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15 Ways To Get In Shape For Busy People

15 Ways To Get In Shape For Busy People
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Are you struggling to find the time to work out or prepare healthy meals during the week?

If you are working a full-time job, or are a student or mom, you know that life gets busy and it is hard to dedicate time for your health. Those new year’s resolutions may motivate you to push harder for the first few weeks, but without a concrete plan of action life will get in your way.

Today, I would like to share 15 tips to get in shape for busy people. As a medical student in her last year, I have to try hard to balance studies and health. I hope you will find my tips useful (and read until the end for a little reward)!

1. Plan ahead

Plan your week

    Of all my tips, this is the most important one. If you are working a full-time job, are busy with collage exams, or have to look after the kids, planning your week ahead of time is a game changer.

    Every Sunday, take out a notebook, open a new file in word, or use the notebook app on your mobile device. Write down your schedule for every day for the next week. This includes working hours, when you need to get up, what time you get back home, what time you have a lunch break, etc. If you really struggle with making time for healthy eating and fitness, this will help you out a lot.

    The next step is to determine which days you can fit in a workout and prepare your meals for the next day. If you have to leave very early in the morning, make sure to have everything ready the night before. Maybe you have a little 20-minute time frame in the evening to fit in a quick sweat session?

    The first time, things might go wrong and you might not be able to stick to your plan. Don’t get discouraged! After a while, you will notice how much free time you actually have.

    2. Set realistic goals

    While planning your week ahead, don’t schedule hour-long workouts on days you know you might be too busy to complete them. You have to be honest with yourself. If you know you are going to come home very late and will be tired but still have to cook dinner, chances are you will have to skip the workout.

    Instead, write down which days you are 80% sure you can fit in at least 20 minutes of exercise. It is okay not to work out and take rest days. Your goal should be to stick to your plan and not to skip workouts.

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    3. Cook in bulk

    Cook in bulk

      For healthy nutrition, cooking in bulk is my main tool. If you are studying for exams all day long or are working at your job, you will not have the time to cook a special meal every day.

      Most meals can be reheated and eaten 2-3 days after being cooked. This way, you only have to cook 2-3 times during the week.

      If you lack ideas, you can find delicious and easy recipes on Pinterest.

      4. Prepare snacks

      Many people eat healthy at home but fail to stick to their diet when they are on the go. Temptation is everywhere, and if your friends or collegues don’t understand your lifestyle, it is easy to fall off the wagon.

      It is okay to enjoy little treats here and there and have a not-so-healthy meal. What matters is that you don’t make it a habit to buy the easiest fast food when you are eating out.

      Instead, pack yourself snacks that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats to fill you up. The fat and protein will also increase hormones that decrease hunger and stabilize blood sugar levels. This will aid in weight and fat loss and you will not feel deprived either.

      Examples for great snacks are nuts, self-made protein bars, cookies, fruit, and greek yoghurt.

      5. Prepare portable meals

      If you are going to be at work the whole day, little snacks won’t suffice. Also, eating out every day can be very expensive, especially if you try to stick to healthy food options.

      So, prepare lunch the night before and take it with you to work or school. I highly recommend sticking to easy, basic recipes. A salad with chicken, wild rice, and avocado is one of my favorite options.

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      You can also prepare meatballs, beans, pasta, eggs—the options are endless. I recommend not to take anything liquid, like soup, unless you have a very safe container.

      6. Avoid food cravings

      Cravings usually occur during a low-calorie diet, when your body is lacking nutrients and when you are stressed or otherwise emotionally unbalanced. In fact, your cravings could be a sign of a vitamin deficiency in your body.

      If you are constantly stressed, try to find ways to calm down other than using food. Take a hot bath, drink some soothing tea, try a yoga class or video from youtube. Sometimes, writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper helps too.

      In addition to that, I recommend not to follow a restricted diet. Clean eating means sticking to non-processed foods most of the time.

      However, if you want to make it a lifestyle, you need to ask yourself if you could commit to this style of eating for the rest of your life. If your answer is “no,” you will fall off the wagon easily.

      Instead, fit in small treats like a piece of chocolate or half a serving of ice cream into your diet.

      Also, you can bake healthy versions of your favorite cookies and cakes to satisfy your sweet tooth. You can even prepare them beforehand and store them in the freezer. They taste just as amazing as freshly baked, trust me!

      7. Adjust your food intake

      You don’t have to work out 5-7 times per week to get in shape. At the end of the day, your weight loss success depends on calories in versus calories out. Thus, you need to change your food intake according to your activity level.

      If you are sitting and not very active for most of the day, you should eat less than someone who is on their feet all day long. On training days, eat more, especially post-workout. This way, your body will learn to use the extra fuel on training days to build muscle and not store as fat.

