9 Healthy Habit Strategies for Busy People
Even the busiest people on the planet can implement healthy habits into their daily lives. Here are 9 healthy habits you can start doing today.
Strategy #1: Choose “High- Octane” Fuel
Our bodies are complex machines that run thousands of processes per minute. It is important to choose high octane fuel to run such an amazing, high-performing machine. By “high-octane fuel” I am referring to what your body needs. Think of it this way, your body is a part of nature therefore you should choose what naturally occurs in nature. Great examples include fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and animals from their natural environment. The point is to choose real whole foods. Look for unprocessed or minimally processed foods. Prepare them by eating raw, baking broiling or steaming.
Strategy# 2: Don’t go hungry
Going hungry is never a good idea. Food is our primary source of fuel and in order for our bodies to function properly we must be fueled and ready to go at all times. Make sure to eat meals and snacks throughout the day to keep blood sugar consistent and mindless cravings at bay. Whip up a nutrient packed smoothie for breakfast, eat a quick salad for lunch, and choose leafy greens, beans or lentils or an alternate lean protein at dinner. Snack on fruits, veggies and healthy proteins for snacks. Bring them with you if you are running out the door.
Strategy #3: Dine smart
Being busy sometimes means having to travel away from home or entertaining clients. Restaurants can be a land mine for maintaining your weight and health. After all, most restaurants create menus that taste great with little regard on how it affects your waistline. Their sole purpose is to be profitable and keep you coming back for more. Do your homework before heading out the door. Look up the menu online. Find items that are fresh, loaded with veggies and easy on fats. Avoid fried foods, heavy sauces and creamed items. Call ahead and find out if they will make accommodations and alter items to suit your tastes and your preferences.
Strategy #4: Sleep
An adequate amount of sleep affects EVERYTHING you do…including your weight. Set the stage to be your personal best every day. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning. Be sure to limit caffeine and alcohol consumption to obtain quality sleep.
Strategy #5: Take “5”
Take 5 minutes per day to stop and focus on YOU. When done first thing in the morning it can set the stage for a day that flows. Sit with a straight spine and focus on the breath. Breathe through your nose. Become an observer. How do you feel? Notice...is the breath shallow or deep? Fast or slow? Breathe deep and lengthen the exhale. When thoughts or feelings enter your mind acknowledges them and let them go and bring the focus back to your breath. Do this for just 5 minutes per day…preferably in the morning when your mind is still calm.
“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” ~Lao Tzu
Strategy #6: Eat consciously
Take time out to experience your meals and connect with the action of eating. Eat with your senses. Look at your food. Smell your food. Stop and taste your food. Slow down and chew your food. Chewing is the first step in digestion. Notice how you feel as you are eating your food. When we eat consciously we are nourishing ourselves on a deeper level.
Strategy #7: Take active breaks
When working be sure to get up from your desk every 60 minutes and do something active for 10. You can do body weight exercises like squats or pushups, jog the stairs or do a deep stretch. Try holding core plank (push up position on with arms bent and weight on elbows) and have a little contest with yourself each day.
Strategy #8: Active work time
Do you pace while you are on the phone? Give it a try. It keeps your voice lively on the call as well as keeping your body active.
Strategy #9: Play hard
When work is over it is time to play. Spend time with family by going to the park or walking outside. Join a group fitness class, a running club or train for an event. In our house we have mini competitions as a family…we have contests of who can hold plank longest, do the most sit ups or who can do the most push-ups. It is a great way to bond, have fun as a family and stay in shape.