Ever wondered why life-threatening diseases and conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart problems, cancer, etc. are more common these days? A major cause behind these is lack of physical activity as per a study published in the Association of Clinical Scientists (USA).
We mostly forget about our health and fitness in our busy work life. So, how can you maintain health and fitness despite being busy?
The good news is, you can still stay fit even when you’re busy. It is possible in two ways. One is by exercising and the other is by controlling the diet. You can use a combination of both approaches. Here are some of the best ways that will help you stay fit and healthy.
If you don’t have time and cannot do exercise regularly, maintaining a healthy diet is a great idea to stay fit. But what sort of diet can help you maintain a healthy life? Here are some tips that will help you learn about it.
1. Choose healthy foods
No one can deny that your eating habits define your fitness levels. So, start avoiding unhealthy food from now on. Especially when you are not involved in physical activities due to a busy schedule. Choosing healthy food means you have to consume more fruits and vegetables rather than fries and burgers. Here are some tips on healthy food.
- A fiber-rich diet is essential. Whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are rich in fibers.
- Calcium-rich food is beneficial to maintain bone health. Dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheese), dark green, leafy vegetables, almonds, etc. are some popular sources of calcium.
- Fewer carbs and more protein intake. Meat, nuts, beans, etc. are some of the popular sources of protein.
2. Eat healthy snacks
Many people have a habit of eating healthy food but consuming snacks offset their healthy diet routine. Chocolate bars, fries, chips, etc. are some of the snacks that leave adverse effects on health. It is a good idea to replace these snacks with healthy ones. Here is a list of some food items you can use as healthy snacks.
- Roasted nuts (almond, walnut, pistachio, cashew nuts etc.)
- Egg slices
- Strawberries mixed in greek yogurt
- Fruit salad
- Popcorns (unsalted)
3. Replace black tea and coffee with green tea
Black tea and coffee are harmful when consumed frequently. Some elements in these drinks are harmful in different ways. Anxiety, fast breathing, Irregular heartbeats, restlessness, etc. are some common conditions associated with black tea. Moreover, it is used with milk, cream and sugar that can increase your weight.
Similarly, coffee is harmful because its side effects include insomnia, nervousness and restlessness, increased heart and breathing rate, etc.
Compared to these drinks, green tea is the best. Green tea calories are lower than milk coffee and tea. It is known for helping in weight loss. Green tea benefits for skin are also impressive. It is the reason why you should opt for this drink for a fit and healthy life.
Here are some major advantages of green tea.
- May improve brain function
- Help in fat burning
- Rich in antioxidants
- May help prevent type 2 diabetes
- Might prevent heart diseases
4. Sugar is your worst enemy
Did you know sugar is more addictive than cocaine?
Diabetes cases in Pakistan have been up by 48% since 2009 as per the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation. Consuming too much sugar is the major cause of diabetes. It can cause problems with your heart, liver, weight, skin and also increase the risk of cancer. Avoiding sugar is very important if you are serious about staying fit.
To stay fit, avoid or minimize consuming foods containing sugar. Time to stop consuming your favorite chocolates, sweets, snacks, biscuits, cold drinks, cakes, etc.
5. Replace bad fats with good fats
Saturated and trans fats are known as bad fats due to their adverse effects on human health. They can increase the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides in the body. It can lead to weight gain, heart disease, and many other problems.
Here are some foods that contain high amounts of bad (saturated or trans) fats.
- Red meat
- Full-fat dairy products
- Coconut oil
- Ice cream
Good fats, also known as unsaturated fats, must be your choice from now on. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the two categories of unsaturated fats. These fats increase the HDL levels (good cholesterol) and reduce bad cholesterol (LDL and triglycerides). It means the weight associated with bad fats will slowly reduce if you shift to good fats.
You can get your good fats from these:
- Oils (olive, peanut, canola, sunflower, and flaxseed)
- Nuts such as almonds, cashew nuts, walnuts, etc.
- Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds
There is no alternative to exercise when we talk about health and fitness. You can control your calories with diet but without some sort of exercise, your body will start becoming weak. So, here are some ways that can help you maintain or regain your fitness even with a busy schedule.
1. Look for an excuse to stay active
Opportunities are always there. We just need to grab them. You should always look for opportunities to be active in the workplace. Start by using stairs over the elevator.
Instead of messaging, simply walk up to your colleague and chat. It is a good way of keeping yourself active at the workplace. If your office isn’t too far, choose cycling over other means of transportation. Waking up early in the morning is also a great idea. You will have some time to regather your thoughts while doing exercise before breakfast.
2. Focus on quality workout
As you don’t have much time, you should focus on the quality of the workout rather than its quantity. You can do intense exercise for 10 minutes that might burn more calories than a normal 30-minute walk. It is recommended to have 45 to 60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity daily. If you don’t have that much time, you can be involved in more intense exercises that can provide the same benefits.
Buy a treadmill and set it at high speed. The faster you run the faster your heart will pump. It means you will burn more calories in less time. Push-ups, tuck ups, plank jacks, squat thrusts, star jumps, Tabata squats, boxing, etc. are some activities you can consider.
3. Breakdown the walking/jogging time
Many people don’t go for a walk or go jogging just because they don’t have enough time. Don’t worry if you can’t give 45 minutes to it. All you need is to break down this time in small chunks to walk (brisk) in small portions. Something is always better than nothing. Take small breaks for this purpose.
You can give 15 minutes in the morning and evening to go jogging. You don’t have to do 30-minute constant jogging to maintain your fitness. Breaking it down is helpful as you won’t feel exhausted.
4. Workout at home
Covid has led to many working from home. Once again, its quality over quantity workout. If you are looking for suggestions on how to start or build a gym at home, here they are: How Different Training Equipment Can Keep You Fit.
5. Your cubicle, your gym
Calf raises is an exercise that you can do while working. High knees exercise can also be done at work. Desk push-ups are also another great option to opt for. Chair oblique twists are among the best exercises you can do on your desk. Chair Squats can also be a good option for some people.
Sleeping properly is essential to staying fit and healthy. It also improves the metabolic system. Keeping yourself hydrated is also an important element in maintaining a healthy life. It helps keep you fresh and maintain the health of your organs.
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” – Joseph Pilates
We all know about its importance but don’t have time for it. However, you can choose some of the above-mentioned health tips and incorporate them into your routine life for healthy living. It will not only help you stay fit and healthy but also improve your productivity.
Do you have more ideas regarding fitness and work-life balance? Tell us in the comment section below.