It seems we live in a “rush, rush” world. Mostly, it’s of our own making, and if we made a conscious effort to slow down and take better care of ourselves, we’d probably find that we would still get everything done on that busy to-do list. Being unhealthy will only hurt a person’s efficiency, so here are five quick and easy ways to stay healthy with quick workout ideas, and quick meal ideas that are healthy meals.
1. Yoga and stretching
Let’s start with the fastest, easiest, least expensive way to start taking care of your body. Yoga and stretching make a quick workout that will not only tone your body and improve flexibility, but also calm your mind. A calm mind is a an efficient mind. There are numerous websites and videos that can guide a novice through simple, beginner workouts. Depending on your lifestyle, you may prefer to do this kind of exercise in the morning or before bedtime. I like to stretch and practice yoga before bedtime because of its calming effect. Therefore, I sleep much better. Yoga is not some kind of “woo woo” religious exercise, and it does not require extraordinary flexibility. In fact, it will improve our flexibility, as well as your strength. Try www.yogabasics.com or www.abc-of-yoga.com to get started.
2. Stationary bike or trainer
Many people already own a bicycle, so it might be most economical to buy a trainer for that bike. A trainer is a piece of equipment that you set the back tire of your bike in so that you can peddle in a stationary manner. Trainers take up very little room, so they’re easy to store. However, you may prefer an actual stationary bike, and they come in a variety of models and prices. Either way, this is a convenient, quick workout. Just flip on your favorite television show, read a book or magazine, or listen to your iPod while spinning for 30 minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much this exercise will get you to your target heart rate, and therefore improve your weight and your cardio.
3. 30 minutes of weight training
This is another quick workout that is convenient and easy. You can purchase hand weights at any discount retailer or sporting goods store. 5 pound, 10 pound, and even 15 pound weights will do the trick. Spend 30 minutes working out while watching television, or simply find a quiet place and enjoy your time. Once again, there are multiple websites that can guide you in quick, effective exercises. The Mayo Clinic’s website is a great, healthy, and safe guide to weight training.
4. Take a walk!
Walking is easily the most convenient, and maybe the most beneficial exercise a busy person can do. It improves everything from cardiovascular, to weight, to posture, and so much more. Walking is also an exercise you can easily break up into short sessions throughout your day. Walk for 15 minutes at work. If your office has stairs, climb those stairs for 15 minutes. Walk around the block, or in a nearby park. Walk the mall. If you prefer to walk at home, then it’s as simple as walking right out the front door. Just do it for 30 minutes and make sure it’s brisk. That means that you should not be able to easily have a conversation while walking.
5. Cook fast, healthy meals at home.
Fast food companies have done a knock-out job of making the busy American believe that he/she does not have time to cook. That simply isn’t true. Here’s a question: How long do you sit in the fast food drive-thru? How much fat is in what you purchase? How do you feel after eating all that fat and sugar? And how much money are you spending a day? Quick meals can be made at home that will be healthy meals. A few basic ingredients will keep you eating healthily. Purchase a bag of separately frozen chicken tenders. Fresh onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Add rice and pasta to your basic ingredients list. Separately frozen fish filets and shrimp are also good for your new healthy meal arsenal. Basic spices would include salt, pepper, oregano, chili powder, cumin, basil, and combo spices like seasoned salt or Italian seasoning. Olive oil is a healthy, versatile cooking oil. My most valued cooking tool is my wok. An example of a quick meal would be a chicken and vegetable stir fry over rice. Start cooking your rice. Thaw two chicken strips in the microwave, chop up onions, peppers and garlic, slice a few of your favorite vegetables; like squash or carrots, and warm up the wok. Once the wok is warm, add two tablespoons of olive oil, swirl it around to cover the wok, then add your veggies and stir fry lightly. Add salt, pepper, oregano and basil. Turn to medium heat, let it simmer and chop up the chicken strips. Add them to the mixture and stir fry until the chicken is cooked. Scoop onto a bed of rice, and viola! You’ve just made a quick meal in about 20 minutes! Now, how long did you sit in that fast food drive-thru?