Health & Wellness Articles

Finding Time for Healthy Living

20 Ways to Squeeze in Healthy Habits

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You've made the decision to get in shape, lose weight or just live a healthier lifestyle. But you're worried about how you'll manage to find the time to get to the gym, shop and cook healthy foods, or even how you'll keep your goals in mind with so many other things already on it.

Your concerns are certainly valid. As a matter of fact, one of the most common statements I hear from colleagues and friends is, "When things calm down, I really need to start taking better care of myself." Here's the thing: If you are living a full and happy life, it is more often busy than not. And when you have so much to do, doesn't it make sense to take care of yourself and feel well?

There's no debating that you will need to dedicate some time to self-care, but it shouldn't mean you will have to drop your friends, ignore your family or neglect your business. Here are some suggestions of how to create more time for healthy living.

Eating well for good health and/or weight loss requires you to have nutritious foods available and make wise choices when eating out. Here are some ways to make the most of your meals when you're short on time.
Take a few minutes at the beginning of the week to think through your upcoming schedule. How many days will you be home for dinner, and what will you prepare? Do Monday morning meetings always last through lunch? If so, it makes sense to bring a brown bag lunch that day. Will you head to the gym straight from the office and need to bring a healthy snack to fuel you through your workout and hold you over until dinner? Once you have a picture of your week, create your grocery list and plan when you'll head to the store. This extra step will save you tons of time by avoiding multiple trips to the market, or standing in line at the take-out eateries on your way home.

At the market, consider purchasing healthy convenience foods. There are so many to choose from these days. Fresh vegetables, salad greens and fruit are available pre-cleaned and cut. Old-fashioned frozen dinners have been recreated to be low-cal, low- sodium, even vegetarian or gluten-free. Check the labels and know which ones to keep in your freezer for nights when you don't have the time to cook. Although you may think these options cost more, they are less expensive than eating in restaurants, buying take-out, or high blood pressure and high cholesterol medicines that often are required after years of unhealthy choices.
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About The Author

Ellen Goldman Ellen Goldman
Ellen founded EllenG Coaching, LLC to help individuals struggling with health issues that can be impacted by positive lifestyle change, such as weight loss, stress management, exercise, and life/work balance. As a certified professional wellness coach and certified personal trainer, Ellen holds a BS and Masters in Physical Education and is certified by ACSM, AFAA, and Wellcoaches Corporation. Visit her at Get her complimentary report, 52 Tips, Tools & Tricks to Permanent Weight Loss Without Going on a Diet, at

Member Comments

  • k I am definitely one that needs to work on the "all or nothing" attitude... - 9/11/2015 12:42:04 PM
  • When I started to make changes I didn't have time (or thought I didn't) to do a 30 - 45 minute workout so I started taking several 10 - 15 minute walks. It works! - 5/27/2015 7:23:16 AM
  • Very good article. Something worth reading on a weekly basis. We all need reminders to keep us on track. - 3/2/2015 10:58:33 PM
    Some good points here and some good reminders of things I used to do and have let slip. One of these was to always have a large container of salad greens in the fridge which made it so easy to put together a salad lunch or salad for tea. I often added vegetables to this - ones that did not spoil easily which includes carrot sticks, celery sticks, capsicum, bean sprouts. Don't add cut tomatoes or cucumber though as these tend to go soggy. - 12/26/2014 8:09:52 PM
    interesting about chronic stress weakening your immune system that may explain my bout with cancer - 1/6/2014 1:50:31 PM
  • I try to focus on what I CAN do instead of what I don't have time for. I can generally get to the gym Fri-Sun, so that's my goal. Other days become bonus. Why setts elf up for failure by saying I'll go every day? That's just not feasible with my schedule. I also know I don't have time to cook on Thurs, so I plan the rest of my food that day around going out that night. - 5/28/2013 4:37:00 PM
  • It's unbelievable how much money I can save by bringing my healthy lunch from home to the office. Besides that, I do not need to waste time/gas during lunch time. By knowing that I have my lunch ready I better go to the gym or go out for a walk during my lunch time and then I can have my lunch when I come back to my desk. - 11/12/2012 11:25:51 AM
  • I walk at a park,it's not close to my house, but I pass it everyday going to and from work, so I try to leave early and stop and walk. If I can't get all in I stop on the way home. It is my me time, I was so busy with everything else I never took care of myself or had anytime for me.Now I always fit it in . - 9/15/2012 9:10:01 AM
  • When I use Peapod, our local online delivery service, I buy healthier choices. Only go to "aisles" where I really need products. I am also not tempted by end caps products or tempted down the cookies, crackers and snacks aisles. - 8/30/2011 7:08:40 AM
    I like to walk to work and back- I get 50 mins walk for the price of 20 mins (I would have spent 30 mins waiting for the bus/on the bus) and I save bus fare. It gives me some "me time" as well. At first I would get off a stop or 2 early and worked up to walking home and then to work as well. An added bonus is that now if I am running late or just REALLY need a lie in then I can get the bus if I need to. - 8/30/2011 6:24:20 AM

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