Staying Physically and Mentally Healthy with a Busy Lifestyle
Sometimes 24 hours in a day is never enough time to get everything done. With obligations at work and home it may seem that life is just a never-ending series of commitments. But what about your commitment to yourself?
“I have no time” is the most common excuse of people who do not exercise or eat healthy food. They somehow justify their poor lifestyle choices with their dedication to work and family.
As health advocate and bestselling author Mark Sisson said, “Those who think they have no time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”
The Benefits of Regular Exercise
Regular exercise is not just about looking good. More importantly, it is about feeling good.
Here are just a few of the benefits of regular exercise:
- Builds Strength – Exercise not only develops muscle; it also fortifies your bones, connective tissues and supporting ligaments. The collective benefit is to build strength which will improve overall functionality of movement and reduce the risk of injury.
- Improves Blood Circulation – When you’re active, blood is circulating more frequently throughout your body. Blood brings key nutrients, water and oxygen to your vital organs which help improve function and strengthen the immune system.
- Regulates Blood Sugar – Regular exercise ensures carbohydrates will be stored as glycogen and used as energy to fuel physical activity. Excess carbohydrates will raise blood sugar levels and expose you to diabetes and other health risks. It will also be converted into body fat.
- Improves Mental Health – There are several studies that show regular exercise is good for mental health. Improved blood circulation and regulation of blood sugar has been associated with enhanced cognition, better long- term memory and a lower risk of acquiring Alzheimer’s Disease.
Regular exercise is the preferred recommendation of doctors to combat stress. Attending to a multitude of tasks at work and home can lead to a stressful lifestyle. Many people have died due to stress- related conditions.
Exercising regularly builds your resistance and confidence. If you consistently meet your exercise goals, it strengthens your resolve that you can overcome any problems you face at work or in your personal life.
The Importance of Eating the Right Foods
Regular exercise is not enough to ensure a healthy lifestyle. You must also eat the right foods to give your body clean burning fuel every day.
People with busy lifestyles tend to favor fast-food because of its convenience. If not fast-food, they buy packaged snacks from the grocery store to hold off hunger pangs.
If they are stressed, the tendency is to seek so-called “comfort foods” such as pizza, fries, burgers and fried chicken which make them feel better.
The truth is, eating these types of foods pose a long term concern for their overall health.
Processed foods or those made with refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients have been linked with dangerous conditions such as cancer, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and mental disorders.
You should always patronize food from clean and healthy sources. They might be more expensive but eating organic, natural food and those untreated with pesticides or growth hormones is how food was meant to be eaten.
Why You Need High Quality Sleep
The third component for a healthy lifestyle is high quality sleep. Put simply, lack of sleep will lead to a host of complications:
- Irregular heart beat
- Memory loss
- Poor cognition
- Slower metabolism
Adults should get at least 7 hours of high quality sleep every night. Contrary to popular belief, power naps may alleviate the effects but will not mitigate the health consequences of lack of sleep.
How to Stay Physically and Mentally Healthy with a Busy Lifestyle
There should be no question that regular exercise, eating healthy and getting high quality sleep are important for a busy lifestyle.
If you have “no time” then make time. Here are a few tips on how to stay healthy while living a busy lifestyle:
- Commit to a healthy lifestyle; find a form of exercise you like and clean out your pantry of unhealthy food sources.
- Set goals for yourself; goals improve focus and makes the activity more meaningful. Every time you accomplish a goal, it raises your confidence level.
- Prepare your calendar 1 week in advance; set aside specific dates and times for exercise, grocery shopping and meal preparation.
- Organize your time; effective time management allows you to be more efficient. You can do more tasks in a shorter amount of time thereby allowing you opportunities to get better sleep.
- Instead of eating out, prepare your meals at home. Cook food good for 3 to 4 days. Store them properly in the refrigerator. By preparing home cooked meals, you also save money.
- Find people to exercise with; it could be your spouse, children or friends with the same goals.
- Learn to say “No”; time to time well- meaning friends will ask you to join them for drinks or pizza. Politely decline or if you decide to join, choose healthier options such as bottled water, salads or healthy sandwiches. If they are true friends, they will understand and support you.
The saying “health makes wealth and wealth makes health” rings loud and true especially in this day and age where convenience has relegated values such as hard work and effort to the sidelines.
Take good care of your health and you will enjoy the benefits and rewards of your busy lifestyle.