      8. Eat frequently

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      Healthy snacks

        During clinical rotations at med school, we don’t always have time for a lunch break. Many doctors skip eating and go out for dinner afterwards.

        However, if you let your body starve for such a long period of time, you will most likely overeat and consume more calories than you have burned that day in one sitting. I always have either self-made protein bars or little portable meals with me and eat those.

        It just takes 5 minutes but goes a long way, trust me. When you arrive home, your blood sugar levels will not be that low and you will make healthier choices and stick to reasonable portion sizes.

        9. Choose intensity over duration

        When it comes to fitness, it does not matter how many hours you work out per week. What matters is intensity.

        You can work out for an hour long and just go through the movements and hardly break a sweat. Or, you can fit in a quick 15-minute sweat session and push really hard—until your muscles and lungs are burning.

        Which technique will benefit you more in the long run? The latter version will not only burn more calories during but also after the session—your metabolism is revved for up to 24 hours following!

        10. Be active in general

        15 Tips to get in shape for busy people

          Make it a habit to take the stairs, always. Don’t use your car to get groceries from a nearby store. Try to find ways to be generally active during the day. It might not sound like a lot of exercise to you now, but these little actions add up and will keep your metabolism high. Even if you fail to do a workout, at least you were active and tried your best!

          11. Use the weekends

          The weekends are the best time to focus on fitness and nutrition. Don’t panic, you can still relax and enjoy time with your family and friends. A good workout only takes one hour of your day, but you will benefit from it forever. If you are only able to fit in 10-15 minutes a few times during the week, make use of your free time on the weekend.

          Lift heavy weights, do high intensity interval training, and sweat a lot! You will be proud of yourself afterwards and have more energy than when you started.

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          12. Try home workouts

          Home workouts

            You don’t need a gym membership to get in shape. If you are beginner, bodyweight strength training will be hard enough for you. There are amazing workout videos on Youtube, I recommend fitnessblender. It is motivating to work out along with the trainers. After a while, you will get used to finishing your day with a 15-minute workout, done in the comfort of your own living room.

            13. Drink water

            When you are out all day, it is easy to forget to drink enough. However, proper hydration is crucial to keeping your metabolism high and curbing cravings. Always keep a water bottle with you and sip on it whenever you feel like you might be getting hungry. Most of the time, it is not real hunger but thirst—our brain can’t fully distinguish between both sometimes.

            14. Get plenty of sleep

            When people contact me because they are unable to lose weight, despite proper nutrition and training, the first thing I ask is if they sleep enough.

            You may not realize how much lack of sleep impacts all hormones in your body. Cortisol, the stress hormone, increases and modulates all metabolic processes in your body. Thus, people with high cortisol levels store fat easily and also get hungry much faster. Try to go to bed at a decent time and find ways to calm down in the evening. Don’t spend too much time in front of the computer—read a book, take a bath, relax. I also recommend listening to some calming music before going to bed.

            15. Don’t stress it

            Some weeks you will stick to your plan without any effort. Then, there are those weeks where everything seems to go wrong. Sometimes, things happen we cannot control. Your child might get sick or you have to stay longer at work or school. On those days, you might fall off track and have to skip a workout. Unless this becomes a habit, don’t stress it. It is okay to fail now and then. What matters is your determination to get back up and continue where you left.

            And now, your little surprise:

            Get in shape for busy people — A workout plan!

            If you have made it until the very end of this article—you rock! Thank you for staying with me. As a little reward, I designed a week of workouts for you busy people! Now, you don’t even need to search for workouts. Just save this workout schedule and you are good to go!

            Workout plan for busy people

              If you liked this weekly workout plan and my tips to get in shape for busy people, comment below and share it!

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              Do you have other tips to get fit while living a busy lifestyle? Share your ways to stay healthy!

              Featured photo credit: Runner/ Garry Knight via flickr.com

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              Last Updated on July 12, 2021

              100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier

              100 Incredible Life Hacks That Make Life So Much Easier
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              Want to learn some quick and easy life hacks that are easy to do, low cost and saves you time?

              By tweaking little things in your daily life, it can make your life much more convenient!

              Here’re 100 of the most practical life hacks so you can just pick up any of them right away!

