Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Valuing the time spent improving your health

No matter how busy things are, we always make time for good food and a workout. How? It seems almost impossible the way our society is. The number one complaint I hear from clients is that they are too busy to cook, or exercise.

Part of the problem is the value society places on being busy and stressed. It is more acceptable to work a 10 hour day then to leave after 8 to ensure you get a run in. People listen with approval when you describe your day of running to the school, to work, kids to lessons and back for an evening meeting. But there is a tone of luxury to somebody describing getting off at 5:00, taking a long run, then cooking supper and sitting as a family to enjoy it.

There are so many options for kids extra curricular activities as well, many people jump on board as many as possible, only to have the week become booked up and evenings becoming a juggling act for parents.

So what can we do? Number one, have a plan in place. Know what your meals are going to be for the week. Prepare ahead whatever you can, whenever you can. Look at your schedule for the week and decide where workouts fit in and where you will have time for an actual sit down meal.

Number two- Make food and exercise a priority. When committing to things outside of the usual work week, look at how it will affect your health. If your child wants to take dance lessons, and swimming and play hockey how will you fit in what you need to do for your meals and health? Choosing one, or choosing times that still allow you to fit in what you need can help. Maybe hockey for winter, swim and dance in the summer? Maybe there's a class that is right after school so that you can still be home at a decent hour?
If you're on a sub-committee at work that needs to meet after work hours- maybe the team can meet before work? Or after supper?

It is about priorities, and your health has to be a priority. We need to support those that do fit in daily exercise and healthy meals by showing respect for these choices and not saying, "You're so lucky to have time for that." It is a choice. And in the words of Edward Stanley in 1873 "Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness." (I'd like to add preparing healthy food to that, but in 1873 I think most people still made their own meals.)

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