Think you’re too busy to be healthy? Hectic schedules and long-lasting work hours are bound to leave you exhausted at the end of the day. It seems that you barely have any time for even one league tennis match.
Deteriorating health, rising work pressures and increasing stress levels are all indicators that you need to spend a little time on yourself. But how do you make health and wealth go hand in hand? And why do we find it so difficult to make time for ourselves, especially when we know that it’s for our own benefit? Here are some tips for making health a priority – no matter how busy you may be.
Schedule your exercise
Just like you schedule your meetings with clients and colleagues, or if you’re a student, just like you schedule your extracurricular activities with your studies… plan a date and time for your fitness. Exercising regularly not only keeps you healthy, but also keeps you fresh and alert throughout the day. So mark your calendar for a weekly tennis match or fit in a half hour in the pool before you head home each day. Go on a brisk walk with your dog in the morning or ride your bike after dinner each evening. You’ll find that you’ll begin looking forward to your scheduled exercise throughout the week, and it will help you unwind and work better.
Join your local sports club
Many sports clubs offer a variety of options for busy people who think exercising is more a chore than a necessity. Instead of relegating exercise or pounding it out on a treadmill, go for a swim with your family or pick up a basketball game with your friends. Find out what group fitness classes the club offers and try something new – Zumba, spinning, boot camp and Pilates are all popular and challenging options.
Make it a habit
How often do you hear someone saying “I’m just too busy”? Perhaps you’ve even heard yourself say it lately? No one will argue that we all have an extraordinary amount of demands on our time, so prioritizing and cutting out the clutter in your schedule is important. But there are some things you have to accomplish every day, right? Instead of thinking that health and fitness is just an add-on to your list of things to do for the day, make it something as habitual as brushing your teeth.
Find an activity that interests you
Not everyone is going to like lifting weights or doing the stair climber. You may find aquatics more enjoyable than running or you may prefer the camaraderie of a group fitness class over going solo on the elliptical. A sports clubs is a great place to try out lots of activities to find one that holds your interest and gets you excited to come and break a sweat. And if you find you enjoy doing more than one activity, then do ’em all! Just make sure and do one each day, but alternate them.
Learn to say “No”
This is a difficult challenge – there’s a fine line between keeping up with responsibilities and doing more than we can handle. The trick when someone asks you to add something to your already full schedule is to stop and consider what you’ll have to cut out in order to fit it in. If what you’re cutting out is more important than the new thing, then say no. If you’ve made your health and physical fitness a priority in your schedule, then saying no to keep it there is extremely important.
The truth is, health and wellness is very often overlooked when schedules become packed with what we think are our responsibilities. A good idea is to re-evaluate every so often to see if what you’re spending your time doing is really necessary. If it is, consider asking others to help out or think of ways to make the amount of time you’re spending on a particular thing more manageable. Your health is in your own hands, so make it a priority.