15 minutes a Day: How to Make Yourself & Health a Priority
Katherine Petrunia, BBA ENTR 2010 and blogger behind The Pampered Baby
Who has the time to focus on their health? Admit it: We’re all guilty of saying we’ll eat better and exercise, but when the daily grind takes its toll- school, work, family, etc. - suddenly we find ourselves pushing this priority down the list until it’s buried under a pile of daily tasks that demand our attention.
The challenge is really about time management and organizing our priorities. Instead of coming home and kicking your feet up (well deserved though it may be), most of us could probably find the time (say 15 minutes) and energy to do a quick workout or prepare a smoothie or healthy snack instead of digging into a bag of chips or other convenient processed snack that has no nutritional value.
Because really, who can’t find 15 minutes in their day for themselves? This is where prioritizing comes in. For some it may not be the first thing they do in the day (although many people admit that if they don’t get a workout in before work, they won’t have the motivation, time, and/ or energy after), but it can be slotted into a lunch break or other pocket of time on your day’s to- do list. And if exercise is just not an option some days, swapping out a bought lunch or snack for some fresh fruit and veggies (or a smoothie made before heading out the door in the morning) will at least boost your energy and give your body valuable nutrients.
Just like any new undertaking, looking at the big picture can be overwhelming, but scaling it down to the daily effort of 15- 30 minutes sounds less intimidating and easier to accomplish. Make small changes each day or week to make the process easier to adjust to. Sometimes we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to achieve a goal- especially with health/ exercise- and simply give up because we’re ‘too busy’ or anxious to commit to working towards achieving it. But even small, seemingly insubstantial efforts can make a difference in the long run.
Whether you’re a busy student, career person, have a family to look after, or some combination of the three, your health can have a direct impact on how effective you are in what you’re doing. Here are some quick and simple ideas to incorporate healthier choices into your daily routine:
- Change your buying habits: Instead of your favourite salty snack, choose some fruits & veggies on your next grocery shop for the week (easy to clean/ prepare options include carrots, apples, grapes, oranges, celery, and bananas); another great option is trail mix (make your own for an added nutritional boost & cut the salt)
- Wash & prepare these healthy snacks for the week ahead and store in air- tight containers; each night or morning when you prepare your lunch, simply grab the desired amount & pack into your work bag
- Drink more water & avoid pop & sugary drinks (for a delicious dairy free drink, try this recipe for chocolate hemp milk- it’s also a great base for smoothies and protein shakes)
- Slot in some exercise whenever you can- simply walking or taking the stairs are small improvements you can make; go for a run, or look up some yoga & other exercise videos on YouTube that you can do from home
- Reconsider your meals: What’s in the food you eat? Don’t overlook added sugars and salt in sauces and other prepared ingredients. For some healthy recipes (with lots of gluten free and dairy free options for allergy sufferers) check out these healthy recipe ideas
Katherine Petrunia graduated from the BBA ENTR program in 2010 and is the blogger behind The Pampered Baby, named in the Top 30 Mom blogs for 2014 by VancouverMom.ca. She is passionate about health & wellness in addition to supporting local businesses and organizations. She currently juggles family life with her work freelancing in marketing and the blog.
Note: The Pampered Baby is hosting its 2nd Annual Comfort & Joy Food Drive benefitting local families in need through Deltassist, The Surrey Food Bank, and Baby Go Round. Comfort Joy Brochure for details.pdf