You’re too busy to be unhealthy.
Your fitness-obsessed friends may never admit it, but their gym time is a luxury.
Because, despite what they'll tell you, working out never actually only takes an hour. There’s travel time, waiting for the class or the machine, stretching, cooling down and showering off the gym-stink. Working out regularly can suck up way too much of your time.
Actually, staying healthy in general can feel like a huge, unwieldy time commitment.
Take eating right, for example. Sounds basic, but it’s not easy to do on the fly.
You have to monitor your portions, track what you’re ingesting, all while constantly researching what ingredients and foods are truly good for you. (I, for one, was shocked to find out that foods like yogurt, wheat bread, and cereal bars can actually be bad for you. But, admittedly, most of my healthy food purchases are based off what the label looks like.)
Like every other person with a family and a job, I have zero time, energy, or desire to devote myself to living a hardcore healthy lifestyle.
But here's the thing: We are all so busy that we can’t afford not to be healthy.
We don’t have time to get sick and we need all the energy we can get. So, what can you do? How do you stay reasonably healthy if you simply can’t make it to the gym every day?
You're in luck! We did some research and found five relatively easy, low-impact ways to improve your health quickly without compromising your busy schedule.
1. Take a probiotic
I didn't realize this back in my reckless college days, when my diet was 60% Hot Pockets, but, apparently, digestion plays a HUGE role in your overall health.
It makes sense. Eating is how your body gets most of its vitamins and nutrients. But when we’re busy, we crave (and consume) A LOT of crappy food. Our bodies then turn all that junk into fat instead of energy. It's a vicious cycle.
The most effective way to help your body process all that food correctly (and by correctly, we mean so you LOSE weight, instead of gaining it) is to take a regular probiotic supplement. Probiotics break down food and pull out all of the healthy parts so our bodies can actually absorb the vitamins we need.
If you want to take it a step further, the Bio X4 supplement — the ultimate crossover of everything you need to kick your digestive tract in gear — contains powerful probiotics, but also includes anti-oxidants, digestive enzymes and green tea extracts — it's like a magic bullet for your aching, abused stomach.
The awesome part is that it doesn't just make your stomach feel better. Probiotics like Bio X4 also let you enjoy all the benefits of actually having a fully-functioning digestion system (which most of us don't have).
What benefits? You feel less hungry, you get more energy, your metabolism rises, your skin clears up (thank you, extra nutrients!), your immune system grows stronger. It's amazing what having a happy tummy can do for you.
Also, using a probiotic regularly has been known to boost your libido and help with your sex drive too. (There’s even evidence that the live cultures in probiotic supplements actually make things more pleasant when your partner goes “down there,” which can represent a BIG win for both parties in the bedroom.)
So, not only can I enjoy my potato skins more, but it might also lead to more sexy time? Sign me up. And that’s all just from taking a supplement to counter-act being a idiot when you go out to eat.
Sounds WAY better than going to the gym, right?
2. Get more sleep
I know what you’re thinking — “I don’t have time to sleep!” But, trust us, there’s nothing you can do to give you more energy during the day than getting a good night’s sleep. Yes, it is time you spend with your eyes closed, accomplishing nothing, but sleep super-charges every other moment you're awake during the day. Studies show that sleep plays a major role in improving your quality of life, fighting heart disease, and keeping your weight down, among other benefits.
If you can manage 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, your other 13 to 17 hours of awake time will be MUCH healthier and more productive. So, instead of staying up until 3 am bingewatching Stranger Things (again) ... turn in early for once. And who wouldn't rather nap for an hour instead of go to the gym? (Sleep as an alternate to working out feels like a no-brainer.)
Sleep is your friend. Trust us, your body will thank you.
3. Watch what you drink
We’re not saying to cut down on your alcohol because that would be cruel. Remember, probiotics help us eat what we want to eat, so, when it comes to drinking, you shouldn't expect anything different. The key to staying healthy is NOT giving up on alcohol. After the day you’ve had, you DESERVE an after-work drink.
However, there ARE some drinks that are much, much healthier than others. And, fortunately, they're not super-lame options.
During the day, you can switch from coffee to green tea — the antioxidants in green tea have been linked to lowering cholesterol and fighting various forms of dementia and cancer. (It's also very tasty.)
After a tough day at work, maybe opt for a glass of red wine. There’s an ingredient in red wine (resveratrol) that is known for preventing blood clots and fighting high blood pressure and heart disease. Plus it's only like $2 a bottle at Trader Joe's.
(Still waiting to hear about the long-term health benefits of Jägermeister. Will keep you posted.)
4. Have more sex
Does sex take time out of your busy day? Sure. But:
a) Probably not as much time as working out (a sad but true fact).
b) Sex can be a lot of more satisfying than your post-yoga cool-down (if you’re doing it right).
Also, sex is (hopefully) something that you’d be doing anyway, that actually has some pretty fantastic health benefits. Sex can lowers blood pressure, strengthens your immune system, and even reduces the risk of prostate cancer for men. OK, sex is a lot closer to working out than sleeping or drinking, but it's also way, WAY more fun.
Plus, remember when we talked about how taking probiotics, like Bio X4, can boost your overall sex drive? This can just be a part of your new high-reward, low-impact health regiment. Take your supplement, get healthy, get in the mood, get laid, and get even healthier. That’s like win-win-win for your body.
Yes, you’re busy, but, health-wise, it might be the most important two-ish minutes of your day (#humblebrag).
5. Play some games
Fine, you don’t have time to go to the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your body move a little during the day. And you can even make it fun. (For sexy games, see #4.)
Buying a personal fitness tracker can be a great way to turn something as simple as walking into a daily challenge you set for yourself. (Can you reach 10,000 steps before sundown?) If you're the type of person who can't go to bed until you beat six levels on Candy Crush, it might be amazing motivation for you to stretch your legs a little without realizing it.
Or, if you can’t find the motivation to get yourself walking, try downloading Pokémon Go and capture a few Squirtles before bedtime. Being an IRL gamer has all the benefits of exercise without the boredom. You might even meet someone else chasing Pokemons while you're at it (again see point #4!).
So the secret to staying healthy when you're busy? Sleep in, get laid, take a probiotic like Bio X4, drink some red wine, and spend your few free moments enjoying yourself (and playing Pokemon Go).
How's that for living the good life?
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This article was created in partnership with Nucific.