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I’m happy to publish this flashback post from the amazing Anne of fANNEtastic food. Enjoy!

 

Hi, Healthy Tipping Point readers! I’m Anne, a Washington D.C. area Registered Dietitian with an online/virtual nutrition counseling private practice and health/fitness blogger over at fANNEtastic food.

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I have a lot of readers and clients ask me how to make time for health when life gets really busy. Often when people get busy, exercise and good nutrition are the first things that go out the window. But we have to remember that healthy living is JUST as important as work or school. I mean, it’s your health, right? Plus, keeping up an exercise and healthy eating regimen will majorly help with stress.

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Tips for making time for health when you’re busy:

 

1. Write exercise into your planner/calendar. At the beginning of the week, I’ll look at my calendar, figure out where I can fit in exercise, and write it in (in ink!). The more specific, the better — for example, don’t just write “work out,” but something like “40 minute run” or “yoga — 1 hour.” Be sure to write it in a specific time slot, too, not just on that day in general. Treat exercise like any other concrete appointment that you can’t skip — this will really help to make sure you don’t blow it off!

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(photo source)

 

2. Make big batches of meals and snacks at the beginning of the week so you have healthy food on hand for quick lunches and dinners. For example, two of my recent recipes — Turkey, Veggie, & Barley Chili and Apple Walnut Crunch Spelt Muffins.  Here’s some more ideas — my 5 Minute No Bake PB Granola Bars and Veggie-tastic Minestrone Soup!

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3.  If you feel guilty working out when you need to be studying or working, then combine the two! Bring flash cards, notes, or books with you to the gym. Especially right before exams, I’ll study on the elliptical or bike. Great multi-tasking AND ensures I don’t fall asleep in my book ;)

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4. Get up early to work out, or bring gym clothes with you and exercise immediately after work or school. My motivation to exercise decreases as the day wears on, so I always try to get my workout in first thing. When the alarm goes off, I’m just like everyone else — I think “Do I really have to do this?” Try visualizing how great you will feel after your workout, and how bummed you would feel later on if you skipped it (and then either didn’t have time to workout or had an evening workout hanging over your head.)

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5. If working out first thing isn’t possible (either because you really can’t do mornings or because you were up too late the night before — sleep is important!), then pack workout clothes and exercise immediately following work or school. I know that if I come home first, I likely won’t make it back out — so I don’t even tempt myself!

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6. Learn how to pack a fresh, healthy lunch in 5 minutes flat. See all of my different 5 minute packable lunch posts on my recipe page!

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7. Make a workout buddy, or attend workout classes at a gym and make friends in the class. Anything to help keep you accountable! You’re much less likely to blow off a workout if you know someone is expecting to see you. I love having workout buddies, because then when my alarm goes off at 5:30 a.m., I know I have no choice but to get up because they’re waiting for me!

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I hope you found these tips helpful – thank you for reading and please stop by my blog to say hello! :) You’ll find more healthy recipes, quick meal ideas, fitness adventures (I’m a big runner and just completed my first full marathon in November), and fun. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

 

How do you maintain healthy eating and exercise when you’re super busy? The more tips, the better!

{ 20 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Sarah F January 15, 2014, 6:54 am

    Love the tips!

    I can definitely relate- as I’m going into busy season with work, where I work anywhere between 12-18 hour work days.

    This year, for motivation, my friend and I are playing on each other’s competitive sides. We made a bet that we would work out three times a week. For every workout we meet, we put in £5 each, and for every workout we skip, we have to put in £10. At the end of March (the end of our busy season), the person who skipped the fewer workouts gets to plan a vacation for the two of us. That way we’ve saved money throughout it all, have a vacation waiting at the end of it for us- AND, since we both have different interests, we’re motivated to be the person to get to plan our activities.

    If I win, we’re going to Spain, and if my friend wins, we’re going to France! Win-win :)

    Reply
    • Anne January 15, 2014, 5:06 pm

      What a GREAT idea! Total win-win!

