One of the things I get asked a lot is “how do you find the time to workout and cook everything from scratch”. My answer is always the same – I don’t find the time, I make the time. Gandhi once said that we all have the same 24 hours in a day – we just choose how to fill them differently.
We all have different lives and schedules. Whether it be demanding jobs or kids, or both for a lot of people. These things take up a lot of our time and it can be difficult to make time for health and fitness. That is the key word – difficult. Not impossible.
Whilst I am child free, so I don’t have children taking up my time, I know of many, many parents who have children and jobs and are still making time to look after their health. I work long hours, and that is what takes up the majority of my time, so I find it difficult like many others to make the time. But, I know how important looking after my health is, so I make the effort to make the time. Here are some of the things that helped me make the time.
- Get organised: I make to-do lists, plan out my day in the morning (or even the night before), keep a well planned diary and schedule my time as best I can. Writing in your workouts makes them harder to skip. Write it in your diary like you would any other kind of appointment.
- Cut back on the internet: Most of the people who tell me that they don’t have time to workout or cook tell me via Facebook. I know that many people check Facebook whilst on the bus to work, or whilst waiting for something, there are still many people who could cut back on Facebook time and workout instead. Having time to relax is important, and if Facebook is how you relax then do that, but I think we could all do with spending less time on the internet in general.
- Get creative: Don’t think of workouts just in conventional terms like going for a run or a swim. Just do what you can, when you can. Whilst you are cooking, you can do a kitchen workout or if you are watching TV, you can do a mini workout during the breaks like squats, lunges and skipping.
- Get your kids involved: Games like Just Dance or anything on the Wii are great to do with your kids. That way you are still spending time with them, but getting a workout in at the same time. They are also being active too, which is always a good thing. The same goes for cooking. Studies have shown that kids are more likely to try new things, like fruits and vegetables, if they have helped make them. So get them involved in the kitchen with things like stirring.
- Do a once a week food prep: On a Sunday, I spend an hour or two preparing some food for the week. I grill some chicken breasts, boil some eggs, chop up lots of salad, roast some sweet potatoes and make some turkey muffins amongst other things. Having these things on hand in the fridge makes healthy eating much quicker during the week when I am much busier. I have a big post with more details on this planned soon.
- Keep track of how you spend your time: Often when we think that we just don’t have the time, we do. For a few days, write down everything you do with your day and then look back at it and see what you could cut back on or cut out completely and use that time to workout or cook instead.
- Find something you enjoy: This should be a general rule anyway, but if you are doing workouts that you enjoy, then you are more likely to make the time to do it.
- Get a workout partner: Many people like working out alone, but if you workout with a friend, or your partner, then time you would spend meeting them for coffee and things like that, you could workout together. Make it a social thing.
- Plan your meals: Spend a little time making a meal plan for the week and that will cut back on some time spent in the kitchen not knowing what to make. It doesn’t have to be a full plan, as for many that is hard to stick to, but have a rough idea what you are going to make through the week.
- Get a slow cooker: I LOVE my slow cooker and it saves me so much time. You just throw everything in in the morning, put it on low and 8 hours later you have dinner.
Your health is important and with a few small changes you can make the time to fit in some workouts and a little extra time in the kitchen to prepare healthy meals.