Saturday, November 16, 2013

Save time - Stay Healthy

Our days are so busy.  It’s difficult enough just to get yourself (and perhaps your family) out the door in the morning and through the day.  Adding a desire to eat right and exercise on top of it – it can be nearly impossible to fit everything in your day.  That’s why I have a love-hate relationship with my lifestyle.  

I love:

  • Eating healthy foods that don’t make me feel sick
  • Lifting weights and walking/biking everywhere
  • Always having something to wear because clothes fit!
  • Feeling awesome 

 I hate:

  • Food prep
  • Getting bored with food (because I’m bad at food ideas/cooking!)
  • The “yes, I’m going” – “no, I’ll skip it” workout conversation in my head.
  • Doing more, but seeing less results
  • The time suck that is: planning 5+ meals for 7 days each week, grocery list/shopping (because you can’t get everything at just one store!), cooking, packing lunches/snacks, logging food intake, prepping workouts and actually getting my ass to the gym to execute them, etc.
  • Feeling guilty when I indulge or deprived when I don’t – where is the happy medium?

Are you with me?  I’m always looking for ways to keep changing my meals and workouts, while keeping the time suck to a minimum.  It’s the only way I’ll have a chance to stay motivated and stick to clean eating and activities.  Here are some time savers I’ve found and feel free to share yours!

--I quit the treadmill (for the most part) and the elliptical – If I’m on the treadmill, it’s because I’m training for a race and I can’t run outdoors.  Or, because I am doing a 15-20 minute HIIT workout.  But, going at a constant pace on either of these machines for a long period of time doesn’t burn nearly the calories you think it does and does nothing for your muscles.  This leads into:

--Short, high intensity workouts – this goes for both cardio and lifting weights.  Personally, I’m partial to the benefits and results of lifting versus cardio.  If you lift, lift heavy – meaning heavier than you think you can lift and limit rest periods.  Unless you’re training for an event, there’s no need to run at a constant pace.  Do hill sprints or an HIIT workout on the treadmill.  You’ll see much better results than if you were to lift or run for an hour at a comfy pace.  And, quit looking at your phone/book/TV.  Focus hard for 20-30 minutes and get it done!

--If you’re like me, you eat similar foods every day.  Take an hour on the weekend to prepare all of your meals and snacks for the upcoming week.  Bake chicken or fish, use your crockpot to cook turkey chili, boil eggs, wash and cut fruits and veggies, cook several servings of brown rice or quinoa, etc.  Get them into separate containers and have everything readily available for the whole week.  Then, you don’t have to spend the time and you don’t have an excuse to blow off eating healthy – it’s already cooked!

--Keep your calendar handy so you can mark appointments to complete your workouts and food logs.  I set reminders and appointments on my smartphone to help hold myself accountable to go to the gym, log food, weigh-in and take my measurements.  Staying organized helps to keep the time spend to a minimum and it helps to have your goals in writing.

What are your time-saving tips?