Fitness is a priority for me regardless of where I am. Despite traveling and constantly being on the go, I travel and I’m on the go in my day-to-day life. I have plenty of excuses to be “busy” when it comes to keeping up a fitness routine, but instead, I use these challenges as opportunities to better myself. You see, when I workout and stay fit during a hectic day, or while traveling, I feel that much more accomplished when it’s time to put my head on my pillow at night.
Your health is worth the extra time required. The Dalai Lama once said he doesn’t understand man because man is busy chasing money only to neglect his health. Then man pays money to restore his health and realizes he hasn’t lived at all. Your health is valuable and you have to make time to invest in it.
This said, I get being busy. I’m a business owner and I understand how the day can just get away from you. Here are a few tips I use to stay on track no matter what.
1. Healthy meals don’t have to be complicated meals. If you prepare your meals in advance, say steam up a bunch of broccoli on Sunday to use throughout the week, you’ll save time and have zero excuses. Reheating broccoli or cooking multi-grain rice in the microwave is perfectly fine. Just keep things simple. I’m a big believer that eating plain and boring is fine given how much I eat out socially. I know there are so many “clean eating does not have to be boring” advocates, but I know it’s only a matter of time before I’m having my sushi or something exciting. Blandness is fine to keep me fueled and on track.
2. Iron is your friend. Without iron, you can become tired and things may seem overwhelming. Iron can also boost your energy, which is perfect for heading to the gym after a long day at work. Iron can be naturally found in oatmeal, lentils, and many lean meats. Most multi-vitamins also offer iron as supplement. I simply would not be without it.
3. Protein is your friend. It can help decrease hunger spells. If you eat high protein meals, you are less likely to grab a sugar-based snacks and you will have more energy. Keep protein-based snacks on you at all times. It will save you time and it will make you feel great.
4. Happy Hour. Yeah, there isn’t anything happy about Happy Hour when you’re seeking to get healthy and save time. Although a visit to the bar with friends every once in a while can be fun, if you’re going regularly, you’re wasting time and drinking away (possibly eating) empty calories with those wings, fried things, and high-calorie drink options. Skip the bar and hit the gym with a friend. Or, dedicate one day a month to partake in the social festivities (moderately of course) at the bar.
5. Choose Hotels with Onsite Gyms When Traveling. Or find fitness studios in the area that allow for “drop in” classes. Instead of sitting in your hotel room watching a movie, or-worse the lobby waiting for your hotel room, hit the gym or a local drop in class. An hour goes by fast, which is why you’re better off working out than waiting around.
6. Walk, Walk, Walk. Exercises at your desk are great. And strength training here and there is wonderful too, but what I really want you to focus on is adding more walking to your day. If you’re strapped from time, walking will help you get some exercise in while you’re trying to get from here to there. Plus it helps with depleting stress and promoting mental wellness.
7. Cut out TV time at night. You don’t need it. You can catch up on it the next morning or on the weekend. At night, commit the amount of time you spend on TV to extra time at the gym. Even if you just commit half of the amount of time, you are still adding in more time for fitness – which is a bonus.
8. Shut your phone off. Yes, your phone. If you shut your phone off for an hour each day, you can easily focus on yoga from home or perhaps an uninterrupted walk or time on your home fitness machine. Even when we’re not busy, our phones make us feel busy. The constant tweets, Facebook, and email alerts can make us feel busier than we are. Shut it down to clear your mind and really focus on your fitness. Or shut the phone off and cook a healthy meal. Make some quiet time for you.
9. Become organized. It takes time to plan things out properly. Flying by the seat of your pants is going to cost you more time fixing mistakes or catching up on to-dos vs. mapping out what you need to accomplish each and every day. Make sure you review this list every single morning and night. Being organized is one of the keys to success. This can also help you stay fit simply by writing down/blocking off time for your fitness commitments, which many of us forget to schedule time for. We assume it is there. It’s not. Schedule time to cook, workout, and “drop-in” to fitness classes when on the road.
10. Hire your own life assistant. Yep, life assistant. If you can’t get it all done, even after these suggestions. Invest in a life assistant to take care of the small stuff. Or, if you have to, hire someone to help you prepare foods each week, or help with laundry, or help with cleaning…you get the picture.
Busy isn’t an excuse to not be fit. Instead, busy is often the reason most people aren’t fit. Dedicate yourself to your health and you will find the time.