As we get older, the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle start to creep up on you (aka that round of tequila shots at 4AM & the pizza you ordered right after).
And we’re not just talking about those weird dots that started to appear on your thighs (that can’t be cellulite…?). Because, being healthy comes in many different forms — whether it’s getting to your 4th floor walk-up apartment without dry heaving, or learning why food that tastes like grass is expensive.
This is the time in our lives when we should start to care about our bodies & our minds. Remember — when we exited our teenage years, our hyper-metabolism left too.
But, We all know that being healthy takes work. And, who has time for that? We can barely manage to do the things that we enjoy — let alone filling what little free time we have with salads & running (ew).
So, in the spirit of Summer & thinking that beach body prep is done, we’re here to provide some guidance on leading a healthy lifestyle as a Really Busy Adult.
…And sitting on your rooftop doesn’t count as “busy.”
Wake up early
We know this one will get a lot of haters.
But, remember that good old saying — “You have as many hours in a day as Beyonce”?
Surprise: You do. But, the difference is that you spend 2/3 of them sleeping, while The Queen has been awake since 4am.
We’re not suggesting that you need to get to that level of crazy, but when you’re busy, something has to give. Of course, we know that the right about of sleep is vital to your health. But, BUT (that’s a big but) — “enough” sleep does not mean sleeping until 3pm (unless you go to bed at 8am). Seven to eight hours of sleep is ideal.
And plus — waking up early to do something productive feels so good.
Here are some ways we stay motivated when you have to wake up with the sun:
- Visualize — Get yourself excited! Think about how good and accomplished you will feel after you’re awake.
- Lay out clothes / materials the night before — If you’re planning on working out, put your sneakers in sight. Less barriers in the AM means more likely to follow through.
- Set alarms far, far away — Put your alarms on the opposite side of the room. Once you’re out of bed, the hard part is over.
So, sleep enough but not too much.
Get into a routine
Human beings are creatures of habit (ever wonder why you always go to the same bathroom stall…?)
Well, yes. Once we get into a routine, change freaks us out.
Of course, the hard part is getting into that routine. We know that common knowledge + science says it takes anywhere from 21 days to 2 months to make (or break) a habit.
We think it takes shorter. Especially when it comes to our health (hello endorphins!).
Here’s a challenge: Try Being Healthy (i.e. working out, eating the right foods, being mindful) for at least 3 days in a row. That’s it.
Get into your jive so that there are no excuses. Plan your meals on Sunday evenings. Plan your workout schedule for the week. Plan to set aside 15 minutes before bed to think or meditate or write.
Plan ahead. Get your routine going. And trust us–you will enter addiction mode. You will crave the feeling you get after a run. Or how energized you feel after eating salmon versus pizza.
If you don’t believe us, listen to Elle Woods: “ Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”
But seriously, the benefits that come along with leading a healthy lifestyle — happiness, less stress, more energy & better sleep — become a necessity once your body gets used to them.
Work it into your calendar for 3 days (wake up early!) and try to tell us otherwise.
Listen to your body
Sometimes, only your body knows what’s up. You just have to listen.
This can happen in a multitude of ways. Especially in our over-worked, always “on” culture — you might just need a breather. So, if it seems like you just can’t concentrate at work on a Monday afternoon, go for a walk. Think, or meditate or take a gym break.
You need it.
The easy part is understanding what your body is trying to tell you. The hard part is actually doing it.
When I first entered the Working World, I knew that I was so much more productive if I went for a morning run. Since I can be cranky when I first wake up (who isn’t), I needed that hour of alone time before work to think and process.
Well, no one cared if a lowly analyst needed workout time in the AM. Meetings were scheduled, regardless.
But hey, I was listening to my body. I knew I needed this to be a better employee. So, I blocked off time on my calendar to go at least twice a week. I adjusted my schedule the rest of the time, but I held true to Me.
That is very hard to do. But, don’t let anyone compromise what is best for you.
And, if your body tells you — I need some pizza and fries today, that’s okay too.
But, don’t make that a habit.
This week, we’ll be writing about Being Healthy. Do you have any tips? Let us know @ firstname.lastname@example.org!