Why do so many of us prioritize everything but our health? Now more than ever there are apps, gizmos and gadgets that make it easier than ever for us to “health” anytime, anywhere, yet so many of us are still “too busy.” Whether it's your crazy job, kids, your side hustle or just plain old you in your own way, sometimes it can still feel like a day is not enough to get it all done. While throwing on your cutest workout gear and indulging in an over-the-top green smoothie may seem like the easiest way to look like you lead a healthy lifestyle, being healthy, simply put, is all about feeling good.
So, for all you busy bees who think you don’t have the time to lead a healthy lifestyle, we’ve got you. Here are are few of our fuss-free health hacks to get you glowing from the inside out, no green smoothie necessary:
Every Step Counts
You don’t need to work out for hours every day to feel great. It's all about moving your body in some way, shape or form. Only 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity is what your body and mind need to stay sharp. Maybe it's taking that 20-minute walk to the grocery store instead of the 5-minute drive, taking the stairs if you live in an apartment building, or getting up early and taking a short walk around the block before you start your day, every step counts. Multitasking can be key to getting this done too. Why not call your parents, bestie or even a co-worker while still getting your steps in and squat while you Netflix!
For those that may need to get a bit more of a sweat on, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts are a great way to feel the burn and get your body moving, in only 30-minutes or less, from the comfort of your living room. Translation, all you have to do is swap half an hour of scrolling through Instagram with half an hour of HIIT. Some studies show that 15-minutes of HIIT is better than an hour jog on the treadmill--burning more calories and building more muscle.
Check out @emkfit for free HIIT workouts that are actually fun! Move to everything from 90s dance hits to the soundtrack of Mamma Mia.
Make Time for Your Mind
We all know leading a healthy lifestyle starts from the inside, out, including your heart and your mind. If you’ve watched the Social Dilemma or are simply in tune with your/our addiction to social media, you know you are spending countless minutes, maybe even hours a day mindlessly scrolling through your social media accounts--often right before you go to bed and as soon as you wake up. If you’re sitting at a computer all day or are getting in lots of extra screen time these days working from home, your brain needs a break. Even if your late nights involve tackling more of your to-do list, take time to unwind and unplug to begin and end your day. Research shows that our sleep and stress levels can be majorly affected if we are go-go-going up until the moment we head to sleep. Just 10-minutes of reading, journaling, meditating or even a quiet shower to begin or end your day can improve productivity and your mental health in the long run.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Far too often do we reach for our venti coffee and forget about what really fuels us--water! It seems simple enough, but how many times have you been so busy you forgot to simply, sip? Our bodies rely on water to physically operate well, it normalizes our blood pressure, helps us digest, stabilizes our heartbeat and it even helps with our energy levels and brain functioning (the list really goes on and on). Needless to say, you simply cannot hydrate enough. The Canada Food Guide suggests aiming for six to eight 250 ml glasses per day. How can you get there? Make your water bottle your best friend. Keep it close by, at your desk, in your car. Practice makes perfect, so the more you bring your bottle along with you, the more it becomes second nature. And, the bigger the bottle, the better, meaning less time spent getting up for a refill. If you still think you will forget to guzzle the good stuff, set an alarm on your phone every hour or so to drink a glass of water or even better, get yourself a bottle so cute you can’t forget about it!
Make or Get Meals in Minutes
While many of us no doubt forget to drink water on our busiest days, there are many more who also forget to eat or don’t make the time. This is really where having everything at the tip of our fingers and a click away helps. If you’ve been too stubborn to use a grocery delivery service, when you don’t have time, is the perfect time to give it a try! Or maybe you still have the time to grocery shop, but having your food delivered will open up your schedule to allow for that 30 minutes of exercise, meditation or unwinding time. Either way, you can get anything you want delivered to your door, so do it! While Voila and Instacart are great for groceries, look to the likes of GoodFood or Hello Fresh to get your recipes and ingredients covered too. Or, if you are going to order takeout, stick to options you are more likely to feel good about after indulging. For in-between meals, have fruits and veggies cut and ready to eat at the beginning of the week, or healthy but delicious packaged snacks like RX Bars or Lara Bars at your desk or in your bag when on the go.
Don’t Let it All Go
There are some days or weeks where you may be extra slammed, and that’s ok. When this happens, it's important to identify which of the above makes such an incredible difference in your day that it's non-negotiable, even on the craziest of days. Instead of letting it all go, it's important to stick with even one feel-good hack to give you the motivation to stick with the rest and to commit to putting your well being first, even if in a small way. Whether it is doing a mini-meditation every morning or hydrating galore, stick with at least one of the above and feel good knowing you didn’t let it all go.