              83 tie a small piece of bright colored fabric

                84 write random letter

                  85 use a rubberband

                    86 dorm smell bad

                      87 lean your phone on your sunglassess

                        89 how to waterproof your shoes

                          90 take a picture of the name card

                            91 iron inside out

                              92 old newspaper

                                93 tumble try shoes

                                  keep a card like this

                                    SONY DSC

                                      94 soap bar

                                        95 make a hole

                                          96 drop the battery

                                            97 use a coozie

                                              98 when taking a picture

                                                use a clean dust pan

                                                  try a pants hanger

                                                    use your cellphone light

                                                      use a spring from an old pen

                                                        quick and easy iphone speaker

                                                          user binder clips

                                                            wrap a wet paper towel around your beverage

                                                              put pancake mix in a ketchup bottle

                                                                clean out an old lotion bottle for your beach

                                                                  use a muffin tin to serve condiments at a bbq

                                                                    doritos are great for kindling

                                                                      use nail polish to identify different keys

                                                                        use a hanging shoe rack to store cleaning supplies

                                                                          freeze grapes to chill white wine without

                                                                            use paper clips to organize your cables

                                                                              almost finished your jar of nutella

                                                                                sick of having a box full of tangled

                                                                                  unroll the rim to increase the capacity

                                                                                    cut open toilet paper rolls and use as a cuff

                                                                                      remove the stem from strawberries

                                                                                        turn an old bottle into a simple little cord holder

                                                                                          for iced coffee and iced cappuccino, use frozen coffee cubes

                                                                                            how to fold a fitted bed sheet

                                                                                              tired of snoozing past your alarm

                                                                                                place a rubber band around an open paint can to wipe your brush on

                                                                                                  ut a wooden spoon across a boiling pot

                                                                                                    use bread clips to save flip-flops

                                                                                                      take pictures of friends holding items

                                                                                                        how i always know which headphone is the left one

                                                                                                          put a stocking over the end of a vacuum

                                                                                                            How to make sure you drink enough water

                                                                                                              user a can opener to open blister

                                                                                                                good sandwich guide

                                                                                                                  turn your muffin pans upside down

                                                                                                                    50 pounds of groceries and living on the 5th floor

                                                                                                                      the right way to make a blt

                                                                                                                        add one teaspoon of baking soda

                                                                                                                          38

                                                                                                                            hair straighteners equals to collar irons

                                                                                                                              stack your clothes vertically to see them all

                                                                                                                                the right way to make cookies in the summer

                                                                                                                                  how to clean a blender

                                                                                                                                    the right way to eat a popsicle

                                                                                                                                      use bread clips to label and organize power cords

                                                                                                                                        to get the built up residue off of your shower head

                                                                                                                                          user a hair clip to orgainize long wires

                                                                                                                                            a frozen saturated sponge in a bag

                                                                                                                                              rub stuck zipper teeth with a graphite pencil

                                                                                                                                                use a soda pop tab

                                                                                                                                                  50

                                                                                                                                                    51 How to multiply large numbers in your head.

                                                                                                                                                      52 How to open a bottle if you dont have a corkscrew.

                                                                                                                                                        rub a walnut on damaged wooden furniture

                                                                                                                                                          kids fall out of bed

                                                                                                                                                            use toothpaste to clear up hazy car

                                                                                                                                                              58

                                                                                                                                                                59 keep pizza out while driving home

                                                                                                                                                                  60 put your straw through the tab to keep it from rising

                                                                                                                                                                    hold oreos with a fork so your fingers

                                                                                                                                                                      Never lose your remotes again

                                                                                                                                                                        hiding your emergency money

                                                                                                                                                                          use a bread tab to hold your spot on a roll

                                                                                                                                                                            if you are at a hotel and run out of chargers

                                                                                                                                                                              keep a square of cardboard in a ziplock bag

                                                                                                                                                                                If you need to pee or smoke at a bar

                                                                                                                                                                                  drill holes in the bottom of your garbage

                                                                                                                                                                                    use an accented letter as your passcode

                                                                                                                                                                                      use a squeeze ketchup bottle top with your shopvac

                                                                                                                                                                                        do something unusual when locking the door

                                                                                                                                                                                          when heating leftovers space out a circle in the middle

                                                                                                                                                                                            dont burn yourself in those hard to reach candles

                                                                                                                                                                                              put a small amount of water in a glass when you microwave your pizza

                                                                                                                                                                                                75 use a piece of paper to organize

                                                                                                                                                                                                  use half a pool noodle

                                                                                                                                                                                                    pencil case to store cables

                                                                                                                                                                                                      78 clothespin to hold nail

                                                                                                                                                                                                        79 make blts

                                                                                                                                                                                                          80 take a picture of your fridge

                                                                                                                                                                                                            81 fill plastic water bottles

                                                                                                                                                                                                              82 right ways to eat chips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                99 if your plug keeps failing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  100 put the banana on the wire

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    88 before you throw away a post it

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Source: Reddit LifeProTips

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      There you go, 100 awesome life hacks that you can try right now to make your life a lot easier!

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      50 Top Parenting Tricks and Hacks That Will Make Life Easier And More Fun

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      30 Brilliant Camping Hacks I Wish I Knew Earlier

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      20 Popular Life Hacks From the Internet Debunked (or Verified)

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