With how busy our lifestyles have become, the journey to fitness can be a long and winding one. We face many obstacles and roadblocks throughout that can deter us from being our most healthy. Having work, school, family, and other commitments makes it difficult to find time to make healthy choices. Here are some tips that will help you stay on track to becoming your healthiest possible self.

Set Goals

The first major key to staying fit while having a busy schedule is to set goals. Yes, every article about staying in shape suggests having goals but that is because it is such a critical step. Having fitness goals will help you stay motivated and actually look forward to working out. Make sure the goals are realistic, once you accomplish one you will feel more motivated to reach the next.

Make a Schedule

You schedule your meetings, appointments, and deadlines; so why not schedule your workouts and fitness goals too? When you’re constantly on the go it is important to choose specific days and times for working out so that you stay committed to it. Try getting a 20-minute workout on your lunchbreak, choose certain days to work out before or after work, or dedicate part of your weekend to time at the gym. The key is to schedule it in to your everyday life until it becomes a norm.

Stretch Yourself

After a night of sleeping and before a day of sitting at your desk, it is important to stretch. Stretching in the morning is a great way to start your day. It will help you wake up while improving flexibility and increasing blood flow. Listen to your body, you will be able to have deeper stretches the more you do it.

Eat Healthy

The secret to eating healthy is planning your meals ahead. Before grocery shopping make a list and include healthy foods that you will actually eat, don’t have wilted kale hidden at the bottom of the vegetable drawer in your fridge because you wanted to eat healthy but hate kale. Do not get fooled by the myth that you cannot eat healthy snacks when you are busy. Bananas are the perfect healthy on the go snack, they literally come with a natural wrapper so there is no work necessary. Grapes are another great choice since you can cut the vine to the portion you want. Packing healthy, homemade lunches a couple days in advance can help you avoid ordering a cheeseburger at lunch.

Goodbye Soda

A sure fire way to stay healthy when busy is to give up sugary drinks. Yes, their carbonated sweetness is enticing but they are not doing you any favors. Soda is linked to weight gain and other various health complications. When you get a refill on that soda during lunch you are adding 180 calories and 50g of sugar to your meal. Yikes! Don’t let two drinks hinder your progress, kick soda to the curb.

Hello Water

Now that you have parted ways with soda, it’s time to get reacquainted with a health power house of a drink called water. Water promotes proper function of cells, tissues, and organs. It also helps in the transportation of nutrients throughout the body. Both mental and physical performance are improved when hydrated. Try to start and end your day with a glass of water, with glasses throughout the day in one hour intervals. It is important to continuously replenish the body with water because it loses water from everyday occurrences like sweating, breathing, and using the bathroom. If the taste bores you try spicing it up by adding fruit or brewing sugar free tea.

At Home

Fitting in a gym session can be difficult when you have a busy schedule. But let me ask you this, after work do you find time to watch TV, read a book, or spend time with friends or family? Good, because you can easily make any of these activities an active one. Workout while watching TV. Do squats whenever a character sits down, try to fit in as many sit-ups as you can during commercial breaks, or just jog in place during the entire program. Nowadays, many books have audio versions which are perfect for going on runs. Like to decompress by talking with loved ones after a long day? Have those talks on walks! Take whoever you spend time with after work to explore your neighborhood, go to a park, or even race each other up flights of stairs. The possibilities are endless when it comes to making everyday activities healthier.

Slip Ups Happen, Don’t Get Discouraged

So one day you slipped and had two donuts in the breakroom for lunch because you forgot your salad at home. Don’t panic! One day will not make or break you; so don’t be discouraged. Just remember that it is easier to continue the progress you have already made than it is to give up and start over in three weeks.

Find a Workout You Enjoy

Having a workout that is fun for you is the best way to ensure that you stay committed to a healthy lifestyle. Check out different classes, try machines you’ve never done before at the gym, or find workout videos online. Being in shape does not need to be a punishment, so have fun with it, your body will thank you! Have any tips for staying in shape with a busy schedule or a topic you want us to write about? Let us know! Talk to us on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments section below.

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