15 Easy Ways To Stay Healthy When You’re Busy
When life gets busy and your schedule hardly leaves you a spare moment to yourself, finding the time and energy to focus on your health or make positive lifestyle changes can be hard. A busy schedule often means healthy habits like cooking, working out or spending time in nature get sidelined in favour of more convenient or low-effort options, creating a cycle that doesn’t leave you feeling your best. Your health is important, and luckily there are plenty of simple ways to boost your wellbeing that don’t require a huge time commitment!
How to stay healthy when you're busy
Try slowly introducing some of these quick and easy habits into your routine for a healthier, more energised you!
Schedule time for your wellbeing
For many of us, we think that we’ll work out if we have time, but one of Kayla’s top recommendations is to schedule exercise in your calendar or use the planner tool in the Sweat app, just like you would with any other appointment. This works well for workouts, but you can also apply it to any healthy habit you want to make time for.
Plan and prep your meals
Save time and take the stress out of the mid-week madness by preparing meals on your days off. By allocating some time to choose recipes, go grocery shopping, prep ingredients or even batch-cook entire dishes, you’ll make mealtimes a whole lot easier throughout the week.
If the idea of meal prep feels like an overwhelming task, it can help to start by asking yourself which meal you find the most difficult to eat well, and start with that one!
Squeeze in a HIIT session or Express workout
HIIT (or High-Intensity Interval Training) workouts can be a great option for busy people. You can get your Sweat on and have an effective workout in a short space of time by alternating between intense bursts of activity and short rest periods. There are also plenty of 10-20 minute Express workouts available in the Sweat app - perfect for when your time or energy is low.
Have healthy snacks on hand
When you don’t have snacks available, often you’re left to choose something from a cafe, corner store or vending machine where your nutritious options may be limited. Think about when and where you often get peckish, and make sure you’ve got healthy snacks ready to go. This could be a bag of nuts in your car, popcorn in your desk drawer, hummus and chopped carrots in the fridge, or a muesli bar in your bag.
Choose whole grain options
Whether you’re making a homemade meal or eating out, a simple choice you can make is to opt for whole grain varieties of grains, bread, pasta and noodles to squeeze in some more nutrients and fibre.
Squeeze in movement when you can
Moving your body more doesn’t necessarily mean finding time for lengthy workouts. Throughout your day, look for quick and easy opportunities for movement, something we like to think of as exercise snacks! This could be walking while you’re on the phone or during your lunch break, playing with your kids or pets, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, turning on music and dancing while you cook dinner, or enjoying a few stretches before bed.
Have tech-free time
If you’re like us, being busy tends to mean spending more time with your eyes on a screen, and carving out some time each day to unplug can help you to reset and destress. Thirty to 60 minutes before bed is a great option to let yourself unwind and fall into a deeper sleep.
Try and create a consistent sleep routine
Speaking of sleep, you want to get as much as you can when your days are jam-packed. Aim for 7-9 hours, and try to establish a consistent routine around when you wake up and go to bed to regulate your circadian rhythm.
Carry a drink bottle
Forgetting to drink enough water is a common struggle, so make it easier for yourself by always having a bottle of water on you. Staying hydrated is a simple way to boost your energy, cognitive function, skin health, digestive function and so much more.
Include fruit or veg and protein at every meal
Not every meal needs to be a nutritious masterpiece, but including some fruit or veg and a source of protein will go a long way towards improving your overall wellbeing and helping you power through each day.
Eat the rainbow
When you’re busy, it’s easy to eat the same thing on repeat - especially if you’re cooking in bulk, but sticking to the same foods can mean you’re missing out on nutrients. When possible, try to eat a rainbow of fruit and vegetables to expand your nutrient intake.
Reduce alcohol consumption
The last thing you need when your schedule is packed to the rafters is to wake up feeling less than your best, and reducing how much you drink can help support your optimal energy levels, immunity, mood and cognitive function.
The guidelines from the Australian Department of Health recommend healthy men and women should drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than four standard drinks in one day.
Enjoy short moments of mindfulness
Making time for mindfulness doesn’t need to be a lengthy meditation! Even taking five minutes to slow down and go within can help you reset and unwind, and there are plenty of techniques available. If meditation isn’t your thing, you could try taking a few deep breaths throughout your day, stopping to notice your surroundings, or weaving mindfulness into your workouts.
Practice gratitude daily
Gratitude is another beautiful way to practice mindfulness, and can be as quick as thinking of what you’re thankful for in the shower, writing down three things before you go to sleep, or even sending a message to someone who means a lot to you right now. Having an attitude of gratitude is great at any time of year, but looking for the good can be especially helpful if the pace of life is feeling overwhelming.
Dedicate 10 minutes every night
If you feel like you’re running around like a headless chook every day and your health is consistently on the backburner, one of the most simple and effective things you can do is spend 10 minutes each evening setting yourself up for the next day. Things you can do in 10 minutes to support your wellbeing could include:
- Laying out an exercise outfit for the next day
- Prepping a nutritious breakfast or lunch
- Looking at the Sweat app and choosing an Express workout
- Deciding what you’ll have for dinner
- Packing your bag or tidying up so you have more time in the morning
- Enjoying a guided sleep meditation for a better night’s rest and higher energy the next day
- Make a to-do list to calm and empty your mind
- Think of three things you’re grateful for and something you’re looking forward to.
Take care of you
When you are caught up in a busy lifestyle, it can be hard to prioritise your health in the way you would like to. Show yourself compassion when things don’t go to plan, but keep finding those little windows of time each day to put yourself first. No matter how small your habits might feel, they do make a difference. Anything that improves your wellbeing is always worth it.
* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.