Are you out of shape? Are you overweight? Has it been a long time since you felt really healthy? You’re not alone. Over the years, many of us put our own well being on hold. Career, kids, marriage, education—somehow other areas of our lives take precedence over our own health.
The result? We rarely exercise, we often eat on the run, and we don’t get enough rest. At the end of the day, thousands of people, from overworked moms to super busy dads, look into the mirror with dismay, wondering, “How did I let myself go for so long?”
If that sounds like you, don’t worry. Your situation is far from hopeless. By devoting just a little time to exercise and a healthy diet each day, you can increase your energy, decrease your stress, and improve your overall fitness. Here’s how.
Make exercise routine.
It isn’t difficult to make exercise part of your normal daily routine. Simply make decisions throughout your day that require you to perform short bursts of physical activity.It’s easy. For example, instead of using elevators or escalators, routinely take the stairs. Instead of parking right next to your destination, choose a spot that’s relatively far away. When possible, walk or cycle rather than drive. You get the idea. By developing the above habits—and others that fit your lifestyle—you’ll enjoy big fitness payoffs over time.
Get fit in 10, morning and night.
Each night before you go to bed, do some crunches. Each morning as soon as you get up, do some squats. Start with 10 at first. Over time, increase your repetitions to 20, 30, 40, or 50. You might even work your way up to 100! Committing to exercise in a small way in the beginning will motivate you to do more—and reap more benefits. You’ll have more self-confidence. You’ll sleep better, and you’ll have more energy to face life’s daily hurdles. Soon you’ll be working out 20 or 30 minutes per day. Or get fit in 10 minutes, with a program designed for busy people, called 10 Minute Trainer, and using the same philosophy, you can begin stacking these workouts as time permits and fitness improves!
Opt for a diet of healthy foods.
Rather than drastically altering what you eat, make small, healthful changes to your diet.
Start by thinking before you eat. So often, particularly when we’re busy, we grab whatever is convenient in order to satisfy our hunger quickly. Soon, our diet consists of empty calories that pack on the weight and leave us feeling tired and bloated.
To avoid reaching for convenience foods, keep prepackaged, healthy snacks on hand, such as protein bars. Veggie trays, fruit bowls, cottage cheese, and low-fat yogurt are also great alternatives to chips and candy bars. Like adding a bit of exercise to each day, little changes to your diet can also mean big fitness payoffs over time.
You don’t need hours of free time. You don’t steely self-discipline or a staff of dietitians. Just by making small changes to your diet and your daily routine, you can improve your general fitness level. And that means you’ll look better and feel younger. Isn’t your well being worth just a few minutes of your time each day?