Busy? These three tips will help you stay healthy!
I did an interview this week for an online summit on my top tips to help busy mums stay fit and healthy so I thought I would share some of the tips I offered with you. There is no end to the advice and tips I could give but I wanted to distil it down to what I feel are the top three habits I have developed that help me sustain a healthy lifestyle and here they are:
“The way you start your day is the way you live your day.”
You might have heard the saying …“The way you start your day is the way you live your day.” Getting a good start to the day really helps the rest of the day go well and sets the tone for the day. There are all kinds of things you can include in a morning routine such as meditation, setting an intention, journaling, gratitudes, vision board, yoga, affirmations, exercise, EFT, a healthy breakfast etc.
The key is to create a routine that works for you and that fits into the window of time you have in the morning. A successful morning routine usually means getting up a little bit earlier – especially if you already have a busy morning with getting ready for work, getting kids ready etc. It is worth it though as that quiet focused time will pay back dividends throughout your day as you feel more grounded and productive. Before you know it, your actions will have become habits and you will miss your routine the days you don’t do it!
While this isn’t the most exciting topic – good meal planning does free up a lot of time to allow you do exciting things!
I recommend taking a little time at the weekend to plan your meals for the following week. This allows you to shop to a list and ensures you have everything you need to create healthy meals for the week ahead. There are so many benefits to investing time in meal planning and it will help you in the following ways:
- Saves you time when food shopping as you have a list prepared.
- Allows you to see where you can ‘double-up’ so that left overs of one meal could be used in another
- Saves you money as you shop just for what you need for the week (some people estimate you can halve your food bill this way!)
- Less food waste so better for the environment
- Saves you time by preparing as you can start prepping the night before for tomorrows meals
- Engaging your family in the decisions around what’s for dinner, it’s great for getting kids involved and giving them choice
- Saves you time in the kitchen as you know in advance what you will be cooking each day, no wasting time looking through the fridge to see what you can pull together!
- Allocating who is responsible for cooking each meal – saves a lot of potential stress as you know who is doing what and when!
- Improve your health as your have taken the time to choose healthy meals in advance
This is one tool that I have found to be invaluable – the weeks I use it it saves so much time, effort and stress and turns preparing meals into a joy rather than a ‘must do’.
Allow yourself some flexibility with it, especially in the first few weeks of trying it. Even now we always allow a flexi day (usually Fridays) where we just go with the flow (ie eat leftovers!).
I encourage you to give it a go! You can download my free Weekly Meal Planner here to help you get started.
The number one excuse I hear when it comes to exercise is lack of time! It is all about being most effective with the time we do have which is why many people get it wrong when it comes to exercise. Don’t get me wrong, walking for an hour is great but…if you don’t have a lot of time then you are better off doing a shorter walk but doing it more intensely. Plus strength training which is so important for physical and mental health is often completely ignored.
Obviously, the type of exercise you do depends on your goals but for the most part, women I work with are interested in losing weight. One of the best ways to do this is strength training as it is great for boosting metabolism. It is also particularly important for women in their 40’s and 50’s and it helps counteract bone and muscle mass loss – plus the natural decline in metabolism as we get older.
You don’t need to go to the gym 5 days a week either, aim to include some strength exercises two to three days a week. Strength training can include yoga, pilates, Tai Chi, as well as doing a home based workout using your own body weight or weights for resistance. Exercises like bicep curls, squats and the plank are all good examples. See my blog on the benefits of strength training if you want to learn more about this.
So, there you have it, even if you are a busy mum, these three habits are doable and will make the world of a difference to your health and fitness if you make an effort to include them in your daily routine!