There’s a traffic jam, you’re running 15 minutes late to soccer practice, that granola bar is still sitting on the counter at home, you think you left your water bottle at work this afternoon and now, somehow, there’s only one shin guard in your child’s bag? AHH! Life can feel like it’s constantly in fast-forward, especially when juggling a career and mom duties. How do you stay healthy in the midst of it? Luckily, some of our very own Kroger Health warriors have shared their tips on making it work for those hectic days (or weeks, or months…).
The old adage applies here: if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. Although these words are somber, you get the point. If we aren’t sure what dinner plans are or what we’ll eat on the road, destiny may find us pulling into the fast food drive-thru.
Nurse Practitioner Erin points out “Meal planning for the week, especially quick meals or crockpot meals on days I’m working, helps make sure my family is eating healthy and isn’t stopping for take out all the time.” Pharmacist Rachel agrees. “I’m always on the lookout for crockpot friendly meals to save me time.” Pharmacist Lia adds, “I make an extra portion for dinner and pack it up so that I always have a healthy lunch for the next day.” Erin also recommends keeping products like Justin’s Classic Almond Butter Packs (OptUP score: 82) in your purse “for a quick snack on the go.”
Make use of in-between time
Waiting for kids to get their shoes on (or just find them), stalling before that conference call starts, being on standby as your computer boots up – think about how many times a day you have 5 to 10 minutes “to kill.” Find ways to help these brief lapses contribute towards your health goals. Try using the time to look up nutritious food alternatives, read a chapter from a health book on your e-reader, compile the weekly grocery list or see how many good squats you can do before getting winded.
Make food an activity
Rather than dreading the time you have to spend in the kitchen prepping meals, view food as fun. Nurse Practitioner Nidhi is on-board with this idea. “For us, as part of a healthy lifestyle, we try to cook healthy meals at home. We also plant cucumbers and zucchini during spring so we can make use of those fresh vegetables every day.” Kids get a thrill out of being involved with food preparation. Letting your little one help with the measuring, mixing and combining ingredients can teach and empower children to make better food choices.
Exercise in small bursts
Dietitian Katy puts it this way: “Make use of every inch of time for exercise. Sometimes you only have 10 to 15 minutes and it’s at 9 p.m. at night.” Some of us may be able to carve out time for regular Zumba classes or weekend 10K races, but odds are you’re working against a pretty tight schedule. Katy goes on to suggest that even family neighborhood walks, playing tag with the kids, dancing around the house or playground pull-ups can be exercise disguised as an enjoyable pastime.
By planning ahead, utilizing small pockets of time (for research, planning or exercise) and turning meal prepping into a fun family activity, you can easily squeeze healthy habits into your hectic schedule!
Explore more healthy living advice from our team of experts.
Disclaimer: This information is educational only and not providing healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.