Whether you work hard or play hard, it can be very difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  As our lives get busier and busier, exercise and eating right gets squished out of the picture.  In its place is a laundry list of to-dos that never seem to get done and goals that never seem to be obtained.

Here are some easy ways you can look at simplifying your routine and kick-start a new, healthier you.

  1. Work Out at Different Times:  If you don’t make exercise a priority, it won’t happen.  Sneak in some workout time whenever you can to improve mobility, mood, and overall stamina.  Join a gym that has extended hours or find one that is close to home or your work.  Remember, the earlier in the day you exercise the better.  Once you arrive home from a long day at work, the tendency is to turn on the TV or fall into bed and motivating oneself after that is almost an impossibility.
  2. Work Smarter Not LongerWhen it comes to exercise, smarter is better!  We need to work our bodies better and more efficiently.  That means more effective workouts in less time and that is good for the average busy person.  Try one of these methods:
  • High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)– This method involves bursts of high-intensity activity, with short periods of rest.  It burns a lot of fat and it keeps burning calories even 24 hours after you finish.  It can be effective in as little as 10 minutes, three times a week.
  • Strength Training– Strong muscles burn more fat and calories so it makes sense that strength training provides an efficient workout.
  • Metabolic Training–  The best of both worlds between HIIT and strength training.  It uses the high intensity intervals of HIIT with the use of weights like strength training.
  1. Get Out and Walk: With summer almost upon us, now is the time to move those bodies and take a hike!  The days are longer and the weather is perfect to get out and enjoy nature.  Your pet will love it too!
  2. Break It Up: Health experts agree that you should get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day but no one said it had to be all at once.  Break up your routine into small, manageable pieces that you can slip into your day.  You might not get the intensity of a hard workout but you’ll most likely fit more activity into your day.
  3. Rethink Your Lifestyle: We know that exercise is just one part of the battle.  Try these simple ways of eating right and staying healthy even when your exercise routine goes haywire.
  • Drink Your Water – Your body is over 60% water and most of it is eliminated; keep it hydrated.  The medical standard states that men should drink about 13 cups (3 liters) and women should drink around 9 cups (2.2 liters) of water each day.  Of course this can vary due to intense exercise, the environment, or illness.  No matter what, stay hydrated!
  • Avoid the Junk – Americans have relaxed into a far too comfortable lifestyle; one of convenience.  To avoid the junk food and fast food windows, be prepared.  Plan healthy meals ahead of time and always have small grab-and-go snacks on hand and in easy reach.  But if you must travel through the fast food line, most restaurants are adding healthy choices so choose wisely.
  • Limit Your Caffeine – Coffee houses are the common social area and fun to frequent.  But watch out: Consuming more than 400g (or about 4 cups) of caffeine can start symptoms like high blood pressure and elevate your heart rate.
  • Get Your Sleep –If you want to maintain that healthy glow, sleep is a vital part.  People who get more uninterrupted sleep tend to live longer, have a healthier weight, have lower stress levels and are less likely to suffer from depression.
  1.  Give Yourself a Break: Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up every time you have a slip.  It’s alright to treat yourself once in a while.  You deserve it!  The point is, allow yourself to indulge once in a while and then get back on track. This way, a healthy lifestyle is not a punishment but a way of life you’ll enjoy!