How to Stay Healthy When Life Gets Busy

{By Abby Hogle}

Where has all my time gone?

how to be healthy

 Scenario 1)

I sit down to lace up my running shoes on a sunny Wednesday afternoon. I think to myself, “Okay last week I ran…wait, I didn’t run last week, okay, two weeks ago my distance, —no two weeks ago was mid- terms I’m sure I didn’t get any runs in that week. So, when was the last time I ran?” It had been over 3 weeks, but it didn’t seem that long for sure. Where did the time go? How could I go almost a month without thinking about any physical activity?

Scenario 2)

I get out of class “Shoot, I forgot to pack a lunch.” A friend texts me and says she is running to get fast food for lunch, so I went with her. Probably should not have agreed, however, I had no time to run home and grab a healthy alternative.

Why is it that when we get busy, our healthy lifestyle is the first thing to slip out of the schedule?

busy but healthy

I find myself sliding those things off the plate without even knowing it. Taking the time to pack a healthy lunch or going on a jog are not all day tasks. In my opinion, we push those tasks aside because many times we don’t see immediate results. For example taking a 30 minute jog may make me feel better, but working on homework for 30 minutes is a task that I can check off my list and know that I have been productive. Tasks that we are being held accountable for, tend to be elevated to higher priority. If I have an assignment due, that a teacher is going to be expecting, I put that at the top of my “to-do” list. It’s not that working out or packing healthy lunches should always be the #1 priority. However, making time to get the things that are important to us done, should be our number one priority.

Tell yourself that eating healthy and working out are going to be priorities and then work them into your to-do list.

What I have found to be most effective for my busy schedule, full- time student and part time intern, is to let Sunday be my “re-grouping day.” I plan my week, by laying out my school schedule, and the important tests and assignments I will have to prepare for, laying out my work schedule, and then any family time that I plan on participating in. After that, there are usually some gaps, small gaps but gaps. In each of those free spaces, I schedule time to work out. Once those times are set in my schedule, I don’t change them. Sunday is also the day that I plan what my meals will look like for the week. I usually cook a lot of chicken, run to the grocery to buy fruits, veggies and healthy snacks, if I don’t do it on Sunday, it’s not getting done.  This way, healthy foods will be accessible to me all throughout the week.

One last technique that I have found to be effective is to get active on my “study breaks”. Sometimes I will sit down and do homework for about 4 hours straight. I find that if I take a 30 minute (even 10 or 15 minute) break to get outside and walk, ride my bike or, run I am more productive with the rest of my studying time and I got physical activity in for the day.

By working your healthy lifestyle into your busy work or school schedule, you will find a lot more joy and satisfaction in your day. I saw a quote in my advisors office that has really stuck with me.

It’s a picture of a doctor is saying to his patient: “Is it more convenient for you to work out for 1 hour a day, or be dead for 24 hours a day?”