I think we have all used excuses like “I just don’t have the time,” or “It’s not possible” at one point in our lives when it comes to exercising or eating healthy. It’s a way of dodging the guilt when unhealthy behaviors kick our healthy living goals to the curb. We all know the routine: If we don’t have enough time to prepare a healthy meal, it’s easier to dial up dinner for delivery; if we don’t have healthy food at our fingertips, it’s easier to grab convenient processed foods at the grocery store; and if we don’t have time to work out, it’s easier to postpone it for now.
Although some days it may seem impossible to live well and eat well, it may simply be a matter of changing your mindset and challenging yourself to make healthier choices.
I challenge all readers to insert “it’s not a priority” whenever the pesky thought “I don’t have time” pops up. For example, the statement “I would like to have a healthy dinner, but there is just no time” then turns into “eating healthy isn’t my priority.” Now this excuse doesn’t seem so compelling, does it? Making health a priority may change where you are allocating those valuable 24 hours of your day. It’s time to make room for the important things in life, and health is definitely on that list.
I continually challenge myself to make healthy eating and exercise a top priority, and with a baby on the way (that’s me, 24 weeks along, in the picture), this has sky rocketed to the top of my list. As the saying goes, everything I do, I now do for two.
Below are a few tips I’ve learned along the way to help me make time for living and eating healthy:
- Track your time. (Where is it REALLY all going?)
- Drink plenty of water. (Instinct to grab a soda? Hit the water cooler instead.)
- Seek out natural food. Plant a garden OR if, like me, you don’t have a green thumb, visit the farmer’s market downtown – an excellent place for fresh fruit, veggies, and much much more!
- Avoid the grocery aisles where most processed food is stocked. Stick to shopping the ‘outskirts’ of stores instead (produce, dairy, etc). Plus all the time saved from not perusing the grocery aisles will open up more time to prepare a healthy feast at home!
- Search the internet for short workout routines. Google and Youtube are amazing resources, and remember, 20 minutes of activity is better than none! Every move counts!
For more guidelines on living a healthier life, including physical activity and healthy eating, visit our guidelines on healthy living (position papers).
About Kailey Miller
As a disability management advisor for workplace health and safety, Kailey works with NH employees across the northeast region and Prince George. She has worked with Northern Health for about one year, and holds a master’s degree in disability management and a bachelor’s degree in psychology (BSc.). To stay active, Kailey enjoys running with her 4-year-old chocolate lab, yoga, and almost any activities outdoors.