It can feel like theres simply isn’t time to make healthy choices, but what if we told you it’s actually possible to be both the busiest and the healthiest version of yourself? It’s always easier said than done, but the impact a few changes can have on your mind and body is totally worth it. In this blog post, we will discuss 25 realistic ways to squeeze healthier habits into super busy schedules!
1. Befriend the microwave
Meal prepping with leftovers or quick and easy microwave meals can help you stay on track when you’re short on time. Another suggestion is to create a routine and set aside specific times for working out, meal prepping, etc. This will help you make time for healthy habits without having to sacrifice your busy schedule.
2. Make three-ingredient meals.
One simple change you can make is to cook more meals at home. When you control the ingredients, you can be sure that you’re eating healthy, whole foods. And, cooking at home gives you the opportunity to sneak in some extra vegetables. Make a big batch of soup or roasted veggies on the weekend and eat them throughout the week. Or, try one of our three-ingredient recipes when you need something quick and easy.
3. Fill up on iron
If you’re constantly on the go, it can be tough to get enough iron in your diet. But did you know that iron is essential for carrying oxygen to your cells? That means it’s pretty important for, well, everything. And since most of us don’t get enough iron in our diets, it’s not surprising that fatigue is one of the first signs of iron deficiency. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to get more iron into your diet. red meat, dark leafy greens, beans, and fortified foods like cereals and breads are all great sources of iron. And if you’re vegetarian or vegan, there are plenty of plant-based options as well! Just be sure to pair iron-rich foods with Vitamin C to help your body absorb it.
4. Turn to soups and stews
When you’re short on time, it can be tempting to reach for processed foods or quick-fix solutions. But soups and stews are actually a great way to get in all the nutrients your body needs without spending hours in the kitchen. And since they can be made ahead of time, they’re perfect for those nights when you just don’t have the energy to cook. Just remember to choose recipes that are low in sodium and fill them with plenty of veggies, lean protein, and whole grains.
5. Prep on the weekend for seamless weeknight meals
Meal prep is definitely one of those things that’s easier said than done. But if you can get into the habit of doing it, it will make your weeknights a whole lot easier (and healthier). Dedicate a few hours on the weekend to prepping meals and snacks for the week ahead. That way, when you’re feeling tired or hungry after work, you won’t be as tempted to order takeout or reach for unhealthy snacks. And if you’re really short on time, there are plenty of healthy meals you can make in 30 minutes or less! Just be sure to have a game plan before you start cooking – that way, you won’t waste time (or ingredients) trying to figure out what to make.
6. Prepare pre-packaged smoothie bags
Protein smoothie, prepared ahead of time, can be a healthy and easy breakfast or snack option when you’re on the go. If you’re short on time, blend up a quick protein shake with milk or water and your favorite protein powder. You can also add in some frozen fruits or veggies for an added boost of nutrients. If you have a little more time, make a protein smoothie bowl with all your favorite toppings. This is a great option if you’re looking for something more filling and satisfying.
7. Don’t hate. Caffeinate!
Caffeine-hacking your day. If you’re someone who relies on caffeine to get through the day, try switching to green tea or matcha instead of coffee. These options will give you a gentle caffeine boost without the jitters or crash that can come with coffee. Not to mention, green tea and matcha are both packed with antioxidants!
8. Eat meals instead of snacking all day.
When you’re pressed for time, it can seem impossible to sit down and enjoy a full meal. Instead, it appears to be simpler to grab a handful of trail mix here, a string cheese there, a bag of pretzels there, and various other nibbles before calling it a day. Although it may not appear that you are eating as much, all-day snackers frequently consume more calories than meal eaters. Fortunately, there are plenty of quick and easy meals to make and eat on the go.
9. Pump up the protein.
Protein is an essential nutrient that helps with everything from weight loss to muscle building. Adding just a little bit more protein to your diet can make a big difference. You can do this by swapping out unhealthy snacks for high-protein options, such as nuts or yogurt.
10. Add vegetables to everything.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s often easier said than done. However, adding more vegetables to your diet is one of the simplest and most effective ways to be healthier. You can do this by adding them to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For example, try adding spinach to your eggs in the morning or mushrooms to your pasta at night.
