How to be healthy when you’re tight for time

By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)

When you think about going on a ‘health kick’ you might picture spending your whole weekend meal prepping, or making 3 fresh meals a day, spending hours reading labels and browsing health food aisles, doing hour-long workouts every other day, or having to eat boring, flavourless food that you don’t enjoy. The thought of being healthy may seem completely overwhelming and you convince yourself that it’s all too hard and you don’t have the time. You may even start on a health kick and soon give up, going on a junk-food fuelled bender and never getting back on the health train. The truth is, being healthy doesn’t have to be that hard. You don’t need to dedicate every minute, dollar or last breath of energy to it. You can make small changes that don’t take too much time (if any), but will make a world of difference to your health:

Park your car 5 minutes away

This may sound super simple, but all those 5-minute walks add up! You merely have to leave 5 minutes earlier (no big deal right?) and you can squeeze in a little bit of exercise before and after work.

Turn off your devices an hour early

So many of us use a screen of some sort all day and right up until we fall asleep. This is not healthy and can have a negative effect on sleep quality. Commit to turning off all technology an hour before bed and read a book, listen to some music, meditate, talk to your loved one or just rest!

Always cook extra

I personally despise spending hours chopping, cooking and then cleaning the mess if I only get one meal out of it. Always double or triple what you’re cooking, container it up and there you have it- a couple of healthy lunches waiting for you to eat them. The Dr Cabot 15 Day Cleanse is a 3 step program that helps to detoxify your body and improve energy. The program comes with an easy to follow meal plan packed with delicious recipes.

Take the stairs

It really doesn’t take much longer than using the lift or escalator! Stair climbing improves your cardiovascular health, strengthens the muscles in your legs and buttocks and can even reduce your risk of mortality. The moral of the story – take the stairs.

lady breathing

5 minutes of deep breathing

Stress is a major risk factor for all types of diseases and is all too common in this modern age. Taking a few minutes to do some deep breathing can really help to reduce stress. You can do it in bed when you wake up, at your desk or even on the toilet, if necessary! The amino acid Tyrosine can help to reduce stress levels and improve overall mood.

Have healthy snacks on hand

If you’re someone who likes to snack, has a busy schedule or is likely to pick up a donut or bag of chips to curb your hunger, having healthy snacks available can make a huge difference. Nuts and seeds, a piece of fruit, a bliss ball, a boiled egg, a protein shake, brown rice crackers, and veggie sticks and dip are all good options. Make a habit of keeping snacks in your car or desk drawer as a backup.

Pencil in some time to get organised

Look at your schedule and lock in a time that you can spend an hour or so doing meal prep. You can make a curry in the slow cooker, boil up some eggs on the stove, bake some meat and veg in the oven and cut up some salad all at the same time! If you don’t have much time, you need to learn to multitask!

10 minutes of fresh air

If you’re cooped up inside all day, you really need to take 10 minutes to smell the roses. Go outside, breathe in fresh air, feel the sun or the breeze on your skin, look at the sky, listen to the birds… it’s good for the soul.

Be mindful

So many people mindlessly put food in their mouths while they’re distracted by other things, and without thinking about the health benefits/ consequences. When you’re eating- focus on eating. When you’re choosing what to eat- try to make a healthier choice. If you are having something unhealthy- really enjoy it and then eat healthy for the rest of the day.

These strategies are really simple and can be easily incorporated into a busy lifestyle. For some healthy recipe ideas, see Dr Cabot’s book I Can’t Lose Weight and I Don’t Know Why.

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