With a cable network to manage, a school in Africa to run, and shows to host, Oprah Winfrey might just be one of the busiest women in the world. And as Winfrey's health and fitness adviser, Bob Greene is definitely used to guiding busy professionals. Greene says one of the biggest excuses people often give is the "lack of time." Here are some steps to living a healthier lifestyle even if your plate is full:
- Prioritize and identify. "Prioritize what is most important in your life, and identify where you spend your time and energy. They should sync up! Before doing so, you might want to list all the things that are more important than your health and well being. When put this way, most people have a tough time justifying not having enough time to work out."
- Reduce time spent on other activities. "Systematically look at the time that is spent in activities that don't lead to your specific goals or benefit your life in a meaningful way. Most people do spend some time in these activities and benefit from whittling them down to the bare minimum."
- Build activity into your current schedule. "If you live close enough to work, walk or bike. Even shopping for groceries can be aerobic if done quickly enough, and getting it done faster saves more time! Take the stairs, park farther from your destination, wear a pedometer, these are all effective techniques to get more activity efficiently."
- Practice eating healthy."While it probably does take more time to plan and prepare healthy meals, once you get your recipes and ingredients down pat, it does get easier and more efficient. There are a slew of new healthy cookbooks that have 10- and even five-minute meals. Acquire a repertoire of these recipes and cookbooks. Also, collect menus (from both take out and dine-in restaurants) so you know where to go and what to order ahead of time."
- Get friends involved. "Partner with other health-conscious friends to share making dinner (or lunch) for each other. Each person can take a night where they are fully responsible for the entire meal. This not only saves time in preparation, you combine healthy dining with spending time with people in a social setting. Bonus because it's with people with similar goals of maximizing their own well-being."
Photo courtesy of of O, the Oprah Magazine