The busy girl's guide to staying fit | Odyssey

" You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however." - Richard Bach.

Is your wardrobe getting smaller while your hours at work/school are longer? Are you ready to put an extra hole in your belt because it is "suddenly" too tight? Are you cranky because you never have a moment to think, let alone workout? Well, sit back and enjoy this article about The busy girl's guide to staying fit! As a medical student, I don't have a lot of free time, but that's no excuse. You can't always control how much free time you have, but you can use your time wisely. So all you busy girls (and boys), let's get creative and create the bodies you deserve!

Plan ahead: If you know you want to eat healthy meals, try cooking "batch" meals on the weekend, and eating them throughout the week. These days everyone has a cell phone, and most cell phones have a planner. Schedule your workouts on Sunday night and do your best to keep your plan! Need more time? Look at your schedule- Are there any moments where you can combine necessary activities? Could you listen to a lecture while washing the dishes, therefore making more time to workout later? Could you pick out your clothes before bed so you can do a 10 min workout in the a.m.?

Now, forget your plan and get creative, quickly. Make a PLAN B, c, d, ...z - There are very few perfect days. Maybe three days a week you will sleep 9 hours, wake up on time, prepare a healthy breakfast, do your 30 min morning run, get to work on time and stay in a good mood, have a fabulous day, come home cook a healthy meal, and then relax with a warm cup of cocoa. If that sounds nearly impossible, you need a back up plan. If you forget your lunch, it's ok to get fast food, just choose something healthy. Can't make your 60 min exercise class? How about a 30 min walk? That would still help you stay fit!

Whatever you do, don't be an "all or nothing" type of person.

Substitute: Make a list of your favorite fast food places and write down healthy alternatives that you can buy if you have to eat there. For example, Mcdonald's has a grilled chicken sandwich that could be a great lunch choice if you "hold the mayo". Instead of fries, choose the salad or fruit cup! Always drink water or low calorie drinks!

Journal and jot: Write, write, and write some more. If you are trying to lose weight or maintain while being busy you will have to put in a little more effort. Buy a small journal and write down everything you can. You can write about how your day has been, what you ate that day and why, or what exercises you have done. Basically, you can write what ever you want. Make it your own. Being a busy girl usually equates to being a stressed girl as well. Do whatever you need to do to handle stress in a healthy way. Yoga, meditation, prayer, journaling, a heart-felt laugh and exercising are all good ideas. But whatever you do, No stress eating!

Fidget, pace, walk, run: Since you are busy, you may not have a lot of time for yourself. But I bet you can find 10 minutes here or there to move your body! Incorporate a 10 minute morning routine right before you shower and brush your teeth. Need ideas? How about 10 squats, 10 push ups, 20 jumping jacks and a few quick stretches. You will be invigorated and your day will be more manageable. Maybe you do have a lot of free time, either way, the more you move the better. Walk the block during your lunch break. Take all the stairs you can handle at work. If you are standing for long periods of time, do calf raises!

Put it in the bag: ALWAYS, always, always pack a healthy snack in your bag. There is no reason to be caught off guard by hunger, no matter how busy you are. A granola bar, apple, orange, or small bag of peanuts can easily be thrown in your bag on the way out... even if you are rushing!

Celebrate progress: You may not reach your goal quickly. Each day you should give your all and then celebrate how far you've come. Being busy is stressful, especially when you feel out of control. So, if you wake up early and do a 15 min workout, celebrate ... even if you eat a junky lunch! This is about progress, not perfection. Be gentle with yourself, and you will reach your goal much faster!

No procrastination: My favorite saying is: "There is no tomorrow. Do it now, today, as soon as possible. You'd be surprised how quickly a day, week, month, or year can slip by. You don't want the next 6 weeks to get here before tomorrow does. If you want to eat healthy/ workout/ relax/ pray/ write in your journal..... start right now, where you are. It's never too late to get started; the time is now.

Best of luck to you in your fitness journey!

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