11. Say no to bar bites.
Saying no to bar bites may seem like a small change, but it can make a big impact on your health! When you’re out with friends, it can be tempting to order appetizers or drinks from the bar. But these bar bites are often high in calories and low in nutrition. So next time you’re out, say no to the bar bites and opt for a healthier option instead!
12. Outsmart menus.
Outsmarting menus can be another great way to make healthy choices without sacrificing your busy schedule. When you’re looking at a menu, take a few minutes to scan for healthier options. Often times, restaurants will have healthy options that are just as delicious as the unhealthy ones!
13. Try interval training
Interval training is a great way to fit in a quick and effective workout when you’re short on time. Try incorporating some sprints or other high-intensity exercises into your normal routine to get your heart rate up and boost your energy levels.
14. Rent a gym locker
Renting a locker at a gym or fitness center can be a great way to make working out more convenient. This way, you can keep your workout clothes and gear with you at all times, so you’ll never have an excuse not to exercise!
15. Walk it out.
The average job entails spending the majority of the day in front of a computer. When you factor in eating dinner and driving or taking the train to work, you’re on your butt for 70% of the average workday. Run errands on foot, take the stairs, park further away from your destination, or get off the subway a stop earlier than necessary to get some exercise. All of those additional steps add up!
16. Squeeze in a quick strength workout
Invest in a quick strength workout routine that you can do at home or even at the office. There are plenty of great routines available online or in fitness magazines. Just a few minutes of strength training each day can make a big difference in your overall health!
17. Turn TV time into fitness time.
One way to make time for healthier habits is to turn TV time into fitness time. Exercising in front of the television is a great way to multitask and get in a workout without having to go to the gym. You can also try setting a goal to walk or run a certain number of steps each day. If you have a pedometer or fitness tracker, you can use it to help you reach your goal.
18. Stick to full-body moves
Full body moves can help you to stay fit even when you’re short on time. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a great way to sneak in some extra activity throughout the day. And drinking more water can not only improve your skin but also help to boost your energy levels.
19. Reduce stress stat.
Stress can have a massively negative impact on health, and many people fail to address it. Instead of turning to unhealthy outlets, learn stress-relieving techniques like breathing and drinking green tea. Other quick wins include smelling lavender, doing a few quick stretches, or going for a walk around the block.
20. Stay hydrated
Carry a water bottle with you everywhere you go and make sure to drink frequently throughout the day. Getting plenty of water also keeps you full, energized, and focused. Keep a water bottle at your desk or set reminders on your phone to remind you to drink up. Even better, drinking water helps cure hangovers (or avoids them entirely) and keeps colds at bay.
21. Meditate before bed.
If you’re someone who struggles to fall asleep at night, trading in some of that late-night TV time for a few minutes of meditation can make a world of difference. Taking even just five minutes to sit quietly and focus on your breath will help to clear your mind and relax your body. Over time, you may find it easier to drift off to sleep—and stay asleep—throughout the night.
22. Turn off technology
Turn off technology an hour before bed, and try reading or journaling instead. You’ll be surprised at how much better you sleep, and how much easier it is to wake up in the morning when you’re well-rested.
23. Set realistic goals.
It all starts with setting goals. Whether your goal is to lose weight, get stronger, or just feel better, having a target to aim for will help keep you motivated. But don’t set yourself up for failure by making your goals unattainable. Instead, focus on making small changes that you can stick to.
24. Become a productivity hero
Most people are aware of what causes them to become distracted. If social media consumes your time, set aside 30-minute periods twice a day to check in. If you are easily drawn into socializing, schedule time in a conference room or go to a coffee shop when you need to concentrate. Simply identify problem areas and try to solve them. And don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it—friends and coworkers are excellent resources.
25. Take a vacation.
We’ve all been there before. You’re so busy with work, school, or taking care of your family that you can barely find time to take a shower, let alone take a vacation. But what if we told you that taking a vacation could actually help you be more productive? It may sound counterintuitive, but studies have shown that taking a break from work can actually improve your productivity. One study found that employees who took at least two weeks off reported higher levels of focus and motivation when they returned to work.So if you’re feeling burnt out, take a vacation. It may be just what you need to come back refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Making time for healthy habits can be tough, but it’s worth it. These small changes can have a big impact on your mind and body. So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and focus on taking care of yourself. Your body will thank you for it.