Everyone is extremely busy these days.. Our work, family and social lives are becoming increasingly time consuming, leaving us with little or no free time to do things such as de-stress, exercise, and prepare micronutrient dense food.
However, these things are so IMPORTANT, and we need to prioritise them one way or another. They really are equally as important as everything else going on in our lives! You must put YOUR oxygen mask on before trying to help anyone else. You are useless if you yourself are unable to breathe. Let go of the excuses, and ensure that you stay healthy.
Here are a few of my favourite ways to ensure I am staying healthy, despite my busy schedule.
- Prepare Food The Night Before
When I’m on the run, I always make sure I have healthy and nutritious meals and snacks to take out with me, packaged in leak-proof tupperware. Not only does this mean that I won’t have to spend a fortune on food from shops, but it also means that I can have exactly what I want, and that I’m not confined to only their selection.
- Make Time For Exercise
It may feel like the last thing you want to be doing when you’re zonked after a long day or at the crack of dawn, but exercise is SERIOUSLY important. Not only does exercising prevent those excess pounds from racking up around your midsection, but it also releases an endorphin called serotonin that helps you feel good, AND gives you a boost of energy. Prioritising it is something that may, at times, require discipline. However, you can make sticking to it easier either by following a training programme such as The Tone Up In 10 Training Guide, going to the gym with a friend 3-5x per week, or using your own willpower to get you there! Remember: finding something you love is IMPORTANT, because that means you will stick to it. And sticking to something is the most fundamental thing to ensure long term progress and health.
If you don’t have time to get to the gym, you can get an awesome HIIT circuit workout in, in under 30 minutes. That's why I included HIIT workouts in The Tone Up In 10 Training Guide, because I know that not everybody has time to go to the gym several times per week!
To really make the most of your HIIT workouts, something I would definitely recommend buying is this set of ‘resistance loops’. Having these allows you to add resistance to your workouts, whether you are at home or on the go. They're super small and come in a handy little bag which allows you to transport them easily (and they weigh just a few grams, too)!
- Protein Bars.
I always like to have a couple of extra protein bars in my bag in case I get held up and am in need of a quick boost. They’re light, easy to pack and TASTY. Protein also helps keep you fuller for longer, so you will be less inclined to snack on the office biscuits!
- Don’t Be Afraid To Order Off The Menu
If you find yourself in a restaurant which doesn’t seem to have anything quite to your taste, DO NOT be afraid to ask for what YOU want. You’re the customer- your needs are the restaurant’s priority. I often ask them to cook with less oil and I swap a few things around to minimise any calories I do not want, and to also ensure it actually tastes the way I want it to! Personally, I am pretty simple when it comes to my main course: give me a protein source, a carb source, and some veggies... and I'm happy. This is particularly true because I have the world's biggest sweet tooth, and I don't really find much enjoyment in savoury food (yes, I am a 5 year old). So, for me, it makes sense to minimise calories in my main course, so that I have enough room to really enjoy the food I love: the dessert.
Now, I think it's important to say that I don't do this every single time I eat out. Sometimes, I eat in this way, and sometimes I select a meal that perfectly fits my macros and ensures I am feeling full and satisfied. It totally depends on how I'm feeling that day and my current goals. However, the most important thing is that I am not afraid to eat out, because I know that whatever happens, one meal out is not going to damage my progress.
Being sensible and consistent over time is what's important. This is why I think having an awareness of calories and macronutrients is so fundamental.
- Start With A Plain Salad
Water is so important. Not only does it ensure you don’t get dehydrated, but it can also prevent hunger pangs. Often, you think you’re hungry when really you are just thirsty! Make sure you always have a couple of bottles of water with you, and are continually sipping on it throughout the day! Aiming between 2-3 litres is adequate for the majority of people. However, remember: if you are taller or bigger, you may need more! A 100kg man will need more than a 60kg female: be aware of that!
- Practice Mindfulness
Mental health is seriously under-looked, but it is a huge part of staying healthy. When we are on the go, it’s often hard to switch off or find time for ourselves. I personally like to use the Calm App which you can just download from the app store. It really helps you minimise any feelings of anxiety or stress, and switch off for a little bit, allowing your mind to relax.
8. Journal Daily
Journalling has changed my life and I cannot thank it enough. On 25th January, I am posting a full podcast discussing it, so I recommend checking that out once it's up:
These are just a few of my top tips for staying healthy on the go, but it is SO important not to neglect both your physical and your mental health, despite being busy or away from home! I hope these tips help you next time your find yourself on the run!