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13 Simple Tips For Staying Healthy (When You Don’t Have Time For The Gym)

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Prioritizing our health and fitness as moms is a constant battle! There are so many things we need to do, have to do, and hey, even want to do that fitting it all in is difficult. Being a mother is a wonderful joy and tremendous blessing, but it is not without its struggles.

Many people want to live healthier lives and/or start exercising regularly, but just don’t feel like they have time for the gym. I totally get it! When I worked outside the home, I never went to the gym. I had to find other ways to stay active and be a little creative.

Why Is It Hard To Stay Healthy When You’re Busy

Oh goodness, we all know the reason! It’s just HARD. There are so many different things pulling at your time and attention…add a family to care for on top of that, and you’ve got yourself a big old pot of potential overwhelm!

Sometimes when we’re busy, it feels like we’re spinning our wheels and not actually accomplishing anything. That’s not always the case, but I’ve noticed that on the days where I feel frantic, I’m not using my energy for the tasks that are truly important.

Staying healthy and active is a long-term commitment, not something we want to do off and on. You’ll undo all of your hard work that way! As moms, we need solutions that are quick, easy, and almost effortless. That’s why I’ve come up with some great tips for staying healthy, even during the busiest stages of life!

13 ways to stay healthy when you're really busy

13 Best Tips For Staying Healthy When You’re Really Busy

All of these tips require minimal effort, but you can always do more as time allows! My goal for these tips is to give you simple things you can do each and every day that can have a big impact over time.

Tip #1 – Don’t Drink Your Calories

Water, water, WATER! Someone once told me that drinking diet cokes was the same thing as drinking water. Uhhhh, no. I am certainly not against sipping a soda every once in a while, but I definitely don’t do it everyday (I need those calories for ice cream 😉).

The human body is about 60% water – your body needs water. Studies show that drinking water can improve your energy and brain function levels, may help and prevent headaches, and can help keep you “regular.”

For a quick guess on how much water (minimally) your body needs, divide your body weight by 2, and drink that in ounces. For example, if I weigh 120lbs, I need at least 60oz of water each day.

Tip #2 – Do An At-Home Workout

Hooray for the internet! If you don’t have time to go to the gym, sneak in an at-home workout video. A simple YouTube search brings up tons of options for you to choose from. There are even channels that specialize in workouts for moms…and in under 20 minutes! (Here is a link if you want to see for yourself).

Many of the well-known home workout companies have their own trial periods you can sign up for (I’m thinking Beachbody, Peloton, Mossa, Jillian Michaels, etc). With so many FREE options to choose from, you’re sure to find a great workout to suit your needs.

Tip #3 – Get Enough Rest

Ha, all of you just laughed, I heard it. Rest is not something that we always have control over *cough cough tiny humans*. I never appreciated the “sleep when the baby sleep” advice – there was too much I either had to do or wanted to do with my few free moments! If you can take that advice, do it!

If not, try going to bed just a few minutes earlier. Just 15-30 minutes more each night can equal two to four hours more per week!

When you’re well-rested, your body has a chance to heal and recover from the day behind and have energy for the one ahead.

7 healthy lifestyle secrets

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Tip #4 – Eat A Variety Of “Colors”

My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I feel weird if everything is the same color at dinner. For example, if I serve a chicken casserole, corn, and croissants…it’s all yellow (and starchy)! I think of this as the lazy mom’s food pyramid, haha. Instead, I could serve a salad and some grapes with my casserole.

When you try to “eat the rainbow,” you’re more likely to get in all of the major food groups.

Tip #5 – Stretch

Have you ever been going through your day and noticed that you feel stiff or slumped over? I usually start feeling the day between my shoulder blades. Why not take a few minutes to stretch? It will improve your flexibility and makes for a great break in your day.

To help you out, here is a super quick (3 minutes!) full-body stretch.

Tip #6 – Take Care Of Your Tummy

Ok, we’re about to be really close friends – I’ve never been a “regular” girl. Do you ever just have those days where you feel bloated and thick? The joys of womanhood. It is so important to take care of your gut health! Drinking water is a big factor, but with your doctor, you may want to consider adding Omega-3, fiber, and/or probiotic supplements.

