Keeping up with a healthy routine is crucial when it comes to looking and feeling our best. But when our schedules are crammed with holiday parties, work, deadlines, daily errands, and life in general, finding the time and motivation can be difficult. Some days, it may be impossible to fit in a solid workout, eat healthy from breakfast to dinner, and de-stress and unwind through yoga or meditation. But the good news is that even small everyday habits can have a huge impact on our health and well being, even in the long-term. Here are six that are easy to integrate into pretty much any routine, even when time is tight…
Create a healthy essentials kit
Whenever I leave my apartment for long periods of time (like while traveling), I always like to bring along a little ‘healthy essentials’ kit. This includes things like headphones, hair ties, aromatherapy oils, small hand weights or an exercise band (check out some exercises you can do with the yoga band here and resistance band here), shower sheets, Emergen-C® Gummies, protein bars, protein drink mix, and a shaker bottle. Having all these on hand means I’m always prepped for a quick workout or yoga routine.
Squeeze in a mini workout
When I only have minutes to spare for exercise, I’ll do an AMRAP (aka ‘as many rounds as possible’) workout. These are great because you can do them literally anywhere, and most don’t require any equipment since they leverage your own body weight for the strength exercises. Simply set the clock, and run through a sequence of exercises as many times as you can. Here’s a great one from 12 Minute Athlete that will get the heart pumping while working your legs, arms, and abs: 100 high knees, 10 diamond push ups, 50 tuck jumps, 10 side lunges, 10 burpees, 10 sit ups, repeat. Looking for something a bit more challenging? Check out one of Tanya Poppett’s routines over on YouTube.
Get those steps in
Another activity that’s great for staying healthy and fit – even when a full workout isn’t on the plate – is walking, as much and as often as you can. To get those steps in, it’s as easy as making a few simple changes to your routine. For example, instead of taking the elevator at work or while shopping, take the stairs. Instead of taking an Uber or public transportation to go out to lunch, walk to the restaurant if it’s close enough. Put in earbuds when you have a call and pace around your office, park your car towards the end of the lot at work or shops, or take a walk around your office during lunch (outside or inside). There are so many ways to maximize your steps throughout the day – sometimes you just have to get a little creative!
If you spend most your days sitting at work (and a standing desk isn’t an option), try setting a reminder on your phone to get up every hour during your workday and walk around for 10 minutes (some of the latest fitness trackers even have this built in!). On top of getting those steps in, this will give your brain the breaks it needs and also feed it with fresh oxygen and blood to make you feel more energized.
One way to make this all a bit more fun is to track your steps and set goals using a pedometer. Lately, I’ve been setting short-term goals to increase my step count to beat the previous day, with the goal of eventually building up to 10,000 steps per day.
Keep a water bottle handy
Always carry a water bottle with you to stay hydrated, especially when you go out walking. I tend to keep a large one at my desk, and then I have a smaller portable one that I bring along with me whenever I’m out and about. Even when I’m not thirsty, having a water bottle close by serves as a reminder for me to stay hydrated, long before the fatigue, moodiness, and tiredness starts to kick in.
Whenever I get stressed throughout the day – whether it be while traveling, working, or from general anxiety – my chest tends to tighten up, and I take shorter, shallow breaths. When that happens, cortisol – the stress hormone – gets released, and it sends the body into a flight or fight mode. Stay too long in that state, and you can burn yourself out, not to mention trigger a whole slew of health issues – both physical and mental.
As soon as I find myself in this tensed up state, I’ll take a few minutes, or sometimes seconds, out of my day to unwind and do a quick breathing exercise that goes something like this: inhale deeply for 5 seconds, filling the lungs completely (a good way to check this is by placing your hands all around your rib cage right under your chest and making sure it moves out in the front, sides, and back as you inhale), then exhale for 5 seconds. After 5-10 full breathes, I’ll concentrate on my breathing for a few minutes longer until I return back to regular, more relaxed diaphragmatic breathing.
Fortify your body
This is a big one now that winter is fast approaching. If you find your diet is lacking in some areas, especially when it comes to Vitamin C, that’s where daily supplements can help make a huge difference. Now, I’ve been a fan of vitamin gummies since their invention – they’re a whole lot easier to take then regular capsule vitamins (you don’t have to swallow them whole or have water handy), and so I was excited to hear that Emergen-C® released a new yummy gummy formula, Emergen-C® Gummies.
Emergen-C® Gummies help support our immune systems with 500mg of Vitamin C per serving. Plus they taste amazing, with flavors like Super Orange, Tangerine and Raspberry, using natural fruit flavors and sweeteners. Try it for yourself – you can find them at Target!
What little habits do you try to incorporate into your daily routine to stay healthy?
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases.