I used to be that person who started her diet or training “tomorrow.” But in recent years, the power of Nike’s famous slogan, “Just Do It” has resonated. An over-thinker to the core, I learned to stop analyzing and just put one foot in front of the other toward a small healthy goal. I remember days with only few hours of sleep, rushing to drop the baby at daycare then off to hours worth of boardroom meetings. My mind was so active with the stress of getting through the day, I always thought I was too busy to take care of myself.
Yes. Many of us are incredibly busy.
Yes. Schedules are chaotic, stressful and over-packed.
And yes. We don’t have enough time in the day to accomplish everything.
But taking care of myself is now an non-issue. A plant-based diet becomes routine, but finding time during a hectic day to exercise or meditate can be challenging. So, we’ve created a list of 25 ideas on how to jump-start your mind and body activity level. Like our Clean Eating tips post, this is meant to be a brainstorm of ideas. Choose one or two things to add to your routine. Then try others. Sooner or later, like me, you will find this isn’t a chore but an easy way to make your life a little healthier.
1. Wake up 20 minutes earlier and walk, run or insert activity for 15 minutes.
2. Start a walking group at work for before work or during lunch.
3. Schedule a catch up meeting at work over lunch and walk.
4. Sit on a ball at your desk to develop more core strength.
5. Create a circuit and do it with your kids every few days.
6. Create a family routine – walk, run or bike daily.
7. Enjoy kid activities: use the monkey bars, run around a high school track or walk miles at a zoo
8. Do push ups and triceps dips every morning and evening, add jumping rope a few times a day.
9. Buy hand weights and keep them in a high traffic area of your house or office.
10. Watch the first 15 minutes of your favorite show doing a sequence of weights or squats/lunges.
11. Take lessons (tennis, golf, dancing, skating) with colleagues or friends to make it social.
12. Keep a pair of sneakers and socks in the car, so impromptu walks or runs can be fit in between appointments and meetings.
13. Buy a pair of light and flimsy sneakers, so they can easily be thrown in a purse or backpack.
14. Download the Headspace app to start mini-meditations.
15. If you can’t find 10 minutes, sit in your car before work/busy day and listen to meditation/guided imagery on CD/iTunes.
16. Make yourself read something non-work related for 5-minutes a day to relax.
17. Start a non-digital habit, read, color, play solitaire or another new and easy activity in your life that can help bring calmness.
18. Take a walk and listen to Pandora’s Deepak Chopra station.
19. Learn alternate nostril breathing, Pranayam, for de-stressing techniques to calm the mind
20. Keep a box of crayons or markers in your desk or kitchen drawer. Use them to doodle when you feel a little stress.
21. Practice being mindful with everyday activities. Notice your senses while brushing teeth and standing in line.
22. Carry a mini-notebook and journal for five minutes a day.
23. Take a 5-minute break to take still-life photos, noticing the beauty surrounding your world.
24. End your night alone or with others thinking about gratitude. Note one part of the day that filled you with joy.
25. Accept your day and thoughts, the good and the bad. Don’t judge, just think about how to move forward productively.
What motivates you to be active – mentally or physically?
Tools to Help Make Active and Mindful Living Easier
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