Modern Girl’s Guide to Healthy Living
It can be difficult out there for the modern woman. Whether you’re a mother or single & thriving, working your way up in the business world or a SAHM, healthy living can often take the back-burner. A lot of it boils down to time (or a lack thereof) because, let’s face it, family or not time is often precious and fleeting in this busy era. As 2020 peeks around the corner, it’s time to gather ideas for the new year so you can start living your best life. Here’s our Modern Girl’s Guide to Healthy Living!
One aspect of healthy living that’s hard to fit in is exercise. Regardless of whether you work 9 to 5 or spend your days wrangling children and chores (which, honestly, counts as exercise too), you can manage to fit in the oft-touted 30 minutes a day. While the following are modified for office use, these exercises can just as easily be incorporated for use in your home.
- Sitting for long hours at a desk? Take advantage of leg planks or the foot drill. Leg planks involve sitting on the edge of your chair with your knees bent and feet on the floor, then gently extending your leg out in front of you until it's straight and parallel with the floor. Hold for 10 seconds, release, and repeat with your other leg. Do 5xs for each leg. The foot drill is simply that thing you’ve seen football players doing where they tap their feet in place. Do it at your desk and see if you can do for at least 30 seconds.
- Work your arms with the chair dip! Sit in your desk chair, place your hands on the armrests and sit on the edge of the seat. Then lift your body, hold for 10 seconds, return to sitting. Do 5xs.
- Muscle tension is a killer at work. Ease it by raising your shoulders to your ears, holding for 10 seconds, then relaxing. OR if it’s your back that’s giving your trouble, do the twist! While sitting, twist as far to the right side as you comfortably can then hold for 10 seconds; repeat on the other.
- WALK! The always great and ever easy exercise is walking. Take breaks when you can to go on short walks, take the stairs, and park further away. Every little bit counts.
- For even MORE office type exercises, check out this Washington Post article with animations and rankings on how hard (and how sweat inducing) each is!
The other most important aspect to healthy living is, of course, what you’re eating. Not having a lot of time during the day leads to a lot of snacking when you have time, which is just mindless consumption of empty calories instead of ones that will help keep you full. You may not have a lot of time for meal preparation but there are plenty of ways to deal with that.
- Prepare food in bulk at the beginning of each week. Pre-make lunches for the week, make dinners and freeze them for easy reheating, pre-chop any veggies you may want to use during the week, and so forth. This makes meals much quicker and easier!
- Don’t have time to pre-make your weekly menu or come home one night to find you’re just not in the mood to cook? Try meal delivery plans like Top Chef Meals! For example, Top Chef Meals offers you pre-made, chef-prepared frozen breakfast, lunch, and dinner that you simply pop in the microwave. And if you’re following a special kind of diet such as paleo or gluten-free, this might be a better option for you. Top Chef Meals, for example, offers meal plans for both of those diets, plus meal plans for diabetics, people watching their sodium, and more!
- Make sure you have grab’n’go snacks at the ready in your office or home. Having healthy snacks such as fruit, granola, or nuts on hand enables you to skip the vending machines AND helps you avoid pushing hunger to the side to the point you become one hangry individual.
- Hydrate! You know water is key to feeling great so aim for 6-8 bottles a day. Even better than grabbing lots of water bottle throughout the day? Bringing your own large, refillable bottle wherever you go.
- Don’t eat while you work. Eating amidst distraction means you’ll eat more than you planned too. Focusing only on your food during meal & snack times is one of the easiest ways to control calorie consumption available!
You have diet & physical activity down now, but what about stress? Let’s face it, there’s a lot to be stressed about most days and how you handle that stress affects both your waistline and, most importantly, your general health. Regardless of how busy you are, you should always make time to destress. Luckily, there are several ways of doing so that you can fit into your life.
- Meditation & mindfulness work wonders. You’ve probably heard lots about both of these things and might have even tried one or the other before. Both are fairly easy to make time for and while meditation might take some practice, you’ll be much happier for incorporating them. Start by taking a few minutes once or twice a day to pay attention to your breathing - deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth - and letting go of any negative thoughts/feeling by noticing them and letting them go. You can also try taking a walk and actually paying attention to your surroundings, listening to a guided visualization, or listening to soothing music to empty your mind.
