My most frequently asked question is probably “how do you balance a healthy lifestyle with work/University?” so I’ve decided to address this question on my blog so that hopefully some of you can pick up some helpful tips.
Make a date with the gym
Schedule in your workouts like you would any appointment. Invest in a good diary and plan your workouts around your schedule. If you have a particularly busy day in a week, use that day as your scheduled ‘rest day’ from the gym.
Turn off the TV
I don’t watch TV – I don’t even own one! Cutting out time sat infront of the television will save you hours of time. This time saved can be spent doing more productive things which will help you achieve your health and fitness goals, such as going for a walk or making healthy lunches for the week! If you can’t bear to miss that episode of breaking bad well it doesn’t mean you can’t do push-ups, squats and sit-ups while you watch it too!
Workout at work
If you live within a reasonable distance from your work or college try walking, jogging or cycling to work. Not only will you squeeze in a workout, but you will save petrol and time spent in traffic too! If work is too far to trek to, then use your lunch hour for a power hour in the park or local gym.
Quality > Quantity
Most workout programmes consist of five to six exercises, with three to five sets of eight to 12 repetitions for each exercise. The typical rest period between a set can be as much as 60 seconds to three minutes –and even longer if you’re talking with friends. You can increase the intensity and effectiveness of your training session by making a few changes. HIIT, or High intensity Interval Training, is one way of doing it. This involves bursts of exercises in the form of intervals, with short rest periods in between. 20 minutes of HIIT will save you a lot more time and burn a lot more calories than 45 minutes on the treadmill.
Rise and Grind
Get up an hour earlier and workout before you’re too awake to register what’s happening – Just kidding! However, getting your workout out of the way first things means you don’t have to disrupt the rest of your day trying to make it to the gym or a yoga class. I’m not encouraging you to skip out on sleep but you can take to reset your sleep schedule to go to sleep and wake up earlier.
Go Tee Total
The morning after a few drinks it is unlikely that you will be feeling full of energy and ready to hit the gym, but rather slumped on the sofa clutching a tub of Ben and Jerrys! With this in mind, I’m not telling you to never go out and have a few drinks but be mindful of the effects that alcohol can have on you reaching your health and fitness goals.
Have a Sweat date
On top of balancing work and a healthy lifestyle, we also have to balance our social time. Instead of meeting your friends for dinner or drinks, suggest trying out a fun workout class such as spin or Pilates.
Sunday is universally known as the day of rest. Not in my book it’s not. I use Sundays to catch up on everything I need to do and plan for the week ahead. Sundays are especially quiet in large supermarkets so it is the perfect time to do a big grocery shop for the week without fighting for a parking space! With all your fresh ingredients, Sunday is also the perfect day to do all your meal prep for the week. Batch cook your meals and separate them into Tupperware boxes. Refrigerate what you need for the next 2-3 days and freeze the rest, taking it out as and when you need it.
This advice does come with a little word of caution, because as important as it is to lead a balanced lifestyle and make time to go to the gym etc., it is also very important to not lose sight of your priorities. For me, Medicine is a priority and at the moment it has to come first, so I would never sacrifice my education and future career for time spent at the gym. With that said I am now in my final year of university and I have managed to pass all my exams and still make it to the gym 5 times a week! So it is possible, you just need to get organised. I wish you all the luck in the world in both your work, and your healthy lifestyle. If it is important to you, then you will find the time to do both.