When life gets hectic, it’s easy for your food, exercise, and wellness choices to go out the window. In fact, a recent study found that less than 3 percent of Americans meet the basic qualifications for a healthy lifestyle!
Being busy doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice healthy choices, though. Check out below for some easy steps you can take to make sure you stay healthy with a hectic schedule.
Focus on the Food & Drinks
Planning or cooking a meal is often the first thing to go when we’re running short on time—but coming home late or squeezing in a fast snack usually means we’re reaching for convenient, unhealthy options. Instead of running through a fast food joint on the way home, use these tips to plan ahead.
- Meal prep on the weekend for easy weekday meals. To make the most of your time in the kitchen, choose easy recipes that can be reheated like soup, stew or pasta. Or, try to pick versatile ingredients that can be used in a few different dishes, like quinoa or roasted chicken.
- Keep healthy snacks at your desk on in your work space. To prevent you from running to the vending machine, opt for snacks that will satisfy a specific craving (like salty, sweet, or crunchy) and are filling. Nuts, fresh fruit, trail mix, freeze-dried fruit and whole-grain crackers are all easy, better-for-you options.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking the recommended eight glasses a day will not only keep you hydrated, but will help you feel more full, energized and focused, too. Set an hourly goal for how much water you want to drink, or set a reminder on your phone.
- Drink coffee. Don’t skip that morning sip: coffee beans are packed with immune-boosting antioxidants and phytochemicals, and moderate coffee consumption (both caffeinated and decaffeinated!) has been associated with a lower risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and more. A great on-the-go option? Our new ready-to-drink Iced Lattes. Available in Mocha and Vanilla, Community® Iced Lattes are made with real, natural ingredients like pure cane sugar and contain zero artificial flavors or coloring.
Find Time for Fitness
We all know that exercise is essential for a healthy life. But exercise doesn’t mean you have to run miles or hit the gym for a few hours. Activity throughout the day can keep your body healthy and help relieve stress.
- Start off easy. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, try to stand up every hour for at least a minute. Take a walk around the building or down the hall to stretch your legs and get a few steps in.
- Make sure you stretch! Stretching keeps your muscles flexible, strong and healthy, according to Harvard. Regular stretching can help people with balance problems avoid falling. If you don’t stretch, your muscles can become tight and that could cause joint pain, strains or muscle damage.
- Exercise while you watch TV. If you’re watching live TV, use the commercial breaks as an opportunity to get a quick workout in. Try easy moves that can be completed without a lot of space, like jumping jacks, lunges, crunches, pushups or high knees.
- Dedicate a specific time to exercise. By creating a schedule and sticking to it, you can make your workout a habit and prevent interruptions from others. Whether you’re taking a brisk afternoon walk or working out for 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening, keeping to a schedule will make working out a part of your day.