You are always on the move, you are wearing multiple hats and you are forever juggling between a busy office life and an even busier home routine. This is a reality for most of us but there is someone at the centre of all of this madness whom we are gravely ignoring. It is the person we quickly ignore in the mirror every morning who longs for us to notice the difference in our bodies or our mental well being. Let us stop making excuses and let us go ahead and make a change today – a change that will only better our life.
Here are a few simple things you could do to stay fit forever:
1. Enjoy your meals, and eat mindfully
There is no greater blunder than skipping meals in the name of – ‘I’m too busy!’ You are never too busy for food. You are just busy for the whole process – thinking of what to make, making it and then sitting down to eat it. Don’t over think food. Just look at the watch and when it is time, sit down for the meal. Even if a meeting stretches beyond the office lunch hours, whenever you are back at your desk, open up the dabba and enjoy your meal. And, for added brownie points, really stop to savor every single bite, chew slowly, close your eyes, if you can, relish the texture and all the flavors. Science has shown that this kind of mindful eating can do wonders for bringing us back into the present moment, lowering our stress and renewing us for the rest of the day.
2. Move your body to something you love
We are not asking you to necessarily join Zumba or take a compulsorily walk for 30 minutes. All we are recommending is for you to find at least one physical activity that becomes so much a part of your routine that you cannot end your day without it. The key to making it work is to find something that you really love, whether it’s Power Yoga in the morning or a swim at night. You might have to cut down on something else like watching less TV after returning from work but it is all worth it because you are taking out time for your own body – a body that you live in all day, all night! Apply tricks like having a walking buddy or joining a Yoga group that sends out Whatsapp reminders the night before. The key is to start moving to whatever it is you love, and to do it consistently.
3. Stay hydrated
Water is that one wonder potion that is a cure to every ailment under the sun. It keeps your skin hydrated (which gets sapped after 9-10 hours of continual exposure to your laptop), it keeps your stress levels in control, it helps you lose weight and above all, water keeps you active. Are you saying you are just not used to it? Or is it that you remember it for the first few hours and then forget about it? Here is the trick. Set a target. If you are a total non-drinker (of water that is), start with a small target. Tell yourself you will finish a litre of bottle today. Keep that bottle at a prominent place on your work station. Maybe, just near the mouse pad or on your keyboard itself. Kidding. Drinking water only when you are thirsty is often not enough. Instead, try drinking a few sips regularly, say once every 60 minutes, till you finish that bottle. Gradually, as the days progress, increase the target. From one bottle to two and then one bottle after you reach home. This habit will eventually grow on you and trust us, you will renew yourself in no time.
4. Try a wearable fitness device
We hope you have had that one glass of water as we advised and if you still didn’t take us seriously…stop reading…drink.
Let’s go ahead now.
Online shopping is your special forte right? You love when one of the leading fashion brands has already delivered the brown carton home that is filled with the latest boots in town before you set foot inside the house? Take this online fever to the next level and get yourself a wearable fitness device that tracks your daily routine digitally and gives you instant results, informing you of what you are doing and how much more is required.
Starting with monitoring the quality of your sleep to the quality of nutrition in your diet and then your activity level – for example, how many steps you took in the entire day. Every piece of data will be on your screen and will help you stay on track and stay motivated. These apps and devices make recommendations based on your performance and thus become a fitness trainer of sorts that is always wrapped around your wrist to guide you towards healthy living!
5. Build awareness of your own body
At the end of it all, know your own body. If a colleague brags about an hour of jogging followed by 30 minutes of Yoga, further topped by meditation, while you just took the elevator to the first floor and the only time you meditate is when the kids are solving that tricky puzzle and not calling you for help – don’t fret, and whatever you do, do not compare. Comparisons only give rise to miseries. Although, taking a bit of inspiration never disappoints. Take inspiration from the fitness regimes of the people whom you admire or have seriously been working on their health and see what works best for you. Maybe, for you, jogging on weary knees is not recommended or aerobics could be something that does not excite you. Look at yourself, your routine, your limitations and your own unique situation (with kids, their timings, your office hours etc) and then decide.
Another crucial part of self awareness is regular health checkups. Ask around in the office if they have a tie up with a clinic or look for a good health package yourself. The best way to know what is happening inside you and how to cope with it is to keep your doctor in the know of your health.
Take the first step towards respecting your body and see the magic. A fitter you will be less stressed, more energetic, and ready to take on more and more challenges. Besides, the tips above do not require any drastic changes to your schedule. Start slow, but start for sure.
About The Author
An MBA from MICA, Parul Tyagi is a marketer and a freelance content curator for over a decade now. An avid blogger, she has written articles for several offline and online publications. After penning down her first two fiction books- Love Will Find A Way and Hurry Om Hari, she forayed into non-fiction writing with her latest, quirky and strictly non-preachy title- 69 Things I Wish I Knew Before Getting Married. A full-time mother of two boys, Parul finds her peace in reading, traveling and eating (mostly all at the same time!)