Staying Healthy During Hustle Season
I have an all too common habit of allowing my workouts to fall by the wayside the second my schedule changes. With the upcoming #GirlsNightOut event, the largest and most popular event hosted by MsIndependent, I am in full hustle mode. Unfortunately the side effects of hustle mode include: long periods without eating, sitting, copious servings of coffee, lack of sleep, and chronic "I'll workout tomorrow" promises. Last week was the first time in 6 months that I did not workout! That's not to say that some weeks are less productive than others, but I know myself, and 1 week can easily turn into 2 weeks, then a month, and the next thing you know I'm back at square one.
This past week I'm happy to say that I got in 2 workouts ( better than nothing), but I've also started to try to find sneaky ways to get my body moving during the day. I've even managed to lose 4lbs in just over a month, despite having less time to workout and no food prep. Here are my top 5 ways to stay healthy during hustle season.
5 minute Rule
Throughout the day when I have 5 minutes to spare ( more or less) I do something physical. I might do lunges to the fridge, a few vinyasas before lunch, push ups during a commercial break, anything that elevates my heart rate and gets my blood circulating. Lately I've really been enjoying yoga poses first thing in the morning and between emails. Even if I only sneak in 4 of these 5 minute workouts a day, by the end of the week that comes to over 2 hours of exercise. A body in motion stays in motion. The goal is to keep moving.
2. Eat Like a 3 Year Old
I don't invest as much of my time in cooking as I'd like, so I snack throughout the day. I'm not talking junk food, instead I eat more like I did when I took my Little Mermaid lunchbox to school when my mom packed my lunches. I eat celery and hummus, tuna packs, nuts, fruit, yogurt, and there are even veggie/fruit squeeze packs for adults now. I can easily go hours without eating and when I'm working from home it's not uncommon for me to fix a plate a food and forget about it for hours. If you can't eat a balanced meal, then break up that meal throughout the day. Snacking is what keeps me from starving, and keeps my brain from striking. It also ensures that I don't gorge in the evenings after fasting throughout the day.
3. Dance Break
Dancing is simply just a fun way to let your body move however it wants, let your mind unwind, and just feel free. Any activity where you're stationary like brushing your teeth, taking a shower, or even folding laundry is an opportunity to dance. The awesome thing that happens when you pull up your playlist is that you inevitably get carried away, and forget all about "exercising", and just freely move however the music leads you. Dancing is also a mood elevator which can help with creativity, stress relief, concentration, and focus. Combined with meditation, dance is also my favorite stress reliever. It helps me reframe my day when I start to feel overwhelmed.
4. Make it a Date
Commit yourself to a few workouts a week by involving a friend, or RSVPing to a community workout like the Weekend Warrior Ride, run, yoga classes, or even a group walk. Revolution Studio and Black Swan Yoga host some amazing outdoor yoga classes that are complimentary, and the energy and vibe always inspire me to come back. Sometimes we get good at letting ourselves down, but once you involve other people, you tend to commit a little more...even if it's out of a sense of guilt or obligation. Either way, it gets you there, and gets you moving.
5. Know Thyself
I've gotten really good at knowing when I'm lying to myself. I've started writing down what my excuses and states of being are when I workout, and when I'm inactive. This helps me have some objectivity when I don't "feel" like doing the right thing for my body. In the moments when I'm knee deep in emails and feeling overwhelmed, stopping to do anything can feel wasteful. However, my ability to extend my endurance during that time is even more important than the work itself. Something so simple as a 15-20 minute walk to clear my head is a better deal then spending hours at my desk with decreased productivity, due to stress and clouded reasoning. Of course I wouldn't have taken that walk without looking at my vision journal where the Erin from last week reminds the Erin of this week that I promised to get moving and stress less. Write down your excuses, get familiar with them, and in time when you hear yourself claiming to be too busy, you'll know that's when you need to move the most.
I'm far from being an expert on the topic of work life balance but these are just a few reliable ways that I've been able to keep moving, eat well, and manage my stress. A body at rest stays at rest. The same is said for a body in motion. If I can keep moving, keep feeding myself, and allow my mind to untangle throughout the day, then I'm making progress.
These are just a few ideas, but there are even more great tips in the book Superwomen Secrets Revealed written by Catherine Basu. The book features a behind the scenes tour into the daily lives of 17 inspiring and ambitious women that find a way to stay fit and stay focused. These ladies are CEOs, female founders, attorneys, women entrepreneurs, and overall just ambitious women. In this inspirational, informative and action-oriented book, Catherine has fitness challenges and dares to motivate you to get moving, and keep it that way.
I hope you found this helpful, and if you have some way that you like to stay fit, feed, and sane during you hustle season, let me know in the comments below.