Most people want to be healthy and if they thought they could easily integrate healthy habits into their lives, they would. But for many people, the thought of adding one more thing into their already hectic lives is just too much to take on. Plus, healthy habits are often perceived as “not fun” and “too expensive.” That’s where we come in! At CarpeVITA Health, we are all about making a healthy lifestyle convenient and affordable for everyone. Our 10 tips that follow will help you learn how to include healthy habits in your busy life.

Set Up a Food Prepping Time & Make it Fun

How to Include Healthy Habits in Your Busy LifeIt’s not enough to purchase healthy foods like fresh veggies and fruits. Having them chopped up and ready to eat at the moment you are hungry is they key. Otherwise, you’ll just grab the easiest thing, whether it’s healthy or not. Chopping up and prepping foods is time consuming and not usually perceived as fun, but if you plan ahead and have a once-a-week prep time with some scheduled in fun, you’ll find yourself eating healthier in no time.

What do we mean by this? Let’s say you choose Saturday at 10:00 AM for your prep time. You’ll be sure to have everything you need ready to go before then and you will have planned in a way to make it fun. Perhaps you take turns purchasing and hosting the prep time with a friend and the two of you get together, drink some morning cocktails and prep away. Before you know it, the task is done and you probably didn’t even realize you were doing a tedious task. Or, maybe you make it a family event and get the kids involved. You could put some fun music on and sing and dance while you prep. That could make for some valued family memories and a time that everyone can look forward to each week.

Cook in a Crock-Pot

If you haven’t discovered the crock-pot yet, you’re missing out. Slow cooker meals are so easy and they can be left unattended all day so that dinner is smelling great and ready when you get home from work. You can make almost anything in a crock-pot. Pick up a slow cooker cookbook or download some online recipes and see how easy home cooked, healthy meals for the whole family can be.

Extra Tip: Don’t have a big family to feed? It’s okay! Crock-pot meals are great for cooking ahead and freezing the leftovers in single sized portions. Now you’ve just made your life even easier by having lots of healthy meals ready to go!

Use More Spices & Less Salt

This tip is so easy and so effective! Spices are packed with flavor and they transform your food into irresistible treats, but they are also extremely healthy. We’ve gone as far as to call them nature’s multivitamins because they contain so much good stuff. Each one is packed with antioxidants and a variety of other vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients. So buy some spices and start playing around with this tasty tip.

Know What You’re Buying & Eating

Labels can be sooooooo deceiving, making it easy for even health conscious people to purchase things that seem to be healthy but which are not. Claims like “natural,” “no growth hormones” and “multi-grain” can be deceiving due to the loose regulations that we have in the U.S. Plus terms like “low calorie” and “no added sugars” can often make us think we are purchasing something healthy, while we are actually putting worse artificial sweeteners into our bodies.

Extra Tip: When we purchase processed foods (pre-made foods), it can be difficult to know what we are actually consuming because of all of the label deception out there. That’s why the best foods you can eat are always the ones you make yourself from scratch. While it can be time consuming, many of the other tips we have provided, such as having a weekly prep time and cooking in a crock-pot, can cut that time down dramatically.

Squeeze Exercise Into Your Daily Life

Instead of setting aside extra time to exercise, which is often the first thing to get pushed aside when we get busy, find creative ways to exercise without “exercising.” What do we mean by this? In short, instead of doing things to reduce the amount you have to move around during the day, do the opposite. So, instead of looking for the closest parking spot, look for the one furthest away; instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs; instead of sending an email to your coworker, walk over to their desk. If you wear a fitness tracking device like a Fitbit, you’ll be surprised to see how much your daily steps go up when you make this simple change. Here’s an article with more tips: 5 Tips for Finding Time to Exercise.

Decide to be Calmer

Life can be stressful, especially when we are busy, but it’s important to remember that we can control our response to stress. If you tend to be wound tight or you react abruptly with anger or anxiousness in response to a stressor, it can be easier said than done to go against that normal reaction, however that option is available to you. It all starts with a decision. Decide to be calmer in your reactions to the things that stress you. Set that intention daily and then take a deep breath and remember that decision each time a stressor arises. You’d be surprised how in control you can be when you put your mind to it.

Drink Water & Lots of It

Simply replacing soda or sugary juice with water can have dramatic affects on your health. You’ll lose weight easier, reduce your toxic overload, and supply your body with one of its most essential requirements. We are made up of 70% water and that water needs to be replenished on a daily basis. We are not made up of 70% soda – remember that! Drink at least half of your weight in ounces each day of purified water, and you’ll notice a difference in how your body works.

Set Goals

When our dreams die, we tend to die in spirit with them. Life is more fun, and frankly, it is easier, when we have something to look forward to. Passion pulls you forward, providing you with the drive and energy you need to accomplish your busy life. You feel more alive, you accomplish things with more ease and you get to achieve your dreams in the process! What could be better than that?

Schedule Valuable Respite

We all need down time but we often don’t use that time wisely, and that makes it counter productive because we don’t get the respite we need from that time in order to recharge. Instead of plunking on the couch after a chaotic day till you fall asleep and then make your way to bed, try some of the following ideas. Schedule time for a massage or give yourself a foot soak while you watch your favorite show. Perhaps you want to schedule a lunch or movie with a friend or have a leisurely browse through your favorite bookstore. Consider going fishing or golfing with a friend, or relaxing on a hammock in your back yard. All of these things provide down time that is also energizing because it recharges your body and mind.

Promote Good Sleep

We all know that sleep is important for our health, but most of us still don’t get the sleep we need, and not having enough time to get adequate sleep isn’t the only reason. Typically, we create an environment for ourselves that is not conducive to proper sleep and then we wonder why we don’t sleep well. Some easy things you can do include: not having the TV on when you are trying to get to sleep, reducing the amount of light in your bedroom, and creating a winding down period at least an hour prior to bedtime in which you reduce the lights in your house, tone down the energy level, and reduce the amount of blue light technology you are using.