Health & Wellness Articles

Fitting Healthy Habits Into Your Hectic Life

13 Tips to Get More Nutrition and Fitness into Your Day

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There just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to do. And it can feel like an added stressor when you are trying to integrate healthy habits into your already hectic schedule. But if you make time for healthy habits, you’ll find yourself with extra reserves of energy that will lower your stress and help you get through life’s challenges.

Here are a few things you can start doing right now to make healthy habits a relatively painless part of your routine:

1. Drink water throughout the day. You don’t hear this nearly enough: water is an all-purpose wonder-substance. It’s great for your skin, your digestive system, and circulatory system, and aids in weight loss and cellulite reduction. If you feel fatigued during the day, it’s often because you aren’t hydrated properly. Drink water throughout the day, sipping from a large bottle or glass. If you have it nearby, it’s easy to remember. If you don’t like the “taste” of water, keep a supply of lemon so that you can add a slice to your water – it cuts any bitterness, adds a bit of vitamin C and makes it taste more festive!

2. Cut back on the amount of soda and coffee you drink. Sugar and caffeine dehydrate you and create energy rushes followed by crashes, which are ultimately energy-depleting. Substitute with drinks like green tea or 100% fruit juice.

3. Replace high-sugar foods with low-sugar versions. Cutting back on the amount of refined sugar you consume helps reduce calories and weight gain and also helps you avoid the energy slumps that come from sugar withdrawal. Items high in refined sugar include most soft drinks, cereals, baked goods, and of course, candy and ice cream. Look for low-sugar or no-sugar versions of these, or simply opt for healthy snacks instead.

4. Stock up on healthy, portable snacks. When you are grocery shopping, pick up bags of baby carrots, string cheese, nuts, fresh and dried fruit, single serving packs of applesauce, yogurt, wholegrain crackers, peanut butter, turkey jerky, etc. Having healthy portable snacks around will help you avoid bad vending-machine, convenience store and fast-food options. Read some more portable snack ideas.

5. Take the time to plan healthy meals for the week. Spend 15 minutes or so to map out your meals. Keep it simple. Then, when you shop for groceries, make your purchases based on the meals you will make during the week. This will help you avoid relying on less healthy take-out or fast food choices. Learn even more grocery store tips.
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About The Author

Mary Guarino, Ph.D. Mary Guarino, Ph.D.
Mary Guarino is a life coach who helps people evaluate and improve their lives and relationships. She holds a doctorate in lifespan developmental psychology and a coaching certificate from the Institute for Life Coaching.

Member Comments

  • You know, they ALWAYS seem to say that you should walk to visit a coworker rather than calling, emailing, or IMing. It must be nice to be in a work environment that should prize productivity above all else which allows time in your workload to walk to see one. I've yet to have a job where managers are happy to see you taking the longer way to get things done. - 1/11/2016 9:51:19 AM
  • I like the 80/20 rule about healthy eating choices. I have most of these tips working but still need to work on the menu plans and exercise.
    I am also retired. We have done a lot of traveling as missionaries. But this year we are home for the winter. I am hoping that staying in one spot for a few months will help me develop routine. - 1/10/2016 9:29:47 PM
  • I can relate to some of what KPLOUNGE said about being retired. I've been retired a while now and my habits keep evolving. Finally have gotten involved in some hiking groups and have figured out the new ways of handling meals. At first it was very tempting to snack my way through the day. Now I like to cook for myself and eat mostly healthy. Still working on getting all the right kinds and amounts of exercise. Sleep is usually an issue for older adults, an article on that would be helpful. - 1/10/2016 8:54:08 AM
  • I already so most of this,esp. drinking water. I never drink soda if I can help it. I could probably do a better job of planning lunch, since breakfast is the same set routine during the week and my hubby cooks supper I am retired so having too much to do is usually not a problem - too much couch time is but I did make exercise a part of my morning routine starting this past week (6 days and counting) . I think I am on my way! - 1/9/2016 11:25:11 AM
  • My life is the exact opposite. Since I've retired, I don't live a hectic lifestyle. There is only so much exercise, just sitting, reading, watching TV/Netflix, talking to family/friends, studying the Bible, meditating, and volunteering one can do in a day. After those things, I find myself laying down to rest and then waking up at midnight; therefore, I might be getting to much sleep. I also find myself struggling with eating healthy or unhealthy snacks because I've nothing more to do. Maybe the sugar from unhealthy snacks bring on that sugar rush. So maybe we can have a conversation about retirement life-style and healthy habits as well... - 1/9/2016 9:35:25 AM
  • I have nastered most of these suggestions, but sleep continues to be an issue. I have to work at that every day to get eight hours in. I function the best if I have 9 hours of sleep. Today, I could really tell the difference. I am already counting the days down for the weekend. - 1/5/2016 8:30:02 PM
  • I really needed to read this article a second time. Great Article and definitely will be putting these tips to use!

    Thanks SP.

    Nola - 12/27/2015 2:40:33 PM
  • This is definitely one of those, heard it all before posts, but most definitely needed to hear it again. Its amazing how we can complicate things that are as simple as being prepared, park further away from where you normally would. WALK TO THE SUPERMARKET.. Thank you for this Article. Definitely bookmarking as a favourite. :)

    #Reminders - 12/13/2015 10:20:53 PM
  • For those of you who are busy with kids and get interupted by them while trying to do a video, CHASE the kids around the house! They'll love it, you'll get some cardio in, some laughter in and some great family memories. Then, if you wear them down enough and YOU still want to workout maybe you'll have some quiet time then.
    One day, one of my teen sons was experimenting with a new electric piano we inherited from Grandma. Two of the kids began dancing ridiculously, then I joined in. Then in passing by the living room, another kid saw us and came in. Then another one. Then another one...and soon all 9 kids and I were dancing, carrying on and laughing for about 30 minutes. It was a lot of fun and a great memory. Never let family responsibilities be our excuse. MAKE it happen. - 10/8/2015 8:04:29 PM
  • The portable snack idea is good for those of us with family or friends in the hospital for a long stay. As an all day visitor, the vending machine is tempting and gets expensive. Our hospital vending machines have some healthy choices, but not all do. - 10/8/2015 7:52:01 PM
  • I have learned that when I cook, whether for myself or my son, I cook enough for left overs.
    I love being the "healthy" one at work that always brings her lunch. - 4/2/2015 2:53:05 PM
  • #2 is contradictory as green tea has caffeine in it. It may not have as much caffeine as sodas sometimes do but it doesn't fit the criteria of the statement. Otherwise, great article!
    - 4/2/2015 6:55:59 AM
  • RAMZAN1
    Great article.Very helpful. - 3/15/2015 5:37:56 AM
  • Good article with excellent tips to move toward a healthier lifestyle! - 11/12/2014 6:31:49 AM
  • As is always the case with SparkPeople, it is great how these articles and tips always point towards doable changes...one step at a time, one day after another, gently. - 8/15/2014 10:40:11 AM

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