Since starting a full-time job staying healthy has kind of taken a seat on the back burner. I completely took for granted the little gym in my student accommodation and didn’t realise how good I had it with 10 hours of lectures a week and a decent student budget. Now things have changed and I’ve noticed some of my healthy habits start to slip. Here are my 5 top tips to regaining control of your health when work has become your priority.
High-Intensity Interval Training is the solution to your time constraints. You may not feel like exercising but you can no longer use a ‘lack of time’ as your excuse. HIIT is effective at burning calories and fat in a very short space of time. Seriously, just 15 minutes of HIIT is all you need as your workout each day. Follow along to videos on YouTube and you’ve also saved the gym fee. I like to use Joe Wicks, The Body Coach, check him out here.
Use apps to monitor your health
Utilise all the technology that is at your fingertips. Ignorance may be bliss but tracking your calories, steps and other habits could be the motivation you need to get back on track. I like to use the app Lifesum for logging my meals and water intake as well as my weight and measurements. In addition to that, you can now see a GP on your phone! I’ve recently signed up to the NHS Babylon app which allows me to speak to a Dr online at a time that suits me. I had been putting off seeing my GP for a few months simply because I didn’t want to take the time off of work. Now I don’t have to.
Be wary of empty calories
That Starbuck you just had could have been a whopping 400 calories, even more, if you added syrups and whipped cream. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook what we’re drinking and focus on what we’re eating but both have an impact on our health. If you’re a coffee addict try to cut down the caffeine and replace it with good-old water. Water makes up 60% of your body, so be sure to top up regularly. You’ll feel amazing for it. I keep a bottle of water by my bed at all times and also on my desk. Having it there encourages me to drink and I find I easily get through over 2L a day! Additionally if, like mine, your office has a biscuit tin, be mindful of this increase in caloric intake. Don’t deprive yourself but be mindful. Mindfulness is key.
Make the investment
You’re worth it. There are some things we can cut costs on but our health is not one of them. Try to source fresh ingredients and cook from scratch rather than buy cheap, processed ready meals. In fact, you may find your shopping bill goes down. I take my own lunch to work every day rather than relying on take-out options from local cafes and supermarkets. It’s all too easy to spend £5 a day on lunch at work which adds up to £100 a month. By taking your healthy leftovers from dinner you’ll be saving this money and can reinvest it on the ingredients you are using.
Don’t ignore stress
Stress is a very dangerous thing. No matter your job title, seniority or experience stress can still get the better of you and it’s not healthy at all. Try to recognise your stress triggers, I know mine are overloading my days and overthinking problems. Also, experiment with finding ways to combat your stress. I like to separate work from home and use meditations to allow my mind to switch off and refresh. Don’t be ashamed to take a mental health day, even if you have to pull a sicky. Spend the time on yourself, after all the most important project you will ever work on is yourself, and you can hardly be expected to do your job to the best of your ability if you’re mind is not up to the task.
Remember you work to live not live to work. So put yourself first and look after yourself.