This has to be a joke, right?! None of us ever seem to have enough time! In fact, the most common reason I hear from clients and friends for not eating right or working out is “I just don’t have the time.” So, here’s the thing – you/I make the time for things that are important. The things that are priorities for us or our families are the things that take precedence in our schedules as well.
Even though fitness and healthy eating take time and effort, and seem to be more selfish pursuits, the truth is that your health and wellness ARE essential! When moms and dads are sick, managing our households becomes much harder. We can’t prevent all illnesses, but placing an emphasis on your nutrition and fitness level will certainly minimize chronic illnesses and maximize your overall health. Just imagine fewer doctors appointments!! That will certainly free time in your already hectic schedules, right?
I want to review a few basic principles from earlier blogs about the advantages of healthy eating and working out, as well as some disadvantages from unhealthy eating and not getting weekly exercise.
- Healthy eating provides clean nutrition – think of that as fuel for your body. Taking in the appropriate amounts of calories, protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats keeps your body and ALL of it’s systems (cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, etc.) operating at optimal levels.
- Taking in clean nutrition boosts your immune system! Naturally, this helps your body fight off any germs and illnesses you encounter.
- A healthy diet minimizes complications from chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and even allergies.
- Getting in three (3) to four (4) days of exercise every week maintains a healthy weight and can aid in losing excess body fat.
- Some form of daily exercise will help manage stress, burn off frustration, and help with our mental health.
- Exercise can aid in clearing “brain fog” and give a different perspective on stressful situations/decisions.
- Exercise keeps your joints and soft tissues operating at their best. Think of the “use it or lose it” theory. Sitting still for long periods of time freezes your joints and they become stiff. Movement does just the opposite.
- Getting exercise allows us to maintain and improve our balance, flexibility, mobility, and strength
- Eating a diet that consists of primarily fast foods and processed foods can lead to any number of digestive issues, and in complicating chronic health conditions.
- A diet that consists of either too little or too many calories, protein, carbs, and the wrong kinds of fats can actually cause many health issues, as well as causing the body to store unhealthy body fat around your organs (visceral) as well as under your skin.
- An unhealthy diet in addition to already carrying too much body fat is harmful to your organs, joints, and connective tissues. This can also weaken your bones.
- Eating a diet that is full of processed foods and high in sugar actually suppresses your immune system, making you a target for every illness and virus.
- Avoiding exercise is harmful to your joints. Remember that we are Divinely designed!! Each bone, joint, ligament, tissue, and organ has a purpose, and these all work together. I know from personal experience that if you neglect one muscle group, another takes over, causing imbalanced and improper work on your joints. If your core is weak, your lower back will become overworked and begin to give out. If your hamstrings are weak, your knees will have more “pull” from the front of the leg, causing improper work dynamics which in turn will cause pain and possible injury.
Ok – now you see just why a healthy lifestyle is so crucial to your overall wellness, longevity, and healthy aging. However, you still have the issue of finding time. This is where priorities and time management come in!
We’ll tackle nutrition and meal replacement first. Journaling might be a helpful option, or at least a notepad and a pen! First, make note of how many you will feed each day. Will you need to prepare all meals and snacks for your spouse and children? Just you? (I have made MANY meals that have been tweaked to allow for my competition prep, as well as meals my husband and sons will eat.) The next step will be to prepare a weekly menu for each meal – breakfast, lunch, supper, and snacks. Is this accounting for everyone’s particular likes and dislikes, allergies, etc.? Now you’re ready to put this into a grocery list; include ALL items needed to cook (seasonings, herbs, extra virgin olive oil) as well as all ingredients.
- Look at Pinterest or Google for clean recipes for your favorite dishes
- Purchase the containers in the produce section that have fresh vegetables already chopped – huge time saver!
- Order your groceries online to pick up. This saves you time going inside the store, waiting in a line to pay for your groceries, AND allows you to purchase ONLY the items needed for your menu!
Now just pick a couple of days to prepare a few meals in advance. Don’t forget about what a time saver a crock pot is! Pinterest is really helpful here, too. Once the meals are prepared, divide by servings, and put into individual containers to keep in the refrigerator. Then you just grab and go. Even back at home at the end of a busy day, knowing you have dinner all ready to heat up is such a relief. If you are out and about for sports practices and games – knowing you have a meal already prepared will save you time AND money going through a drive-through for fast food. Just heat your meals and relax at home while you eat.
Up next – workouts! I promise this isn’t as daunting as you might think. Look at your calendar, and take your daily schedule into consideration. If you have a gym membership – use it! Pack your gym bag before you go to bed at night; even put it in your car if that helps! Make sure you have workout clothes, socks, the right shoes, your head phones, etc. already in the bag in the evening. Just like your meals – you grab and go on your way out in the morning (unless it’s already in your car). Just carve out 30 to 45 minutes at least 3 days each week to stop by the gym on your way home. Depending on your work schedule, maybe going to the gym first and then onto work is better for you. You’ll only need to get up a little earlier; I promise it’s more than worth it! If you’re like me, you spend nearly that much time piddling on household tasks in the morning anyway. Make a plan, and stick with it! Don’t let yourself get sidetracked.
If you aren’t a gym member, do NOT let that stop you!!! If you feel that you would be more consistent with the accountability of a gym environment – then research the gyms local to you. Most will offer a week-long guest pass. Just try it out. If joining a gym just isn’t for you, then plug in at-home workouts for yourself. Either first thing in the morning before you get ready for the day, or immediately after work. Depending on your dinner menu, you will likely have 20 to 30 minutes while supper is cooking!
The final step for getting workouts in is making a plan for each week. Go ahead and schedule your workouts. Yes – write them down! If you want to lift weights, plan which days you will work which muscle groups. Have a plan for each muscle group for when you walk into the gym or pull out any home equipment. If you prefer a variety – make sure you schedule a day for an outdoor walk, a yoga class, dance fitness, running or walking with friends. Look for gaps in your schedule; for example, if your child has a sports practice that lasts an hour, use that hour to jog or walk (through in some jumping jacks, plank, squats, walking lunges).
Make your health and wellness a priority! Self care is never selfish; your family is depending on you! It can certainly seem overwhelming, but just take it one step at a time. Start with nutrition. Make a plan, and stick with it. Be consistent, and you will have developed a healthy habit! Then add in some form of exercise. Mix it up, invite friends; have fun with it!
A personal trainer can certainly be a huge benefit in creating a workable plan for you, aiding in time management, proper nutrition, and planning effective workouts. A consultation isn’t a commitment. If you’re weighing hiring a trainer, get references and consult with one or more to make the most informed decision. I would love to help you! Please click on my Contact Me link or email at: Fitteachermom@aol.com. Mention this blog for a free consultation!!