6 Totally Achievable Health Goals For Busy People
We’re almost halfway through the year and it’s probably a good time to start reflecting on our journey so far. If you’ve made a 2022 new year resolution to be healthier, but are not making much progress in keeping that promise to yourself, you’re not alone!
It’s a common misconception that staying healthy and keeping fit means hitting the gym 5 days a week, wearing cute workout gear, drinking healthy smoothies and protein shakes, or even eating salads and fancy foods like quinoa and couscous.
What if there are ways for you to easily achieve your health goals without burning a hole in your pocket while allowing you to juggle your busy schedule? Here’s how.
#1 Choosing Whole Foods over Processed Food
After a busy day, we’ll probably be tempted to stop at a strategically-located McDonald’s drive-thru, or just tapau or order food delivery for the sake of convenience, which might not be the best for our health. You’ll definitely feel healthier if you add more whole, homecooked food to your plate instead. Whole foods are primarily unprocessed, free of chemicals and other additives and packed with nutrients. They provide you with the vitamins and minerals that you need to maintain good health. Consciously eat more vegetables and healthy food consisting of balanced portions of proteins, carbohydrates, fibre, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and fat.
If you’re busy, you probably don’t have the time or energy to cook often. You can save time by cooking a larger portion and split up into several meals for the week. Here’s how you can start meal-prepping. If you wish to calculate and track your daily calorie intake, there are many mobile apps for calorie-counting and meal-planning you can download too!
#2 Get moving!
If you’re too busy to go to the gym or workout at home often, just try to increase your physical activity! Take the stairs instead of using the lift or stand and do some stretches after sitting down for a period of time. One of my professors even made the class stand up mid-lecture to move around for a few minutes because “sitting is the new smoking,”. If you feel unproductive during your workouts, you can always multitask by listening to podcasts or working on your tasks. You can even get a treadmill desk to increase your mileage while hustling hard. Speaking of which, why not challenge yourself by participating in the Skechers GOrun Challenge 2022 for FREE?
Organized by Skechers and BiiB, the Skechers GOrun Challenge 2022 is a virtual run happening from 20 May 2022 to 9 June 2022. Challenge yourself in either the 5KM, 10KM, 21.1KM or 42.2KM categories. Once you’ve completed your challenge, you’ll receive an e-certificate (and a finisher medal and t-shirt if you purchased it). Psst! You’ll even get a 40% off Skecher’s voucher for your next purchase in participating Skechers stores! Click here for more information and to register for Skechers GOrun Challenge 2022! Remember to insert the promo code the instructions to register for FREE!.
#3 Cutting Down on “Hidden Calories”
Throughout the day, we unknowingly consume many calories that we don’t factor into our daily calorie intake. These “hidden calories” come from the sauces, gravy, ketchup and salad dressings, oils, sodas, milk, bottled fruit juices… you get the idea. To cut down on these hidden calories, substitute them with healthier alternatives, e.g., low-fat milk instead of full-cream milk and vinaigrette instead of Thousand Island dressing. The World Health Organization also recommends limiting added sugar intake to less than 25g per day. You might not notice that you’re consuming a lot of sugar calories from sodas, bubble teas, and cordials. Don’t forget to ask for unsweetened or less-sweet drinks, or just drink plain water whenever you can!
#4 Put Your Phone Away While Eating
Another great and easy way to feel healthy without requiring much extra time is just to be mindful during mealtimes. We often tend to chow down our meals while watching Netflix, scrolling through social media or multitasking on an assignment. When you eat without truly enjoying and savouring your food, it is said to make you eat faster than you should, and might make you overeat too! The next time you have a meal, do remember to put away your devices and stay present. Not only will you be more conscious of what you’re eating, you’ll appreciate your dish more and feel more satisfied in the end.
#5 Drink More Water!
You’ve probably heard this one too many times (from your Asian mom). Since our bodies are made up of 60% water, drinking water is essential to help maintain the balance of fluids in our body. These fluids are responsible for daily physiological processes such as digesting, transporting and absorbing nutrients, maintaining our body temperature, and many more. Depending on your gender, age, body weight, height and level of physical activity, your required water intake differs. You can calculate your recommended daily water intake here!
#6 Have A Morning Routine
There are many Internet gurus and millionaires who recommend waking up in the early hours of the day, at 4 or 5 am. Since not everyone has the luxury to sleep and wake up that early, ultimately, it’s what you do after you wake up that matters. Instead of scrolling through social media first thing after opening your eyes, why not make your bed, shower, and make yourself a nice breakfast with a cup of coffee or tea? If you have extra time on your hands, you can also squeeze in a quick morning workout at home to kickstart a productive day ahead! If you’re up for it, try adding a 5 or 10-minute meditation session into your morning routine. Meditation is said to be able to help you de-stress, lower your blood pressure, reduce negative emotions and improve focus. Here’s my go-to Youtube channel for guided meditation videos, Great Meditation. A healthy lifestyle encompasses not just what you put on your plate, but also about how you move your body and how you feel about yourself. Achieving a healthier lifestyle is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. In order to achieve and maintain your health and wellbeing, you need to set realistic and sustainable goals!
Written by: Lee Shi Yun (Serena)
Serena is a final year medical student who sees the world in a positive light, despite all the adversities life has to offer. She enjoys a good cup of coffee with a slice of cake while watching a feel-good movie on Netflix. During stressful times, she winds down by immersing herself in the sights and sounds of nature.