Tip #7 – Practice Deep Breathing Techniques

Simply stopping to take a breath is a great way to reduce anxiety and feelings of overwhelm! The next time you feel this way, try this simple breathing exercise from Very Well Mind.

  1. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Your abdomen should expand, and your chest should rise very little.
  2. Exhale slowly through your mouth. As you blow air out, purse your lips slightly, but keep your jaw relaxed. You may hear a soft “whooshing” sound as you exhale.
  3. Repeat this breathing exercise. Do it for several minutes until you start to feel better.

Tip #8 – Avoid Processed Food

Processed food (such as frozen, packaged and “instant” meals) generally contain higher sugar, fat, and salt levels. This may mean a little more planning and prep until you get the hang of it, but it is time and energy well-spent.

I once had someone tell me to “skip the aisles” and shop the outside – meaning to shop along the outside perimeter of the grocery store in the produce, dairy, and fresh meat department. When I did, our meals were very fresh and much closer to a clean eating mindset. The more you can make your own food, the better!

For a tasty snack, try this simple homemade granola recipe.

Tip #9 – Minimize Your Sugar Intake

I’m a sucker for a sucker. Well, that’s a lie…lately, it’s Skittles. Many women feel that it is best to eliminate processed sugar from their family’s diet. If that’s you, that’s great! That’s not me. I’m a big believer in moderation. There are days I do better at this than others. I enjoy sitting down with a piece of candy while my daughters nap…but I try not to have several handfuls.

Generally speaking, 20 to 30g of sugar a day is ok. It can add up quickly based on what you’re eating, so, make good choices!

13 simple tips for staying healthy when you don't have time for the gym

Tip #10 – Put Down Your Phone

When you’re on your phone, you’re missing out on what’s going on right in front of you. You’re probably also sitting still. Is it just me, but I can pick up my phone and then before I realize it, I’ve spent several minutes doing nothing at all! Mindless scroll syndrome, I guess.

Freeing yourself from keeping up with social media will help you be more present and guard against feelings of discontentment from comparisons.

Do this one after you finish reading this post 😉.

Tip #11 – Stand More

Are there any tasks you can do standing (or moving)? At my old office, we had convertible desks that could be used sitting or standing! It was great! Just by standing instead of sitting, you could burn 40-70 more calories an hour. That could add up quick!

It is so tempting to pull up a chair while my kids are playing outside. But what if I just stood in the driveway – or even better, walk and play with them! We live off of a busy road, so mama bear is always on guard against people who want to use our driveway to turnaround while we’re playing. I’m sure I look more intimidating standing than sitting, haha.

Tip #12 – Walk During Meetings Or Phone Calls

Along the same lines, take walks during meetings or while on phone calls whenever possible. If you can’t go anywhere, stand and walk in place. You’ll sneak those steps in without taking any extra time out of your day.

Tip #13 – Wear Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen everyday can reduce your risk of skin cancers by 50%! Even on cloudy days, the sun’s rays are still absorbed into your skin. You don’t have to wear the pool day sunscreen every day (unless you want to I guess) – many moisturizers and foundations have sunscreen built right in as part of their formula. Just check your label!

Especially in warm, sunny areas, sunscreen needs to be at the top of your beauty list.

The Last Thing You Need To Know About Everyday Health Habits

The secret to a successful healthy lifestyle is consistency. It’s not about making all the right choices in one day, but about making good decisions over a long period of time. As busy moms, there will be days where we can’t do all of the things we would like to, but we can certainly do some!

What are some ways in which you are working toward your own health goals? Let me know, and maybe I can add them to this list!

7 healthy lifestyle secrets

Like these tips? Then you’ll love these…

7 Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle – Without Sacrificing Hours of Time

Here are the 7 secrets you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle without spending hours of time each week in the gym. These secrets are perfect for moms who are looking for small things to do every day that can make a BIG difference!