Community Stories Health

Staying Healthy While Keeping Busy

Balancing a busy calendar while simultaneously trying to stay healthy is one of life’s most difficult tasks. Sometimes we barely have time to sit back and take a deep breath much less eat healthy and go to the gym. That’s why when I heard about a Good Nutrition for Busy Families class at the Huntsville Hospital Wellness Center, I immediately signed up.

So, here I am to share with you the helpful information I learned so you can use it in your busy life, too.

Choose your vegetables first — then your meat.

Remember how we used to have the food pyramid plastered across every single wall in the school cafeteria? Well, times have changed, and now we have the food plate. The plate shows how much of each type of food we should have literally on our plates. Half your plate should be fruits or vegetables, a quarter should be whole grains and a quarter meat.

Easy, healthy recipes can be found anywhere.

Websites following the food plate rules are:

If you feel like you can spend some extra money, there are also meal delivery services such as Blue ApronHelloFresh and Home Chef. You’ll get the ingredients and preparation instructions — all you have to do is cook! To save more time on grocery runs — and keep you from impulse buying down the snacks and candy aisles — you can order groceries online with Walmart, Amazon and Kroger. Publix and Aldi will even deliver groceries to your doorstep!

Healthy choices go a long way.

One key to staying healthy is consuming fewer calories than you burn within a day. Any restaurant will have healthy choices. You can easily stay between 500-700 calories per meal if you choose grilled chicken, fruits or veggies instead of fries, or opt out of eating bread and fried foods.

Not enough time to workout?

I know the feeling. Instead, work in! There are ways to include activity in your daily routine, like:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or walk to work if you can.
  • Wake up 10-30 minutes earlier and do a simple workout to jumpstart energy for the day.
  • Turn cleaning or other chores into a workout: Turn up the music and dance it out!
  • Take a walk on your lunch break or while making phone calls.
  • Make activity a priority or family value. Instead of watching television after dinner with the family, take a stroll through the neighborhood before bed.

More easy solutions:

  • Meal prep on Sundays (or a day that isn’t busy for your lifestyle) so you don’t have to eat out for lunch every day or worry about it in the morning.
  • Drink more water. The key to drinking the right amount of water is either the 8×8 rule, which is drinking eight, 8-ounce glasses a day, or drinking half your body weight in ounces.
  • Keep more healthy snacks around so you aren’t eating bigger meals in one sitting.

There are several simple solutions to living a healthy lifestyle while also staying busy. Sometimes schedules fight against our attempts to create healthy habits, but we must make it a priority and actively make the right choices to see change. Drinking lots of water and being more active can show an increase in energy, happiness and awareness, so let’s begin with the small steps!

About the author

Kasey Copeland

Kasey Copeland

Kasey Copeland is a graduate student who has a passion for helping children through her career in social work. She loves writing as a way to connect with the world. Her passions include, but are not limited to, Mexican food, dogs, fuzzy blankets and pretending to enjoy working out. In her spare time (whatever that is), she is usually planning her wedding or binge-watching Netflix shows.

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