health. It’s true, ‘abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym’. Make a habit of cooking for yourself and packing your own lunch. While it does take more pre-planning, this is a great way to save you money and for you to watch what you eat. It’s hard to keep track of the amount of sodium, saturated fat or sugar intake you have daily when you’re constantly eating out – especially if fast food is your “go-to-meal” (even that “healthy” salad might surprise you!) I’d recommend downloading a calorie counter app such as ‘MyFitnessPal‘ if you have binging habits to kick start your healthy eating. I used this app in my early stages of eating healthy and saw really great results. I personally hate calorie counting but I absolutely love food – luckily, I found a solution! If you want to see dramatic changes fast but you’re short on time for exercise I’d highly recommend a Paleo diet. Don’t be frightened by the word “diet” – you can literally eat like a caveman and be as healthy as ever (find out more here)!
Remember, at the end of the day, there’s nothing more important than your well-being! The healthier you are, the happier and more productive you are. Small progress is still progress so if you make a few small changes today and you will be thankful you did in the future. One last tip, try not to implement too many drastic changes at the same time – start with one or two achievable changes and build from there.
If you have any tips or tricks for fitting in exercise with a tight schedule, please share!