      Reply
  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 15, 2014, 7:49 am

    I definitely try to get in my workouts in the morning if I can, but I’ll do them whenever I find time. I also love the study and workout tip – I did this all through law school! It made me feel way less guilty that I was taking time away from studying, but also helped me stay sane by keeping me moving and getting some endorphins!

    Reply
  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 15, 2014, 7:53 am

    Great tips, Anne! I find that I’m far less productive when I’m NOT implementing my healthy habits (good nutrition and exercise), so that’s incentive enough for me to stick to them. I’m a total morning person (or at least have made myself that way over the years) so the first thing on my agenda is exercise. It’s also great to have like-minded friends who enjoy getting together for fitness-based activities, rather than just ‘hanging out’ doing nothing. Of course there’s a time for relaxing, but I love partner/group workouts!

    Reply
  • Abi@AbsofSteel January 15, 2014, 8:05 am

    great post! I implement a lot of these tips during the school year already. I never tried studying while working out though, I think i’d probably fall off the treadmill if it tried flashcards. Perhaps I could listen to a recorded lecture.

    Reply
    • Anne January 15, 2014, 5:07 pm

      Ha yeah, I was only coordinated enough to walk or elliptical with flash cards… no running! :)

      Reply
  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun January 15, 2014, 8:43 am

    I just always tell myself something is better than nothing. Even if I only have 30 minutes I will go in and get a 30 minute HIIT workout in or just something. It always makes my day feel better!

    Reply
  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More January 15, 2014, 8:54 am

    Definitely great tips! These are all ones that I follow myself and share with my friends and family. I KNOW I can’t come home to change for the gym – if I can’t go until later, I BETTER bring my stuff or it’s not happening!

    Reply
  • Elizabeth @ Positive Change January 15, 2014, 9:06 am

    Great tips! (I love your blog!!). I have to say, all of your tips are something I do when the time gets really busy. If I am always on the go I love to pack quick and easy snacks as well. By not grabbing/ spending extra money on snacks that are not as healthy, makes me feel a lot better about my crazy life!

    Reply
    • Anne January 15, 2014, 5:08 pm

      Thanks, Elizabeth! :)

      Reply
  • Robyne Spillers January 15, 2014, 9:46 am

    So very true! Over the holiday break I spent an afternoon at the grocery and the evening packing healthy crock pot freezer meals. So now that we are all back to our daily lives it has worked out great. On my busiest days I come home to find dinner in the crock pot where all I have to do is steam a veggie and toss the salad!

    Reply
    • Anne January 15, 2014, 5:08 pm

      Great idea to do crock pot freezer meals – I love my crock pot but didn’t think to plan ahead like that!

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  • K @ Finding a Skinnier me January 15, 2014, 12:41 pm

    I write down on a post it note my exercise schedule for the week and place it on the coat rack. That way when I walk in the door every evening I know that I need to put on my work-out clothes and get out there. Plus there is no second guessing and that means no talking myself out of it :)

    I love these tips!! I am going to use some of them.

    Reply
  • Anne January 15, 2014, 12:57 pm

    Thanks so much for having me, Caitlin! :)

    Reply
  • Rachel January 15, 2014, 1:58 pm

    When I’m busy, I just always make it a point to include exercise somehow some way. I schedule it into my busy day and mark it on my phone calendar. No excuses! :)

    Reply
  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs January 15, 2014, 4:22 pm

    Great tips! I have a bunch of workouts that I can do at home — sometimes getting rid of the travel time to/from the gym makes it seem easier to fit a workout in, and therefore less stressful!

    Reply
  • Julianna @ Julianna Bananna January 15, 2014, 4:36 pm

    love all these great tips!

    Reply
  • Alex @ Kenzie Life January 16, 2014, 6:36 pm

    Last semester was one of the busiest I’ve ever had. Between 5 classes, being a research assistant, and spending about 2 1/2 hours commuting every day, I didn’t have a lot of time left over. I wasn’t great about packing a lunch, and often ended up eating out (something I’m trying to be better about this semester), but I would plan out my workouts at my Pure Barre studio and make them non-negotiable parts of my schedule. They became the thing I looked forward to the most, especially during finals! Great tips and thanks for sharing!

    Reply