In today’s busy world, it can be difficult to prioritise our health.

But whether it’s skimping on sleep, eating too many takeaways or neglecting the gym to stay back at the office a few too many times, putting your health at the bottom of the priority list isn’t a good solution when it comes to saving time.

Getting enough sleep and rest, eating a nutritious diet and keeping active will help to increase your energy levels and productivity as well as boosting your immune system an optimising your health.   In fact, if you don’t make time to look after your health now, it is likely you will have to make time to be sick later.

Tips to get started

The good news is that you can find time to incorporate healthy habits in a busy schedule. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Plan your meals for the week, write a shopping list and stock up on everything you will need to prepare quick, healthy meals.
  • If time to shop is an issue, try online shopping. A weekly delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables is a great way to get more of these key foods in your diet.
  • Set aside some time to cook on the weekend and make extra serves to freeze, so you can just reheat and eat on the nights you don’t have time to cook.  Soups, curries, stews and casseroles all make good freezer-friendly meals.
  • Avoid resorting to takeaways by having some quick easy meal options on hand. Scrambled eggs or baked beans on toast, a can of tuna tossed through some pasta with a few handfuls of baby spinach, or a packet of frozen stir-fry veggies with microwaveable brown rice can become a meal on the table in less than 20 minutes.
  • Stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle or jug nearby. More fluids also means more trips to the bathroom, resulting in more movement during your day!
  • Even if you don’t have time to exercise, just reducing sitting time can improve your health. Get up regularly from your desk and if it’s an option, consider using a standing desk on and off during the day. Also consider walking or standing meetings with your colleagues or boss.
  • Consider catching public transport rather than driving – you’ll get more walking and you can get some work done or read a good book while in transit.
  • If you enjoy watching television in the evenings, combine this with exercise. You could walk on a treadmill or cycle on an exercise bike while watching your favourite show, or use the ad breaks to do some resistance exercises.
  • Build good sleep habits by going to bed and getting up at a similar time each day, avoiding screens (that means computers, tablets, phones and laptops) in the hour before bed and trying to relax before you head to sleep. When it’s hard to find enough hours in bed, it is even more important that the sleep you do get is good quality sleep.

Even small changes to your habits can improve your health and wellbeing, so consider the changes you could make and starting putting them into practice now.

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