PHOTO COURTESY OF TAYLOR HOFFMAN
Nowadays, workout leggings, dri-fit tees and running shoes are the new casual must haves for a day running errands. Why? Health just isn’t a fad, it’s a lifestyle that many people have imbedded into their clothing choices, daily routines and shopping lists.
In 2017, healthy lifestyles replace 30-day diet plans and even the beloved slim fast. It’s accessible and it’s elevated from the trenches of body shaming and objectifying that it once was. It’s for everyone.
The only problem? No one has time for that. Better yet, no one thinks they have time for that. If ‘busy’ is an adjective used by many to describe you, you’ve probably put working out at the bottom of your to-do list and chucked it from the list as soon as your agenda got too full. There’s no shame here. It’s understandable. busy people Life has a way of making you feel like there are never enough hours in the day and that there are never enough tasks completed.
However, people with heap loads of things on their plate can stay fit with the right mind set and these five important but simple tips that even the most involved person can participate in.
1. Commit to a fitness goal and make it fun!
Whether it’s once per week or being active for 30 minutes a day, you must commit to a fitness goal that aligns with your tight knit schedule and life. Once this is done, you can carve out that time and include it in your agenda, calendar and reminders section on your phone/tablet or computer. Remember to add some fun to your goal. You already have a million things to do that might not be fun or even remotely enjoyable, so don’t add one more thing that will make you dread doing it. Join a class, find a workout partner, or try something new like CrossFit.
2. Meal prepping is not negotiable.
A busy long day only attracts one thing, a drive thru visit that will cross one more thing off your list, “eat something.” If you don’t have a professional chef or time to whip up cool healthy recipes, meal prepping can definitely feel like a task that is too big and too inconvenient. However, it’s necessary in having a healthy and fit lifestyle. When your calories and meals have been accounted for, you are less likely to waste money on fast food, snack on sugary things throughout the day and skip out on meals because you are too busy. Find one day that works for you to make meals for the upcoming week. You can find more tips on meal prepping by visiting www.eatthis.com/meal-prep-sunday.
3.Work smarter, not harder
Being the busy bee that you are, you know how to multitask, and you know how to do it well. Although chaotic, you understand
that killing two birds with one stone is one of the sweetest joys in crossing things off your never-ending to-do list. The same can be done with working towards a healthy lifestyle. You can do squats while you brush your teeth balance on one foot as you do the dishes or walk while you take a call, just to burn some additional calories.
4. Bring the gym to you
Driving to the gym, checking in, changing in the locker-room and actually working out could be so easily replaced with five more things on your list that you have to get done that day. So, remember that the gym is just a place and you don’t need it to stay fit. Taking the stairs everyday can replace a Stairmaster and wearing ankle weights at work can be just as effective as a calf machine.
5. Workout your mind, body AND spirit.
Too often we write off yoga, meditation or just sitting in silence as hippy dippie practices that only monks have time for. Waking up an extra 15 minutes early just to be alone with your thoughts, or writing down one thing you’re grateful for everyday will aid in your fitness journey and keep all parts of your being healthy. Apps like Headspace and Simple Habit are great for busy people on the go who are interested in small amounts of time dedicated to meditation and mindfulness.
Taking the time to acknowledge that you want to maintain a healthy lifestyle is the first step and will help you understand what your fitness goals are.
There is only so much time in the day, and every day a chunk of it should be spent recharging and cultivating the energy you want to exude onto others.
Life gets busy and some things just fall by the wayside when things get hectic, but fitness doesn’t have to.
Taylor Hoffman is a senior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, studying Communications. She is passionate about social justice, self care in communities of color and writing pieces that are informative and move people to act. You can reach Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org.