Do you believe your health should be your number one priority? If not, or if you do, but life keeps getting in the way of your efforts to stay fit and well, you need to take stock of your priorities and get health and fitness at the top of the list.
The reason is perfectly simple. If you don’t have good health, your ability to lead a happy, fulfilled life could be compromised, and if your neglect is severe, there will come the point when poor health could lead to your early demise. In other words, if you don’t look after yourself, you could be looking at premature mortality.
That’s a scary thought, and one which most people manage to compartmentalize in their mind by applying the logic that they’ve been ok up to now, so they’ll be fine in the future. A good approach to have is to try and have a healthy lifestyle so that you can remain in good health for years to come.
The importance of finding time for exercise and self-care
One of the key barriers to looking after yourself is finding time for exercise and restorative relaxation. Both of these are fundamental to health and longevity, and yet with our busy schedules, there seems barely enough time to manage the basic responsibilities of work and family, let alone finding time for regular exercise or meditation.
However, if you examine your time management, you’ll probably see there are ways to include these vital activities in your life. First of all, you need to start thinking of exercise and self-care as a priority, and not leave it at the bottom of your to-do list.
If it’s not up there as one of the most important tasks of the day, you’ll be forever postponing your plans to have a regular workout or consigning your mindfulness session to a tomorrow that never comes. Make these activities the most important parts of your day, taking priority over everything else. That’s the only way to ensure you get into a regular exercise and self-care routine.
How to manage the costs of keeping fit and healthy
There are many ways to keep fit without it costing a fortune. Gym memberships are usually a reasonable price, but if you’re on a budget, or you don’t think you’ll get your money’s worth from a subscription, opt for a low-cost alternative such as walking, running, or cycling.
You’ll need to have the best quality sneakers you can afford, to support your body correctly and help avoid injury, plus any safety equipment like a helmet for cycling, but other than that these are very cheap options.
Remember, the costs associated with keeping yourself fit and healthy should be a priority too because unless you invest in your health, you risk losing it. For example, if the gym is your preferred option, or you need more expensive equipment; or if you need to pay for a sports membership, or employ a personal trainer to help you out, then using credit isn’t a bad option providing you can cover the repayments. You can find out about the most relevant low-cost credit facilities at reputable sites such as Bonsai Finance.
How to fit exercise and self-care into your routine
You might be wondering how you can arrange your day if you want to start prioritizing your exercise and self-care. How you manage it will depend on your individual circumstances, but whatever your other responsibilities are, there will be a way to fit into your healthy activities. Here are a few ideas for ways to find time in even the busiest schedules:
- Make it a part of your social routine: Meeting up with friends at the gym, taking a class together, going for a game of racquetball, or for a walk or a cycle ride after work are all great ways to combine spending time with your friends with getting the exercise you need. It can also be really helpful for your motivation to be part of a group that can support and encourage one another.
- Get the whole family involved: The same principle applies to your family if you have kids. Getting everyone involved in a family activity allows you to spend quality time together, whilst simultaneously benefitting from a regular exercise routine.
- Exercise while you work: If you work from home, you might be able to spend an hour a day on your exercise bike as you work, using a laptop or tablet stand on the bike to allow you to use your hands whilst pedaling. If you work in an office, there are some clever little machines that will fit neatly under your desk and allow you to do steps or cycle as you work.
- Get up earlier: Not usually the most popular option, as so many of us find leaving our warm beds enough of a struggle in the mornings! However, there are numerous reports from people who’ve tried it saying that it has changed their lives. If you want to give it a go, there are plenty of guides on how to succeed. The key principle is to set your alarm for just five minutes earlier each day to make the change so gradually that you barely notice.
- Practicing meditation, mindfulness, or some form of relaxation that clears your mind and refreshes your spirit is just as important as the physical exercise. It doesn’t need to take up too much time, either – there are any number of guided meditations that only last for ten minutes, and a mindfulness session can take place anytime and anywhere. You could be on the train, in the park, sat at your desk, or preparing a meal, and simply focus all your attention on the sensory stimulus around you for five minutes.
Making an investment in your health will enable you to stay fit and earn more, and help you achieve your goals in life. Taking care of your wellbeing is fundamental to achieving a better lifestyle and living a long and happy life, so starting today make it your number one priority.