Keeping yourself fit and healthy is one of those things in life you just can’t do without. If you neglect it for too long you’ll inevitably feel the consequences of it sooner rather than later.
But, if you’re human, you’re going to go through stages of life when time just seems against you and keeping on top of your wellbeing just seems so hard or not worth the effort or just impossible.
Personal or family illness, demanding work loads, crazy travel schedule, laziness, holidays, social events and high levels of stress are just some of the obstacles that can put a sudden halt to your health regime and create an obstacle that can seem impossible to overcome.
I’ve been there myself and have coached hundreds of clients through the same challenges so here are 5 strategies to help you maintain a decent level of health and fitness when the going gets tough.
- N.E.P.A.- non exercise physical activity. A fancy way of saying just keep yourself moving in general through your day. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking on the far side of the car park, gardening, etc. are all forms of NEPA and can keep you tipping away without demanding huge effort, time or preparation. The advice of aiming for 10,000 steps a day is a great example of this concept in action.
- Exercise early in the morning. We’ve tons of clients who get up an hour early so that they can fit their exercise in. This is definitely one of the easiest ways to find time but is often never considered by many people because it requires a little effort at the start and people often only look for extra time during the day when demands are high and not early in the morning when demands are often less.
- Hire a coach. A little biased here but often a lack of time is really only a perceived lack of time because you’re relying on your own willpower to follow through on your plans. If you don’t do it nobody will know or care. But if you have a coach waiting for you that adds a much higher level of accountability so you’re more than likely to follow through. You’re much more likely to find the time and get it done because you’ve paid for it and made an appointment. Accountability is a huge success factor for busy adults.
- Focus on your food. Making healthy nutrition decisions is one of the least time demanding things you can do. It only takes a few seconds to fill a 2 litre bottle of water to bring to work. Prepping a few nuts and a kiwi takes 2.37 seconds (or there abouts). Whipping up a delicious stir-fry can be done in less than 10 minutes. An omelette packed full of veggies- I’ve done that in less than 10 minutes as well. Whipping up a protein shake and an apple takes a max of 30 seconds!
- Through in a few mini-sessions. In our facility we always have a few 20-30 minute sessions on the board that clients can do when they are in a rush. They might be driving past the gym but only have a few minutes to spare so in they pop, blast out a 20 minutes session and get on their way. It keeps them tipping away, makes them feel great and tops up their health and fitness bank-account. You could do the same at home. 15 minutes of 10 push ups, 8 lunges each legs, 12 supine bridges and 45 seconds of skipping—>>> get the idea. Just tick the box and get on with your day!
There you go. 5 simple ways to stay fit and healthy when you’re too busy. They’ve worked for me and hundreds of the people I’ve coached over the year to get us through time-demanding stages of life so I know they will serve you well also.
Give them a shot and let me know how you get on with them.
Donal Herlihy says
Great for the clients and their friends to be getting such positive advice . Well done . Donal
Steve McGrath says
Thank you Donal.
I’m glad you’re finding it useful and you’re a great example of the benefits you can see if you apply it. Keep up the great work.