10 ways you can integrate wellness into a busy lifestyle

We all know we need to be healthy, and we may even know what we should be doing. But it’s not always easy to make healthy choices – especially when we’re busy.

Life can be demanding – especially if you’re juggling work, home and raising a family. And often, this means that we run short on time to look after ourselves properly, including finding the time to eat healthily and exercise.

But its these simple thing that keep our bodies fit and healthy, and help us fight off illness and prevent disease. 

Trethowans
Trethowans

Fuelling your body with healthy foods will help you to function better than consuming processed foods on the go. But with many of us spending the bulk of our day behind a desk, it’s all too easy to make unhealthy choices.

Many people are also inactive even during their leisure time, choosing to spend time on social media or playing video games as opposed to playing a sport. But a lifetime of regular exercise can help to slow ageing – and it’s never too late to get started. 

10 ways you can integrate wellness into a busy lifestyle

So, with today’s busy lifestyles, what can you do to look after yourself? The good news is that making healthier choices is easier than you think. The key is in the word choice.

Consciously choosing options and making small lifestyle changes that will help us to stay healthy doesn’t require drastic gestures. But it does take commitment.

To help you reap the benefits of a healthier mind and body, here are 10 ways you can integrate wellness into your busy lifestyle.

1) Swimming 

Swimming is a simple exercise that anyone can do at any age or size. Water offers enough resistance to increase your heart rate, while not being too strenuous. You can increase the difficulty of swimming as you learn strokes that are more difficult to execute. 

Swimming is natural for humans, and if you don’t swim, you can learn on your own or with professionals who teach the proper techniques to help you become more confident in the water.

2) Food prep 

Food prep has become more popular recently – with good reason. Spending a new hours once a week planning meals, and shopping, preparing and packaging your food can give you enough healthy food for the week.

This allows you to get through your week and avoid being tempted to eat foods that are unhealthy when you have healthy choices readily available.

3) Get plenty of sleep 

The human body needs seven and a half hours of sleep every night. This amount of time allows the brain to move through enough complete sleep cycles to process the day’s events and be ready for the next day.

If you struggle to sleep, try these tips:

4) Walk whenever possible

If you have to drive your car to work, park several blocks away and walk the rest of the way. If you take public transport, get of one or two stops early.

If it helps, use an app on your phone to track your steps and aim for at least 10,000 each day. Many step counting apps offer friendly competition between friends to encourage you all to get out and move more.

5) Ask your employer about a stand-up desk

Siting at a desk hunched over a computer can play havoc with your posture. Standing up instead of sitting in your chair all day can help you to stay more active and help to stave off ‘the spread’, where you start to gain weight on your buttocks and hips from sitting too much.

6) Pack your own lunch

Part of your food prep can include your lunches for the working week – and healthy snacks to keep your energy up during the day, without being tempted to seek solace in cake.

It can be expensive eating food on the run – both on your wallet and your health. Many meal choices at restaurants tend to be high in sodium and fat. Their portions are also huge.

7) Find an exercise you love

The problem with most exercises is that we just don’t enjoy them. And if they’re a chore, we’re far less likely to stick at them.

So find something you love. It might be team sports like netball, yoga, dancing… anything works as long as it gets you moving and you actually like doing it. Going with a friend helps accountability and makes it more fun too.

8) Get the right nutrients

Did you know that many of us are deficient in magnesium (increasing our risk of common health problems and diseases including type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, migraines, asthma, and colon cancer)?

Or that as many as 15% of the population in the US has been diagnosed as deficient in vitamin B12?

If you want to keep healthy and plenty of resources to stave off ill health, you need to make sure you’re getting the nutrients you need (you can read 10 essential nutrients for women here).

9) Manage your stress levels

Did you know that between 75-90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints?

Stress causes physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping, and can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.

So it’s important to find way to reduce or manage any stress in your life – and no that doesn’t mean drinking your troubles away! Here are five healthier ways to deal with stress than wine.

You can also read advice to help you avoid anxiety and depression here, and find out when you need to see your GP with stress or depression here.

10) Practise daily mindfulness

It’s all too easy to get consumed by everything we need to do and remember in our day. And even when we’re not actually working or actively caring for a child, we’re worrying and trying to solve problems related to them in our head.

So in the gaps of our life – walking to the school gates, commuting to work, waiting for the kettle to boil – rather than giving our minds a brief respite, we’re stressing it out with more mental and emotional burden.

There’s an easy to way to stop this and get into better habits. As we explain here, a simple (and free) mindfulness exercise you can do anywhere, any time can help earth you in the moment, and fill you with gratitude of the world around you.

It’s a quick and easy mindfulness exercise you can do in just a few seconds if you wish. But once you get into the habit of doing it, you’ll notice the impact of the benefits.

Start with small changes

Life al life changes, don’t try to do everything at once. Big, drastic changes are much harder to sustain when the initial enthusiasm wanes. Instead, start by making a few small changes, and noticing how you feel as a result.

Often the effect is like a snowball rolling down a hill; the ball starts moving faster and gathers more momentum, just as you will when you begin to feel better. 

Once you you start to look out for your wellbeing, you will begin to see why it is essential to concentrate on healthier choices involving regular exercise, eating well, and getting enough sleep.

Photo by Vitalii Pavlyshynets