Your days can be chaotic. Meeting deadlines at work, racing the kids to soccer practice, ballet, and baseball, and lamenting the dearth of family time—let alone any personal time. Allocating an hour to work out and cooking healthy meals isn’t a practical goal some days. These simple strategies can help you do your best, even on the crazy days.
By Mimi Greenwood Knight
Let’s start with something simple. Drink a large glass of water first thing in the morning. Then keep a bottle with you throughout the day. With water on hand, you’re less likely to fall back on sugary beverages, saving tons of calories. And staying hydrated can help you focus better during the day.
Take time over the weekend to prep easy snacks and healthy meals for the week. Try grilling a bunch of chicken breasts, chopping assorted fruits and veggies, and portioning out small baggies of nuts and trail mix. When you’re short on time, you’ll have something ready to grab.
Keep it moving.
On days when you don’t have time for a gym workout, take the stairs instead of the elevator and walk to errands instead of driving. Do some squats while you’re waiting for water to boil and lunge from room to room instead of walking. All these movements can add up throughout your day.
Do healthy reading.
Whether it’s scanning health news online or keeping healthy books and magazines on your nightstand, reading about health and fitness keeps healthy living at the front of your brain to help you make better decisions instinctively.
Get enough sleep.
You’ve heard it a million times, but it bears repeating. Fatigue raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to overeating. Setting a bedtime and sticking to it can improve your decision-making, patience, work quality, and workouts.
Eating a few bites of something healthy every few hours can ward off cravings for junk food. Keep healthy snacks in your car, bag, or desk drawer.
Take a break.
Take five minutes to step outside and enjoy a few deep breaths to center yourself and re-group. A periodic 10 or 15 minute walk is even better.
The healthiest people are those who find balance—not perfection. Don’t try to be perfect all the time but strive to picture yourself healthier in body, mind, and soul.