Everyone has heard of the freshman 15. What no one tells you is that the same thing can happen when you enter the workforce and are suddenly sitting at a desk eight (or twelve) hours a day. Companies praise health and wellness – but how do you stay healthy and stay fit with a busy lifestyle?
Below are some tips on staying healthy when your schedule seems jam-packed:
1. Fit in your workout when it works for you. For some people, this will be first thing in the morning. For others, it will be after work or right before bed. Whatever you decide, schedule your workouts, make a plan for what you will do each day, and stick to it. Treat it like a job – you wouldn’t just not show up to work because you were tired.
2. Prep your meals on Sunday. Many people don’t have time to cook during the week. Cook your main ingredients on Sunday and freeze them and prep any vegetables or fruit for snacks during the day. There will be less temptation to hit a drive-thru if all you have to do is pop your dinner in the microwave. Always keep healthy snacks in your car or bag to avoid the 3PM trip to the vending machine.
3. If you have a busy social life, consider joining a sports team or group activity with friends. For many people, it is more enjoyable to exercise with a group, whether it’s a yoga class or a softball team. Friends also help keep you accountable and lessen the chance you’ll skip a workout – you won’t have to choose between your workout and a night out.
4. Use an app: Apps like My Fitness Pal allow you to track your diet and exercise routine from your smartphone or online. The app compares your actual calorie intake and calorie burn from exercise to your goals. It also allows you to track your weight to see if you are on track to meeting your goal.
5. Use your time effectively. Most trainers will tell you that a complete workout can be done in less than an hour. Some strength training routines, like P-90X’s Ab Ripper or Comcast On Demand “Quick Workouts” on Exercise TV, can be done in 15 minutes or less. Interval training can replace marathon cardio sessions.
6. Make it convenient. Some people find it easier to workout at home, while others prefer to be outside or at the gym. Either way, make sure it’s easy – if you join a gym that takes an hour to get to in traffic, it won’t matter that it has all the top-notch features you want, because you won’t go after a long day. Likewise, if you buy a treadmill, put it somewhere in your house you don’t mind spending time – not a dark corner of an unfinished basement.
Do you have any tips that have worked for you?