This week we are diving into a topic that so many of us know is important, but we often avoid thinking about… making health a priority.
Chances are if you are here, you already do make your health some sort of priority. Maybe you’re starting to think a little more about making your health a priority. Either way, we have a lot to talk about in today’s podcast.
One of the biggest things that can get in the way of us making health a priority is time.
We are all busy. I’ve often heard the phrase “don’t busy my busy” in reference to competing with eachother as to who is busier. Let’s just all accept that we live in a world of “go go go” and that at the end of the day, we are all busy.
This busy schedule is what prevents so many of us from taking care of our health until it’s too late. When it comes to your health, taking care of yourself might require a little extra time upfront but in the long run, as you take the time to build the habits the extra energy will be worth the time.
We dig into all of this and more on this week’s episode of Be Your Best Self Health Chats. Let’s talk about making your health a priority.
- Making time for exercise
- Making time for groceries
- Setting your bedtime
- Tracking your water
- Starting a food journal
First things first, figure out what you need to do to make your health a priority. I’m not talking about what crash course diet you’re going to do, but really the steps you need to take to start feeling like the best version of you.
A few ideas are, but not limited to, drinking x amount of water a day, working out 3 times a week, organizing your food for the week, making a grocery list, eating so many vegetables. This list might seem overwhelming but if you start with just one of these it can make a big difference in the long run. As you continue down your health journey, you will be able to add more and more.
The next step here is to sit down with your calendar and start looking at your week.
Start with exercise. What days are realistic on your calendar that you know you can fit in some form of movement.
Pick a time that you know you’ll have time to get to a gym if needed, change your clothes if needed, and get back to work or life.
The goal here is to give yourself enough time to get everything done without feeling stressed or rushed. I realize that is hard to do, but if you have a 30-minute workout planned, give yourself 60. Trust me, you will thank me later!
Make these times realistic and ones you know you will not cancel. If you are a night owl and know you will not get up to workout at 4 am, do not block your calendar off at 4 am. Some people thrive by working out in the morning, other’s found that working out is the best way for them to wind down at night.
By adding these times to your calendar you now are blocking out time that belongs to YOU and only YOU!
The next thing to look at is when you’re planning to grocery shop and plan your food for the week. Personally, I like doing it all on the same day.
I will be the first to admit that even though I feel safer at a grocery store now, I still rely on InstaCart for my groceries. To me, it is worth saving 2-3 hours a week by taking 15 minutes to order my groceries and tip someone else to do the shopping.
As I unpack the groceries the veggies and fruit get washed and cut up so they are ready for the week.
If it’s a really good week, the rest of the food is packed into the fridge grouped together with how it will be cooked. This takes one more step out of thinking in the evening when it comes time to make dinners.
Again, put it on your calendar so you can block off time to MAKE YOUR HEALTH A PRIORITY. It is easy to rely on fast food or eating out when you don’t feel like ordering or getting the groceries organized. The extra few minutes you put in as you put your groceries away can add up big time throughout the week.
One more thing to put on your calendar.
Okay, I know roll with me on this one. It might seem a little odd but you can be working out 6 days a week, tracking your macros to a t, drinking a gallon of water a day but if you aren’t getting enough sleep your body probably will still rebel against you.
Sleep is the most important part of our health. We have forgotten what rest is living in a society where it seems to make you look strong if you burn the midnight oil, staying up all night working, taking care of kids, etc.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you have kids that hate sleep, I understand why you don’t get a lot of sleep. However, this is going to be even more important to block out time for.
When your sleep is lacking, your nutrition can fall off, it makes it easier to skip the gym and you might find yourself chugging more coffee than water.
All of these will prevent you from prioritizing your health. Sleep is the number one lifestyle factor that can reduce the risk of chronic disease by 50%.
So yea, it’s pretty important. However, let’s go back to that bedtime.
How much sleep should you get? I hate to give you the answer “it depends” but honestly, “it depends”.
At a minimum, you should be getting 6 hours of sleep a night. Some people need their full 8 hours of sleep while others are okay with 6-7 hours and feel a little off if they get 8-10 hours.
How do you get better sleep? This is where your bedtime and that calendar appointment come in.
With devices around our house and phones glued to our hands, we are preventing ourselves from getting quality sleep.
Take your calendar and write out your bedtime, say 10 pm. Then write down at 8 pm to start turning off the TVs around the house. Maybe start dimming some lights and by 9 pm turn off the screen on your phone.
Don’t worry if this seems impossible, as I am talking through this I am reminding myself that I need to take my own advice. It is a habit we need to build over time. It will not change in one night.
You can put your calendar away now, but let’s pick up a notebook really quickly. We have two more exercises to start making our health a priority.
First things first, tracking your water. If you hung out with us last week you heard all of my tips and tricks for drinking more water. I truly believe it is the ONE thing you can do if you want to start focusing on your health but don’t want to do all of these other steps we talked about.
I won’t go into that since we talked about it last week, but all I will say is start writing down the number of ozs you drink a day. You don’t have to track all day long but keep a tally of how many bottles you drink in your head. At the end of the day, write it down and compare day over a day how consistent you are.
Next thing we need to write down.
What you eat, when you eat, how you eat, and how your body responds. I could talk for hours about food journaling and the things you can learn from it. However, we’ll start simple.
Every time you eat, write down what you ate. You don’t have to give exact measurements it can be as simple as “a salad with green goddess dressing, avocado and almond slices on top”
Then write down how you ate it… was it on a plate, were you standing up over the sink while you did dishes, sitting at your desk, etc. These details might not seem important now, but over time when you look back at trends and your relationship with food, they will be important.
Note what time you ate your meal. Again, this might not seem like an important detail now but someday when you are working deeper on your relationship with food and your body this will be a key factor in determining how your body is being fueled.
Lastly, write down how you reacted 30 minutes to 1 hour later. Did you totally crash out and want to take a nap in the afternoon? Were you energized and felt like you could run laps around your office building?
All of these steps are places to start with your health. The key is planning and making time for yourself. There are 100 other things that can come up that can prevent that workout, bedtime, etc. By prioritizing your health, you are going to be able to build up the habits needed in order to have the energy to do those 100 other things throughout the rest of your day
Your assignment this week is to pick ONE new thing to do for your health. We will chat again next Tuesday!