Hey Friends! As promised, here is a guest blog from my friend, Athena. I was so happy when she agreed to write a guest post for my blog because, well, we are pretty much twinnies and share so much in common! I hope you all enjoy this post as much as I did. Thanks again, Athena!
Hi, Burpees to Bubbly readers! My name is Athena, and I blog over at Fitness & Feta. I’m sure you have seen my name on Monique’s blog before, as we are constantly linking back and forth to each other in our blogging adventures. Monique and I met years ago when we took several of the same classes at the Oak Square YMCA. Back then, she was “the girl with the curly hair and glasses” that stood in the front row toward the right. After a while, Monique started coming to my Thursday morning class, then started following my blog, then I hired her to teach at the Y, and now all of a sudden we chat almost every day. I’m telling you, shared passions can lead to a lot of friendships!
Monique and I are the same person in many ways. We are both fitness instructors, obsessed with all things food and fitness, we both have just a little bit (ha!) of Type A in us, and I’d say we are probably the two busiest people I know. We both work a full time 9-5 job, teach multiple fitness classes a week, and blog on top of making time for friends and family, attempting to get enough sleep, and (gasp) maybe even enjoying a little me time every now and then.
However, despite being really busy, both of us make our own well-being a priority in our lives. Maintaining a (mostly) healthy lifestyle is important to us, and I think we agree that sometimes too many people pull the “I’m too busy” or “I don’t have time” excuse all too often. I would actually say two of the most common things people say to me are either “how do you fit it all in?” or “I wish I could be like that.” Well today I am here today to encourage you that you CAN be like that and that you CAN fit it all in. It’s all about how you manage your time and what you are willing to move around to make a healthy commitment to yourself.
That being said, I want to share my top five tips for making time in a busy schedule for healthy living:
Every Sunday I sit down with my planner and take a look at the week ahead. After taking a look at what I have for work obligations and social events, I map out when I will fit in my workouts. Each week I post a Weekly Workouts series on Fitness & Feta to help me stay on track and to inspire others to do the same. I find that once I have made a commitment to myself and it’s on my calendar, I’m less likely to skip out on my exercise! Every week I shoot for 5-6 workouts, that way if something comes up and have to miss 1 or 2, I am still getting a decent amount in.
Prep, Prep, Prep
Along with making a workout plan at the beginning of the week, I also try and use Sundays as a way to get organized when it comes to food. First I take inventory of what food I already have in the house and what’s on sale at the grocery store that week. Then I map out what I’ll eat for lunch and dinner for the week, trying my best to use the ingredients from step one. This helps keep my grocery budget down, even though many people think you can’t eat healthy food on a budget. Finally, on either Sunday or Monday I will prep as many meals and snacks ahead of time as I can. I wash and chop veggies, portion snacks out into baggies, and get lunches ready for the week. This can be a lot of work up front, but it saves me over an hour a day during my busy weeks… which then in turn keeps my stress levels down! It’s so worth it. You can check out some of my weekly meal plan ideas in my Weekly Eats series.
Maximize Your Workouts
If you feel like you can’t workout because you don’t have an extra hour in your day, guess what? You don’t NEED an hour to work up a good sweat. You can definitely use any of the following methods to squeeze in exercise into a busy schedule:
Split up cardio and strength and do one in the morning and one in the evening
Get your heart up with interval training so you get the most bang for your buck
Find a good 20 minute no equipment at home workout
Embrace compound exercises so you work upper body and lower body at the same time
Just move more! Walk on your lunch break, go on three different ten minute power walks throughout the day, park further away from the building, take the stairs, print to a printer that isn’t close to your desk… you get my drift.
Prioritize and Don’t Overcommit
If your schedule is nutso, ask yourself if you HAVE to participate in everything on your calendar. Chances are, there are some events you’d rather not go to anyways! Learning to say no is key. Maybe you don’t have to go out to eat twice in one week, but the night you don’t go out you can try a new group exercise class or clean your house instead, both of which can reduce stress. Sometimes we don’t want to admit it, but we have to pick and choose what’s more important.
Find Balance and Start Small
Finally, I think just aiming for balance is the best thing you can do. If you are so busy that fitting a workout in every day of the week is overwhelming, start with two or three days a week and work your way up. Or maybe it’s too much to prep all your meals on Sundays, but chopping and washing veggies is something attainable for you. Whatever it might be, remember that small changes can often times lead to big results. You don’t have to start with something grand for it to be an accomplishment.
What are your tips for staying healthy despite a hectic schedule?
Thank you for reading my tips, and a big thanks to Monique for asking me to guest post on her blog this week while she is away for work. I hope you’ll stop by Fitness & Feta every now and then for more from me! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It’s been fun!
Make sure you go check out Athena’s blog!! 🙂