"I don't have time" is one of the most common excuses heard for living an unhealthy lifestyle. When you're working at a full time job, it is often easier to order in from a restaurant and spend the evening watching television to 'cool off' instead of cooking a healthy meal and hitting the gym. However, a busy lifestyle does not necessarily need to be unhealthy. Here are a few simple tips to live a healthier life.
- Cook one pot meals: Cooking doesn't have to be complicated. Experiment with your microwave settings and recipes to find quick meals that can be made in under a minute like quiche in a mug or steamed salmon. Making pasta can be as easy as putting all the ingredients in together into a pot and letting them cook. Find recipes that require minimal grocery shopping and preparation.
- Take the stairs: Elevators are definitely a convenience and cannot be avoided if your office or home is on the 10th floor. To balance convenience and health, get off the elevator a floor or two below yours and climb up the remaining stairs. Obviously working up a sweat by climbing stairs at the beginning of your day at work isn't a good idea so time your stair climbs at the end of the day or when a shower is nearby.
- Avoid snacking: Eat proper meals instead of mindlessly snacking through the day. Keeping a food diary can help you recognize your eating habits and rectify them. If three meals a day does not satiate your hunger, break your meals into smaller portions eaten at more frequent intervals. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should never be skipped.
- Drink plenty of water: Often we snack not because we're hungry but because the body is dehydrated. Water can also boost your energy levels and aid digestion. However, avoid filling your stomach with water before a meal to make you eat less. This can hinder your digestion process and keep your body from receiving its necessary nutrients.
- Cut back on packaged foods: Packaged food is never really all that good for you. In most cases, it is loaded with sugar, sodium, preservatives and artificial flavouring. If you cannot avoid packaged food, pick the one with minimal ingredients.
- Interval training: Spending an hour at the gym is not the only way to exercise. If you cannot find time for a full workout, try interval training. Get off the couch during intervals while watching your favourite soap or take a quick five minute break from your desk to exercise. Regular exercise will also help you sleep better and make you wake up feeling refreshed.