- Be grateful. Believe it or not, being grateful for things goes a long way in helping you to stress less! Try making a list once a week of things you’re thankful for or just write down one thing a day that you’re glad to have. You’ll see a difference in a matter of weeks.
- Practice self-care. If you’re not taking the time to take care of yourself, you’re going to be majorly stressed & on your way to burnout. Self-care is so simply, there’s really no excuse in not doing it. Get enough sleep each night. Eat well & be sure to move daily. Take 15 minutes a day to read or watch funny cat videos. If you have more time, get a massage or go to the spa. Talk to a friend when things feel out of your control. See? Simple!
- Acknowledge your feelings. Sometimes we get so busy, we push whatever we’re feeling way down to deal with later - except often later doesn’t come. This can result in a major blow-up or meltdown later on that’s so much worse to work through. Instead, when a feeling (whether anger, sadness, or joy) comes up, recognize it (“I’m feeling angry right now because…”) and move on. Once we acknowledge an emotion, it will often go away on its own. And if it doesn’t, deal with it when you have the time (preferably later that day) - journal for a few minutes, have a good cry, whatever helps you process it.
- Learn to say no. It’s hard to say no. We often feel an obligation to help out where we can. But the occasional “no” will make your life so much less stressful. By not spreading yourself too thin or committing to things you really don’t want, you’ll find yourself much happier.
So, guess what? We’re living in the future and that makes dealing with life a whole lot more convenient. Whether it’s walking into your home and activating everything with a single command or seeing who’s at your front door while you’re at the office, technology is a lifesaver. It’s the same when it comes to health & fitness too. Here are some of the biggest fitness techs from 2019 that help you stay on top of your well-being.
- Rather work out in the comfort of your own home? Then Mirror Fitness is for you. It looks like a full-length mirror but with the touch of an app, it transforms into boutique fitness classes. Choose from barre, boxing, cardio, Pilates, strength, stretch, and yoga classes. The downside? Mirror is pricey and it doesn’t work with Android, so make sure you’re totally committed before shelling out.
- We know when it comes to weighing ourselves that there’s more than just the number shown. A simple scale doesn’t factor in muscle weight vs. fat or water weight, for example. That’s where the Withings Body+ Scale comes in. It tracks all that and more, plus offers a specialized mode for pregnancy tracking. AND it can hold up to 8 people’s profiles. It’s more expensive than a regular scale, of course, but if these are things you’re interested in knowing, this one’s for you.
- Want to make sure you’re drinking enough water? The Ozmo Active Smart Water Bottle has you covered. By using a connected app, this bottle tracks your hydration throughout the day and flashes LED lights when it’s time for you to drink more. It may be expensive but if you’ve had trouble staying hydrated in the past, it’s worth a go.
- Travel a lot or just want to experience the gym without committing? Flexit works by connecting users to a network of participating gyms throughout the U.S., giving them the freedom to sample different gyms and pay by the minute. Right now there’s a limited selection of participating fitness centers, but if you often find yourself in different cities and need a gym setting, it could be helpful.
- Remember how much fun you had jumping rope as a kid? Turns out it’s a great workout for adults! And the Tangran Smartrope makes it even better. It counts your jumps for you, shows you your workout data mid-air, and syncs to your smartphone. Jumping rope is something you can fit in anytime, anywhere, so check this one out!
A few final tips for the modern woman wanting to live her healthiest life: 1) create an eating lifestyle instead of restricting yourself to a diet; 2) find foods & exercise that makes you happy, not miserable; 3) indulge in moderation; and 4) be proud of your successes. A healthy life is easier to accomplish than you might think, despite how busy you are!
Let Top Chef Meals help you make the most of life with our chef-prepared meals. With a vast menu full of delicious food, you’ll find a meal plan suited to your lifestyle in no time. Visit our menu today to start planning out healthy meals for the future!